There’s more to taking a great photo than buying an expensive camera, pointing and shooting it in auto mode.
But if you’re even reading this you probably already know that. You’ve been through the frustration of not being able to take the photos you envisioned when you took that new DSLR out of the box. Every single student that comes to us has been through that too.
But there’s another thing our students have in common. At some point after they switched the dial over to M… they tried to learn by asking questions of Google, trawling YouTube video tutorials (oh what a rabbit hole that is!), and many even tried other photography courses… but none of it helped.
They were confused by disjointed information that didn’t give them the big picture. They couldn’t figure out how to choose their settings. And there was no one to tell them when they got it right, and why. No one to point out where they went wrong, and guide them in the right direction. And there are just some questions you can’t google because you don’t even know what it is you need to ask.
Then comes the feeling of defeat and deflation.
And that’s what brought CLG Grad Amber Shay to us a year ago… 10 years of photo frustration, using her phone while her expensive camera gathered dust. Missing all the moments with her babies that she’d anticipated capturing in beautiful photos… and a photography course that just.didn’t.work.
So today I’m excited to introduce you to Amber and share her story. She’s a CLG Enthusiast Course Grad, business owner, and mum to three boys from a beautiful part of Australia called East Ballina on the forth north cost of NSW…
I am so lucky to live in an amazing location with beautiful beaches and a relaxed lifestyle, with my 3 boys – Brock 11, Henley 3 and Aston 2. I have a real estate business in Evans Head, which is another beautiful coastal town approximately half an hour from home. So my time is very limited, but whenever we head to the beach, to the park or anywhere really, my camera comes along.
During the Enthusiast Course, my youngest child was starting the day at 4am every day, so my interest in landscape photography took off! The group I went through the course with became very familiar with my view of the sun rising over the beach each day!
I am so pleased that in years to come my children will have beautiful memories of their childhood due to learning how to tell their story with Click Love Grow.
I’d always had a huge appreciation of nice photos. So when my eldest son was born, I would buy him beautiful clothes and try to recreate the kind of images I saw in the ads for the clothes. But my phone (the good old iPhone 3 selfies) just didn’t cut it! I started to feel like I was missing all his moments with bad photos.
It was time I invested in a decent camera. So I did my research and bought a Nikon D5000, along with the 18-55mm kit lens and a 35mm lens, and I was set. Or so I thought… I thought I could put it in auto, point and shoot and I would be good to frame these beauties.
But my photos did NOT look like I had expected them to, and from there I got very frustrated. Every once in a while I’d fluke a good photo but had no idea what made it a good photo and why I couldn’t achieve that all the time.
At the time I was working from home with my baby, and decided to use my ‘spare time’ to do a photography course. So I embarked on an online certificate course through TAFE (Australian version of community college), but I failed miserably! Everything was a lengthy learning process, and the assignments were tedious and clunky.
I couldn’t understand the lessons, they felt disjointed, and there was zero communication or help. I felt like I was getting nowhere, and I came away even more frustrated and confused.
I am someone who happily studies online yet this experience made me throw the towel in. I was incredibly disheartened at the time. In fact, I packed my camera in the box for another 10 years until I had 2 more children. Then I dusted it off and when I pulled it out, and surprise surprise: I stumbled across the exact same issues and frustrations as before.
And that was when I found Click Love Grow.
I stumbled across Click Love Grow after having my third child. A couple of my friends had joined, although I wasn’t aware of that at the time. But my Facebook algorithms obviously were and CLG came into my feed. So I joined the beginners group, and did a few of their free courses.
I found the community incredibly helpful to my learning, and the feedback from the group was so supportive. It was a really positive, inspiring space.
My CLG journey had begun, and I was hooked.
IT MAKES SENSE!!!
There is so much to taking a great photo, however CLG have put it all in layman’s terms that anyone can grasp. It doesn’t flood you with information all at once, so there is never a feeling of being overwhelmed.
I was at home with a newborn, an 18 month old, and a 10 yr old and working from home, but I could still do it in my own time, and it didn’t feel hard… it was all so simple to understand.
The course shows you the fundamentals in a logical order and a visual way that makes so much sense and then builds on it with each lesson. You have a week to do each lesson, but you never feel pressure. Even if you aren’t able to finish the assignment in the set week, you never ever feel like you’re failing because the instructor feedback and support is always there even if you’re behind.
They critique your photos every week, and they have an amazing group of positive instructors that always make you feel like you can comfortably post and ask for advice.
The critiquing is always positive with gentle guidance and there is so much knowledge and help available.
You can also look and learn from what other students are posting in the group and be inspired.
Understanding the exposure triangle was my biggest take away. This has meant my camera has never been switched out of manual mode since. Even if I’m uncomfortable with the lighting or other aspect of the shooting situation. I always challenge myself to work it out.
A lightbulb (and comforting) moment was realising that everyone, even the professionals, have to test their settings at a new location. But also that the more you do it, the faster you get.
I also loved learning about composition. Before the course I would look at a photo and know it’s a nice photo, but had no idea why. I now understand the elements that go into a good photo, and this insight really got me analysing and now I think about the composition before just taking a snapshot. Without the Enthusiast Course I would still be super frustrated.
Click Love Grow came to me at a time when I was ‘stuck’ at home with children tag teaming sleeps, and I felt like I didn’t have anything that was just for me. This was exactly what I needed at that time, and continues to be a passion.
I’ve gone from fluking the odd good shot but not knowing what made it good or how to do it again.. to understanding all the elements that are involved in taking a great photo (and how to do it on purpose). It also helped me see that it is not out of reach to become a photographer – amateur or professional – if you have the desire to put in the time to both practice and continue to learn.
And lastly, I’ve made friends from being connected to the group with the same interest, in the same or similar situation.
Thanks to the Enthusiast Course, I am now a photography learning junkie and I can’t help but to sign up to every CLG workshop!
We love seeing a before & after set of images side by side, as it’s such a visually powerful way to showcase the transformation in our student’s photography in just 8 weeks after taking the Enthusiast Photography Course. So please enjoy Amber’s fabulous before & after set!
Many thanks to Amber for sharing your beautiful images and your story to which I know so many women will relate. If you want to see more of Amber’s photography check her out on Instagram.