Imagine being able to purposefully bring to your images those elements which make you LOVE them? I’m talking emotion and connection, layers and depth, beautifully dynamic light!
When Pam Gosenheimer joined our Enthusiast Course, she was already shooting in manual mode, and the course helped her solidify what she’d learned so far. But once she graduated and moved into our Grads group, she was inspired by what she saw in there…
…stunning golden back light, images with depth, low light deliciousness, emotion, connections, vibrant colour, creative ways with exposure. She felt her own photos, although technically sound, were missing something, and she decided she wanted to learn how to take photos she would LOVE!
She had the foundational skills of photography mastered, and she was more than ready for the next steps… which was to learn how to take beautifully emotive photos in dynamic light with visually powerful compositions. On purpose.
So I wanted to share with you what those next steps look like, and the things that I know make all the difference, after having taught thousands of women photography:
📸 Step #1 is to go deeper on your technical mastery. Knowing not just how to use your equipment, but to advance your understanding of lighting scenarios, and the intricacies of exposure will increase your confidence and allow you to capture exactly what you envision.
📸 Step #2 is to expand your creativity. Stepping outside your comfort zone to explore and shoot in styles that you may never consider, but will arm you with the skill sets and know-how to evoke mood, feeling and strength of purpose in your images.
📸 Step #3 is to receive expert critique and feedback on your work. You can’t see what you can’t see… and having someone identify the strengths and weaknesses in your imagery is invaluable so you can take the steps to improve and strengthen in your work.
And when it’s laid out like that, it sounds so easy right? Which is exactly why I’ve created our Advanced Photography Course… to walk you through each of these steps in detail and with support.
So Pam joined the Advanced Course and dove in with a determination to make the most of it, and today I’m delighted to introduce you to her and show off her stunning images… proof that she took away from the course everything she set out to learn!
I’m a stay at home mom of three, with a son (18 yo), and two daughters (16 & 2 yo). I’ve been married for 22 years, and we live in the Midwest (Wisconsin) USA right next to a sheep farm which captivates our youngest daughter. I’ve always loved taking photos but my passion took hold about 4-5 years ago and I began teaching myself to use my DSLR and forcing myself to shoot in manual mode. After shooting in manual for about a year I joined the Enthusiast Course and then dove right into the Advanced Course.
I have always loved photography and was drawn to beautiful photographs I saw in the CLG Grads Group. I was (and still am!) in awe of the amazing images that I saw. But attempting to recreate the lighting and exposures left me frustrated and resulted in flat, unemotional images. I was trying to capture the joys of family and motherhood, my children’s “firsts” (and the annual photo for family Christmas cards!) and couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong.
I had invested in the good camera/good lenses and felt that I had mastered the exposure triangle, but I felt the depth I wanted in my photos was missing. I wanted to LOVE my photos!
The Advanced Course immediately appealed to me. I wanted to dive deeper into the understanding of light and using it to help tell the story, to recreate the beautiful moments that the human eye sees ‘in the moment’ and capture them in my photography.
I learned so much from every lesson on the Advanced Course.
But the light lesson really challenged me and has continued to resonate with me months after completing the course.
This lesson in particular helped me explore all of what I was hoping to achieve in my photography. I was never one to shoot in low light and throughout this lesson I practiced, and practiced and practiced some more.
It was eye-opening to see the capabilities of my camera and to capture images in a way I didn’t think I could. This lesson taught me the beauty of light in images and that they don’t all have to be light and airy. And I’ve found since the course that I’ve come to further appreciate the rich, deeper tones of a lower key image.
I am so grateful to the instructors who patiently answered my questions and massaged my attempts into photos I’m really proud of.
I also loved the complimentary colors lesson. Learning how color and tone can enhance a photo and, by changing out colors, invoke other emotions was something that I think thru and incorporate all the time now when I plan a session.
Something else I learned which is seemingly small but a big light bulb moment, was to just to go for it. Take the shot. Practice. And if you don’t like it practice some more. Keep trying new things until you fulfill your vision. Lou says in the course welcome video that you will get out of the course what you put into it, and she is 100% correct.
The instructors are there to help you succeed – they are invested in you and your vision.
But they can only work with what you are submitting. So submit and learn from the feedback and take the next shot. This sounds easy but I really had to let go of the perfectionist in me and be open to hearing how to improve. After all, this is why I was taking the course.
If I knew how to do it all already I’d already be doing it! 🙂
I’ve yet to meet a finer, more considerate group of photographers that are as supportive as those in the CLG courses and community, and I attribute this to the leadership of the instructors.
The lessons and material are straightforward and easy to understand. I love that the lesson challenges are posted to a group of learners so that we are held accountable. And it is great to be able to learn from other’s photos through the instructor feedback that they receive as well as your own. I found on more than one occasion that I would be struggling with something and the answer would be found in looking at feedback on another student’s photo.
In addition I love the varying styles and charisma of the instructors. You are all brilliant and you readily share your knowledge with kindness and patience.
A before & after set of images is one of the most powerful visuals to show how far you can come in 10 weeks of lessons when you’re supported all the way. So please enjoy Pam’s fabulous set – the first one was taken before the Advanced Course, and the after shot was taken during the course.
Many thanks to Pam for your encouraging words and gorgeous images! If you want to see more of Pam’s photography check her out on Instagram.
As part of our BIG week of Advanced Course celebrations, I’ll be chatting live with Pam Gosenheimer later this week, and I’d love you to join me where you’ll learn all the secrets behind her stunning, light filled and vibrant portraits!
If you’re shooting in manual mode and ready to push your creative boundaries, join our Advanced Photography Course and learn to shoot with confidence in any scenario, and discover your own unique style through intensive 1:1 critique on your work. We open for sale on 4th September… join our wait list so you don’t miss out!