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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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Nicole varner

If you are thinking about signing up for Karen's photography class.... STOP thinking and just do it! It's a wonderful class. Karen has a great teaching style- a unique way of providing a ton of information in an easy to understand manner. Karen is always available and she answers every question with patience and knowledge. She really is a fantastic resource. This class has changed the way I take photos and the way I scrapbook and has left me wanting to do more! My only regret: the class is almost over. I can't wait until Karen has Photography Class Part 2 because I will be one of the first to sign up for sure. Thanks Karen for 10 great weeks. It really has been amazing!

Kristen Olson

I am almost to tears just thinking about this workshop being over...... I have loved every minute of it! I went in as a pretty knowledgable hobbyist, and I'm thrilled that I feel like all of the material helped me in some way-- it was either completely new and totally awesome to learn, or review but told to me in a new and interesting way. Couldn't ask for any more than that!

I've loved learning things from Karen's perspective and her workshop has completely changed how I think when I take pictures. It is totally safe to say I'm so inspired that photography is CONSTANTLY on the brain!! But the reward is that my pictures are continually improving, and my family and I are getting the benefit of having all these little moments preserved that I maybe wouldn't have even noticed before.

Love it. If you love Karen's pictures and you want to learn more about photography, you will NOT be sorry to spend the money on this workshop. It is absolutely worth it!!

mandy  friend

Karen thanks for the 10 reasons class on sat. You are great and im off to order the camera and lens you suggested


I'm in Karen's class now and it is INCREDIBLE. If you are considering it, you must, must, must take this class. Your skills will dramatically improve - even if you feel like you are already pretty confident using your SLR camera. For those that have little to no experience, this is still a great class for you too!

The "one on one" time with Karen through the assignments and critiques is worth far more than $275. I would have gladly paid $500 - $1000 for the class, knowing what I do now. I used to take college classes online and that was what they cost through the university. I think her info could be equivalent to a college level course - it was really that good.

If you want to see how far my pictures have come, you can see bits and pieces of my progress at Click back over the past 10 weeks or so.


love that picture. thanks for the link to the actions. oh, and i'm pumped you are going to keep offering the classes - i can't wait to get into one! :)


is the polaroid transfer a photoblast action? I couldn't find it in the PB actions. thanks Karen!

also, can't wait to sign up for your online photography class in September (my fingers are just itchin') :)

April Nowotny

I am currently enrolled in Karen's photography class and I am dreading Friday when the class and constant inspiration will be over! This is by far the best photography class I have ever taken. I have learned so much in such a sort time. Karen really packs it in. I feel like I am getting much more than I paid for...although I'm glad it didn't cost me any more. She kept the class affordable and the lessons are done in such an easy to understand way. She also gives tips on her thought process as she takes pictures. That has really helped me. If you are thinking of taking a photography course, then look no farther. Get ready to sign up as soon as the clock strikes the magic hour because last time the course sold out in about 5 minutes.

Karen McConaughey

I am currently enrolled in the first session that was offered for "Snapshots of a good life" photography class. You always wonder when looking at these types of online class offerings, "is this a really good one?" or "is it another attempt to just "sell" something." I wish I could announce to anyone and everyone that is even considering taking this class the answer to that question. The answer is "this is not just a good class, it's an amazing experience." I would imagine that all of us just wishes that there was someone out there that could just sit down with us one on one and explain those things in life that are just really hard to "get" on our own. The technical side of photography was just not computing in my brain, although I had been shooting for almost a year professionally. While I could say my natural instincts lent me things like composition, viewpoint, and depth of field, I had no real understanding of things like aperture, ISO, shutter speed. Karen is the one person who I have found not only has the "engineer-hardware-software-"geek-speak" knowledge, she also possess the ability to communicate it in a way that doesn't leave you feeling like "okay, i know you've said it 100x but I still don't understand it." She creates an environment where anything flies- any question, any comment, suggestion, idea. She also has put a TON of work into making sure the class creates an environment for the beginner, intermediate and advanced students. There is no reason to fear "am I going to learn anything....or will I feel dumb and everyone will be way ahead of me?" This class is packed with an enormous amount of information from both the technical side of the camera to the creative side of the hobby. The online forum has been tried, tested and is true for learning from your peers in the class to testing the waters to post those images where you just want someone to tell you if you have a "knack" for this type of thing. It's good, really good.

Everyone's learning journey is different, so this is really just my own "words" to those who are potentially looking at taking the class. (just my opinions....)

The investment has been a huge return for me as I move forward in my profession. I can now take what I have learned and keep growing as a photographer now that I finally "get" the technical side of things.....the possibilities are endless!

Thanks Karen!

Karen McConaughey

Melissa J

I am just finishing up Karen's photography class and I have had an amazing time! I agree with everything that has been said so far. She has a great way of explaining very technical things in a way that you totally understand without being overwhelmed. I am proud to say that I now know what every button and dial on my camera is used for!
This class is worth EVERY penny. In my honest opinion, Karen could charge a lot more. There is so much 3" binder is almost full.
I could go on forever, but I'll spare you :o)
If you are considering this class...sign up! You won't regret it.


LOVE LOVE LOVE this workshop! There are so many of us at different levels in the workshop that at first I was a little intimidated but after the initial intimidation I told myself to just get over it and learn what I could. I have learned so much more than I had even hoped to learn and made some great friends along the way. It has been well worth the cost so if your thinking about it, stop thinking and just DO IT! I can not express enough how patient, caring and full of information Karen is. I promise you no matter what level you are at this workshop is for you. I know I am not the only one who will probably be very sad on friday as our journey comes to a close. One of the girls in our group has started a group for all of us to keep in touch and keep sharing. Thanks Karen for a great workshop and for changing my life!

Tonia Borrosch

Ok....this class is the WAY TO GO! Karen has put so much thought into this and it is evident. She is so personable and the way she approaches this class is absolutely wonderful. Her assignments are excellent for carrying out what has been discussed each week. There is a lot of information but it can be gone back to and reread at any point in time. I just love her approach. This class is definitely the way to go!!! Also, I love the photos she uses to explain examples of what she is teaching. THANK YOU Karen for sharing your passion and knowledge with all of us. You are THE BEST!!!!


yeah - i missed it last time. hopefully i can get into one of the next workshop. sounds like a wonderful experience.

Barbara Zea

Karen has done a wonderful job in planning for this class. If you're thinking of enrolling in the class, just do it! It is worth every penny and more.

Monday to Friday you've daily lessons and for the weekend you've an assigment that reinforces the concept of the week. You can also upload photos for Karen to critique and her feedback is excellent as she explains the good and what you could have done better.

The website...Karen has thought of every single detail. There is a message board and Karen has posted to every single post. You can find this kind of commitment anywhere.

Crossing my fingers that sometime in the future we can enroll in The Photographers' Workshop, Part II. I'm in! lol!


ARGH! I'll be in Ashland on the 8th for a week of Shakespeare & hiking. :( I don't think I'll be able to sign up and I know it will sell out before I'm able to get to a computer. Maybe the B&B we're staying in has wifi & I'll bring my laptop. . . I guess it wasn't meant to be for me to take your online class. :(


Everyone else has already said it so well, but I totally agree that this is the best photography class I have ever taken. I have been into photography for over 30 years and have even done some professional work but I didn't realize how much more I still had to learn. Karen's teaching style was absolutely perfect for me and apparently those that have commented above feel the same. LOTS of information but never overwhelming. She is always available to answer any question and never makes you feel like what you are asking is dumb. Reading her critiques on not only my pictures but those of everyone else in the class is a great learning tool. Having the assignments to do each week helps to reinforce all the new material. There just aren't enough words to express how grateful I am to have been able to take this class and how much I have learned and improved over the past ten weeks. We are all going to go into mourning after this week is over. Karen, thank you for the dedication to this class that you have shown. It is so much appreciated by all of us who have had the good fortune to have been on this journey.

Jami Mayes

TAKE it! it is by far the best money I have ever spent. I KNEW nothing about my camera, was using it as a point and click. I NOW KNOW what every button does and cannot believe how easy it was to learn and I am happily taking photos off of auto mode. ;) and NOW I control what my camera takes and I LOVE it. HER APPROACH TO it all is simply AWESOME. EVERY lesson is well thought OUT and so well prepared. little bits everyday. it just WORKS. I am so COMPLETELY grateful for this course and for Karen - all the time she puts in is AMAZING.


Karen, just love that shot of Annie!!

I will echo what everyone else has said about the class. I hadn't really been considering an online class (or any photography class for that matter), but when Karen's class came up, I REALLY wanted to make it in. So glad I's been better than I could have imagined. Getting all the info from one reliable source, in a very easy to understand manner is exactly what I was after. Plus I now have all that info in a binder that I can review again and again. To anyone considering it, you will not regret it!!
Thanks again Karen! :)


I also am in Karens class right now and like everyone else, have LOVED LOVED LOVED it. It has been so much help and I have learned so much. I am so glad that I'll be able to read and re-read everything she has given us. If you're thinking about taking her class, DO IT!

Also Karen, love that picture of Annie! So cute!


When I started this course, I knew almost nothing about photography. I was very happy with my point and shoot camera with the zoom lens. But reading blogs and seeing such phenomenal pictures ... I wanted to know how to capture moments like the ones I'd seen on Karen's blog. I wanted to be able to sharpen one part of the picture while blurring another part.

And I can. I understand and can do so much more. I laughed recently, at the electronics counter at Target, when a lady asked an employee what ISO was; he didn't know so I answered the question. I've come a long way -- and you will, too.


I know that $275 is alot of money, but I can honestly say that the class is worth every penny! I have a huge binder full of photography material that is better than any book out there (really)! I love the way that Karen writes...very easy to follow & understand. You can download the daily lessons to your Ipod, which is a great bonus. Since the class is limited in number, Karen can give you very detailed comments on your photos that will help you to become a better photographer. I have nothing but great things to say about the class (except that I'm sad that it's ending so soon)!


I am also in Karen's photography class and I have loved every moment of it. Karen has a great way with breaking every topic down so you can understand. I knew that there was a lot I could learn and Karen's class has greatly exceeded my expectations. She covered so many topics and always gave great examples. She also has a great way with interacting with the students and answering questions. I think the greatest thing about her class is that she treated it as a work in progress and was always trying to make it better for the student and asking for feedback. I definitely felt the class focused on the students and what we wanted to learn. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have taken this class and would recommend it to anyone. Thanks Karen!

Michelle Henrick

Hi Karen,

I really wanted to get the polaroid transfer action but I don't see that one at PB actions?? Did you mean a different one by chance?
That pic is excellent by the way!

Stacy Guthrie

Photoblast has those actions available for Photoshop Elements also. They work great! I just found them and have been playing with them in elements. They are only $8 and there are a whole bunch!

Heather S. in VT

Is there a link somewhere to a class description and where we go to sign up? I know it's not until Sept. but thought I'd ask now. I can't seem to find it on the blog but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Thanks! I'm a newbie to your blog but I'm lovin' readin' it! Thanks so much for sharing!

Bonnie Garcia

This is a copy of a letter I sent to Karne just last week regarding her class and my thoughts on the content, value.

I wanted to send you a personal note letting you know how much I have enjoyed your class.

I am sure you have forgotten but I took this class originally because I knew you were very familiar with the camera I have and I was very unfamilar with it. I have stood at an event or even in my backyard and told myself that I knew my camera could take the picture I imagined in my head but was unable to make it get captured. I have been so frustrated at times ready to throw it on the ground and stomp away. I can't tell you the number of times I have missed the "shot" as you know that can be quite exasperating to the photographer. Especially when you are trying to capture those once in a lifetime pictures of new babies or active children.

I have not turned in one assignment...Life is difficult at best for me. We live in a rural area and dial-up is my best friiend. Loading pictures and large threads are often difficult at best. Your blog takes sometimes up to 15 minutes to load. LOL We also own two business and I do all the record keeping for them from payroll to taxes. I am usually in over my head most of the time as it is but I was determined to sign up for this class if for nothing else to get the info and slowly digest it to understand and learn about the capabilites of my camera. I am excited to say that even without turning in one lesson I do not feel like I have wasted one nickel on this class. I currently can pick up my camera and not fumble with dials, buttons or become exasperated with how to make it work. Yes I still have to think right or left on a dial to make it change shutter speed or aperture, but I still know which dial changes it. That in itself is a BIG thing for me. I have experimented more with my camera in the last 6 weeks then in the entire year of owning it.

I have loved the format of the class, I love the fact that you have allowed us to print out the info, listen to the info and then chat about things that may not be completely understood. There are many times a thread in the Q and A forum that has all ready been started that will answer one of my own questions. You have truly outdid yourself with all the info and tips. I have found my self discussing photography with my SIL and a friend now and using words that I would never have used. I have found myself taking my camera to places that normally I would not have taken it. I can not begin to tell you thank you enough for all that you have done and provided me with his experience.

Again you have really out done yourself...THANKS SO MUCH for everything.

So if you are considering takign this class I would get up extra early have your fingers nimble and poised above the keys at the stroke of 9am. :)


I can hardly wait for class....and thank you all for replying..I just knew it would be wonderful. Party on tomorrow.

That is the cutest photo of Annie..ever! And to be able to bend over like that....Karen, you capture the best moments!

Sasha Farina

oh Miss Yannie... !! LOL....


I will echo everything that has been said about Karen's class. In the beginning, she said "my goal is totally overwhelm you in a good way".... and she did! It has been transformative for me. Every morning, itching to get out of bed to listen to the next lesson. Everyday, a new lightbulb going off.. with one concept after another building on each other. I love her voice, the beautiful pictures of her kids we saw each day and her tremendous authenticity. I have taken a ton of on line classes and this one was by far the best EVER!! ( I am now spoiled for life!). I am still learning and believe the process is just beginning. I am still trying to make it all automatic... trying to be able to do it more quickly. The assignments are amazing and really bring the material home. Though I have not finished all of them, I have committed to myself to keep cycling through the material and the assignments until I can't take it anymore. I can not believe this is the last week and it does make me sad, but for me, the experience is just a beginning. Do not hesitate. Commit to the class, invest in yourself and your family. I promise you will not have any regrets!

Carrie Hicks

I really don't know what more I can add that hasn't already been said, but in this class you can truly have your cake and eat it too (inside joke). Karen has put so much time and energy into making this class so wonderful. This class was so fun, the lessons were very helpful and the critique board was a great learning tool. I would recommend this class to anyone. I am so excited to continue growing as a photographer with all I have just learned. Thanks Karen!


OMG, this photo is priceless! Love love love!

Sarah T, MO

As I see so many of my classmates have posted regarding Karen's Photography Workshop and they all have the exact same response as I'm going to.

What an AMAZING 10 weeks it's been!!! Don't fool around....TAKE it! My husband was even impressed with the class and said that it is by far the best money I have ever spent..ok he ever spent..ha!

I'm happy to say that I am now AUTO FREE!

She covered absolutely everything and then some that I didn't even know existed. Not only was the one-on-one great but developing great relationships with your classmates was even better. Everyone was so helpful and encouraging. I will miss you all but hopefully we can stay in touch! U guys rock!

As we are approaching our last week with Karen...I am so sad! Everyday I look forward to each lesson and can't believe it's ending already. I wish it would last forever! Yes, I'm sobbing!

Karen you have pure talent and I feel so blessed to have been able to learn from you. You are truly inspirational and can't wait for Photography workshop #2 or a Photo Editing Workshop. "I pity the fool" who doesn't take this class...It's a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn and grow with great people and the most INCREDIBLE teacher! And...No I am not exaggerating!


I'm in Karen's 1st class too and it's the best decision I ever made signing up for it. I so wished you had this class 3 yrs ago when I first purchased my Canon 20D slr because my pictures would have turned out soooo much better! All the lessons are easy to follow and in plain english for a person who doesn't know anything about photography. I love that! I was just at scrapping retreat this weekend and we were indoors with terrible lighting the entire time but I was able to use what I learned, setting a custom white balance, etc... and I'm so happy with the results thanks to Karen!

Tina B

I just marked my calendar to sign up for this class, I can't wait - I"ll be sitting here ready to click and register with the rest of you all!

I took Karen's class live in CT about a month ago, and it was amazing, I want more

nancy in ks

Oh, how i love your photos! I just want to eat Annie up, sit her on my lap and hug her, read her a good little book. But she has her own grandmas. That's what photos with soul do to people, and you have THE gift. Lots of people take great photos, but you put the soul and spirit in them and they capture what isn't visible.

Such a joy to come here every day.

All Moments Remembered

Darling photo of Annie!!!! Love it!


I am also in Karen's class and just wanted to echo everything everyone else said. This class has been amazing.

This is the first time I have ever taken a photography class...and I have loved every minute of it...and learned more than I thought possible! I am thrilled with my new skills and Karen has truly been a wonderful teacher and mentor!

TAKE THIS CLASS...hands down the best money I've ever spent...and I spend lot's of money LOL!!!!


When I heard (read) Karen was going to teach an online photography class there was no question about deciding if I should sign up or not. I have enjoyed her teaching style and the daily lessons. Even getting behind you don't feel behind. I have lessons saved and printed for future use. Karen is a great teacher and explains things in "english"!!
Thanks Karen for a great 10 weeks. I am so sad it is almost over.


I'm a student in the class that is unfortunately coming to an end. I LOVE it. Karen is an amazing teacher! I feel like I know my camera so much better now. My photos have improved dramatically. I love that I can re-read the lessons anytime & listen to them if I want to. I love the questions & answers board...really, this class was just amazing. You can't go wrong by taking it! Thanks, Karen!

Andrea Devisser

YAY! Finally I get to share with all you readers what Karen's class is really all about. Let's just say that Karen is THE most organized and giving person I have ever met. And I'm not just saying that. Karen really has exceeded any expectation I could've placed on an online class. The best part is that Karen is available, I mean she is right there to answer any question. Never throughout the 10 weeks did I feel like i was left hanging... there is opportunity to learn, re-learn and really "get" everything she teaches. (hope that made sense).
So, is it worth the money? No question, best money I ever spent. Just be prepared to put some time into it. I guarantee that the more time you spend on lessons and assignments, the more you will learn.

Cris (Christine) Cunningham

OMG! She is so dang cute...I wanna squeeze that little butt! Did she find the birdie?


You will learn so much if you sign up for this class. Karen imparts all her knowledge and the only way that this class could be better is if it wasn't finishing tomorrow :-( Thanks so much karen x


I love your work! I so want to take this course and better my photography skills. I want my pictures to pop just like Karen's. I plan to take this in the future , probably the next time after sept. registration when I have funds so Karen keep offering this class!


I have been away for the last few weeks. I just wanted to say to that this class was better than I could have ever imagined. I am sad that it has ended. One saying that Karen seems to repeat often (in reference to the 50 mm f/1.8 lens) is that its the best bang for your buck. Well I must say that so is Karen's on-line class.

I could go on and on with good things to say, but then I would get too wordy. Just know that the class is wonderful. Karen keeps everything real and personalizes everything. Anyone who takes this class will not be disappointed, I surely wasn't.


I wasn't sure if this would be the class for me. I considered myself more intermediate/advanced. But there were still some things that just didn't click. It was so nice to get all the info from one source and it saved me a lot of "googling" time!! LOL
A great course!!

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