"Congratulations! We LOVE your work!"
The words I woke up to on Friday morning. They certainly woke me up fully as I lay in bed checking my emails with one snotty twin cuddled in either side of me!
I am so thrilled to be accepted as a Click Pro! For those of you who don't know, it's sort of an accreditation, you submit an application of 150 images to be scored by the Click Pro director, Courtney Larson, possibly with a panel of judges alongside (as in my case) and if you meet their high standards, you're invited to become a Click Pro member! It gives validation that you are good enough (something us creatives often have a wobble about) and that talented people like your work and allow it to be labelled as such.
To explain it to my Mum (who's happy for me but not sure why, lol), I'd say it's like sitting my dental exams only SO much more personal as it's not just learning the information and retaining it but using your knowledge to create and what we create is so emotional, especially the images of my own family. Of course it is art which is subjective too but there are certain things the panel are looking for and we're scored based on the Click Pro rubric. I worked hard on my portfolio in secret for over a year, sending the hidden link on my website to trusted photographer friends to ask for feedback on how to improve, which images to remove or re-edit, etc...
Thank you to all who helped me! Special thanks to Clare Barker Wells (for helping me improve and feel confident in the first place after a mentorship) and Yasmina Cowan and all the other Heart of Home ladies I met at the workshop last year who gave valuable feedback on my portfolio then. Amber Talbert, my first Click Pro mentor and inspiration last year - I love her work! And last but certainly not least, Laura Aziz, our own family photographer, another mentor and the one who sat on the phone with me being brutal (which I asked for and needed) helping me decide which final images to remove before submitting! And all of the above and more, for being my cheerleaders along the way and today when I received this awesome news!
Here's how I scored:
Exposure Triangle: 5
Use of Light: 6
Color and White Balance: 5
Processing + Cohesion: 5
Technical Basics (focus, DOF): 5
Creativity + Intention: 5
Total Score Overall: 35
I believe the pass mark is 32 out of a possible 42. I'm over the moon to have received top marks of 6 (exceptional) for Use of Light and so many 5s (experienced)! You can read the crieteria and scoring system here: http://www.clickinmoms.com/click/click-pro-2/click-pro-preapplication-guide/
With the new Click Pro system you can now choose 3 ways to apply, the basic, apply and get a score, a more personalised option with feedback from the panel (my option) or with more in depth feedback with a video discussing your portfolio.
I thought I'd share my feedback too in case it helps anyone else who's thinking of applying but this post is getting long already so I've written a separate post for that.
So, why did I apply? What does Click Pro mean to me?
I enjoyed having a goal to work towards, as I've been learning and practising new techniques, I've slowly been adding to my set. It's been fun compiling what I hoped were examples of my very best work, organising them by colour and/or light to flow as a set too.
For me, it's partly about the validation that comes with the recognition of the Click Pro label. The fact that people I admire and whose talent I aspire to, have deemed me worthy of the same label they have is so exciting! Of course it looks good on my website too, hopefully potential clients will be impressed.
Yes, it's just a label, it doesn't define my worth, it's just the opinion of a few talented photographers (all things I was telling myself when I had a crisis of confidence after submitting my application) but it's something I wanted, that I worked hard for and something I'm thrilled to have achieved! In photographer circles, it's well known and respected.
And actually, it's not just a label. It's also a community. And there are opportunities that come with the Click Pro membership, I'm already enjoying being able to explore all the new areas and submit to the Daily Project. There are more chances for exposure and learning via my membership. I'm so happy to be a Click Pro!
You can see my set here: www.bexphoto.com/ClickProSet