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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

« Rare. | Main | Ringing in the New Year. »


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Elizabeth Lombardi

Karen - I was just googling photography classes in the Portland area when I jumped over to your site for a moment and this post was up - how timely! I just uploaded my pics from christmas and (one again) am completely disappointed. I try not to be, but dang can't we be outside and not use a flash Christmas morning?! I was going to ask if you had any suggestions for photo classes in the Portland area - I think I would do better with hands-on, but I'm thinking I'll put myself on your waitlist. Ugh! I think 2010 will be the year of taking better photos!


Thanks for the update Karen. If one decides to do the first time student as an audit, is there still a wait? Or could it be anytime?


karen. i freaking love you. the fact you are going to still 'take care' of your past students just made my year! i think you have some awesome ideas and i couldn't be happier to be one of your alums! :) once again, you rock.


Great plan. :) You rock.


As a past student, I am really looking forward to the downloadable lessons. I have really seen great improvements in my pictures since I have taken your class, but know that I struggle at times to determine the correct settings. Early birthday wishes to you!


I plan on taking your class at the scrapbook store in January and also taking your online class if I can get it!! Will I count as a past student then?? I am VERY interested in your additional lessons. THX!

Julie Staub

Karen, I was so grateful to be able to take your class this fall. I've taken many workshops in person and online, and yours was truly incredible! I think the auditing option is brilliant, and for those who want to choose that I can assure you that you will get PLENTY of helpful information! I am still working through the amazing materials, and they will be a go-to for many years to come. Kudos to you for finding a way to offer such great service to your customers/fans, and at the same time take care of what you and your family need. I will be looking forward to any advanced or additional information you have coming in the future! Congratulations!

And for anyone on the fence, do yourself a favor and get on that waiting list!!! :)

Maureen F

Karen - I really enjoy following you on your blog. Your stories, your family, your trips and your beautiful pictures. I so hope I get the chance to participate in one of your classes. I think you have some great solutions for allowing more people to access you. I really am looking forward to the downloadable sessions. As an extension of those, why not do a full dvd of talent to share - That would be awesome and so worth every penny of the purchase price. It woudl be something that we can continue to refer to at different times - kinda learning at your own pace. How about writing a book - AWESOME. (so really, cloning yourself is out of the question huh?) Thank you for all you do !!! I really look forward to your posts

Kim in Vacaville

I am so excited for the opportunity to audit your classes. As an alum, I can say that there will be so much to learn by looking at other people's photos and reading the critiques. I advise anyone considering this class to get on the waiting list - you will not regret it. Any idea when the additional lessons will be available?


Karen, the proof is in the pudding when you look at the number of people on the wait list! You are a fantastic instructor with a knack for making the complex understandable and therefore attainable! I took your class back in March 09 and learned much more than I could take in at the time. I have referred to 'the binder' several times over the past months to add a little more to my 'mental checklist'. I truly was a beginner with my new DSLR when I took your class, so I had a lot to learn but I could only retain so much. I needed time to digest what I had learned before I was ready to take more on. This meant that I barely made sense of the last couple of chapters at the time, and am now just getting to them at a pace that I can absorb. Only now I cannot ask my questions, or have my pics critiqued. So, I am saying all of this to ask, have you considered breaking down your course into levels? That way, more experienced photographers could jump in where their skills are, and those like me who needed the basics on the exposure triangle could absorb that info and take the needed time to process it before signing up for another level.

Just a friendly suggestion...I thoroughly enjoyed your class and have told ALL of my friends interested in photography to take it (and many of them have!). I continue to follow your blog daily and admire all of your work. Thank you for what you are doing for the average person like me who just wants to improve the everyday shots of life! Happy New Year!


I am very excited about the downloadable lessons. As well as auditing a course! Thanks!

meg duerksen

your annie and my annie would be such good buddies. :)


I love your "PLAN". Now that I have my 50D, I might have to audit your class (alum Sept '07). I have come so far in the last couple of years and still have more to learn! Auditing will be a perfect way to brush up. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and your life with us!


I am so excited!!!! It is like Christmas all over again! I am so glad you decided to do this. I can't wait for the first new lesson. I have been going through withdrawls since the Fall 09 session ended...and good for you for raising your prices. You and your class are so worth it and more. Hope you have a great new year!

Leonie- Australia

Sounds like a great idea Karen, looking forward to it all.

Deb Zorn

I have been on your waiting list FOREVER (or so it seems).I have taken other photography classes, and found it hard to keep up with posting photos, etc. Auditing your class would be perfect. Please, please, please tell me how to audit your class.

Julie Pilch

Hi, Sorry if I'm being a bit dense, I know you said you will be releasing downloadable lessons at random the first one being ready etc. at $20. Am I right in thinking you can only have access to this if you have paid the $55 auditing fee first?


Annie is too stinkin' cute! And I love your new plans for your class! It sounds perfect. When I got on the waitlist, I got the camera (Nikon D5000) and now can't wait for the chance to really explore all it can do. And it's exciting to know that there'll be downloadable information I can work with while I wait to get in a class and that once I'm done, I can audit and keep learning more if I need to. Thank you! Happy New Year to you and your family!


Thank you for your wonderful communication, your inspiration and for sharing your talent. I am looking forward to seeing your photos of your upcoming Vegas trip to celebrate that all important birthday! Happy New Year, and thanks again SO much.


I'm with Jenny on the comment about LOVING that you're here to take care of your past students as well!
and I'll be standing in line for a consult, when things slow down around here...I learned so much from your class, but now have some upgraded equipment and something is just not right!
(I bought a 50mm/1.2 to go with my 5D and we aren't not getting along at all...trying to determine if it's operator error or just a bad lens!)
I didn't get very many good shots from Christmas this year...

Helen Walsh

Can't wait for the downloads and wonder if the christmas tree-light switching on photo might be the topic!!
Thanks for all you do karen and have a happy new year!


Tee-riffic plan Karen!! Can't wait for the consults and Making the Shot lessons!! YAY!! Exactly what I have been waiting for!!!!


Hi Karen,
So, people who audit the class will also get the pretty binder and all that jazz?


You are the best! THE BEST! I had an indoor maternity shoot yesterday which resulted in a quick trip to the camera store. Luckily for hubby, they were completely sold out of 50mm f/1.2 lens.


When will registration to "Audit" the March class open?

Carol H - Fairview Heights, IL

This picture and the picture of the 3 kids with Santa are among my very favorites this year. Of course, you have MANY MANY pictures posted that I love. May you and your family have a happy, healthy, safe, wonderful New Year.

Nancy M.

I never signed up for one of you classes because it seemed so hopeless. I am sooooo excited to be able to audit. I love your ideas and I am really looking forward to March. I am so glad I continued to follow your blog ...I think you are awesome! I am on the waitlist now! Happy New Year to you and your family.


You're like a best friend to all of us! Your auditing plan for both future and past students is an excellent idea!! Even if you only get a chance to audit this class, you will NOT be disappointed. The amount of information Karen shares is mind boggling (it's a TON) and so valuable as well as easy to understand. I still refer to my binder a year later...and I continue to grow as a photographer.

Plus, if I'm reading your info correctly...a new auditing student ($245) would then be qualified/able to purchase an hour consult with you ($145) to discuss anything (including a couple of critiques from assignments in the class that they couldn't participate in??) for a total of $ that would be a VERY great option for those that don't make it into an "active" class and don't want to wait. That's a fabulous compromise for trying to please everyone all at one time. :)

Pam Giles

Would love some info along the line about knowing when you get a bad lens. I purchased a canon 2.8 24-70 thru BH Photo but can't quite decide if it's me or
the lens as the photos are consistently bad. I know enough (thanks to your class) about various causes of blurred subjects, etc., but not enough to trust my judgement on this accuracy. Some checkpoints/guidelines on new lens purchase would be great as I'm sure I'll be after another one soon.
Also, on these Making the Shot lessons, will we get to know what the particular shoot (or shot) subject was before we buy?


Will first time audit students get the awesome binder I have seen you post for your students.

I do need some clarification, do all audit students past a new get in the class no matter what. Are you saying that there is absolutely no waiting list for the audit class for past and new students?

Iam so exciteded, the audit class is in my budget!!!!


love the 'audit' option- i will definitely be taking advantage of this. you rock

Kathy Aylward

Hi Karen
I can't wait until I can say "I am a past student" of yours....I rave to all my friends about your blog and style of capturing those family moments. Someone I very much admire and your humour is very entertaining particularly when your kids don't feel like assisting in your photos (we all have those moments don't we).
Missed out on your last class registration and one of my goals for 2010 is to get into your class. It's not the money, it's going to be luck because you are very talented and very popular....ooh to have those kinds of problems but I do get where you are coming from with your new strategy. Kathy A Brisbane Australia


I was wondering if you would be willing to let the auditing students participate in Flicker group as they audit the class? It wouldn't add any work for you but would allow the auditing students to interact.


Thanks for all the thought you've put into this new idea - sounds great. And here's hoping you can get your working regime back to 40hrs. You have such strong reputation with your Photographer's class - I was reading through a photographers forum a while ago & your name was mentioned several times as a recommendation for an online course. A very Happy New Year to you & your family.


Hey Karen! I attended your one day photography workshop at Memory Mania in Louisiana. Does this qualify me for your $55 audit? Or does it only apply to those students who have taken your online workshop? Thanks!


Ok, say you audit the class for the $245.00 fee, and sometime in the future you hit the jackpot and actually get to be one of the limit few in the class where you can fully participate, what might the fee for the class be at that point the $55.00 the $ 395.00 the $ 245.00 or some where (fee, amount of money) in between all the other state prices. Thank you for answering my questions. I think you have come with some great ideas to accommodate all the people that want to take your awesome class!!!


Your telephone consulting rates are way too low. Don't undervalue yourself. You are very talented and admired as is evidenced by your long wait list. You should consider raising your rates after this session.



I hope your success continues to grow! Congrats to you for deciding to balance family with career. That is never an easy choice no matter what others may think. And lastly Happy Birthday. January 4th is also my mom's b-day. I only wish she could take photos like you ;-)

Take care and Happy New Year!


Karen, I'm so glad you're finding a way to make your business work for you rather than you working for your business. I know how out of hand things can get! That being said, I'm wondering if I understand the looks to me like it costs $190 to become an online student in the first place (binder included with that first time student fee) and from there it's an additional $55 to audit a class (as many classes as you want) or $205 to fully participate. After taking a class (either audited or full participation) it's $20 for downloadable lessons and $145 for phone consultations. Am I understanding correctly or did I try to simplify too much and got myself confused? Best of luck with the new schedule!

Jill R

Karen, I'm on the wait list and hoping to sign up this time! I was just thinking about the whole process of signing up, and remembered how it was set up for college, signing up for classes online. You are assigned a lottery number (or in this case, the order on the wait list) and then are given a time frame to sign up. For example, numbers 1-100 on the wait list are allotted 8am-9am on the sign up day. Numbers 101-200 get 9am-10am, etc. You can still sign up after your hour slot, but it spreads out the demand on the site and gives those who have been on the list longer first dibs. Just an idea, not sure if it's even possible. Keep up the amazing work!


Thanks for the update! And I'm not sure if it is still active, but during the first class a Flickr group was started! :)


Hi Karen!
If i understood everything right, registration will be on february 1st. You say that you'll accept an unlimited number of auditing students for the workshop. My question is if i want to be an auditing student and i can't be there to register on february 1st, will you leave the registration open for auditing students until the workshop starts?

Thanks for everything!

Helen Tilbury

Love the idea of the Making the Shot pdfs - would definitely want your first one so let us know when it is avail. for purchase, as I just don't have the time this year to get the most out of your workshop, but will register in the hopes of making it for next year. How many students do you intend having per class now? Just so I can work out how many years I'll be signed up for LOL...

Tammy Vincent


A few thoughts--would you be able to share the editing information in the Making the Shot lessons for multiple photo editing programs? I know at the end of your class you had the lesson with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements info., but based on the recommendations during the class I just purchased Lightroom. I would love to get specifics for it, too.

Also, I reviewed many of the lessons on New Year's Eve before taking portraits for a friend on New Year's Day. I find that I still struggle with focus and my Christmas pictures really suffered for it. Do you think based on the lenses I own and the knowledge I already gained from your class, that the best thing to help my focus now would be to upgrade to a camera body with a better focusing system? I figured having more autofocus points and more cross-sensor focus points might be the next step to try. I just don't want to keep putting money into lenses if it's time to upgrade the camera body.

Thanks for your help and all you do for us to improve our photos!

Tammy Vincent


Thank you for offering audit sessions for past students and Making the Shot lessons. They're going to be helpful for those of us who still strive to grow in this hobby.

Happy birthday BTW, you and my son have the same birthdays - that explains why you are also awesome! :)


Hi Karen! I am still confuse how the waiting list works. Once registration opens, I have to try to log in to register but if someone with number
900 on the waiting list is luckier than me, does it mean that if a class is full and I am 725 on the waiting list, number 900 will get in the class
before me. And once registration opens, do I just hit refresh until I get lucky...never got the chance to log in even with my husband trying
from his work. Thanks!


I just want to let everyone know that being a past student of Karen's class I would have to say that it is well worth the $395.00. Karen teaches in a way that makes it so easy to understand. If you have invested in a good DSLR camera and don't know how to use it you are missing out. I have never seen a teacher so devoted to her students. Now that there will be lifetime access to the info too! I love the cheaper option of observing too, what a great way to get her information if you need to spend less.


I like that you are offering it for students to audit, but the fact that it is so hard to get into makes it that much more enticing. The class being in such high demand and the fact that you may not ever reach everyone is not a bad thing. Just think about tickle me elmo, I remember the first year it came out, they FLEW off the shelves and you couldn't find one to save your life, so they made more and now you can buy it on ebay for 9 bucks.

Don't let your class become something common that you can come by cheaply and easily... Use the supply and demand to your advantage.

You have a good heart for wanting to share it with everyone, but remember you have a commodity that is desired, keep it that way.


I love this idea. Could i do the course as an auditing student and then if i wanted more input come back at a later date as a regular student? and if so would there be any difference in the cost of the course?

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