This blog has been neglected for more than a month. The truth is, I’ve been putting this task on the back burner, intentionally. I have been focusing my efforts and energy on a few other projects, in addition to keeping up with my 366. I thought about blogging mid-way through my secret little venture but I didn’t want to post a half-ass update, and I certainly didn’t want to jinx myself in the process.
You guys, yesterday, as I was rocking my sweet baby to sleep, my once far-fetched dream became a reality. “Why are you sad, Mommy? Kenzie asked, as I held back tears of joy. “I’m not sad, honey. Mommy is happy. Really, really, happy. I did it, Kenz! I worked REALLY hard, and I did it!” You see, I have been checking my email every 15 minutes for about a week straight. Waiting, “patiently” (or not) to read these words: “Dear Ashley, Congratulations! We LOVE your work and are so EXCITED to welcome you to ClickPro!” As I type this, goosebumps are coming out. It’s still so surreal to me.
I’m well aware that many of you have no idea what I am talking about. You may even be disappointed in the “big reveal” here – sorry for that. But to many photographers, ClickPro is a goal, and it’s a huge milestone for me. A two second background on what it is before I go more into explaining what it means to me. ClickPro is an exclusive network of professional photographers under the Clickin Moms umbrella. In order to become a ClickPro, you need to put together a portfolio of 150 of your strongest images, and they are meticulously judged by some of the most talented photographers around. Your portfolio is evaluated in the following categories, and within each you are given a score of 1-6. A score of 32 is needed to be accepted, and it certainly is not an easy feat to achieve such a high score. I freaking did it!!!
- Exposure Triangle
- Color and White Balance
- Use of Light
- Composition and Posing
- Processing Cohesion and Polish
- Technical Basics (focus, DOF)
- Creativity, Expression and Intention
Now, I am going to get really raw and elaborate on why this means so much to me. You guys, I really struggle with confidence in my art. It’s really, really hard for me to accept it when I hear people tell me I am a really talented photographer. I don’t know why, I just never think I am good enough. I always find little things in my work I wish I could change, or that I would have done differently. But, today, and going forward, that is changing. This whole process has given me the confidence I needed for a really, really long time. I am good. I am talented. I love what I do and I don’t want to stop anytime soon. I can do this. I can make this a profitable successful business. This is my calling. I am worth it!
And, you guys, ClickPro isn’t the only amazing thing that has happened for me this month! It has been about four weeks of non-stop good over here! I’m just floored!
I got accepted as a contributing artist for OFFSET by Shutterstock, a premier stock photography company! I was invited to be a guest storyteller over at Art of Storytelling ! Seven amazing ladies have invested in me and are trusting me to teach a beginners photography class. We are meeting weekly in-person and, in addition, I am providing online support and I am having a BLAST doing this! And, finally, I am completely booked up for client work until after the holidays.
My heart is SO happy and full right now. Three years ago, I found myself searching the ClickPro directory when I was looking for a newborn photographer for Kenzie. I knew I would find the best of the best if I went that route (and I did!). I never would have imagined that some day, my name would make it on that list. But, with a lot of hard work, which included investing in education and investing a lot of time, I did it! And you know what? I am so incredibly proud of myself.
(And, You can see the collection of photos that have made me so proud by clicking the image below!)