It’s taken me ages to put together my Blogshop review, mostly because I thought I ought to use some Photoshop to put it together and Photoshop still takes me an agonisingly long time. But the fact that I can do any Photoshop at all is a testament to the teaching skills of graphic designer and blogger extraordinaire Bri Emery and commercial photographer Angela Kohler, who together are the team who make Blogshop happen.
This workshop is billed as ‘where blogging and Photoshop totally make out’ and if you write any sort of visual blog, you’ll find the skills you learn here invaluable – from putting together photospreads and mood boards, to designing blog headers and social media buttons, to creating animated gifs and retouching photos (which is taught using professional photo portraits of the participants, taken by Angela). It’s the only course out then which focuses on Photoshop from the perspective of bloggers, so while it’s expensive it is so, so worth it.
It was great to meet up again with some groovy local bloggers – Cassandra from Coco+Kelley who hosted the whole event, Erin from Apartment 34 and the inimitable Uncle Beefy, who made us some utterly delicious churros (of which more hopefully next week). It was also a chance to make some new friends – Jennifer from Art & Lair, Lisa from With Style & Grace, Alisa from Alisa’s Garden and Shannon from Happiness Is… (who both sat at my table and were incredibly patient with my thousands of questions).
The amazing space (that turquoise wall is to die for) is the Fred Wildlife Refuge, a fabulous photography studio and event space on Seattle’s Capitol Hill; with all the props and accessories being provided by Scout Vintage Rentals. And I’ve already told you about the great goodie bag.
The one downside, and this is just a very personal opinion, is that, although the course is billed as being for beginners, it’s really quite challenging if you’re as much of a Photoshop ignoramus as I was. Bri and Angela and their two interns were patience personified, but I would have got more out of the course if I had previously been familiar with the layout and the buttons and the concept of layers etc. I feel like I do understand a lot of the basics now, but I’ve looked at the notes for some of the more advanced techniques we were shown, such as masking, and I am still deeply confuzzled.
But we’ll see, you may have noticed me using Photoshop in some previous posts and hopefully you’ll see things getting prettier round here over the next week or two. Just promise me that if you’re a complete Photoshop beginner and are thinking of doing this course that you’ll have a little play to familiarise yourself with the program first. This set of beginners’ tutorials from Mashable looks like it would be a great place to start .
Photoshop experts out there, how did you learn? Are there any books, courses or online tutorials you can recommend? I really want to get this thing LICKED.
On a final shallow note, Bri is just the most ridiculously photogenic person EVAH, thanks to her translucently pale skin, shock of platinum hair and the cute bright colours she wears. Here she is with Jennifer from Trophy Cupcakes, who was here to do the course and also injected cupcakes and gift cards into the proceedings. .
Oh, and I was just about to hit ‘publish’ when I found this video of the Seattle workshop on the Blogshop page. See if you can spot me peering in deep confusion at my screen (the silhouette above will give you a clue) or, if you’re really quick, the shot of me in a long ginger wig (additional clue below).