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« Weekend Texture & Mystery Give Away Revealed | Main | {Texture Tuesday} - Minus 43 eDition & a Texture Tutorial »

FAQ Friday & a Give Away

Frequent Questions Answered & a Give Away


Hello friends, how are you?

Can you believe it's February? Where did January go? I remember when it used to drag on and on.... When did that change? How?
Of course if it means warmer weather is on its way, I shall not complain. 

Today, I have a confession.
I can no longer keep up with my inbox. It's so frustrating... I wish I could, but I just can't seem to get to every message. This really makes me sad. 'sigh'

I get lots of amazing mail. People are so kind and generous and I'm so thankful for every single message. Please don't stop. I promise that I read every note and every comment posted. But often I get a lovely, whole-hearted letter and I want so badly to respond. I struggle with being too short...not giving it the time it deserves, so I set the message aside and hope to get back to it...and then before I know it.... I'm 50 emails behind....

I know you know how that goes.... Ugh.

If it's a class or a shoppe purchase question or concern I do my best to reply quickly, but if it's general questions about photography, processing, blogging.... or life stuff... I don't always find my way back to it. 

I thought I'd start sharing some of the most FAQ's here...... and log them together under one link. Perhaps it will be helpful to some....

Here's a few of the most frequently asked questions.

1. I love what you do. How did you get started? I really want to take my business to the next level. Do you offer coaching or one on one sessions? 

I get many versions of this message. To be honest I always feel a little strange about it.... like who me? You want me to coach you?

But with that said, I understand that sometimes people need specific, one on one help with things. A lot of people ask for help with setting up classes, and one on one processing assistance...Lightroom help....some want squarespace tips, others want to talk about creative business and setting goals. 

I haven't ventured into this yet, but I'm seriously considering some form of mentoring. It's like with each email, the universe is telling me ...Kim, this is next.....  and so, for now I will say, rather shyly..... stay tuned. 

2. What breed is Ben. He's so cute.

Yep, this is a very frequent email question. I love when people tell me Ben's cute.... 'smile'

Ben is a goldendoodle. And obviously more golden that doodle.

We adopted him because he was a doodle and we were hoping for a dog that didn't shed. Surprise... He's very golden and we have lots of white hair floating around the house. We do get him clipped, and that helps tons.... But when it's cold we keep it long..which is hard for him in the house, because he finds it too warm, even when I keep the thermostat down.....This means I walk around in Uggs and lots of layers. But he's worth every hair in this house. I think it's all that golden that makes him so darn sweet.... He is my beloved boy. 'smile'

If you are not a dog lover this next statement may sound strange... but this photo makes me just wanna nuzzle my nose right into his furry little head...  Please don't judge me...  hah.

3. I love your work. I'm just getting started.  Can you tell me which editing program you would recommend.

This question pops into my inbox, at least once….. almost everyday… 

I would recommend Lightroom. If you would like to add texture and/or text to your images then I would suggest purchasing Photoshop Elements as well. 

When I first started processing I used photoshop. I didn't know there were other options. Lightroom was pretty new.

I wish I began with Lightroom. Not just because it's image processing capabilities are amazing, or that I can edit video, slideshows, and make gorgeous print layouts super fast… Not because I can edit hundreds of photos in record time or that all my edits are non-destructive. 

But because I would have had a catalog system up and running from the beginning. 

Wow, what a treat that would have been.

I look back on years of images here, there and everywhere… file naming all mixed up…. 4 hard drives full of images! What a mess!

Lightroom changed all of that for me. My files are organized in a clean and easy to access file system. When I open LR my photos are all there....ready and waiting.

This alone would be enough for me to use Lightroom. 

Imagine a catalog system that allows you to find photos based on keywords, the camera used, lens, aperture, date, location....and more!

It really is awesome. Of course it's so much more than that….. 

I do about 90% of my processing in LR. I then move into photoshop to work with layers…add texture and type…all the extra touches.I could never live without Photoshop. If you asked me to pick one over the other, Oh my…that'd be hard. I'm so glad I don't have to choose! 

Side note: If you are not interested in Lightroom, and you own a full version of photoshop CS, then I recommend learning more about ACR and Bridge, which is a part of full photoshop's bundle.
I used to use it, but I discovered Lightroom's magic and I haven't looked back….. it's smooth and clean and the interface is just really fabulous….. (Please don't email me and tell me I'm wrong or that ACR & Bridge is better... I've tried both...and I just love Lightroom so much more... that's just my opinion....) 

There are all kinds of opinions out there. I wouldn't begin to argue them. I just know what works for me, and what I love.


Okie doke...that's more than enough about me for today...... 

Before I dive into the give away... I wanted to thank you for your input on a CS6 and Elements 11 class. I will be offering both.... most likely to start the end of February...early March. Registration info coming very soon.

Also if you wanna grow and stretch your photography and creativity... I'd love to see you in Beyond Beyond. It's just getting started and it's really, truly an amazing community. Click HERE for details.

Finally, registration for the next session of my Lightroom class Round Trip is now open. You can get all the details and sign up HERE

Give Away Time

I have another Mystery 'Something I love' Give Away today!! It's a good one.. I promise... Surprises are so much fun...What do you have to lose....  Right?

To enter, simply share a question/comment below...
I'd love to hear what you are interested in learning more about? What would you like to see more of here at the Café or maybe in an eCourse. What are your photography goals this year? Can I help in some way? Any questions that you may have...Perhaps I can post the answers in an upcoming FAQ post or on facebook. Share away.

I will announce the give away offering and the winner here on Sunday..... 

Until next much gratitude...


Reader Comments (147)

Just starting with Lightroom and so far so good, thanks to your class! I am also interested in iPhonography and the editing process. Would love to hear how you do your editing on your iPhone.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate
LIghtroom? Perhaps I should consider that as my next purchase instead of upgrading my PSE. Thanks Kim, I'm always thankful for all that you share.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen @ Cottage 960
SO good :)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterXanthe
Oh such fun, I totally hear you about your pup, its coat does look so soft! I'd love to know how you find time to fit it all in?!? I love your textures and the fact you're so great about sharing your knowledge.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Lightroom. I just ordered the book Lightroom 4 by Scott Kelby from Amazon. However, reading textbooks isn't necessarily my best learning style.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane @ okcamp
I love the idea of FAQ Fridays! :D What fun.

Wow, I had no idea that Lightroom was *all that*. I have a trial here and I suppose I should delve into it a bit. I wonder if my computer has enough processing power....(ran into a problem with that with CS6). I so worry about over extending myself and effectively learning nothing. I will definitely give it some thought, though. It sounds great and organizing photos is always a challenge!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSiobhan Wolf
So far this year, I have been studying everything I can get my hands on that is photography related...I am determined to up my photography skills in a big way this year! No more procrastination...
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie H
I was shocked Ben is a goldendoodle. I thought he was all lab for all of these years You think you know somebody ~ HA HA!
I appreciate you so much! I guess two things come to mind. I love your free classes so more free ones would be GREAT until I have more "fun money" and I'm hoping to incorporate photography more into my life if that's possible. Maybe a job as a virtual assistant to a photographer, editing for a local photographer, not sure what it looks like but more of my passion in my life = happier days.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa R.
I love your textures! They're always so fun, and I love getting new ones! "Minus 45" is particularly pretty, and I have an idea of what I'll use it for. I love the light, warm-colored textures. :D Thanks for all your work, and for sharing it with us! I really appreciate it!

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDolly Madison
I love how reading each post from you is like visiting with time with a dear friend. You're posts are refreshing and honest. You are a real inspiration to me! Thank you for all you do for us!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTammy Noble
Still struggling with LIghtroom. I took roundtrip and need to go back and watch videos again. I think I was too impatient to get to editing and it doesn't seem as easy as Elements.
Thanks Kim!!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwendy v
Oh gosh -- I'm such a novice that I would like to learn just about anything. I'm no dummy but the thought of really grappling with Photoshop and/or Lightoom scare me witless. I have yet to begin your mini-course that is free because I'm scared. Counterproductive? Yes. Silly? Probably. But that's the way it is.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTamsen
Fellow LOVER of LR. I've been yelling at folks since LR1. It's that good!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternancy
my photography goal is to not use the autofocus setting so much and try my hand at manual focus once in a while
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlawyerlyn
I live in a teeny tiny town so most of what I do is 'self taught'. So finding teachers like yourself on the web (which I used extensively) is very helpful. Not only for inspiration but techniques and seeing what is new. Using textures is something I turn to often, so when you kindly offer them, it is most welcome.
Brushes scare me. I've used them infrequently, so would like to know more about them and how to use them properly.
Ben's can you resist? I couldn't.

Happy weekend Kim. Good to know you a bit more and thanks for your help.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan DeBellis
I would like to know more about setting up for a shoot. You showed us once on your porch and it was so helpful. It's more how do you decide which flower to choose or which vase, etc.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmi
Shooting in low-light situations always deserves more attention. (room for improvement from my end) So grateful for you, Kim.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Foster
I've already learned so much in this past year - and it's all thanks to you. At this moment, I don't even have a clue what I still need to learn. I know there is LOTS, and I think if I stay connect here at the cafe, I find out what I have yet to learn.

Thank you so much.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
Lightroom....more about setting up settings
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Underwood
how do you find inspiration daily? What things trigger your inspiration the most, or when you have a 'slump'?
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertina case
Hi Kim: Am soooo enjoying this class, Lightroom (trying to learn for 3 - 4 years) is finally starting to sink in, LOL Question: I have a LAPTOP that I use in the winter when we are being snowbirds. If I fix, move, change my keywords, can I successful transfer them over to my DESKTOP??? Really don't want to do it 2 times if I can help it. Playing catchup today, as I'm a few days behind. Cheers! Irene
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterirene
I would like to learn more about photogrphy. Aperture, ISO, etc.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
i will have to look into Lightroom ... new to me ... funny how all of a sudden i keep finding folks with dogs with something mixed wtih a "doodle" - so interesting. & fun too!! ( :
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Lightroom - every time I read your thoughts on this I wonder --"Will I?' "Can I?" Still mulling the idea. You said you now have all your photos organized in LR - did you re-organize all your past photos or are you starting anew and just keeping recent photos ordered? My goal this year is be brave and move away from automatic shooting. Loving discovering Aperture setting all over again in 2B. Thanks for sharing and don't stress about emails - we all love what you do.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn
KK, where do I start? You are such an inspiration, and Beyond Layers has taken me to where I thought I would never be able to go! I am finally getting photoshop!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNM Creatrix
I'd love how to create a matte finish in LR3! :) should I upgrade to LR4? Lovely post! Thank you :)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
I also love Lightroom the best. I started out using Aperture but even though I wanted to love it, I didn't. I did at least begin organizing photos and I have continued the hierarchy I set up to work in Ligthroom too. It is an amazing program!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy M
I am always so surprised on the timing of some of your blogs ... I literally formulated a (too) long email asking if you would consider the mentoring idea... but I deleted it because I never thiink I am ready ... anyway "poof", you just answered it ... and I am stunned you get so many requests for that kind of thing. I do hope you consider it ... and bless your heart ... -45 is not habitable for humans... I dont know how you manage, but I'll quit complaining about our 32 degree nights.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColleen
Kim, back awhile ago, you asked for suggestions to the beyond beyond class. I was on vacation and couldn't respond at that time. I would love to see in this class...more brushes you design. These seem to be a big hit on my blog when I use them and I just don't have the time to do them on my own. I also would love to see you use your textures on outside portraits and landscaping instead of just still life. I have no clue really how to make these areas work with textures and look professional. Thanks for all you do.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie @ Pride in Photos
Thank you so much for telling us which program you would recommend. I just bought CS6 and I'm very frustrated with bridge. I know others use lightroom but thought this would be so much better. It's nice to hear from someone that's had both. You are a treasure in so many ways.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsP
I know nothing about Lightroom, but you make it sound wonderful. How steep is the learning curve for someone still trying to get a handle on Elements? I simply cannot imagine 45 below - is that Celsius? We're at 34 F and going down in the teens tonight and that is really cold to me down here in the south. We have a beautiful golden retriever/collie mix who sheds long golden and white hair that I have to swiffer every day, but I don't mind. She's in surgery today :-( and I'm missing her. Give a hug to Ben for me. Thanks for your giveaways.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
My goal this year is to get really comfortable with Lightroom (and thanks to Round Trip, I'm well on my way) and to completely stop using 'auto' on my Nikon D5100. Again, thanks to your help in 2B and Lightroom, I'm getting there! Thanks for this chance to win...surprises are so much fun!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Kittmer
So much to learn- I feel like I am on the very low end of a big learning curve when it comes to photography but I continue to plug along slowly that it might be. Reminds me of taking the piano - with dyslexia it was always a challenge and knew I would never be the best at it but continued (till I could not find a teacher when I moved) because of the joy of it!

bee blessed
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermary
I have a free sample cd of lightroom around here somewhere... I am intrigued by the filing capabilities also. One thing you can't teach me is how to use my manual setting on my point and shoot:) Thanks for the inspiration you give to us, all of the time! Hugs, and stay warm:)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb Wessel
I am looking forward to purchasing Lightroom at some point although leaving bridge behind may be traumatic. I am enjoying my new Nikon 5100 and your textures and guidance have inspired my renewed love of photography. Thanks for your generous soul.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Feltes
More Ben :O)

We lost our lab last year, she gave the best hugs!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth H
I downloaded the trial LR this week & have been playing around a little using online tutorials but no one teaches like you! I think I'll be joining RT a little later in the year :)
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I want to learn more about everything my Nikon D90 can do. I really like Photoshop Elements 11, but Lightroom looks intriguing. I am seeking to expand my artistic horizons this year; it's time to branch out and refine my style, but it's also time to try new styles.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Ann Potter
I've been using Lightroom for years and LOVE it! I know why you too are so keen on it.

For questions ...

For me the one thing that keeps niggling in the back of my mind is how exactly could we could sell some of our images? I remember you told us about your signs and I thought somehow that must relate to photographs too. I've tried Etsy briefly but that's not the best place for selling photos. I've had a few magazines buy my photos and when I did a weekly newspaper column they always purchased my photos to go with my column. But those are limited opportunities. Are there more or different ways we could be thinking of getting our photo art out there?

So I guess that would be my question to add to your FAQ.
:~) Thanks Kim!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Kim, I love the weather contrasts! Being home in layers and uggs with ben...right now it sounds heavenly. Id like a week of snowbound. Thanks for all you share.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercandyk
Thanks Kim for the lovely image of Ben and for the new yummy texture. I'm sending you warm thoughts and am doing my best to blow our lovely Chinook winds your way. -45 isn't fit for man nor beast!!

I think for me the one thing I would love to learn more about in Lightroom (and maybe I will . . . still working my way through day 3) is how to use all of the various presets you see on the internet along with the ones that come in LR.. Also in Photoshop, would like to learn about PNG's ,vectors and pugins, So much to learn, so little time! lol

Stay warm and give Ben a snuggle for me!

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBevR
I so agree with your answer to wishing you had started with lightroom. Trying right now and going back to catalog thousands of photos is such an overhwelming task that I haven't made myself do it. I barely get the photos uploaded quickly to post in between all the other stuff I have to do. I am going to buy a program soon that will do a compare and find the same file that is in multiple locations (I'm sure you understand that) and then load every single image ONE time in a pristine fashion with lightroom to this 3 TB drive I bought...its only been 6 months since I purchased the drive!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTanya
Happy February Sweetie!!
Don't know where January went either ... poof!
Love Ben ... love these images ... so so good!
Hey ... did you get that cup from Home Sense? You got me hooked on finding new mugs now ya know? =0)

It's all good .... and to the rest of you out there ... I highly recommend Kim's Roundtrip course to learn about Lightroom and Photoshop's ease of operation. Have a friend who is taking it right now and she is ecstatic with how she is finally understanding Lightroom because of Kim's way of teaching. I took it too ... and am in Beyond Beyond ... we just love her to bits!
Go for it !!

Okay ... gotta go do some stuff ...
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Gerow
I have Lightroom but do not even know where to start, I also just purchased PSE11 and trying to learn.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRubyG
Thanks for the share re overload with mail as I've had that problem many times as a caregiver and scrapper, all those sites to visit....................:) I find myself using PSE10 the most, maybe because my Craft Artist 2 program got messed up in my computer in its now dying days. Have to do something about it and the keyboard soon. I don't expect an answer to read and toss without guilt.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeri
I also cannot believe that is is February!! But like you...I am sooo ready for warmer weatherr!
Thanks for the awesome texture....can't wait to use it!
I can't think of anything more that I would like to see at the Cafe. You do so much already! My goal with my photography this year is to get back to devoting more time to I used to a couple of years ago. Back then, every free moment I had I was out shooting. Then I lost my job and I kind of got in a "funk". I also started college shortly after losing my job which has kept me very busy. But...I will graduate with an associates degree in May....yeahhh. So, back to my goal - get out and do what I love and what I am passionate about....Photography!!!
Thanks for all you do Kim!!! You are the best!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee B
I have PSE and used to use the catalog feature but it was so slow and frustrating. I heard about Lightroom and decided to try it, and WOW, is it ever great! Now I don't know how I ever lived without it. Your Round Trip class was VERY helpful in leaning how to use and integrate the two.
Thanks for another lovely texture to play with.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterseabluelee
One of my big goals for this year is my 365 photo challenge, so far so good.

And wanted to say that I am looking forward to the CS6 eCourse! If the prices are just perfect I will be there...
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda
Hello ~

Lightroom had me at the spot healing tool. I watched your tutorial for the second challenge on 2B and I was amazed. I downloaded a trial version of LR4 just to try the spot healing I must have it. I'm considering taking the Round Trip class, but wondering if the Elements 11 course will conflict. I'm not sure I can handle much more...I'm still working on Beyond Layers and of course just started Beyond Beyond and would like to take Round Trip, but an Elements 11 class at the same time might be too much. :o)

I know what you mean about a little nuzzle here and there...we have two Bassets and I'm constantly giving kisses on their big noses and floppy ears...I love them.

Thank you Kim...I'm grateful to benefit from all your inspired work!
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzette
I think this is a great way to respond to your email.....there is something fun about having lots of people visit and send you notes...but with that comes more time on the computer and less time for art!! It is a hard balance.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercathy @ ma vie trouve

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