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August 2021

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Dear First name / Friend,

Have I told you lately know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read my newsletter? Well, I do. Thank you! I lovingly put a lot of thought into making it an email worth opening because I want to help YOU to grow as a photographer. 


I was very busy in July preparing for the Pegasus Mentorship Retreat (which I'll share about later in the newsletter) and spending every spare moment with my baby Maisy! She is already accepting a halter and yielding to light pressure, as well as letting me pick up all four feet without much of a fuss. She's become so much more engaging in the past month, she seeks me out and follows me around the pasture. I can't wait to get her home in November!


Quick Tip - 3 Simple Lightroom Tricks for 
Better Looking Skin


Getting good looking skin in Lightroom can be a challenge, and to be honest, I do any heavy-duty skin retouching in Photoshop using Pro Retouch by Totally Rad. However, there are a few things you can do to your images in Lightroom that get you started in the right direction. 


#1: Increase Luminance and Decrease Saturation


Back in the days of film, you would choose which roll to put in your camera based on your subject. Landscape film would produce a photo with saturation pleasing for landscapes. But portrait film was designed to produce pleasing skin. 

They would do this by desaturating the colors in skin tone. 


To mimic this, in the HSL panel, I adjust the red and orange channels in the saturation section by -6. At the same time, I also make a luminance adjustment by +6 to brighten up the skin. 


Bonus tip: These and other adjustments I make by default are saved in a preset that I apply to every image on import. 


I'm going to use a photo of me for this demo as it could be insensitive to use one of my client's photos when talking about skin tone and wrinkles. 😉Here's an image by my friend Jill Brammer without any adjustments. My skin a little orange.


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And below is the same photo with these HSL adjustments made at -10 saturation, +10 luminance so the difference would be more visible. It's a subtle but noticeable difference!

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#2: Noise Reduction


I discovered this one by accident, but I think it will make a significant difference in your images! When you add noise reduction, it also softens skin! Lightroom must see the skin texture and fine lines as noise and gently smooths them. 


Bonus: I almost never worry about noise in my images because I apply this to every photo I import, so I rarely see noise.


This first image below is smoothed with noise reduction. The second one has no noise reduction applied. Again, it's subtle, but look especially at the wrinkles beneath my right eye.

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#3: Sharpening Masking


When you sharpen an image in Lightroom, it applies it to every part of the image UNLESS you mask the sharpening effect. You did this by setting the Masking amount under Sharpening. 


But how do you know how much masking to apply? Hold down your Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) key while moving the slider. When you do that, the image will turn black and white. The white areas show you what's being sharpened, so you want as little as possible to be white, while still having sharpness where you want it - namely, the eyes and mouth. 

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To wrap up, here's the image with no fixes applied.

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And here it is with all these fixes applied.


Give this a try and let me know how it works - I am almost certain you will see a difference in your images!


Pegasus Mentorship Retreat

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A week ago, I wrapped up the second Pegasus Mentorship Retreat. Six amazing photographers came to Minnesota for 5 days of learning, photographing, eating, laughing, bonding, and more eating (do you know that bring in an amazing chef this event? She's worth EVERY penny!). 😋

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If you don't know what the Pegasus Mentorship is, it's a 6-month Equine Photography Mentorship program I run each year. I teach through online video course videos and mentor via group coaching sessions and 1:1 monthly mentoring calls over Zoom. In the middle of the mentorship, we meet here in Minnesota for a 5-day retreat where they learn in a fun, hands-on environment. 


At this year's retreat, I taught:

  • Conducting a Portrait Session from start to finish (including editing)
  • Studio lighting and horse posing
  • How to mix natural and off-camera light
  • Creating a cinematic portrait video
  • Photo and video editing techniques
  • How to snuggle Morgan foals 😉

I also had my Virtual Assistant Hannah Klingman come and teach on Social Media. She gave us so much wisdom and practical tips, our heads were exploding! 🤯


On the last night, students paired up to photograph models on their own. I just wandered from group to group and made myself available if they needed help. A big bonus is that they get to use photos from the retreat in their portfolios as well!


I'm so proud of the progress these photographers have made through the mentorship and am excited to continue to help them grow and learn!


Do you see yourself at the Pegasus Retreat next year? Visit my Education Site to learn about how you can make that happen!


What I'm Reading…


“Perfectionism is misplaced creativity.”

John Acuff, Soundtracks


As you can imagine, putting on a 5-day retreat takes a lot of time and mental energy. Because of this, I didn't read any new personal growth books in July. I did listen toSoundtracks, the Surprising Solution to Overthinkingby Jon Acuff again because I felt like I needed the repetition to start to grasp the concepts. It was very helpful to do that!


I'm currently reading a few books of a more personal nature: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life and Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God Has Named Good. Both are challenging me in very good ways!


Well, August is off to a busy start - I hope you have a fun and productive last month of summer!


Until next time…






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