Last week, I achieved a personal goal that I set for myself 3 years ago: I was accepted into the CM Pro group on Clickin Moms, a large women's photography forum. Although I fell in love with photography back in high school, spending hours pressing a shutter and developing in the darkroom, I didn't get serious about learning how to improve my skills until a few years ago. I joined Clickin Moms to take their online courses and learn the art of photography, and from the beginning, I was in awe of the amazingly talented CMPros who taught the courses and mentored the newbies, whose work was featured on the blogs, in the magazine, and in the forums. I made a commitment then that I would work hard to learn and produce that quality of work.
In the interim, I've taken multiple classes, read stacks of books, and put my work out to be criticized and critiqued in my quest for improvement. I am just a few days shy of completing my first 365-day project, and I have taken thousands of images, working to improve my use of lighting, composition, color and form.
A couple weeks ago, I submitted a curated portfolio of 150 images for consideration, with the hope I would be accepted into the CMPro program. Recently, I woke up to find an email welcoming me into the program. It's an honor to be welcomed into such a talented group--but more importantly, I set out to do this and I achieved my goal, despite homeschooling and motherhood, moves and personal difficulties. The end result is wonderful--but it's the process and the growth I've experienced over the past couple of years that I value most. I still have so much to learn and so many areas to grow in my quest, but I've reached a benchmark that once seemed so far off.
I owe a massive 'thank you' to my husband for his unwavering support--for not grimacing at my expensive hobby, the costly classes, and not balking at the weekends I would abandon him to walk the streets shooting. And a big thanks my lovely kiddos, who have (mostly happily) allowed me to stick a camera in their faces on a daily basis. I certainly couldn't have achieved this without them.
Now that I've been accepted to the ranks of CMPro, I'm looking forward to sharing my work with a larger audience and continuing to explore and experiment and play with my art in the company of some really, incredible and awesomely-talented women. Want to see for yourself? Click over to the CM Pro Daily Project page. You can see some of my shares there, and you can enjoy some really inspiring images from the rest of the Pros.