I first met Lou, from Click Love Grow, last year on a webinar. She was invited to share her story with an ecourse Mastermind group I was involved in. I was immediately struck by her down to earth nature, her passion for sharing her knowledge and inspired by the journey she has taken with her online program.
I have always loved photography, my walls at home are covered in big prints from my Round the World trip (pre kids). These were all taken on a film SLR and I confess that since going digital the way I take photos has changed. So I was keen to now only get to know Lou better in this interview but also tap into her immense knowledge.
1. Can you tell me a little about you and your family?
My husband and I met at the Australian Military Academy when we both joined the Air Force, and then when I was only 23 and 3 weeks out from a 6 month Middle Eastern deployment we found out I was pregnant. 10 years later I’m thrilled that we started our family so young! We now have two daughters aged 10 and 8, and a little boy who’s almost 1!
My husband and I both enjoyed long careers in the Australian Air Force, and we’ve been lucky enough to live and travel all over Australia and different parts of the world on postings! We’ve since both left the military, and we’re currently living in the Deep South of Savannah Georgia… it’s a little far from home, but we’re enjoying the experience and the chance to travel and explore the area.
2. What inspired you to become a photographer?
I fell in love with photography when my girls were born, and it was during an overseas posting when my husband was studying a lot, that I found I had my evenings free, and I was able to throw myself into learning this new hobby! After working and studying for so many years in the Air Force, it was exciting to do something a little different and most importantly that was creative! I loved the challenge that it presented, and that I could attempt new skills and keep going until I’d mastered it! It was so satisfying when I finally achieved something I’d had my heart set on! I also had this hunger inside me to create images that were beautiful.. I just wanted to keep getting better and better and capture moments that meant something!
3. I know you have created an awesome ecourse for people wanting to learn how to take better images with their DSLR – can you tell me a little more about it?
Yes definitely! I’m very proud of the students we’ve had come through our courses, and the community we’ve built!
I have a photography course for women who want to learn to take photos they love… they may have a DSLR and are not sure how to get the most from it, or perhaps they’re frustrated that the shots they take don’t look exactly as they’d hope! We have online lessons, hands-on challenges, and an online community where our students share their images and can ask questions and get feedback from myself and our instructors!
I also have a course that helps women in business, learn how to take photos to use on their websites to enhance their brand and show off their products and services! It’s our Photography for Business & Blogging Course and it’s just been developed and launched this month!
4. Back in the day of film cameras I loved taking my roll of film to be developed, choosing my best images and creating photo albums. For example we have 6 albums of travel photos from a year long trip we did in 2002 and I love looking through these with my kids. However, I have really struggled with what to do with our family snaps since we went 100% digital 8-10 years ago. I haven’t printed a single photo in all that time! I miss being able to sit with my kids and share stories and memories created by the albums, my PC just isn’t the same. I am sure I am not the only one 😉 Do you still make photo albums, or photo books or do you manage all your family images electronically??
Oh yes, I can definitely relate to this… it’s so easy to leave our photos on the computer and never get to them… my kids LOVE looknig at photo albums, so I try and make this a priority!
I recommend having a folder on your computer called “to print” and you don’t need to print everything, but grabbing a handful of photos from different events, or from trips etc can be popped in the album… then get them batch printed once every 4 – 6 months… so only a couple of times a year! Don’t forget all those photos on your phone too!
The other ting my girls love is photobooks. My dad recently passed away, and my mum made the girls a beautiful photobook of their Poppy, and they love flicking through it and remembering him.
5. What is one simple thing we could all change when taking photos to improve the quality of our shots?
My number one tip to improving photography for anyone, and in any genre… is to become more purposeful. Pay attention to what you’re seeing through the shutter, and make decisions about your background, the light, your positioning. Really simple tweaks to where you place your subject and how yo frame your image can make a huge difference to how it turns out! I also like to keep things really simple! Simplicity is powerful for allowing our subjects to stand out!
6. How do you juggle running your business & being a Mum?
Sometimes with great difficulty! But honestly I think I can only manage it because my husband is such a wonderful support – we’re both equally as committed to our careers and allowing the other to pursue opportunities, so we juggle what needs to be done! We have a Nanny a few hours a week to help with my little guy, so I can dedicate to working… and she helps with laundry and housework, we have a cleaner who comes also… and then I work in the evenings when the kids are in bed!
Whilst it is definitely a juggle, I love working, I love my community and what I do… and so it’s not so much finding the time, it’s about ensuring everything else happens with some semblance of balance.
7. What is your favourite thing to do for “me time”?
Feet up on the couch with a cup of tea, and silence… they’re my favourite things, and I need them to recharge!
I also am a big fan of massages… so I squeeze those in where I can.
8. How do you make this actually happen?
My older girls are at school during the week, so I feel a little spoilt that I get my days with just baby and I! When our Nanny comes I try and focus on being as productive as I can within those time blocks, as well as when the little guy is napping!
Then I try and enjoy the quiet moments without any guilt.
9. What are you most grateful for at this point in your life?
I am so grateful right now for our good health, and that of my family! I’m grateful that I get to be a mum again to a little baby 10 years after my first, and that I can soak in every moment of how lovely it is… and that my girls get to experience the joy of being older sisters… it’s been a real family experience together! I’m grateful for our financial security and the freedom that allows us in so many aspects of our life.
I really appreciate Lou taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to learn more about Lou pop over and visit her website (she has a great free photography challenge you can do) or her Facebook page.