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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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Here's my entry for the auditing spot -

I took this picture on our door step while we were killing time for my daughter's 3rd birthday party to start. She was SO EXCITED for her party I could barely get her to sit still. I asked her if she was excited and she just put her hands up over her mouth and made her "I'm SOOOOO excited" face.

Shelby A.

I would love to win this! It seems like I learn something new every time I read one of your photography posts. I'm not sure if I'm linking this the right way, but this is a picture of my mom hugging my brother after he moved back home to Idaho with his family after they had been living in Tennessee for a year and a half. This picture represents my mom's love for all of us. She let the rest of us rush off to the driveway and welcome him, while she stayed behind so our dinner that was on the stove didn't burn in the excitement. She always puts her own wants and needs at the end of the line, and I just love her so much! There's just no way for me to ever repay the love and service that she gives to all of us!


The sparkle in my now cousin's eyes and the anticipation far out weigh the very imperfect shot! Katie McF x


She just mastered going down the slide today and I wanted to capture the whee and glee on her 19 month old face. It's true, pure happiness that as adults, we often forget exists. Taken with my iPhone. I didn't have my camera with me because I'd been out running errands when, on a whim, I drove by the park to see if they were there. They were!!

Lisa Adair!/photo.php?fbid=10150335324341412&set=a.10150335317341412.395145.662231411&type=3&theater

My cousin had had some problems with her father, and we were all getting together at my parents house. She came and stayed with me before going on to my parents and expressed being nervous to see her daddy, but wanting everything to go perfectly. I took this photo of my cousin with her parents as we were all saying goodbye. While it is so far from being technically perfect, I love it! When my uncle put his arm around my cousin, at that moment she looked up at him and you can just see the happiness in her face that they are all together again. It makes me smile every single time I look at it.

and I sure hope I did the link correctly!
Thank you so much for the chance to win!

I am most often behind the camera so there aren't many photos of me and if I am in the photo my husband isn't so this is a photo of all for of us together taken with the timer. It is a bit dark and grainy but I love it because it is my family all together.


one of my favorite sessions i shot this fall was a little 3 year old FULL of personality. while it was honestly almost impossible to capture a true technically perfect photo because she was WIDE OPEN the entire session, it allowed me to just relax and watch her do what she liked to do, which was laugh and giggle. her mama, being drop dead gorgeous interacted with her in such a beautiful way, never frustrated or irritated.
for this particular image, the mama had brought her wedding gown to the session for kennedy to wear. i think she invisioned her sitting all perfectly poised. however, i flipped when i saw their faces as the mom was dressing kennedy. my mind instantly fast forwarded about 20 years when the mama would be "in real life" dressing her daughter for her wedding one day.
i love the emotion in the following image ....

Lynne Ashcraft

I had to share your post! Here is my entry.

I couldn't figure out how to link just of the photos, but the one I would pick is the first on of my son half in shadow. I absolutely love how gorgeous his eye color came out and that little twinkle of happiness and mischief all rolled into one. This captures my son so well!

Thanks for the opportunity!


I love this idea - I am with you, I'd love to strive to be both emotionally and technically perfect, but I'd settle for emotionally over technically every day.

This is a photo of my Niece Erica, I had her jump off a stoop to get a cool "jumping" picture and this is when she landed and started laughing at her ability to jump. It just captures her laugh, and smile so perfectly. I adore it.

Thanks for the give away - You rock!

Elizabeth F.

The last picture in this 4th of July post is blurry, but I love the pure joy on my then 3-month old daughter's face. I love how tight her cheeks were from smiling and her little tongue sticking out as she squeeled. It was her first 4th of July fireworks and she was in absolute awe of them. Kind of like how her daddy and I were feeling about her, our first born.

christine lucas

Here is one of my favorite photos of my daughter. While her face is not even visible, the emotion on her teammate's faces tells the whole story.


This photo is of my nephew. He had quite a rocky start in this world and was in the NICU for close to 2 months. This photo was taken at the audiologists office after his hearing aids were put in for the first time. He heard the camera click, turned to me, and gave me this big grin! It was such a special moment!

Kassie Sloss

This is of my kids and husband... I think it just perfectly captures their love.

Mary Jo Griego

This photo is one I took of a friend's little girl discovering bubbles for the first time. I love how she is enjoying being surrounded by the bubbles.

Polly Haldeman

My good friend DeAnne (who has taken your class before) and I shoot photos of others for fun. It's a great way to practice our skills, plus its a great way for us to hang out. We both encourage and help each other technically so that ultimately we can capture the true emotions of our own lives through snapshots. I took this photo of a family friend for her engagement. I see 'joy' when I look at it. :-)

I would be thrilled to participate in this course so that I may have the same great experience she did.


Oh how I would love this! I love picking up tidbits on your blog, working on my photos. Even just seeing your photos and trying to figure out the how tos. Might I add that I love emotional/candid photos. I just love catching the excitement or interaction between my kids and hubby. It was really hard for me to choose. I asked my hubby for his favorite. I have too many emotionally perfect shots for me. (I did good this Christmas! which I am so happy about.)

One of mine and my husband's favorite photos is this photo of my son with Santa. I love the interaction between them. It was fun watching and listening to their conversation. My son was SO excited to talk to and see him!! Although a shot from the side, you can still see it in his face. I love these kinds of shots so much better than the posed Santa pics.

Kylie Clarke

Hi Karen,
Here is my entry
My daughter was helping me search for an appropriate photo to enter and when I put this one up on the computer screen we both started giggling uncontrollably. The look on my son's face as he slipped off the step they were both sitting on, just as he was about to go below the water, is priceless. But then I stated to feel a lump in my throat and my stomach was doing cartwheels. The emotion I saw on my sons face reminded me of how absolutely terrified he used to be of the water, and how that fear prevented him from learning to swim for a long time. It remined me of how terrified I was for him knowing he was not safe around water. I began to feel tears well up in my eyes and my daughter realised too just what I was remembering, she said " You have to use that one!"
Kylie Clarke

Sandra Brown

Above is my entry for the emotionally perfect photo. This photo was taken when my youngest was 3 (he just turned 10) and my heart aches every time I look at it. That little face is so full of his personality, the sparkle in his eye and the grin on his face. I want to capture as many of those as I can because before I know it he'll be all grown up.


You are so awesome to do these giveaways!

I really need to be better about emotionally perfect photos, instead of worrying about all the rest. This photo is my sister with her new baby an hour after he arrived. :)I love both of their sweet expressions.


here's my link:
I love this shot because it's just so Paige. She's just so silly and cute and every time i see this picture, i just want to squeeze her. Only I really know that she's wearing PJ's under her jacket. We had just come back from dropping her sister off at the bus stop, and that just called us. I am still trying to get over the fact that I sold that hat at a Mom to Mom sale.....

I hope this works. Ive wanted to take this class for years but could never afford it. Id love to win. The picture ive linked is one i took a week ago ,when my grandson was born and my dtr had to have a csection. I was in or and captured a moment, father and son meeting for the first time. I hope to capture many more of him.

Rebecca Francis

Okay, this post totally inspired me. I have so many pictures of my kids that aren't technically perfect but that I just LOVE because of the emotion they capture. It was especially hard for me to choose between two in particular, but I finally decided on this one:

It was the first snow of the season and I had driven to my husband's school because he was matting my kindergartner's entry for the school's Reflections contest (that we had to turn in that morning...of course we procrastinated until the last moment). My oldest two were literally bouncing around in the back seat because they were so excited. They begged me to let them outside just for a second so they could play in the snow, and I finally caved in. For as much energy as my three-year-old had in the car, as soon as she was actually in the falling snow, she was absolutely still and quite, just watching the snow fall onto her absolutely memorized. It was just magical. I always carry my camera in my purse, so I grabbed it and literally took this photo from the driver's seat of my car. It just captured her wonder so perfectly, I LOVE it!

So there you go. And regardless of whether or not I get the seat, I appreciate this post. It's motivated me to blog more of those photos I love even though they aren't technically perfect. In fact, I think I'll go post that 2nd photo I was talking about on my blog right now. Thanks!



Above is my entry from the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan. I am not sure what I love more in the first picture, my son's huge smile or our dog, Romeo's smile. I guess it is the look on both of their faces that makes me melt each time I see this picture. Thank you for a chance to win!


oh boy! i had to enter this. emotional photography has been really on my mind lately as i work on my 365 project. for this picture, i was so excited to capture the emotion of the game. could have improved on my composition to make sure my dad was more in the picture.


My entry.

:) Thanks

Kerri Leder

Hi Karen! I took this picture of my boys summer of 2011. It remains one of my favorites. I've since moved on to a better camera. I'm slowly improving, but I continue to love this photo..imperfect composition and all. I've been following your blog for more than a year and would love the opportunity to audit your class. Thanks!

Sherry G

I took this while my mother was in hospice care after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. The only camera I had with me was the point & shoot but I knew I wanted to capture the memory of mom with her sister and great niece.!/photo.phpfbid=2258677597042&set=a.2258677077029.2127112.1551472911&type=3&theater


He hates the camera and always hides. So I caught him through the car window when he wasn't
looking! I love how this captures his joy!


Karen - I love reading your blog, but don't often comment. Sorry. I love how real your posts are and appreciate that truly. I loved your post today and regardless of whether I win a spot in your class, or not, I wanted you to know that I never really thought about that fact that some of my photos are "emotionally perfect". I love that concept and feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Sometimes I don't want to share a photo that isn't technically perfect but I LOVE it so much because of the emotion I see when I look at it so thank you! A LOT!!
As for my photo, well, a little background, I used to dance (not professionally or anything, for fun, but seriously, enough that I committed a lot of free time to it). When I had my first-born child and found out “it” was a she I dreamed she'd love dance as much as I did. That is all it was really a dream. I've have never pushed her into any activity. I want her to choose her own way and enjoy her youth. Well, she is four now and has started to take a dance class. She loves it in the way only a four year old can. She wants to play "dance class" any chance she gets. It's amazing and warms my Mama heart. Recently, she was tapping around the house and I offered to tap with her. It was amazing to her that I knew what to do. We where inside with yucky unnatural light but I set my camera on the floor and auto timered some shots of us having, what I'll always remember as, the best dance party ever. When I look at this photo I don't see the dog bed in the background, the jackets hanging, the slightly blurry feet.... I see MY little girl dancing the way I have always dreamed. In that moment I had a personal dream come true and I will forever be grateful that I was able to capture that.

Sorry so long... You got me all emotional. Hee!!

Jen R

I love this picture of my family lying on the rocks at the playground and staring up at the sky. They are all laughing, but for a reason that I can't remember, my oldest daughter is laughing in that awesome, unrestrained, pure, happy, beautiful way that she does sometimes. It is so genuine and joyous and contagious that you just can't help watching and then joining in. The best is when she is really laughing at nothing at all but just because she's a happy kid. Far from technically perfect, but, when a picture can practically make you hear her laugh and give you a glimpse at the joy she has in her heart, it is pretty darn near emotionally perfect.!/photo.php?fbid=10152814462015355&set=a.10152814461405355.963710.874415354&type=1&theater

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to take The Photographers' Workshop. Thanks for the chance!


When my daughter, Claire, was three years old, as we are sitting at a traffic light, she begins screaming with delight, "POOFY HEADS! POOFY HEADS!" I have no idea what she is talking about, so when the light turns green, I pull away. When I look back at her, she has her head turned as far as it can, trying to look out her window. When she turns back to me, she has the most heart broken look on her face. I am perplexed enough to turn the car around, and she lights up with pure joy and begins screaming, "POOFY HEAD", again. Once again, I am at a total loss. She is pointing wildly, and I can not figure out what she is talking about. The area she is pointing to is an entrance to a shopping center, so I pull over and take her out of the car. She immediately RUNS to the dandelions, and begins picking them and blowing them. I grab the camera and I am able to capture this shot. While I am shooting, she walks up to me and says, "Mamma, make a "wif" (wish)". A few weeks later, an episode of NI HAO, KAI-LAN comes on, and I disovered they call dandelions poofy heads, and make wishes when they blow them.

I changed this setting to public on Facebook, so you should be able to see it. FINGERS CROSSED!!

sac a main femme

Ei kauan tunnistettu sivustostasi ja edelleen jo käsittelyssä pitkin. Oletin voin lähteä minun ensimmäinen kommentti. en vahvistaisi mitä sanoa, paitsi että olen nauttinut käsittelyssä. Kiva blogi. pahoinvointia olla bookmarking pitää vierailevat tämän sivuston hyvin tyypillisesti.

Camille King

Just for fun because I already took the class as a full student. I must say this class is awesome. Here is a link to emotionally perfect photos.


It has been years since I've willingly put myself in front of a camera. Below is my welcome 2013 picture. It's my "I'm not hiding" anymore picture. I'm down 40 lbs and have quite a few more lbs to go but I'm not hiding anymore. I'm not hiding behind my kids or my husband, or behind my sisters or my parents. I am a ~Work in progress~ and I'm willing to embrace that now! so here is the link:!/photo.php?fbid=4366297834623&set=a.1424829819761.2060311.1203225762&type=3&theater

But the emotionally charged photo that I haven't captured yet because I haven't been able to bring myself to take it is my son taking medicine or a picture of all of his medicine. See he was diagnosed with epilepsy in November and it happened very out of the blue. One minute he was a perfectly healthy active 5 year old to having two seizures and a week later having an EEG that showed extensive seizure activity. It sent me in tail spin. It really knocked me on my @ss so to speak. He's my baby boy. He's funny and super charming and use to be the most happy go lucky lil man but his meds changed him. Lucky for us some of it was reversed when we lowered his dose but some will be here to stay till he possibly outgrows it and can stop taking his meds. But this has all brought us that much stronger and that much closer as a family. So I think I will take a picture because it so packed with emotions.
If I win though, I hope you wouldn't mind if I gave the class to my sister. She has a fancy DSLR camera and has been dying to learn how to use it better and I haven't gotten the money saved yet to get one. Thanks for offering your class up and thanks for blogging this! It makes me realize how pictures of life (good and bad) are needed! <3

Kelly Boettcher

My youngest daughter is so full of personality. She is the kid that will start giggling, and before you know it everyone else in the room is giggling too.. with no clue what started it! This picture is one of my favorites of her, even with the bad lighting and messy background, because it perfectly shows her personality.


i would love, love, love this so much! single mom without a chance in the world of funding a class, but love, love, love my camera and would love to improve! your pics inspire me so much. :)

janet kemper

This isn't a great photo at all...tecnically....but, I just love it & it brings such a smile to my face. It is one of my dad and sister that I could look at for so long!

Karen F

In 2010 my then 14-year-old daughter and I traveled to China with a missions team to work at an orphanage for special needs orphans. To say it was a game changer in both our lives is an understatement.
We fell in love with those children over the course of the week. While we started out slowly, building trust, playing quiet games, and coloring . . . by the end of the week we were seeing genuine smiles and hearing hearty belly laughs.
I was quite smitten with this little guy in the photo. He had an eye disease and we knew without a forever family he would likely loose his eyesight. One day we pulled out the bubbles and all the kids loved chasing them around and popping them. My heart just burst with joy as I watched this little guy be able to see and chase and pop and LOVE the bubbles! His smile is so pure; his joy was contagious!


I would LOVE to win a spot!
I often debate about sharing so many technically imperfect photos on my blog (I photograph newborns for our local hospital), but I have so far to go in mastering spontaneous shots and like you, love the ones that capture my kids' personality.
I love all the photos in that post, none of them are technically very good but they all capture some memory or emotion, specifically this image of my son and his friends:

(that bobbalygook url will take you to the specific image rather than the blog post)

Thanks for the chance to win!

Corri C

Please enter me. I'd love to audit the class.

It's blurry, his hair hadn't been brushed yet that day, and there are no faces, which drives my MIL batty. But it was about a month after my son came home and we were still all nervous and trying to fit pieces in and figure out how we're supposed to do all this. But there was this moment. My always moving, moving, moving child, was watching TV and playing, and then he just walked over to our old dog, who we've since lost, and sat down right between her front paws, scooting in close. He laid his hand on the top of her head and she sighed and they just sat there. A boy and his dog, like it had always been that way instead of being all new and strange to them both. It just makes my heart hurt in good ways to this day.

Mary Claire

Oh this kid. This picture is an oldie, three years ago I think. I honestly don't know if this is a technically good or bad picture; I just know I love it. It was taken right after I got my DSLR which I love, but really don't know how to use...I just take a gillion (yup a gillion) pictures on various settings and hope for one or two good ones (I don't always succeed).

This picture is emotionally perfect to me because it captures my daughters personality like few other pictures have. The sweetness, the wiseness behind her eyes, that #$%& disturber, I'm only three but I KNOW stuff!

I'd like to think she's an old soul...wait maybe that's just the flapper costume. ;)

Fee K.

The first picture on this blog entry (blog is neglected sorry!) is so bad technically but it takes me immediately back to that day and also period of time..she ran everywhere...always in a hurry to see life and in the picture you can see how she crossed her feet over when she ran. She was so excited to show me that leaf on our photo shoot..her hair moving in the breeze...and even the next photo of all three of my kids- super blurry but SO them. All laughing at something. Anna's thumb going towards her mouth...(she still sucks that thumb). The way Mike laughs when he finds something so funny and the way Katie hides her face when she's laughing hard. I just love it.


I would love to audit your class! This photo is of my son and his college roommate. They've been best friends since they were 3. Since my kids were little we've tried to go to some WSU football/basketball games (my husband and I are alums). We'd always take Matt along to the Apple Cup (WSU v UW). The boys would never let me get a shot of them with Butch. They would just wave to him from afar! But at 22 they jumped at the chance. This blurry photo, with the boys barely in it brings back memories of all those other games they've been to and glimpses of the little boys they used to be.

Holly Stiller

I am a 14 year old photographer. I'd love to take your class. This is a self-portrait I took while driving with my Mom to our cottage. I put my head out the window with my camera. The emotion for me is of joy and excitement about going to one of our favourite places, along with my golden doodle, Dewey, who is just as happy.
Holly Stiller

Marissa OBrien

I would love the opportunity to audit your class. The photo I am attaching was taken on a hot sumer day. My son was having a blast playing with his water sprinkler ball and decided he needed to cool off his back. I took this photo with my Canon T3i using my Canon EFS 17-55mm lens. There are other photos from this moment where he's smiling more, but this tells a fun loving story that we will look back upon years to come.

Thank you,
Marissa O'Brien

Sandra Klary

Oh my, I'd love to win that spot :) So here's my emotionally perfect picture of one of my best friends' daughter Hannah:
I simply love her laughter in the picture and it soesn't matter that it's not sharp, because it catches her personality perfectly :)


What a joy it would be to take your class! Thank you for your generosity!!


Here is my entry for the class I am hoping to get in!!

This is one of my favorite photos of my little boy playing with his daddy. It was on the weekend and my husband had just walked outside with him to show him the helicopter in the sky. His expression of pure delight melts my heart.
Thanks for the chance to audit your class!


This was taken at the finish line of a 100 mile road bike ride to benefit JDRF. Our youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 17 months. At the time of this photo, at the conclusion of my husband's first annual ride in honor of B, B was barely 3 years old. He ran to Allen as Allen approached the finish line and my heart leapt. It still does. I can't look at this photo without crying. I was new to the world of SLR's back then and my focus, composition, and processing are all horrendous. Yet still, I could plaster my walls with this photos--the true and most sincere love ever.

Erica Hettwer

The last picture in this blog post is one of the most emotionally charged ones of my life. It's not that it captured an emotion, it's more that it expressed emotions for me. Relief that the EEG results were so good that they were able to discontinue monitoring him, fear because we still didn't know much, and pride in our little man's strength.


This photo was taken back in February 2009 when my husband came back from his 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. My daughter was 26 months old at the time. I was afraid that she would cry and not want to go to Daddy, but boy was I wrong. And while this photo is so blurry I can see how happy they both are. I would love to take your class. Thank you for being so generous!

debbie susee

I really would love to audit your class. I know I need work with my photography. So much to learn.
I did appreciate your blog post though and will try to look at all my flawed pictures with a different eye.
Here's my attempt at a link to a photo that I love.!/photo.php?fbid=4764211830701&set=a.4764211470692.183185.1457529446&type=3&theater So not a technically perfect photo but it captured the fun of the first time my adopted son met his biological cousins. So happy to have photos of this precious moment. And I think I captured the feelings of the boys perfectly. :)

Paula S.

We were waiting in line to see Santa and my daughter was very excited. When she loves she loves with every ounce of muscle in her body. Her poor Daddy is constantly reminding her to be more gentle - especially with his sore cheeks. I love this photo because it shows how passionate she is. Thanks Karen for the chance to audit your class!

brianne sheppard

MY Mom HATES to have her photo taken so the best ones I have of her are the ones where she doesn't know its coming! Shes been through an awful lot in her life and sometimes its hard to remember what she was like when she was happy.. with her mom passing away this year, and my Poppa really struggling seeing a photo like this is like a balm for my heart.. I can remember when she had something to smile for. I'm sure it will be back.. and I already see flashes of it but this will tide me over until my Mom finds happiness again. I would love to be able to be more comfortable with my camera so I can get more great shots!

Louise Geoghegan

This was a complete accident, but I adore it! it reminds me of a day when my daughter would pretend to be a ballerina for me, I love her pink socks, her hair in a bun I love that I think it looks like she's looking out into an audience. She's never been on stage, but she'll always be my little star x

thanks for this opportunity


This is my emotionally favorite photo:

My best friend, Jen had just given birth to her 3rd baby in November 2007. Her sister had returned from an 18 month deployment in Iraq and was then stationed in California. She was not expected to be home until December.

While visiting at the hospital, Heather's husband let me in on a secret - Heather arranged to finish her assignment 2 weeks early so she could be home to meet her new nephew. I caught a few photos of her entrance. The look of joy on my BFF's face when she finally got to hug her little sister makes me so grateful I was there to capture these moments for the family.

Anita Guthrie

I love this picture because we are at my dad's house for christmas this year and we are talking to my sister in Alaska on Skype....and my sister hasn't been home from alaska in a couple of years....and my dad has been really missing you could just see it in his face how happy he was to be seeing and hearing her!

Christa Williams

This is my oldest daughter who has been through hell the last few months with a kidney that wouldn't function and the day of surgery when she is about to lose a kidney and yet she is smiling like an angel.. love this kid.


I took this photo the Easter that my youngest (the one who is escaping) was 1 1/2 and my oldest ( the rashy one) had just turned 4. This is my mom with all four of her grand babies. I wish it weren't a little fuzzy in places and that I hadn't cut off half of my nephew but I love love love the shot anyway. Each if the kids is showing their individual personalities in this one photo and altogether with their Nana. Definitely one of my favorite photos and one that tugs at my emotions!

Christa H

This is my precious baby that I rescued who was given only 1 day to be adopted before they were going to put her down. I will never forget this photo and how she looked for the rest of my life. She is the best and most loving animal I have ever had.

Thank you,

Shannon Hager

This photo was taken quickly and without much attention to my settings. I snuck up on my daughter playing with her baby dolls and her room was glowing pink. She is my only daughter and has 3 brothers she has to deal with. She is gettting older and older. Her babies are not played with as often as they used to. She is often sucked into playing games with her brothers because she just wants someone to play with. This moment was so special to me. I always want to remember her as the little girl that loves playing babies. I have to say I could really use a spot in your workshop. I have been a long time follower and also an Oregonian, lol However, I am living in Okinawa right now. My husband is in the Air Force and will be gone most of the Spring. I need something to occupy myself, besides my 4 wild little ones. I have always been the one with the camera and have been making scrapbooks since high school. I am really considering starting up my photography business full time. I know your workshop would give me the confidence to start and would greatly improve my photography skills.

Amanda K.

We spent the day together as a family on my dad's birthday. This photo is blurry, but I just LOVE the joy in this picture. I can see how my nephew lights up my dad's eyes! :) This is his first time really being able to play in the rain puddles! He absolutely loved it....can you tell?!?!?!

Thanks for letting me share!!!

Jamie De Luna

This is my absolute favorite photo of my husband and our nephew. It looks like they are histerically laughing over a secret joke only they know. I don't like the background of the photo or that I used the flash but I love the expressions on their faces and that it shows their connection.

Thank you so much for the chance to win a spot!

Brittany D.

I got married in June - and like everyone told me, it went by in a flash. I spent almost 10 hours in my dress and I could have spend another 10 hours in it. Sure, the spanx were uncomfortable and we had to cut part of my sash off because I stepped in cherries...but as I got ready to put away my shoes, dress, hairpiece, and send my dress in to be cleaned and boxed I almost cried. I snapped a quick picture with my phone to remember the moment; tearing out my sewn-in bra, looking at the embroidered wedding date that my Granny did for me, and running my hands over the lace and sequins. Trying to capture the beauty of my dress seemed overwhelming because the beauty was in the day and the new love I have.


I chose this picture because even though it is grainy and blurry, it shows the wonderful father my husband is and our little girl's love for him!

Kelly Rousseau

Hello! Here is my photo that (maybe) will allow me to win an auditing seat (please)?
This picture was taken one night during prayer time, I was just overcome with thankfulness that I have "boys that pray", I couldn't resist grabbing my iPhone and taking a snap.
As you can see, I need lots of teaching! :)

Shari Fox

The photo I have chosen to use is of my grandsons birth, a meer 11months ago. Maybe the photo is more emotional for me as I knew his birth would impact my life more than I expected. My daughter chose to hide this pregnancy from us. We had 4 weeks to prepare for his arrival. She did not get an prenatal care threw the pregnancy and did not take of herself at all. As you can see by the photo I was there threw the delivery and witnessed the most previous gift God can bestow upon anyone. Cord Andrew arrived perfect in every way! He continues to brighten our day everyday.

Emotion in the purest form.

He has blessed my life more than I could ever imagine, as I now have full legal guardianship of this awesome bundle of Love! It's hard to imagine yourself at 50 becoming a mother (again)! But, I truly believe God had a hand in this and on gives out what you can handle.

I am ready to take my photography to a new level and I am sure that this class is just what the doctor ordered!!!!

I apologize if there are 2 posts from me as I submitted an entry yesterday and it has vanished!

Becky T.

How you can choose is beyond me. Thanks for the chance to win a seat.

I photograph mostly from emotion and get aggrivated the tech part doesn't just come.

She kept getting inside this chair and I kept picking it up to let her out. This time, I grabbed my camera and sat there while she figured it out. It was hilarious!! Side note: she never did this again. :-)

Tasha Herron

I love this photo taken of my youngest, Shiloh, last summer.

Out of my 3 children, she is the most full of joy. She was a surprise baby (and we were planning on stopping at 2), but oh what a blessing she is to our family.

Cate O'Malley

When you asked for an emotionally perfect picture, I knew exactly which one I'd use. This was my (then) three-year-old son's first cruise and at the time, he was really apprehensive when it comes to swimming. It was a lucky shot, timing wise, but did so much to capture the joy of the moment. He's now 10-1/2 and a fish in the water, but as one of my favorite pictures of him, it still hangs proudly in our hallway. In 54 days, we're going on another cruise. As a single mom, it will be over four years since our last vacation, and we cannot wait to savor emotionally perfect moments.

Candace L.

I love what's happening in this photo so much. The kid throwing the ball had a torn acl and couldn't participate in the fun directly, but he threw balls to his brothers and encouraged swim competition from the pool deck.


I love that it captures a moody (but very real) Christmas moment -- you can see the glittery decoration at the top of the train window, but outside it's rainy & dark. Though guarded, this is my son's contemplative, slightly melancholic face. (But technically, I know the photo is grainy, dark, etc. etc.)

...And here's the Santa pic that goes along with it -- grainy & blurry umbrella-holding Santa in the rain (almost like a watercolor abstract)


Ooh, I love this post and couldn't agree more! Some of my favorite pictures of my boys are the ones that are far from technically perfect but capture their little souls just perfectly.

My entry is actually 2 photos--both taken while hiding in our hallway, spying on my 11 month old, hoping to figure out whether our cat was stealing his waffles every day or he was giving them to him. Turns out it was the latter! Although grainy and a little yucky overall, I love it because it shows his sweetness :)


Thank you for this invitation - it's been such fun going back through photos and reliving so many moments. To be able to successfully relive moments and share even a fraction of the emotion of the day is what I truly want from my photography.

I can't say this one is necessarily my favorite, but does make me laugh. It's my daughter and nephew at the fair. Who should have to choose between chips and cotton candy? Surely there's room enough for both!


Great post. I'm going to have to bookmark it and read it over again when I'm getting down on myself for not have the best "technically" good photos.
A spot in your class would be awesome. I've been wanting to take it for a while, just waiting for my budget to be a bit friendlier with me.
This is one of my favorite photos of my girls. I can't get over the feeling of love and awe that can be seen just in the eyes of my older sweetie watching her brand new sister.


You are without a doubt my favorite photographer and I wish I could take pics half as well as you do. I'm not just sucking up either!

This picture is emotionally perfect for me because it was taken on our last vacation and it brings back wonderful memories. I love that everyone looks casual and relaxed too. My oldest is 17 and I don't know how many more family vacations we'll get with the 4 of us. (that's not her bra that you see it's her bandeau that covers the bra!)

Jessica N. Legg-Bagley

My brother was married in December and his new wife did not include my mother (or I) in the planning process at all, despite our offers to help. My mom was very worried that we were going to "lose" my brother, since the three of us have been very close our entire lives. We knew things would change, but we didn't know how drastically and how far from our lives he would be.

At the reception, my brother had arranged a mother/son dance and did not tell my mother about it. They danced to "Your Song" by Elton John (her favorite singer), and she sobbed through the whole thing. I did too, honestly. We realized then that we weren't losing Nicholas, but gaining a new member of the family and that everything would be just fine.

The picture is fuzzy because of the lighting and the fact that I was crying and shaky, but I think it shows just how much love is there between a mother and son.

Rachel Plowman

When I read your blog today, it was so weird because just last night I came across the image that made me cry the minute I opened it up. I found it hidden in an old file...our beloved Max was 16 years old and just passed last March. So, when I opened this up, the love I felt when seeing him healthy with my son who just adored him was way emotional for me. That's what I love so much about photography. Being able to capture special moments like this. Thanks for reminding us about capturing emotion.

Kim in NC!/2013/01/when-i-look-at-this-picture-of-my-kids.html

I hope this works. A moment I am so glad I caught on camera, even with the trampoline and pitchback in the background!


I hope this works too! My daughter was so excited to have her face painted and it's so hard to get her to smile or even look normal when the camera is out! I was happy to get a shot showing her personality.

Scrappin Annie

After being cooped up in the house for a few days of pouring rain, we took the grandchildren to the beach. It was the middle of winter but the kids had a wonderful time. I took this photo just as my granddaughter "jumped for joy". It's not light enough, I was sitting down some distance away and had zoomed in on the kids but I love the expression on her face and the fact that my grandson is studying the water with his hands in his pockets - he is a real thinker, she is the feeler.

Michelle Bostinelos

HI Karen! Here is my photo:

I took this picture in November of 2011. Its always been one of my favorite pictures of all three of my kids. It is kinda blurry. But when I look at it, it makes me smile. I can remember the day perfectly. The boys were making there baby sister scream and then they would all laugh. And they did it over and over again.

I especially like this picture because the days of them all taking a bath together are gone (getting to big and the boys getting to old). But there was a time (not so long ago), I could put them in there all together and they would have so much fun. I know this is a picture that I will treasure forever. Not a perfect photo (a little blurry). But I love it.

Jill J

thanks for an opportunity:) this picture was from our vacation in San Diego this summer. We were out to dinner in a lovely restaurant and I wanted a picture of our family (me included!). My son just wasn't happy about being there and having to get his picture taken... Every time I see the picture, I get a huge smile... it captures us so well... the husband and I are smiling and looking at the camera, no big deal. Daughter is smiling and looks like she is cooperating, but never looks at the camera, and son has his thoughts all over his face!!

Nycole Clark

I had my daughter on a Wednesday and was convinced I was going to breastfeed. We did OK in the hospital and then went home on Friday. It seemed like all she did was cry and breastfeeding was not making her full. On Saturday, we decided to try the formula that was provided by Gerber Baby Food through our hospital. She drank a two-ounce bottle in about a minute (that may be my mind exaggerating a little). I cried for about an hour because I felt like I had been starving her. Luckily, her dad was there for both of us through that first bottle.

Thanks for the opportunity to win an auditing spot, Karen!!

Judy R

Thank you for the opportunity here! I have been eye-ing your class for about 3 years now...and I know I'm not the only one!!

Here's my submission...and -as I state in the [short] post- I feel that it is emotionally perfect primarily because of how I feel every time I look at it: so happy!

Judy R

Can we enter more than one picture? Because this is another one I really love. I'm no professional, so I'm sure it's not technically perfect but I like it...and again...I like it because of the way it makes me feel: peaceful.


What a tremendous opportunity, Karen! I created a blog post to share my image. It can be found here:



I'm so excited for this opportunity - I've heard nothing but wonderful things about your class! My emotionally perfect picture is of my son from this summer. It was taken on our first trip to Seattle with our boys. I'm not sure what the emotion is, maybe peacefulness at the end of a particularly challenging summer, but what I do know is that I GET emotional when I look at this picture!

Lindsay McMurtray

This past summer I was volunteered at a church Vacation Bible School (or in this case, Vacation Bible Splash) and caught this picture of this boy having a FANTASTIC time. I've never seen him just look so elated. I kept it and put it on Facebook even though it wasn't a good (or in focus!) picture, but one that shows the joy of a 7 year old.

Thank you for the wonderful oppertunity!


Thank you for your generosity Karen. Would love the opportunity!
Here is a link to my entry. My reason for my choice is included in my post. Thank you!

Renee S

Karen, I tried posting on the day you wrote this blog, but am not seeing it right now!

I love your photos & totally agree with emotional photos being nearer & dearer to my heart than technically perfect ones. I feel like the emotionally perfect ones really take you back to that moment & let you relive it again in some small way.

Here's a photo of 3 year old playing quietly in the bath tub. I had snuck my camera in to try to capture this peaceful & sweet moment of him lost in his imagination.

Melinda T

Thanks Karen for the chance to win a seat in your upcoming class! This is an old photo, but one that I absolutely love! Its of my daughter (the one with the mad face) and her cousins! It was Christmas Eve and we were in a suite at the Wilderness Waterpark Resort. The lighting wasn't the best, there was a mirror (fingerprints & reflection!) and the kids were eager to open their gifts...but I just wanted one good shot! This is what they gave me! LOL, definitely one to remember!


Hi Karen,

Would so love to win this...I hope I'm not too late.

My challenge is low light and I know these aren't technically the best but to me they are emotionally the greatest!
These photo's are of one of my daughter and it is emotional to me, b/c my little girl is growing up to be such a sweetheart of a young lady and these photo's portray her silliness that not everyone always sees because she is a bit shy as well.

I hope they come through.


Not sure when you are closing, but here's my photo:

My mom died recently, and playing games with my dad has become a way to keep him from being lonely. Although this photo is 2 years old, and my mom was still alive at the time, the memory of these weekly games we had going makes it feel like it was just last night that he was ribbing me about making up words and cheating. I love the look on his face as he was really concentrating (which is sometimes hard for him at 84 yo).

I've already taken the workshop, but would love to win an auditing seat. I feel like I really need a refresher as I've been doing more photography with my phone than my camera.


Love this post Karen, for the fantastic opportunity and the reminder to look back and enjoy some of those 'emotionally perfect' photos.

I've chosen this one of my Mum and my son. It's blurry, crooked, has a cropped head... But still I love it for what it is and for the memory that I will never lose. Having lost my Dad already I really value the memories that photos (perfect or imperfect) allow me to keep.

My Mum had just given a special book to one of our sons on his birthday and my eldest was so excited about it as well that he leapt at her and gave her a huge hug - just about knocking her off her feet. I just love that it captured that moment of surprise and joy on her face. I love that my kids gave that to her as she was giving something to one of them. Although it might be great to have a sharper photo, it really doesn't matter as I'm just grateful that I managed to snap it and also I think somehow the blurring shows the authenticity of the emotion even better than if it were 'technically' perfect.

Thanks again for the chance to win a seat.

Lisa Austin

My picture is emotionally perfect to me because it shows the exact personality of my youngest son. His scrunched up nose, his great smile, his round face... they all remind me of a time when he was so funny, innocent, and sweet. Not that he's not funny, sweet, or innocent now, but now he's 10 and it's different from when he was 4. :)

Thanks so much for viewing my sweet boy. And, thanks for this awesome opportunity to win a seat in your class.

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