My Photography Journey by Mickie DeVries
I joined Clickin Moms in April of 2011, and since joining I have enjoyed looking at the progress threads that members post. I however, have never posted my journey, and the reason why will become evident in just a minute!
I admire the threads that show incredible growth in such short periods of time, my journey does not mirror those, mine was slow. I would say painfully slow looking back, but I was often unaware of where I was in my journey at the time. I am so glad I found CM and CMU because without them I’m sure I would not have progressed even this quickly, and I use the term quickly loosely…
2004 was the year my son was born, and while I always loved taking photos before that, his birth made me want to document every waking moment of his life. I did not yet own a DSLR, but I began scrapbooking and began playing around with images in Photoshop. I was vaguely familiar with Photoshop due to my web development degree, however using it for photography was very different than using it for web graphics. I am thankful that I have the original files from this time period as almost always the unaltered image is thankfully better than my early attempts at editing. Here are a few from the time Alex was born until I bought my first DSLR shortly before my daughter’s first birthday in 2009.
I loved selective color!
Who needs newborn photos when you can get this all by yourself with a sheet thrown over a chair?!?!
I found all these different versions of this photo on my computer. Aren’t they great?!
After buying a Nikon D90 in early 2009, I read lots of books on how to get that blurry background. I shot in aperture priority mode almost from the beginning so I could control the blur. I however did not realize that shooting wider was resulting in blurry images. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize at the time that my photos were largely out of focus! I also continued my experimentation with editing, I couldn’t resist buying actions!
This was my favorite photo for a long time that year. Easy to see why, right?!
In 2010 I started and completed my first and only 365 project. I also continued experimenting with processing and began shooting in manual.
This was one of my favorites from 2010 and I do still love it as it shows my daughter so unsure of her new cousin.
In the spring of 2011 I saw a mention of CM on a fellow photographer’s page. At the time, CM was running a promotion for lifetime memberships so I signed up on a whim. I really thought I was quite knowledgeable when I joined; I had no idea how much information I lacked. I’m pretty sure I need new friends because at the time I joined I was portfolio building by taking family and friend’s photos, and they raved about me. They should not of been raving, let me tell you. I beg them now to take down my old photos from their walls, but alas they still love them.
I remember seeing the abbreviation wb on CM all the time when I first joined, and had no idea what that was or why it was important. White balance (aka wb) turns out to be a pretty big thing in photography. Who knew?!?! Even after I figured out what wb meant, I still struggled with it for a long time, and it still gives me a hard time once in a while. I lurked on CM for quite a while before becoming active on the forum. I just absorbed all the knowledge from gifted photographers and I began taking classes from CMU. The decision to take classes through CM, and the thoughtful lessons and critique by the amazing CMU instructors is finally what spurred on my growth. With each class I learned new things, and my voice as an artist started to emerge.
In 2012 I continued to take classes and refine my shooting technique and processing.
After taking Fine Art and Visual Expression (aka FAVE) in the spring of 2013, I finally began to produce work that matched the vision in my head. Visualization before shooting also became more natural at this point, and very important to how I shoot and edit. Shortly after FAVE I applied and was welcomed into CMPro.
Some favorites from 2014 so far:
Thank you for reliving my journey with me! I hope it was less painful for you than it was for me. In all seriousness though, my journey was not fast, but I still progressed and made the commitment to educate myself. I am so thankful for each step in my journey and each friend, photographer, instructor, and mentor that spurred me on with thoughtful critique and encouragement!