What Led Me to Take the Webinar
Let me preface this by saying that I inherited a certain quality from my father that is both incredibly motivational and anxiety-producing, and that is the drive to master whatever it is I am learning right now. Like, YESTERDAY. I must become the expert, and so I dive into research and I spend a ridiculous amount of time practicing whatever it is I am learning. I invest every spare hour and dime into whatever it is so that I can enjoy the end result. With photography, that meant that over the course of a single year, I went from not even owning a camera to producing professional quality work. I only say this to illustrate the intensity with which I pursued learning photography. I could not be satisfied until I loved my own pictures. For a long time, I did not love my own pictures. There are times when I still don’t, because as I grow, my eyes are opened to a greater potential. That potential creates unrest because I pine for it.
As I type this, I realize how crazy it sounds. Someone is probably reading this and thinking, this girl needs… something. But really, I love it too much to ever quit. Some people unwind during a run, and I unwind during a photo shoot. That’s when I open my eyes and I really see what God has created, the beauty and the love. When I get home, I reflect on how that made me feel, and then I seek to edit my photos in such a way that make other people feel that very same thing. I want to remove every distraction and enhance anything that creates that mood. At the end of the day, I want people to look at my photos and experience what I did during the shoot itself: gratitude and love. I’m trying so hard to write this in such a way that reflects the depth of my sense of purpose without being cheesy. Bear with me.When the image in my head doesn’t match the image on my screen, I get so frustrated! And this is where I was last fall: I felt like I needed help with my editing. Something was lacking but I didn’t know what it was. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for an editing class that I had been seriously considering for close to a year. And then I waited for June to come. I’m not kidding, June 7th might as well have been Christmas for me.
What I Learned
On Saturday, we got home from vacation a mere 30 minutes before the webinar began. I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive. Who wouldn’t be? It’s an investment and I wondered if it would really help me, specifically. What if I took the class and it felt more like a review, and what I really learned was that my shortcoming was not my technique, but my creativity? Not ten minutes into the webinar, she demonstrated something (that you’ll have to take the webinar to learn, of course) that I had been doing all wrong. Aah! Let’s just say that I was taking steps in LR that were blowing my highlights and killing my skin tones. It was like a huge soft box went on (see what I did there? hehe), and this happened several more times during the webinar. I learned so much, including:
- How to selectively add contrast and color in Photoshop in such a way that does not ruin skin tones.
- How to remove a double chin (like it was never there, wow!)
- How edit non-destructively in Photoshop (it’s not just for LR) – which is amazing for me because I often want to go back and change something. Now I can!
- How to more accurately select parts of an image (like people or the background)
- How to use adjustment layers in Photoshop to bring your vision to life
- How to enhance your lighting
It was three hours long, so I can’t cover everything, but I will say that I learned how to fix issues that I wasn’t even noticing in my photos before. I would say that one of the biggest things I learned in the webinar wasn’t so much the actual Photoshop techniques, but the potential in my images. I didn’t realize I could do so much. That eye-opener is worth more to me than all the techniques she taught combined. A lot of things I perceived to be missing from my images, I attributed to other factors, such as gear or the location, but what Lisa taught me is that Photoshop and knowing how to use it is much more powerful than I realized before. Her workshop was incredibly valuable to me and really I will say that it was a creative breakthrough. I have only had a week to practice what I learned, and so I anticipate that I will continue to grow. I am loving the online mentoring Facebook group that I got to join after the class, as well! Lisa was extremely patient and was willing to answer any questions, even repeat steps for us during the webinar, until we understood what she was teaching us. After the class, she has continued to answer questions about the class.
Isn’t the proof in the before & afters?
It’s not just about taking a clear, sharp, well composed photo. It’s about executing a vision and communicating a feeling or a message. I had hit a plateau creatively, and I can honestly say that this webinar got me moving upward again. I am so grateful to Lisa for her willingness to share her secrets and continue to mentor her students even after the webinar. She lives too far away to thank her in person, but I am giving her a huge hug through the internet. And disclaimer, she did not tell me to write this or even suggest what to say. This is all my own words and opinions! 🙂
Update (6/13314) I’ve added more before & after examples below: