CMpro! | Colorado Springs Documentary Photographer

Colorado-Family-Photographer-Lily-Jean-Photography

After an intense, year-long application process and 12 days of waiting, I recently received the amazing news that I was accepted in to ClickinMoms CMpro!

CMpro, as described on their website: 

CMpro is a women’s organization of professional photographers and highly skilled artists whose work demonstrates creativity, vision, and artistic and technical excellence. The images produced by CMpros are second to none. We critically evaluate the portfolios of CMpro applicants for technical excellence, personal style, and artistic vision. Less than 30% of photographers who apply to CMpro are accepted.

When I first heard of the program and the acceptance rate,  i thought "WOW! I wish I could have that kind of talent!" But I never suspected I would apply, let alone get accepted. However, about 14 months ago I made a tiny commitment which ended up resulting in achieving this daunting goal.

I committed to documenting at least one moment of my life, through a photograph, every. single. day.

some documentary images 

During the winter months when we were stuck inside, this became quite a challenge. The days were short, the space was small, and I can only think of so many ways to photograph my kids reading another book. What I didn't know was that pushing through these challenges would cause an amazing amount of growth, both as a professional and an artist.

After only two months of daily practice, I began to think "maybe I could start setting aside a few images for when I dream of applying."

And then, after a few more months, I noticed growth and improvement in my work. I decided what the heck. I'm going to set a goal for myself to step outside of my comfort zone and apply to CMpro by 2017. I spent the next year adding my favorite images to a folder, later removing and replacing them with better ones as my skills improved, until I had reached the requirement of 150 images. Once I submitted my portfolio, each individual photo as well as the collection as a whole was critically evaluated in the following areas:

  • The Exposure Triangle
  • Color and White Balance
  • Use of Light
  • Composition and Posing
  • Processing Cohesion and Polish
  • Technical (focus, Depth of Field, etc)
  • Creativity, Expression and Intention

12 LONNNNG days later, I received the news that I once thought I'd never hear. Not only had I attained this daunting goal of applying, but I had been accepted! 

Friends often kindly tell me that I have a "natural talent" or an "eye for pictures", but in the hope of inspiring others,  I want share that this really isn't true. Through this journey, I've learned that to master any skill -playing a sport, a musical instrument, dancing, photography, art, etc.- it takes thousands of hours of practice, tens of thousands of mistakes, a million tiny baby steps, and countless disappointments, "failures" and frustrations to develop that talent. It's pushing yourself past those frustrations and failures that makes all the difference. For anyone reading this who has what seems like an insurmountable goal to meet, know that if I could do THIS thing that seemed impossible a year ago, then YOU too can achieve YOUR goals!  

Here's the rest of my 150 image portfolio. 

colorado-springs-family-documentary-lifestyle-photographer-lily-jean-photography
denver-family-documentary-lifestyle-photographer-lily-jean-photography
colorado-child-family-documentary-lifestyle-photographer-lily-jean-photography

Thanks for looking! If you happen to be where I was 5 years ago, with your shiny new DSLR camera and no clue how to use it, I have nothing but great things to say about ClickinMoms! They offer so much information, ideas, and opportunities for growth, that it's impossible NOT to improve!  Seriously, check them out! Tell them I sent you. (The link below is an affiliate link)

 
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