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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

« A belated Happy New Year. | Main | A new baby. »


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I love the Christmas portraits of the kids. They just look so beautiful.


Yeah, I need help with no flash! Great pictures!


More more more! :)


I'm with you on no flash - ever! You're still and always my favorite blog. I check here once a day. Thanks for keeping it up.


All I see is a beautiful FAMILY.


I'm with the rest, need help with no flash, it gets frustrating for me. A different lens would probably help. My "no flash" images usually have a very yellow cast to them. I might try some in RAW and see if that helps. Glad you mentioned the personal scrapbooking, how do you weed out what you will scrap and what you won't choose?


I am thrilled to read how it is you approach your "no flash" photography. I hate flash! My best friend thinks I'm crazy, but I've stopped using it all together. Some times I get blurry shots but...hey, it's better than that garrish flash effect! Thanks again. I really enjoy your blog & all the great pics you post. Happy New Year! ~Mi

Jo Baer

Sometimes it's hard not to want to know everything when your reading your favorite blog... but I am sorry some people don't understand there is still a line they can cross.
And with that being said... I don't think you need to explain a thing... all you have to do is see a pretty little girl growing up with tons of family that love her. And that might be better than some "normal" family could claim!
And do you think after the photography class, you could do a home decorating class? LOL! (seriously though, but do it in your spare time, okay?)


Please, please, please post some videos with your new 5D!!! :-)


"Funny though because Cole and Courtney look more alike than anyone else in the house."

So true in the photos anyway...there are so many of the two of them that make me think they are twins LOL

No need to explain your family and I can't believe people feel the need to ask...what business of theirs is it anyway? Thank you for sharing your family and I'm glad you're getting back into scrapping for yourself!

I'm still playing with getting the indoor without flash down, too. When it fails however I use a warmify action to the photos with some fairly good results.


It's hard not to be curious about people we think we know or want to know. The trick is remembering not to pry. I love reading about your family and seeing your beautiful family.

tara pakosta

If you had never told us that ALL of those children weren't yours, i would have thought they were, because all is see is LOVE and Family and you don't seem to favor any one of them over the others which I think is wonderfuL!!!!! Courtney Lee is so very lucky to have yoU!!!
don't ever feel like you have to answer to anyone about that. I have a step daughter too and though she's older and we really don't see her, i KNOW how hard it is!
you are doing an awesome job! can't wait to see your new house!

kristan martin

I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry that people would have the nerve to leave rude comments on YOUR blog. Your family is beautiful and it's very obvoius that each one of those children is loved.


Your portraits are beautiful Karen -- natural light is yummy. Courtney Lee and the rest of your family are really fortunate to have everyone dedicated to making it work -- I know from my own personal experience how awful it is when the opposite is true. It's really hard sometimes, but so worth it.


I come from a blended family and I don't think anyone should have any comments about your life. They should be thankful your kids are loved by so many people, I think your kids are absolutely adorable!!!


I love reading your blog and learning about your family. I don't usually post comments, I just like to read and see photos.

I manage a scrapbook store and just love your work with scrapbook products and photography. That is how I came across your blog. And I totally know what you mean about finding time to scrapbook for yourself. I used to be a design team member for my LSS so I was able to srapbook a lot for myself, but then they offered me a job as manager of the store so I jumped on it and haven't looked back. The only downfall is that we are really busy so I don't have much time to scrap for myself.

I love the fact that you put your family "out there" for everyone to see and I can't imagine why anyone would say anything rude at all. I happen to think ya'll are the dang cutest little family ever and really it's no one's business anyway.


Gosh, I read your blog and can't believe how lucky I am to have gotten into your class back in September . . . I found your blog by total accident and then stumbled on your outline for the class. It was just what I was looking for and then on registration day, I owe it all to my being a complete buffoon that I actually got into the class! I NEVER thought I would have gotten in!
While I would love to have a part 2 and then an editing class, I think that you should take this amazing thing that you have created, The Photographers' Workshop and teach it full-time and spread the good word about photography to as many as you can!
I think that the class would be incredibly beneficial as a stand alone as well, just the lessons and the MP3 to go with them (maybe a q&a board for students only) but no critiques and assignment evaluation. The materials that go with the class are top notch and worth it for anyone wanting to learn how to take photos.
BTW, happy birthday!!!


I have wondered what the relationships were but of course didn't want to ask! I just think all these kids are so lucky to be part of this awesome family! My DH was in a blended family as a teenager( of 8 kids )and it wasn't a good situation (the parents evenutally divorced) so it makes me very happy to see such a great blended family!

erin yamabe

hi karen,
you have a beautiful family! and you never have to share all that you do, but it is nice to read about your family. for those that choose to leave rude comments, that is just sad and i'll keep them in my prayers.
my 2 yr old has the same holiday dress as your daughter, yet sadly, my photos of her in it didn't come close to your great ones. i'll keep trying.


Happy New Year Karen!
It blows me away that people leave rude comments on other people's blogs. The pic of Cole-I love the rug burn, I have several pics of my boys (1 school pic) and a few others of black eyes and other injury's. When he's older, you can all look back and laugh about it. Because, it's a total boy thing.


i love you karen! oh wait that probably makes me sound stalker-ish doesn't it?? lol! i love how open and honest you are. Thank you thank you for #6. That is exactly what i wanted to know!! You're the best!!


Congratulations on your recent career decisions/focus -- I can't wait to see where it goes! I LOVE your photography and hope to take an online class soon. When you have a chance, I'd love to know whether you cover how to use actions/ edit techniques in any of your classes. Thanks!


I just got a Cannon Rebel for Christmas and am so excited. I have always wanted a "real" camera.

Cole's picture, rug burn and all are great and so real! As my mom always said when we were doing something we weren't suppose to - "serves you right!" ;) You're a gal after my own heart!



I love your photography shots. I was wondering about indoor shots w/o flash. You had mentioned a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. I have a 50mm 1.8. Even though I use the w/b or the metering it still comes out yellow. Am I doing something wrong or should I step up to 50mm 1.4 or 1.2? I know its more money for both. But i hate the yellow and I don't want to use flash. Help....Is the 1.2 worth the money? I've seen your pictures do you use the 50mm 1.2 w/o modifications to your settings? or Do you still need to tweak it. Thanks!


Karen when I read #3 on your post and the part about rude comments it made me think of Julie's post a couple weeks ago. I thought she totally rocked with her post and I had to share. It gave me a good giggle. Hope it makes you smile too. ;o)


I'm very envious of what looks like great natural light coming in your house. I have next to none in mine. That will be on my checklist if we ever decide to move. :).
You have a beautiful family!


Gorgeous Christmas photos, Karen. Love the 'bokeh' in all the shots.

I have to hand it to you. I admire your 'gift' of bringing together and keeping your family close. It's an effort, but that's what truly matters in this life (and our faith). Your family is blessed.

I hope you keep blessing us with your knowledge and funnyness! Would hate for a few creeps to ruin it for the rest of us!!!


Pictures are wonderful as usual!! Love the bokeh in the background!!
Happy New Year!


Thank you for sharing. I was curious, but way too worried about "bothering" you to ask. I always thought Coley and Courtney were blood related! I guess the looks and names made me assume (and you know what they say about assuming). Regardless, I think you have a beautiful family.

And I just have a little point-n-shoot camera and I never use flash! I do need to learn how to play with f-stop, though ... so I can write words with sprinklers and have them show up :)


Hi, Karen. :) are you going to the winter CHA this january? i'm heading over to CA all the way from the philippines. and it'll be so wonderful if i get to meet you there. :)


OMG!!!!! Karen I LOVE that shot of the 3 of them!!! WAY CUTE!!!!!


Karen, I have been a scrapper for-EVER and reading your blog for as long as I can remember (which, admittedly, isn't very far back what with my being almost-43yo and all)... anyhooo.... I can remember several times when you've said, basically, "It's nobody's business about our family" and I totally respected your right to privacy. HOWEVER - that said - Coley has always been The Mystery to me. ;-> He does look so much like Courtney Lee, but he's never away the same time that she is so I was very puzzled. REGARDLESS - you clearly are a very loving, close and silly family (that's good!!) and "everyone belongs to everyone", KWIM? What's important is that you have found each other and you are all 'living happily ever after', taking it day by day.

But thanks for clearing that up.
I'll sleep a little bit better tonight.


Blessings to all of you for the New Year!!!
(Oh, and I love, love, LOVE that shot of the 3 of them, too!!!)


Karen - Just venturing into new photoshop territory. I had old software that worked OK, but died when we went to a new OS. So I got PS Elements for Xmas. Looks like the totally rad site only support PS 7.2 or something, at least not specifically Elements. Do you have any info on actions that are supported with Elements? As always, love your blog and the life you share with us - thank you!!


Ditto to all those who have written that you have a beautiful family and "NO" we don't need an explanation nor does anyone need to leave rude or disrespectful comments about your family.

Love the photos and enjoy reading about your adventures.


Wonderful shots Karen. I would love to see a continuation of your photography class and maybe a photo editing class( I took your 2nd online class and learned so much). You mentioned writing a book about photography. Excellent idea. So many people would benefit.

A Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your pictures.
I'm a big fan of your photography (without flash).


Karen - thank you for sharing your family and your life. I truly enjoy your wit, your photos, your educational opportunities, and of course, the way you capture the reality of life!

Kristal Jones

For those who wrote about the pics coming out yellow, try changing your WB to Tungsten and see if you notice a difference. It helps me so much. Just don't forget to change it back when you go outside! I've done that before by accident. Hope this helps someone.

Kristal Jones

Karen, the pictures are usual. I love how much you share about your photography, editing and your family life. And I want to thank you for taking the time to send the posts regularly. I have just started a blog on typepad for my kids and I am learning that this can be frustrating and time consuming to get the posts and the pics the way I want them. Uugh! Anyway, thank you for taking the time!

Tonia Borrosch

Karen....just wondering if you used fixed lenses much indoors-I have such trouble being able to get far enough away and I know how important it is to have the lower numbered aperture for more light(and NO flash!). What lens did you use for the photos in this post? If it was the 50mm fixed, were you actually standing kind of far away from them? I LOVE that lens, but I have a lot of trouble with getting where I need to be sometimes do to space restraints, etc.

Tonia Borrosch

What lens did you use for the "Santa in Jacksonville" photos?


So glad you will scrapbook for yourself and really hoping you will post the results as inspiration! You have a great style.

beth s.

Well, thanks for saving me $200+ for a flash for my new camera. Now, I just need to get in your next class to figure the rest out!!! I just got my dad's old 50mm 1.8, but am wanting to buy the 1.4. I have heard mixed reviews on that lens though. I have a hard time making decisions! I also need to get a good zoom, but don't really want to walk around with that big white monster.

Love hearing about your family. Thank you for telling us where everyone was from, I always wondered, but didn't want to ask. Your pictures are great, as usual!


thank you for posting about your Action Workflow. Mine is very similar, except I don't use Derelicte. Maybe I will give it a try :)
You ROCK!!!


I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. Your natural, candid photos are perfect. They portray such a happy, real family and I aspire to keep it real with my photos too. I pose the kids too much! I think vanity keeps us afraid to keep photos real. I worry too much about what I look like and that's so wrong. Thanks for the great inspiring blog. It's just what I need!

And, yes, I feel like I have pouty, ungrateful kids, too. I think (hope) that's normal!

Tammy Mellish

It's funny that you mentined Courtney Lee and Cole's likeness to each other (despite having no biological connection). My husband was married previously and his ex-wife re-married several years ago. My step-son looks JUST LIKE her (new) husband (no biological connection, obviously). Much more than he looks like his own mother or father. You certainly can tell that he is his fathers son, but we've always giggled a bit at how much more he looks like his step-dad.

I can't wait to see more pics of the new house! It's so exciting!


When people post rude comments on my blog I always delete these. I will never let anyone steal my sunshine, and it is just a suggestion I offer to everyone. I have noticed people come online often enraged and post things they would never say in real life. Mostly I think it is not personal, but people are just venting in the wrong kind of ways. I enjoyed your blog by the way.

lovely cee.

oh my god... i love your blog! and i think you and i have the same political belief- i love you even more, LOL! and i love your pictures and even though i don't know your family, i love them. i can't believe people would leave rude comment about your personal life... it's none of their business. anyhow, thanks for sharing anything photography.. so very generous. happy new year.


I have to say I assumed that Coley and Courtney Lee were blood relatives--they do look a lot alike, and I don't personally know your family or background. Whose womb someone came out of isn't all that important when talking about a family. I don't often read the comments so I don't know if anyone has been rude lately, but who on earth would have rude, negative thoughts about blended families these days? Hopefully people are just curious and don't know how rude they are being.

stacy t

i just have to say you are an amazing mom. the fact that you treat courtney like your own - love that! courtney & coley look exactly alike and they fight just like my two - thought they were almost twins!! like mine!! haha and you're right - it's no one's business but when we put ourselves out there in blogs, people are going to ask. human nature. but rude people - unexceptable. i love your brady bunch and you have an amazing family.

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