I have been keeping a bit of a secret from the blog for the last couple of months and today I wanted to share with you the exciting news that my application to CMpro was accepted! My journey to this personal and professional achievement has not been a short, or easy one. It all began in Nov. 2012 when I stumbled across Clickin' Moms (CM), an online photography community. I don't remember what initiated my Google search that day, but what I do remember is how excited I was to find a platform for learning and sharing that was catered to women photographers. I spent hours reading the CM blog and the tutorials posted there. Although I'd been a happy hobbyist for nearly seven years at the time, I always knew there was so much more I wanted to learn and skills I wanted to refine where photography was concerned. I noticed CM offered classes, through it's online education platform CM University (CMU) and I soon found myself signing up for a workshop.
That first workshop truly opened my eyes to a whole new world of photography possibilities. I was hooked and immediately signed up to be a member of the forum. Every single time I log in to CM I learn something. The community has helped me become a better photographer and has inspired and nurtured my creativity. CM has also challenged me on a personal and professional level. I simply cannot imagine where I would be in my photography journey today had I not discovered CM when I did.
Not long after joining CM, I made it a goal to apply for CMpro. CMpro, which is part of the CM community, is defined as follows according to the CM website and application guide: "CMpro is a women’s organization of professional photographers and highly skilled artists whose work demonstrates creativity, vision, and artistic and technical excellence. From child and family photographers to wedding photographers, senior photographers, fine art photographers, and beyond, CMpro is a community rich in talent and diversity."
"CMpro is an organization that believes the mark of professionalism is defined not by a business license but by mastery of the craft. With that in mind, admission to CMpro is based strictly on a portfolio evaluation. Both professional photographers and those pursuing their artistic passion separately are invited to apply."
For most of last year, I worked on compiling a portfolio of 150 photographs to present for anonymous portfolio evaluation. I was fortunate to join a group of talented ladies that were also working on their portfolios. Our CMpro prep group was an amazing experience. We critiqued each others' work, encouraged each other to stretch ourselves creatively and developed some wonderful friendships.
In Nov. 2014, almost two years to the date that I joined CM, I submitted my portfolio for consideration by a panel of judges. I waited nearly two weeks for my results letter to arrive. It was just before Thanksgiving and I was on vacation visiting relatives in Texas when I got the news. My mom, Aunt Shari, cousin Laura and I were on our way to lunch when I saw the e-mail pop up on my phone. I was SO nervous that I almost didn't open the e-mail! I read the letter through three times before it hit me that my application was accepted. It literally knocked the breath out of me. I was so excited!
I am proud and honored to say that my portfolio was accepted and that I am now a member of CMpro. Yesterday, my bio went up on the CMpro photographer directory and somehow that made it all seem real. I am excited to be part of the CMpro community and am humbled to be in the company of such an amazing group of artists. I know I still have much to learn and I am excited to see where my photography journey takes me from here. For one thing is certain, with photography, as in life, there is always something more to learn.