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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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Member since 11/2005

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Tanya Webster

i love the randomness of this post cracked me up!!

and funny thing about calling you "karen russell" is my girls asked me the other day what your LAST name was LOL!!! made me laugh!!!

have an awesome weekend little lady!! I'll be thinkin' of you!


Barack Obama IS a likable guy. I'm Canadian, but I watched his speech last night and I thought it was amazing. If I were American, he would have my vote -- no offense to Josh Downs.

tara pollard pakosta

i want to see the pictures that YANNIE tooK of YOU!
my 8.5 year old has a cell phone already, completely SHOULD NOT have one, but her daddy got a new phone and was feeling completely generous so he got her a number for it and everything....i do find it helpful if she goes to our neighbors so i can check in with her. i never let her go anywhere, except my one of my best friend's/neighbors house....
but at 16 i can totally see why they really need to have one!
good for you ross!

Brooke - in Oregon

Yes life is fragile and we need to tell those we love that we do love them. My in-laws house burnt down on Tuesday morning, you might have seen it on the news. They are fine, they got out thru a little window that is about 12" square. My FIL is 82 and not very agile and my MIL is 76, truly the Grace of God got them out.

So here is my little message to EVERYONE! Please check your smoke detectors and practice an escape plan, even to the point of having the kids actually climb out the windows. Plus video tape EVERYTHING in your home, open drawers, closets, CRAFT drawers and all of your holiday items. Then make two copies and give them to family who lives elsewhere.

The house also held our business offices so life is a bit strange for us at the moment, but all in all we are sooooo blessed.

PS I LOVE my TRA, now to figure out how to make my own action with a group of their actions!

Wendy Goodman

Karen, Thank you for directing us to Christine's blog. I have recently been thinking about my own mortality and all of my loved ones, and can't shake the uneasiness of how fragile life is. I moved to North Carolina from Connecticut four years ago, and my parents followed. After the birth of my son, we all decided that we needed to be back in Connecticut where all of our family and friends were. So my husband, son and I moved back to Connecticut a few months ago, and left my parents behind, which was heartbreaking. I worry about them so much and think about "what if something happened to them?". Good news is that they are moving here in 2 months and we can't wait. I am getting older now too and never thought about the fragility of life. Will my parents still be here in 20 years? Will they get to see my son graduate high school or get married? It's all so depressing to think about. I think we have to stop ourselves and truly Celebrate Life with the small things. The everyday, ordinary things.

Thanks for sharing. It helps put things into perspective.

Vicki A

Ahhhh, my mom and I went to see Mama Mia and I LOVED IT TOO! I grew up listening to ABBA with my parents (you and I are about the same age). I just wanted to get up and sing and dance in the aisles. It's a good thing I went with my mom; my husband so would not have appreciated the greatness of this movie. So fun! :)

Kate Nabors

I want to be completely and fully prepared for 12:00 on September 8th (because I live in Tennessee), & I want to know exactly how to register. Because of that...I have a question about the registration page for the workshop. I noticed that after everything is filled out, there is no "continue" button or anything. Now, I am the type of person that would get very confused and spend three minutes trying to figure out what to do and by the time that I did figure it out, the class would be full. So could you please just let me know exactly how that works...

and will the following page be for credit card information?


Love you posts Karen! My 17 yr old Lucas is now officially the only teen boy without his own cell phone! He shares mine! At least I am secure in the knowledge that he doesn't read your blog and has no idea he is the only teen boys without one!


I just downloaded your frames from Polka Dot Potato this week--just can't find where they are in my Photoshop Elements program. ha. (Ashley--email me!!!)

A question to your #2 point......Are you pregnant???? hmmmm.

I'm so dying to buy the Tamron 28-75mm lens! Just saving my pennies for your online workshop.

BTW, this is how much I want to learn photography....I passed over a Coach purse ON SALE at Dillard's the other day because I would rather spend the money for your class!!! ha.ha.

My family and friends think I have flipped!!!

Thanks, Karen, for changing my priorities in life!!!!



I LOVE your blog.........just thought I'd let you know, such cute stories and great information, awesome pictures......I have 2 of your easel books which I can't wait to use!


You just crack me up! I love your random posts just as much as your photos! I must say, I am with Josh Downs - just saying. As for the crying thing - I am sooo in the same boat. Crying is good just as long as you laugh too - I know you do that 'cuz how couldn't you with that beautiful family of yours! Have a great weekend.


Karen, I am so with you about Mama Mia! I absolutely loved it from start to finish. Walked out of the theater and across the parking lot to Borders and bought the soundtrack. Grew up listening to all that music. I saw it with my son's girlfriend while he and his father went to see Batman. I agree that it's definitely a movie to see with your girlfriends. I took my mom and sister to see it two weeks after I saw it the first time and, if it's possible, I think I loved it even more the second time. Can't wait for it to come out on video! I am hoping I can swing the 28-70 f/2.8 lens before the cruise. So looking forward to that!


Hi Karen! Barbara left me note this am that she shared my album with you. Just want to send you a huge thank you for sharing it with your readers. I really put my heart and soul into it after working on it for two weeks. I felt the easel album was a great base upon which I could document words/photos about my husband. I love the assortment of pages and the overall design of the album. It's a beautiful album Karen...along with everything else you create. Will always be a fan of the product you create for CI. Have a great night! -Christine


Would you mind telling me what the name of the family plan and carrier you used for the cell phone plan for Ross. It sounds perfect for my family. Then my brother will be the only 21 year old with a limited phone line!!


Karen, I'm with you about Mama Mia - loved it! and ABBA was one of my favs when my daughter was small.

B.Obama is a likeable guy and I am going to vote for him - sorry Josh Downs...

After reading about your photo actions for quite a while now, I guess I really need to get into the digital age and learn more about PSE than just cropping, resizing, and hitting auto fix.

Yes, life is fragile and gets more so with each passing day. I lost my younger sister to diabetes complications last month. Each loss gets more difficult.


Hi There! I spent the last week reading your whole entire blog. I just love you and your incredible talent. I can't wait for your photography class. One question...whatever happened to your camera that got spilled on in your suitcase? I don't remember seeing an update. Is it fixable?


I love how you call him Josh Downs! I call my husband Jon P and now my sister does it and my nephew, who knows Jon P as Unc, gets confused and sometimes calls him Jon P and then wonders why we all laugh at him! Quirky stuff like this is fun.

Also, I have an easel book on order and can't wait for it to finally end up in my hands!

Cheryl Freed

Karen, Sorry I don't have your email address but I just wanted to say thank you for today. You were an awesome photographer and made my daughter feel SO SPECIAL. She is beautiful but with your photos I know she will be stunning. You made everyone feel comfortable and it wasn't the boring old normal wedding pictures. I can't wait to see the final product. You will be getting a HUGE hunk of chocolate cake tomorrow because we need it out of our house!! haha.
Thanks again Karen!! Julie said her wedding was perfect.


HI! I just discovered your blog! Thanks for the sweet photos and memories you share. Love it!

Anyway I am drooling over your stamps coming out. Do you know when, where, and
any other info about how I can get a hold of these? Thanks so much!

PS. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that cried during Dancing Queen.
I bawled my eyes out for some reason.....and that is just not me. lol

Laura Plunk

Actually think I am the only 50 year old who has not yet seen Mama Mia, but am going with my best GF's this morning , had to tell "Queen Anne" if she did not LOVE IT I would refund her money.....

Seems like I cried a lot durring my 30's hmmmmmmmmm

I am embracing my 50's never know what tomorrow will bring....

Lauta P

Laura Plunk

OH OH type O


Oh and BTW about those pics "YANNIE" took of you , lets see um

Sasha Farina

:) I cry easily lately too... no idea why and I don't like it! At. All :)


Karen!!!!! You always crack me up!!


You had mentioned in a previous email to me:

" The good thing about lenses though, is that if you buy a good one, it will last forever (unlike camera bodies that have to be replaced)!"

I currently have a Rebel XT and am wondering if I should upgrade to a Rebel Xsi. i've read many reviews and the rebel xsi has been compared to many of the features that are included in the 40D. it has been noted that the xti was not an 'upgrade' so to speak and that the xsi is like a whole new camera. which has taken on many of the 40D features but at a lower price point. Sensor is much better too. I'd love to upgrade to a 40D, but not sure if I'd like the heavier weight. I take photos mainly of my kids, my family & when the kids are playing soccer.

Lenses: I have the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens and I am looking to buy the Canon 70-300mm IS lens (approx $530).

My new question: based on your statement above about having to replace camera bodies:
1) why
2) how often? (my rebel xt is about 3 yrs old)
3) should i invest in the new rebel xsi body which is $629 right now; plus i can easily re-bundle and sell my XT (including kit lens) with accessories, for $550-%600 locally.

or should I keep the rebel xt and continue with my quest for lenses.

thanks for your input. i truly appreciate any help you can provide. i'm just driving my self bonkers.

gloria :)


Im ready for Sept 8th!!!! I hope I get in this time! :)


funny karen, i too call my husband by his full name most of the time. he actually took my last name when we got married so i call him by his "bachelor" name.

and i love christines blog and her projects, she is a special person and you feel that when she writes


Love the border around Annie. I'm buying it today! :D
Can you tell me if the border that is on the top of your blog (film strip) is still available and where I can get it. I love that one. Something about film strips, must be the photographer (amateur) in me.

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