Photography has always been a passion of mine.
When I was younger, I took photography classes at the local recreation center with my dad. Every weekend we’d check out photography books from the library and pore over them together.
I have always had a camera in my hand. I have strived to be the memory keeper of the family, making photo books of every vacation and trying to capture all of the important moments.
But as an adult, it never even occurred to me that I could pursue photography as not just a hobby but also as a career. All I knew of professional photographers were people who had gone to art school to study fashion photography. “Professional” in my mind meant elaborate studio setups and modeled shoots for magazines.
I figured that since I did not have a degree in photography that being a professional was out of reach. I was a full-time mom with 3 kids in tow and going back to school full time wasn’t an option.
And then a simple Google search led me to Clickin Moms. And suddenly, a whole new world opened up.
In just four years, Clickin Moms has redefined for me what it means to be a photographer. These are the ways that this community has been instrumental in my own photography journey and how I see it impacting the lives of members from around the world.
A community of women
The first thing that struck me about Clickin Moms is that it is a community of women. When I was hunting around for photography resources and materials, it seemed that almost everything I came across was incredibly male-dominated. Written by men, moderated by men, and from a male perspective.
Now, as a mother of a bunch of males, I take no issues with that perspective. But I craved resources that were created by someone with me in mind. From my point of view (or something similar). Moderated by people who understood me.
Clickin Moms was a breath of fresh air from the first time I set virtual foot in the forum. It felt like home. It was a place that I could express myself without fear of judgement or rejection. There was comfort in a place where I knew fellow members would just get what I was saying.
Many of the women on the forum come from a background similar to mine. Many are mothers, and most did not go to art school or even realize that they wanted to pursue photography until well into adulthood.
Because we have that common ground, it is easy for us to connect with one another, to create learning resources that make sense for us, and to lift each other up.
A community of encouragers
I vividly remember the very first time I posted a picture to the Picture Share forum on Clickin Moms. And I was scared out of my mind! I had seen some of the amazing work that other women on the forum created and I thought to myself, “I will never measure up to that.”
And you know what? Not one person ever once made me feel as if that were the case. Right away I had people reaching out to me. They commented on my picture, asked me questions about myself, and were just generally encouraging.
Because of that experience, I felt like I could reach greater heights. I was emboldened to achieve more than I previously thought I would be able to. I felt comfortable enough to spread my wings, to try out different things, and to find my voice. It is 100% because of the encouraging spirit of Clickin Moms that I am the photographer that I am today.
The sense of competition that I had experienced from other photography groups isn’t what Clickin Moms is about. The idea that knowledge is a secret not meant to be shared isn’t the way this community operates.
Instead, Clickin Moms fosters a sense of positivity that runs through everything from serious image critiques to just shooting the breeze with each other about parenting and makeup and life. The forum is always a safe place to land for everyone, from seasoned pros to brand new photographers.
A community of teachers
If you want to learn from some of the absolute best photographers in the industry, then join Clickin Moms. I am constantly amazed by the sheer talent that is represented on the forum.
Seemingly every genre is represented! From food photographers to landscape artists to documentary family photographers, so many gifted and experienced women are willing to share their knowledge in the interest of paying it forward.
And everyone on the forum has something to teach the other members. Think about that. Every person has something to teach the others. Not just the pros. Not just the mentors. Every member has something unique to teach the rest of the community.
This makes it so that all members feel empowered to share often. The number of tutorials, videos, and critiques is absolutely mind-boggling. The Clickin Moms forum is a veritable treasure trove of photographic knowledge!
When I first became a member, I scoured the tutorial section. I think I watched every single video in the library (and there are a lot!), read every article about lighting, composition, and editing, and downloaded every freebie that was offered.
I could not believe that all of this information was available to every member! All I had to do was log in and take advantage of it.
And if I have questions like “How can I set up back-button focusing on my new camera?” or, “How can I look cute and still be comfortable when I’m on a photo shoot?” all I have to do is reach out to my community. I am instantly inundated with all the information and knowledge out there on the subject.
A community of friends
I have made some of my very best friends on Clickin Moms. My husband often jokes about my virtual friendships, but it is amazing how easy it is to find women that you click with (pun intended) on the forum.
From all over the world and from every background, I have found my tribe. We keep up on each others’ lives and find connection through our shared love of photography.
And when Clickin Moms hosts events where I finally get to meet these amazing women in person? I get so excited to see their faces in person, hear their voices, and hug their necks!
Where else are you going to find someone who gets it when you squeal with glee about Lightroom’s newest features? Or a friend who is willing to get up with you at 3:30 in the morning to trek to some epic sunrise location?!
I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing women through Clickin Moms that I otherwise never would have known. We’ve shared life through photography and beyond. I feel so fortunate to have been able to be a part of this community and form lifelong bonds.
Do you see a theme here? The most important part of Clickin Moms to me is that it is a community. It is a group of people who come together for the same purpose: to share their love of photography. It is a warm, supportive, fun environment and I feel incredibly lucky that I found it all those years ago.
And the most amazing part is that it always continues to grow and evolve. New tutorials are being added every day. New members are joining all the time. And new opportunities are presenting themselves.
As technology changes and new photographic trends are set, Clickin Moms will always be a place to go to for the most up-to-date information about it all. But it never loses its sense of close-knit community. It remains a place where everybody knows your name and everyone is rooting for your success.
Clickin Moms is my photography home and I can’t wait for you to join me there. See you on the forum!