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Everyday Elements Review

***This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Betty! :)

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I used to have a personal blog. I loved sharing stories and photos of my family, but was dissatisfied with straight out of the camera shots that were taken with my point and shoot camera. So many other mommy bloggers shared high-quality photos on their blogs and I wanted to do the same.

I heard through the grapevine that I could edit photos on Photoshop Elements (PSE) that were taken with my point and shoot camera and achieve the sharp photos that I desired.  I purchased the program (PSE7) and was excited that I would soon be able to turn ordinary pictures of my family into beautifully edited photos. My gung ho attitude changed the moment I opened the program on my computer. I was SO overwhelmed! All of those tools were available to me yet I had no clue how to use them. I tried the help section. No help at all! The online tutorials drove me crazy. Many of them were over my head. I needed help, help for the beginning, amateur photographer who had never edited a photo before and therefore had no clue what she was doing!

I owned PSE7 for two years and did not edit a single photo. I was able to use it in my blog design business (thank goodness), but when it came to editing photos, I was so incredibly intimidated. That all changed when I learned that my friend, Amanda (of Beautiful Blog Designs) was offering workshops on how to edit photos using Photoshop Elements. I visited her Everyday Elements site and learned that she offered several different workshops for photographers at all levels of expertise, starting at $35. I was intrigued!

I signed up for a private workshop since I wasn't sure whether I belonged in the beginner or intermediate class. I was a little leery about how the technology side of it would work (I’ve never taken an online, interactive class before) and was surprised by how easy it was to get everything set up. We started our online session and it didn’t take long to determine that even though I had worked with PSE for two years, I was most definitely in the beginner category when it came to editing photos.

Amanda went through all of the PSE quick edit tools and how to use them (on the left side of the screen). She talked to me about the benefits of shooting in RAW (by then we had purchased a DSLR) and showed me how to edit a photo in that mode. She taught me how to use actions and masks. Most importantly, she walked me through the basic steps of editing a photo. Amanda took photos that were straight out of the camera and tweaked them so that they looked polished and professional. Exactly what I wanted to learn how to do! The best thing was that I was able to watch her work and listen as she explained step-by-step everything she was doing. She answered every question I had and taught me so much more than I expected!

After our session was over, I was looking over the freebies that she had given me and determined that they alone were worth the cost of the workshop. I was so happy that she gave me a set of class notes (seven pages with easy-to-understand steps) and links to beginner video tutorials to help me with everything that she had shown me. She also gave me five actions (can't say enough about how cool these are!) to use on my own photos. If I need help, I can visit Everyday Elements on facebook and ask a question. I can submit a photo that I have edited to her Flickr group and ask for suggestions on how to make it better. Everything mentioned in this paragraph is included in all of her workshops. What a deal!

Amanda is incredibly sweet and patient. She is a hardworking mother of four who genuinely loves to help people with their photo editing skills. She wants everyone who is interested in learning more about PSE to be able to do so at an affordable price, which is why her workshop fees are so much lower than those of her competitors. She offers tons of free advice and freebies on her blog and facebook page as well as links to other free resources.

I’m so glad that I now have the technical know-how to create beautiful photos of my family without having to go through a professional photographer. I am soooooo looking forward to taking the intermediate workshop!

Guess what? Amanda is giving away a seat in one of her beginner, intermediate, advanced, or photography workshops along with her large set of creative actions! There’s something in this giveaway for everyone, regardless of whether you are a complete newbie to the photography world (like I was) or an advanced photographer who thinks that they know everything there is to know about PSE and editing photos.

To enter, all you have to do is visit Everyday Elements and leave a single comment on this blog telling me something that you learned along with your email address so that I can contact you if you win. That’s it! This is a required entry, so please don’t skip it!

To increase your chances of winning, you can earn additional entries by doing the following and leaving a separate comment for each:
  • Follow Everyday Elements on Twitter
  • Grab Everyday Element's button and put it on your blog
  • Follow Sneaky Momma Blog Design via Google Friend Connect
  • Follow Sneaky Momma Blog Design on Twitter
  • Grab a Sneaky Momma Blog Design button and put it on your blog
  • Blog about this giveaway (include url to the post in your comment)
  • Tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the following into a new tweet: @bbsneakymomma @AmandaPadgett Got Photoshop Elements? Win a seat in an Everyday Elements WS and lg action pack! http://tinyurl.com/25dd6ku
You have a week to enter. One winner will be randomly selected next Tuesday (the 26th). The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Thanks for entering! Good luck! :)

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