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Holy Cats! The anniversary of my very first Geek Mom post is afoot! On January 31st of last year, I wrote about my love affair with my daughter and my camera. So it seems fitting as I approach my GM birthday (cake all around!), that I talk about my latest photography obsession: A community called “Clickin’ Moms.”
I had never heard of this website, despite the fact that they’ve been around for four years now. It wasn’t until I was at a playdate with a friend of mine who also has a Nikon D90 that the subject came up. This is my “photography friend.” We love to talk endlessly about our struggles and achievements with getting the perfect shot. We talk about the lenses we are trying out, speedlights, working with moving targets, and basically any tips or tricks we’ve discovered. Both of us are self-taught, so it’s very rewarding to triumph over an obstacle – and equally as frustrating when you can’t figure out what you are doing wrong! (In the interest of full disclosure, I did take a class in 2010, but found that I learned more about photoshop than about taking the actual shot. Tragically, I don’t use Photoshop. I use Aperture. Sad Panda!)
So anyway, I am at her house, and we’re talking about making the big jump to manual, and how nervewracking it is. And how once you’re in manual – you can’t just hand off your camera to someone else at a party or something and say “Hey! Take a picture of me!” And she says to me, “Well, even if I was in full auto, I couldn’t just hand my camera off because I do this crazy back focus thing now.”
This is me: “??!!?”
She says, “Oh yeah! I found this amazing website called Clickin’ Moms! I signed up for the trial period of a week and really committed myself to getting the most out of it, and found all these amazing tips and tricks. You should take a look at it.”
So off I go!
Turns out that back in March of 2008, a professional photographer named Kendra Okolita established Clickin Moms as a safe place for women to share their photos and passion for photography. It used to be made up of about 100 women – but in the last four years it’s grown to nearly 9000 members – and thankfully, it hasn’t lost the warmth and camaraderie of a small community.
Within the first week of having access to the forums, I learned how to back focus, found someone sharing a great work flow for Aperture, and a step by step guide to making that scary switch to manual.
And DUDES, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the forums! I’ve been working my way through ONE sticky post called “CM New Member Guide – UPDATED.” – It’s a comprehensive guide to Clickin’ Moms meant to help new members feel less overwhelmed. (Meanwhile, I feel overwhelmed just trying to tell you about how awesome this website is.) Within this post, written by a CM Pro Mentor, it’s suggested you check out the following tutorials:
Learning to shoot Manual
Skinny Wednesday: The Basics of Skin Color Correction
Let’s talk focus
Using curves to get that “creamy” skintone….
Lesson/Challenge on getting proper exposure
Natural light during the day
Tutorial: Making grass and colorful clothes POP!!!
Relationship Between ISO, Aperture & Shutter Speed
Masking Basics Tutorial
DON’T YOU WANT TO DO/LEARN ALL OF THESE THINGS? I DO! Even if I forget my address and home phone number because I have all of these awesome new facts to stuff in my brain, it will be worth it. (And besides, I can always ask Siri to tell me my address and phone number.)
If you are a hobbyist and decide that you want to take it to the next level, there are guides to going pro. There are tons of business tips and workshops, as well as support from professional photographers. In 2010 Clickin Moms established CMPro – a place for professional, more advanced photographers to discuss their craft in a warm and friendly environment. I love this definition from the website: “the mark of professionalism is defined not by a business license but by the mastery of the craft.”
Seriously, you guys, there is so much that this community does/can do for an aspiring photographer, or people that just want to take better pictures, that there’s no way I can talk about all of it. Here’s a link to a succinct guide to what all of CM has to offer.
The Clickin’ Moms blog is free, and if you are into photography at all, I highly suggest you put it on your RSS, because it’s quite inspirational and features fantastic interviews with professional photographers, as well as interesting photo challenges. If you want to dive in, read the forums, and participate, you must pay to join the community. I recommend you take the plunge. The price of a lifetime membership is ONE THIRD of the price I paid for a class that I got maybe 2 things out of – but you can pay for a week, 6 months, or a year.
Here’s some good news! I contacted some of the amazing women that run Clickin’ Moms, and they agreed to do a giveaway! So, go right now to Clickin Moms, and put in the code GEEKMOMTRIAL and you will get a 7 day trial period. You can learn so much in 7 days.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Someone’s going to win a 6 month membership at Clickin Moms! I know! WUT!??!
This is the deal: to win the 6 months, you have to be a new member. So if you’ve joined recently, or you’ve always been meaning to join – now is a great time to do it! (and yes, if you do the free trial, you are eligible as a “new member.”) Once you’ve joined, or have used the free trial coupon — go like the Clickin Moms Facebook page, and then let me know that you did it in the comments here at Geek Mom. We’ll choose someone from our comments in a random drawing as our winner!
I’m so excited about this, and I can’t wait to see you guys over there. Have fun, get inspired, and happy clicking!