How I edit Photos


posted by on Photography

No comments

Last year I wrote this post about the difference shooting in manual mode has made in my photography. It was one of those things I tried to learn on my own with a lot of frustration until I came across Photography Concentrate. Photography Concentrate’s “Extremely Essential Camera Skills” made manual photography understandable and easy. After months of trying to figure it out, I learned everything I needed to know in a single afternoon.

Today I want to share about why I love editing in Lightroom, and that Photography Concentrate’s “Super Photo Editing Skills” is the way to learn it.

I put in a handful of the before & after edits I’ve made since switching to Lightroom.

DSC_0291 DSC_0291

A year ago I edited in Aperture (& used iPhoto prior to that) & was happy with my results most of the time, but didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d use preset filters and hope they’d make my images look the way I wanted, which sometimes turned out great, and sometimes terribly.


I knew that eventually I’d have to switch over to Lightroom to reach the quality of photography I wanted to (every good hobby and professional photographer I know of uses it), but learning a new program seemed overwhelming in a I seriously do not have time for that sort of way.

Photography Concentrate had a Lightroom tutorial though, and that gave me confidence that I could do it. Spending about a week’s worth of afternoon naptime with their Super Photo Editing Skills (presented in video format with some reference PDFs) taught me all I needed to have total creative control in processing every image. Now that I know how to use the tools Lightroom offers I don’t have to leave my images to chance anymore, and I love that.

DSC_0865 DSC_0865

My basic edit usually involves correcting the white balance, boosting exposure, a little increase in contrast, as well as adjusting highlights & shadows as needed. Super Photo Editing Skills explains how to do all that and a lot more.


Besides the powerful editing tools in Lightroom, I absolutely LOVE the organization it has brought to my photography. Through using tags, ratings, and collections it’s made organizing the multitude of pictures I take manageable and easy.


When I import pictures from my camera I give videos 1 star, good pictures 3 stars, the best pictures 4 stars, and I “flag” anything I want to work on right away. Pictures that don’t get any stars I delete. I usually keep about 60% of what I import, and deleting the extra 40% really helps free up hard drive space.

I make a “collection” for the year and a subfolder for each month where I put my favorite photos taken in each month. This makes it really easy to find photos I’m looking for later.lightroom collection

I really love “tags” too. When I import an especially good picture of someone I give it a Keyword “tag” with their name and when I’m looking for a photo of them later for a birthday card, Christmas gift, or whatever it’s easy to look through and choose one.lightroom keywords

The “Kaden & Alia” tag is my favorite.lightroom k&a

Super Photo Editing Skills also includes a pack of custom made presets that can be really fun to use. This “black & white crunched” preset is my favorite.


From importing, exporting, basic edits, fine tweaks, organization, and everything else I could have wanted to know, I was really happy with the way it was clearly and understandably presented in Super Photo Editing Skills.

This year I plan to get their “Incredibly Important Composition Skills“.

AND Photography Concentrate even offers a series of free tutorials too! Their “Shy Photographer’s Guide to Confidence” was really great for me.

They are a husband & wife photographer team, offer high quality products, everything I’ve taken from from them has exceeded my expectations, and I really can’t say enough good things about them. They even have a 60-day money back guarantee if you’re on the fence.DSC_0210-2 DSC_0210-2

This week they are running their annual Black Friday sale which is the BEST time to shop – everything is 40-60% off (now through December 5.) You can even gift them too!

Happy photographing :)


p.s. if you use the links above to purchase, I receive a small commission. As always, this will never influence my opinions/reviews. Thanks, friends!

christmas time


posted by on Holidays, Life

1 comment

it comes early here, but you know, that’s how we like it.

DSC_0138 DSC_0157 DSC_0152DSC_0170 DSC_0176 DSC_0178DSC_0186 DSC_0132 DSC_0197

and this picture I feel pretty much sums up our phase of life right now.DSC_0115



posted by on Life

No comments

We went downtown to Oktoberfest last weekend. The weather was perfect, and the kids loved the falling “leaves”.DSC_0630 DSC_0623Alia eating an ice cube…DSC_0636DSC_0642DSC_0643DSC_0647DSC_0651Ready for another one.DSC_0660DSC_0675The German band was very good.DSC_0725DSC_0722DSC_0757DSC_0733DSC_0738DSC_0749DSC_0763DSC_0767And like all great fall evenings, we ended it with pumpkin pie & “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” at Mimi’s house :-)DSC_0792

bathtime babies


posted by on Life

No comments

Sometimes I like to blog about ordinary things because one day when they won’t be ordinary anymore and I think I’ll be happy to remember them.

Which brings us to bathtime. I’m actually a bit lazy when it comes to baths & usually just let the kids wash off quickly in the shower most of the time, but since Kaden’s begun playing sports baths have become a more regular part of our routine. We come home & fill up the tub with bubbles & let him & Alia soak and play. We listen to classical music (usually The Nutcracker) & I blow bubbles for them until my head feels dizzy and then move on to journaling or Pinteresting while they squirt their little water toys and pour water over their heads (& each others, and the floor) & it lasts maybe an hour (they’re never ready to get out) and we all really enjoy it.

DSC_0386-2 DSC_0479-2DSC_0387-2DSC_0429 DSC_0503 DSC_0507DSC_0521-2This last time we listened to “Classical Music for Children” or something on Spotify and afterwards Kaden asked me “Why did we not listen to the Nutcracker?” He’s very interested in that Mouse King after I mentioned something about him. I’m planning to take the kids to see the ballet this year & we’re excited already. I can never make it through October without getting into the Christmas mood… :-)

Green Meadows


posted by on Life

No comments

We went to Green Meadows today! It was really fun. And soooo muddy, but you know, babies don’t really care.

They really enjoyed the train ride, K milked the cow again (Alia wanted to but made a quick last minute decision against it), holding the baby chicks and ducks (they were so cute! And soft!) Kaden was just beside himself with happiness. Alia was much more into everything than last year too.

DSC_0078 DSC_0091DSC_0122DSC_0111They both rode horses but Alia’s refused to walk anymore about half way round the circle so Alex had to carry her back. Her horse was especially cute just unfortunately not very cooperative. DSC_0145 DSC_0151 DSC_0158DSC_0159DSC_0360On the train.
DSC_0168DSC_0293He really enjoyed this (if his face didn’t tell you already.)
DSC_0271 DSC_0275DSC_0263We caught ducks and chickens. K had a little help with the ducks but managed to pick up a few chickens all by himself. Alia pet some ducks other people caught, their feathers were incredibly soft. DSC_0344 DSC_0317DSC_0371 DSC_0387 DSC_0418Hayride! The only part of the day I regretted wearing shorts.DSC_0437DSC_0445After the hayride they each got to pick a pumpkin and were so thrilled. Alia had been spotting the pile as we walked around throughout the tour and yelled “pumpkin! pumpkin!” each time so she was very happy to finally get to pick one out. She chose a cute little one. Kaden took his time making the perfect selection.DSC_0454 DSC_0465DSC_0480 DSC_0521DSC_0543DSC_0535DSC_0572This one’s for my Grandpa. Kaden picked the John Deere out of the many available tractors to sit on for a photo, and I know he’d be pleased :)DSC_0576DSC_0598


{Green Meadows 2013}

{Green Meadows 2012}

(2012do you see that baby in the sling?! And little Kaden?! Uh!!!)