Hi there! We are finally back home from a long and super fun vacation (with some photography work mixed in). I absolutely LOVE Utah this time of year. The weather is beautiful (except when it was raining almost every day for the first week) and it is a photographer's dream because there are a ton of beautiful and fun spots to shoot at! I took my kiddos out multiple times to take pictures of them and to justify it I had to keep reminding them and everyone that once I return to Arizona, the outdoor, on-location photo shoots will literally come to a halt because it is sooooo hot here right now! So, my kids were actually quite good at cooperating…. but probably because they knew they would be off the hook for a while! 

Well…. off the hook for the more formal planned photo shoots that I love to do with them. Of course they know that I will still be taking tons of candid shots of them as per usual! 🙂 They are never completely off the hook right? Especially since we have 3 birthdays this month — Tyler's, Emily's and mine! Which means lots of festivities! Not to mention the fact that it is summer so we will be doing more fun things than usual!

Anyway, I will definitely be sharing lots of the Utah pictures in the weeks to come but for now I wanted to answer some questions that I have been receiving about my Advanced Photography class that I teach online. I have been getting lots of emails lately with the same questions so I figured it would be best to answer them here where you can all get access to the info!

>> Yes, the class that starts this month (July 19th) will be the LAST Advanced course I will offer this year. I have a Beginner course scheduled for August and then I may or may not teach one more beginner class. But this will definitely be the last Advanced for the year. So… that means if you want to take it, sign up now! I would hate for you to miss out if you are planning to take it this year.

>> If you don't make it into this next class, you can definitely be added to the wait list by emailing me. As soon as I open up the dates for 2011, the wait list will be the first to know and will receive priority registration before it is opened up to the public.

>> The detailed week-by-week course outline can be found here on my photography workshops page. There are also some more question/answers at this same link. The outline spells out everything we will cover during the course of the workshop.

>> I do teach the editing portion of the class based upon what I do and what makes up my workflow. I use Lightroom and Photoshop and so those are the platforms that I teach from. If you have Photoshop Elements you will not be able to do every single function that I am able to do in Photoshop. However, you will be able to do a lot of the things and some things you can do but just a bit differently. Also, what has worked well for many of my past students is that they downloaded the free trial of Photoshop right before the editing portion of the class. That way you can follow along with everything I do and then decide if it is worth the investment for you or if you want to just stick with PSE. We also have an invaluable private message board where those with PSE can share info and tips/tricks for completing the steps that I do in Photoshop (since sometimes the functions and/or location of things is different in PSE).

>> Yes, I do really share all of my insider tips and tricks as to how I edit my photos. I share my complete workflow from start to finish and I share things like my sharpening methods, how to add in a fake blue sky, how to edit back-lit images, etc.

Here is a good example of an image that shows a lot of the things I teach in class….

This is the "before" image that is SOOC (straight out of camera):

 

And here is the image after my editing (using techniques that are all taught in the Advanced class):

_DSC8328 

Here is a shot with the two images side by side so you can see the before/after a little better:

Before-after
 

And here's a brief run down of what I did:

Adjusted white balance in Lightroom, Ran a noise reduction filter, Added a fake blue sky, Selectively lightened the front of his face to even out the lighting a bit and bring more life to his eyes since it was back lit, Ran one of my actions, Darkened and popped the colors in the image selectively so as not to make the subject look unnatural, Sharpened and resized

Again, that is in a nutshell and all of those things are explained in detail in the class. I have also added video tutorials to my Advanced Workshop in which I show you step by step how to do many of the more difficult techniques. They have been a huge added bonus to the class which all of my students have loved and found very valuable!

And to answer a couple final questions…

>> The link to register for the next class is found on my Workshops Page. There are still some spots left so if you want to join us, we would love to have you. 

>> I will definitely be sharing feedback from past students. I have been compiling the emails and notes I have received and they will be a part of my new website (which is in the works!). For now to sum it up I would say that my students who have been looking to go pro have found the class very helpful and an invaluable resource in that aspect. Also those not looking to go pro have loved it equally as much just for the sheer knowledge of being able to edit their photos and really take them to the next level. If you are looking to create the images that you see on photographer's websites, then you are in the right place. I do share all of my techniques that get you from that SOOC image to one that is worthy of blowing up really big to display in your home!

I hope that covers it all! If you are still wondering about anything, just email me! See you in class!