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When the word “controversial” pops into your head, is this image what you’d be picturing? Probably not!

I had posted this image on the MCP Facebook Page in February showcasing our newest Lightroom presets (InFusion and Illuminate).  I never expected to hear anything except, “cute kids” or “how did you do that?” or “great save.” No laws were being broken.  No kids were harmed.  It was an image that was not exposed properly.  That’s it!

infused-light71-600x400 An Extremely Controversial Photo of Siblings Blueprints Lightroom Presets MCP Thoughts

Instead, I had angry photographers blame me for all kinds of “crimes,” such as:

  • Ruining the photography industry
  • Teaching people to fix images in Lightroom or Photoshop so they do not need to learn their cameras
  • Helping new photographers undercut experienced pros
  • Showing images from people who have no business being photographers

And well, the list was longer than that but you get the idea…

The back story….

This image is by a wonderful photographer, Dayna More. She is active on our Facebook Group and had shared the image there first.  She had explained that she was practicing flash photography when her daughter reached down,  picked up some sand and started eating it.  Oops!  So she turned off her flash and focused on being a mom.  When her son began consoling her daughter, she was touched and started snapping pictures again.  Guess what she forgot to change in the heat of the moment?  Her camera settings!  It’s not that she did not know how to expose.  It’s not that she is a bad photographer – in fact she is great!  She just had a lapse.  And that lapse was what allowed her to capture the moment.

If she paused and changed settings and took some test shots, and adjusted…. she would have likely missed this precious image. You cannot recreate raw emotion. She captured it, and sure the exposure was not perfect.  She and I never said it was.  But why would you trash the image when you can “save” it as shown above or create art from it as shown below?

This edit was from the same raw file as the one earlier.  Trash?  Nope – not to me.  Amazing image? Definitely!


Illuminate-21-after An Extremely Controversial Photo of Siblings Blueprints Lightroom Presets MCP Thoughts

MCP Thoughts – Tolerance and understanding…

When it comes to photographers, some are looking to become professionals in the future and others just want nice images of their kids, grand kids, pets, or the nature around them. Not every photographer that reads MCP tutorials or uses our products wants to compete with the pros.  Some just want better images.

While new photographers are learning to use their cameras, lighting, etc, should they trash every image?  No.  Why not learn software like Photoshop and Lightroom so that they can keep images as they learn and grow their camera skills?  Sure, the goal is quality images straight out of camera, it just is not the reality.  Particularly when someone is new to photography.

Illuminate-22-after2 An Extremely Controversial Photo of Siblings Blueprints Lightroom Presets MCP Thoughts

Broken legs and crutches… what do they have to do with photography and editing?

Imagine breaking your leg at your own wedding…  I did.  It sucked.  Afterwards, for three months (THREE!), I had a cast up to the top of my thigh.  I had trouble walking and needed crutches to get around and even after my cast came off, I needed the extra help of crutches as I worked on my walking skills.  Eventually I needed the crutches less and less. And eventually I walked on my own.

Photography is a lot like this.  When most start out, they rely on auto mode, and then the infamous portrait face or running man.  Eventually as a photographer learns more, they branch out to aperture or speed priority and onto manual. This carries over into editing too.  When you are new to photography, the “crutches” or tools can help you edit.  Sure, our actions and presets can save images that you may otherwise trash.  But they can also make it easier and faster to edit — and many tell us that the way we build our products and teach people how to use them, it has actually taught them the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom.

Your call… take them or leave them.

I truly feel that I am allowing people the opportunity to enhance photos, occasionally “save” an image, and create an artistic interpretation of their imagery. There are times where even the most experienced photographers need a boost in Lightroom or Photoshop, just as the darkroom was utilized from the past. Many experienced photographers (such as Joel Grimes, Trey Radcliff  and thousands of others) use editing software to create works of art. And to me, I think it is wonderful.

Hopefully, no matter where you are at with your photography skills, we can all support and respect the work of others and embrace our differences instead of exploit them.


No Comments

  1. Michelle McKane on January 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    You are incredible. I hope i can be half as good as you. seriously, jealous.

  2. emilyward on January 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Nice photo wedding

  3. Stephanie on March 12, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Well said. Thank you. Unfortunately, people in this industry can be quite vicious. The market is changing and the old-school professionals need to learn to change with it.

  4. Mike Sweeney on March 12, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Interesting.. all I thought was “awesome save” 🙂 I’m partial to the silhouettes as a “happy accident” but they all look good. And I think if more photographers were honest with themselves, most of us have gotten sloppier with the advent of RAW files and some really good software compared to when some of us shot film and chromes (plus or minus 1/2 stop) So I’d take the unhappy folks and ignore them. I know I do for the most part. I do a lot of iPhoneography and catch the same notes of ” ruining” “not a real camera” ” why are you wasting your time” blah, blah, blah.. but you know, the families love the images.. I like them and so thats all that matters in the end.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Mike, are you actually selling prints or is the iPhoneography mostly for yourself? I’d love to have some posts on the MCP blog on the topic. If interested, contact me.

  5. Kim Pettengill on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Well said!! Pros and some of the most famous photographers from the past are well-known for their dark room editing processes, too. Dodging and burning was just as much a part of the art then as Photoshop can be today. Everyone is entitled to view and create photographs in the way that is most true to them. I do get very frustrated when the mean comments start flying. For every image, there is a real person with feelings that was behind the camera. I always admire how you stick up for all photographers and remind people that mean comments which do not offer constructive feedback are not acceptable.

  6. Beth on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    That kind of vitriol is exactly why I stopped sharing my photos in contests with other photographers. Because I do not do much editing – going rather for the most naturally-occurring image possible, I have received a lot of disdain, up to and including being a wanna-be. It’s been very discouraging, and if my clients were not happy and asking for me over and over again, I may have actually thought I was a failure.

    • Linda on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Repeat clients speak more volumes than anonymous people on a computer….remember that! I’m like you…as natural as possible…I use Lightroom as a darkroom, and for color adjustment (still working out that whole white balance thing). I only do strong edits if people request it.

  7. Dana Prince on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Jodi, I love what you do here and I’m glad that you don’t take any of these “complaints” or ” criticism” seriously. You are a gift and such a good teacher!!

  8. Linda on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I guess I see it from both sides. I am blessed that I had some good mentors to teach me the basics of both photography AND editing in Photoshop (I learned Lightroom all on my own, lol). People like Scott Kelp write books on how to use these programs, and shortcuts for everything. So what is wrong with your tutorial? It’s no different than a book, or a face-to-face human mentor!And I agree that beginners often use “crutches”. But my problem starts when these beginners never bother to learn the art of photography….just the art of editing. They never get off the green square…they have no clue what you mean by aperture priority or what it. I get actually do. They just click, and then spend hours editing. They don’t charge a lot, give away all the images, and sadly, some of the ones I have seen here, DELIBERATELY undercut pricing shamelessly (had a client tell me that another “new to the industry” photographer asked her to get my price list….and what ever I charged, she would charge half, AND provide all the edited images on a disk.) they even brag that they are cheaper than so-and-so. As much as we would like to believe otherwise, the latter is becoming more commonplace. My hope is that they underprice themselves right out of business….survival of the photographer fittest, you might say…

    • Donna on March 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

      While I understand deliberate undercutting is horrible, those clients aren’t your clients. They don’t appreciate the art. They prefer cheap over quality. It’s Walmart vs. Saks. And yes, those undercutting will not make enough to stay viable in business.

      • Kim on March 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Sorry not everyone can afford Saks. I only take photos for fun. I don’t use Lightroom and I don’t own Photoshop. I do however, use a free Photoshop editing site on the web because I like some of the cool effects. Undercutting your price list is not cool however some of the prices charged for professional pictures are crazy. Do I really want to drop $300 – 500 all the time for family photos. No. We get our photos taken at Olan Mills and such only every six years or so due to the cost. Sorry, I’ll take my own cheap photos any day of the week. I also only use my camera on auto. Why? Not because I am too lazy to learn how to use my camera but because I have memory problems.

        • amanda on March 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm

          I don’t think $300-$500 for family photos once every 6 years is crazy. That’s actually pretty cheap. I don’t even think paying that once a year is crazy personally. You need to stop and think about the photographers who do this for a living. All of that money is not going straight into their pockets. About 40% goes to taxes (self employed people pay their taxes and the employers portion too) and overhead to run their business. They aren’t making over min wage if they charge $50 for a session. It’s just not possible. The majority of these chain studio like Olan Mills are all going out of business or already have. Why? Profit margins. They aren’t profitable businesses. If people would stop and consider the amount of money they waste on daily things that are not needed and do not last forever, I don’t believe they’d think custom photography was quite so expensive. I see a lot of people who say they can’t afford these extravagant prices that photographers charge yet they all have big screen tvs, ipads and expensive clothing. Most of them make daily trips to Starbucks and eat out multiple times a week/month. All of those things add up and all of those things will not last forever. A beautiful portrait session of your family is something that is forever. It blows my mind that people think $300 is too expensive for that. I think $300 is on the cheaper side for something like that personally.

  9. Candice on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Thank you for writing and posting this. People can be very rude and it is usually easier for them to criticize and point a finger rather than be respectful and appreciate what it takes. I have two boys and there are times I do not have a minute to change the settings on the camera to capture those beautiful moments that brought me into photography in the first place. I, too, have been criticized at leaving my camera in auto, but here’s the thing, maybe I want to work on my photoshop skills. Photoshop is a complicated program, it takes time like anything else. What’s that saying, oh yeah, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”! Thank You! I love what you do!

  10. Bonnie on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Well said Jodi! We all need to learn a little tolerance, and support our fellow photographers. Use kind constructive critique to help them get better!

  11. Debbie on March 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

    The image is gorgeous. I deal with negative people quite often and found that ignoring them works the best for me. I shoot how I like because photography is art and art is subjective.

  12. Joyce on March 12, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Jodi,I totally agree with your article! People need to learn to be more tolerant and I bet those that wrote and made comments have used software to help enhance their pictures as well. Sure we want to capture the best picture possible but sometimes there are exceptions as you wrote about. Just remember you can’t please everybody 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

  13. Joy on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Great response Jodi!

  14. Mary Lopez on March 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Everyone started somewhere! Let’s help each other not discourage each other. Presets and actions really help enhance photos. Keep up the good work in providing these tools to people who appreciate them.

  15. TDashfield on March 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Wow! Someone had their undies in a bunch didn’t they? As photographers we should be supportive of one another and not judgmental. Everyone has to start somewhere and we all have our own way of creating our images. No one is 100% right or wrong with what they do. Oh sure you can dislike what someone does or think they may need to learn how to so such and such but that does not give you the right to spew your ugliness at them.

  16. Donna on March 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

    It is an absolute shame that this industry has such a divide. It could be stronger if everyone would help and encourage each other instead of trolling, criticizing, and cutting each other down. As much as I try to tune out the negative, it still seeps into my mind. Try to concentrate on the positive. Do your own thing. Can actions be a crutch, sure? Are actions destroying the industry? No. Actions can be timesavers, learning tools, and just plain fun. Use them or don’t use them, it’s up to each individual photographer to make that decision whether or not to work them into their vision or not.

  17. Michael B. Stuart on March 12, 2014 at 8:36 am

    That is a beautiful image and a great example of post processing to enhance a photo. I love what I’m able to do with Lightroom and laugh at all the purists out there who feel the need to pass judgement and throw stones.Awesome shot Dayna More!

  18. Wendy Lovatt on March 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

    That saddens me that you received such comments from Professional Photographers. Firstly, isn’t Lightroom referred to as the Digital Darkroom which is the equivalent of the darkroom tweaks dodging and burning etc. You couldn’t do the photos in the past without the darkroom. Yes, now we don’t need that, but we do still use the digital versions to tweak and improve a photo. Pro’s such as Scott Kelby have written books on using Lightroom and Photoshop for Digital Photographers and use the software themselves. I am sure that everyone of the Pro’s complaining also use them, but don’t want people to know the tricks of the trade, that not everything is done in camera.Finally, in my view it’s better to catch that moment than never to have it at all. If you can tweak it and save it then all the better.

  19. Latte on March 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

    FANTASTIC article! Thank you for defending those of us who don’t necessarily want to “compete” with the pros. I am a few years in to photography now, and the way you explained learning as you go, using Photoshop and actions as crutches, perfectly describes how I have learned and grown. I also love that you touched on making photos in to art – I think exactly THAT has happened over the last several years, and that is a wonderful thing. Please do not ever stop what you are doing – I think there are more of us that appreciate what you do than scoff at it. As for the haters/naysayers, well hey… you have an option to not be a part of this site. If it bothers you that much, what are you doing here in the first place?

  20. Erica McKimmey on March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Fantastic response! I am so glad you mentioned her being a mom in that moment as well a photographer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and not letting a little controversy get you down!

  21. Karin on March 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Thank you Jodie for your MCP efforts and blog. I’m one of those pesky photographers who still has a lot to learn and would rather not lose a lot of pictures in the process. Also, when I’m on vacation I feel that I’m there to experience the fun of being on vacation not be an expert photographer (which I’m not close to being anyway). While I do carry a camera with me every where I go, most of the time I don’t have the option to stop and think through everything that I should be doing to get that awesome photo that needs little to no editing. I mean, how do you tell a grizzly bear to stay in just that position or stop the tour that your on so you can set up your tripod, get the focus just right, adjust your settings and snap several shots – possibly adjusting settings between each shot. It’s just not possible. So having information like what you provide helps me to save and maybe even enhance those shots so I get to both enjoy the moment and keep a record of the memory. Had I been Ms. More I too would have done whatever I could have to save that shot. It turned out beautiful and will be wonderful record of her children’s childhood, one that should not have been lost because some out there don’t think an image that wasn’t shot perfectly to begin with isn’t worth saving.

    • Karin on March 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Sorry for misspelling your name Jodi. I have client who spells it with the ending ‘e’ and habit took over. 🙂

  22. Amber Keith on March 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Wow I can not believe there was so much animosity on this beautiful image. We’ve all had our moments of capturing an amazing photo (with not so amazing settings) and actions give is the opportunity to help us bring it back to where we wanted it in the first place. It’s great that actions could save this image because as a mom and a photographer I would have done the same thing in that moment if it was my own kids or someone else’s. Beautiful heartfelt image! 🙂

  23. Marian on March 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Well said!!!!!!! Were these ‘haters’ instant Pro’s? I seriously doubt it! Even if they were, NO ONE, even someone who has been shooting most of their life, EVER TAKES THE PERFECT IMAGE EVERY SINGLE TIME! EVER! If you are a true professional, you realize how quick situations, and their lighting, can change! Keep doing what you are doing Jodi and Dayna! This chick has your back!

  24. Leesa Voth on March 12, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I actually view editing as another part of the photographic art form. It is silly for photographers to make a negative judgement about this. To me, that is like getting angry at an oil painter because they decided to use acrylic with it and then blended sand on top of it to create texture. Heaven forbid they don’t stay pure to the oils….. Everyone has a different way to their end product. What matters is if the photo can stand alone as something great. The path doesn’t matter.

  25. Sylvia on March 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I feel that I am a digital artist, who photographs as well. I don’t believe that heavy digital edits must = crappy photographer. That is a vast overstatement. Clearly there are issues and challenges with the industry but the root of them is not photoshop. I also to think that these actions are a great way to learn and I have improved and updated my skill set because of them. Thanks!

  26. Lindsay Williams on March 12, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Awesome read, Jodi! When I first started, I went straight to manual mode, which meant that sometimes (a lot of times, if I’m truly honest), my images DID need saving. In addition, your actions helpe me learn how to do all those same things myself. Now that I actually know what I’m doing, I still use your actions because they save me so much time and provide so much consistency to my work. I know other photographers who haven’t put the effort into learning like I have, and I do get frustrated at times that some customers see only dollar signs and not the love and effort I have put into my work, but that has nothing to do with actions. My work speaks for itself. Saying that actions are responsible is no different than saying, “You take awesome pictures. You must have a great camera!”

  27. Cindy on March 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Great article! Totally agree with what your wrote. Why can’t people just move on if they don’t personally agree, especially if their opinion wasn’t asked. So easy to hide behind the computer and spit out negative opinions. I think it’s a great save of an image and love sites like yours that teaches how to transform images into a form of “Art”. It’s a given that you always try to take the best image you can SOOC.

  28. Nancy on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I thank you for sharing this with us. I’m going through a doubtful phase in my photography career and this actually made me feel better. It’s hard photographing kids and sometimes you don’t get it right. It’s extremely difficult to move quick and capture the moment with the perfect settings. I actually like the silhouette images better anyway but it’s very cool to see what lightroom can do.

  29. Karin Markert on March 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I think the argument against editing is absolutely ridiculous. I actually started my photography in a darkroom in 1983. ANYONE can take a photograph, some people have better technical skills than others, a rare few have an amazing eye for great composition. But in my opinion the best of the art happens in the dark room, or LIGHTroom, these days. My father and I hand made tools to dodge and burn photos. We processed black and white pics w/different color values to bring out different contrast values. While I prefer to compose the best image straight in the camera, I’ve also learned how to do basic processing to clean up cropping, bring life back to a flat image (AS WE ORIGINALLY SAW IT WITH OUR EYES, image flattened due to lens or camera qualities). Photojournalists have strict rules as to what they are and aren’t allowed to do. But when taking portrait, landscape, action, etc. shots… why NOT make it the best image possible w/quality processing? Why not use our wonderful technology to create the best memories possible?

  30. Ronda on March 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Thank you, Jodi, for this post. It is so encouraging and refreshing. I have found there to be a lot of elitism and even arrogance by some photographers, and on the other side of that, I have also seen tolerance and encouragement from others. Where I live, the professional photographers won’t share one bit of information to help educate a less experienced photographer. They see everyone as competition, as a threat, or beneath them, so they don’t share information, then they insult the person who is trying to learn. It’s a shame, but with the Internet, there are resources like you who can help the photographers that can’t get the help from their local community. I appreciate your actions, your posts, your supportive and willing spirit towards people who are learning and growing in photography.

  31. G L Suich on March 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Sounds like a lot of insecure photographers out there. I, like you, think that there are a lot of folks with pretty darn good cameras and equipment, that just want to better their photography for their own use. They never intend, or want to become “professional”. They just want nice looking photos. If they are helped by your products or any other products on the market, to achieve this goal – more power to them.Professional photographers can decide for themselves if they want to edit or not. If you have confidence in YOUR photography methods and outcome – that’s great, whether you are a professional or beginner. If not, take it to the next level or gasp!, repair it with post processing. Times, they are a-changing and there are products available to photographers that were not available in the past just like there are new cameras and equipment to further your photographic efforts.For the photographers out there that say you are ruining the industry or helping new photographers undercut experienced pros – that is just plain silly. Their insecurities are showing.

  32. Julia on March 12, 2014 at 9:01 am

    As a Marketing professional who loves her job, I have no intention of making photography a profession. However, as a mother of 2 (3 and under) and a novice photographer with my 1st DSLR, I am a big fan of your Photoshop actions. Admittedly, I don’t take the best photos, especially with 2 kids in constant movement, and I love that I can use your actions and turn my photos into something worthy of hanging on my walls. The sibling photo featured in this post was a huge help to me – I realized how many valuable moments I’ve screwed up by not having my camera set accurately, but thanks to your tutorials and photoshop actions, I can improve those photos to something worth saving! A heartfelt thank you for all you do and for offering your products. You’ve shown that even if some of us aren’t “professional photographers” we can create professional quality with our own hands.

  33. Leona Weaver on March 12, 2014 at 9:06 am

    It really upsets me to see comments like those you refer to. While I understand traditional photographers may not appreciate the fact that people do use editing to finesse a picture, I don’t appreciate the shaming or hating of such. I myself am a self taught photographer, and I use editing quite a bit. Sometimes I love the pic straight out of the camera, sometimes I don’t. But my attitude is – If you can create Art from any tool available, why not create it? That doesn’t make your original photo any less valuable. And, to the people who say novices are undercutting more experienced and “better” photographers, well, welcome to the rat race. People who aren’t looking for edited photos will come to you — people who don’t care will look elsewhere. You can’t force the public to see value if they don’t want to. So, roll with it. Recognize what these unconventional photographers are doing as a new form of Art. That’s how I think of pictures I use lots of editing on — Digital Photo Art. It’s gonna happen anyway.

  34. Edith on March 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

    This image one one of the first ones to catch my eye! Is gorgeous and the presets make it beautiful! Photography is an art. The world is your canvas and it is your own creation. Some people may like it, some others will hate it, and this is why photography is so awesome. It’s so sad you had to explain yourself to people that are angry.

  35. Shelly on March 12, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Art is art. You either appreciate it or you don’t. It shouldn’t matter one bit the journey that the artist took to arrive at the final piece. As a client if you love and appreciate the final product it doesn’t matter wether the artist took 5 seconds or 3 hours to create it. People will pay for what they appreciate. I don’t share too much of my process with anyone because it’s my personal journey in creating the final piece wether I am using a canvas and paintbrushes or a camera and photoshop :). Great article!

  36. Jim on March 12, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Well thought out response! I love having darkroom capability on my computer via PS, LR and of course MCP! You have a good understanding of your audience and I pray for continued success for the varied aspects of your life both business and personal!

  37. Wendy on March 12, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I agree GREAT ARTICLE and a GORGEOUS PHOTO!! I am a beginner who does not want to become a professional photographer. I practice the craft because I want to get off the green square and take great pictures of my family. I’ve taken extensive courses on my camera, photography, and Photoshop. I recently found actions and love the creativity they inspire. I also like they they can help me fix and improve my work as I am practicing on manual. I create digital albums and projects for me and it is an art. Ignore the negativity”_.

  38. Lisa Beckett on March 12, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Love your response to all the negative people! While all pro photographers and most hobbyists attempt to get it right in camera all the time, sometimes, like you said, we’re just moms and want to capture that moment and sometimes we forget to change our settings. I’ve been shooting in manual for 20 years, started on film, but I would never put someone down for trying to “save” that special photo! We are all human and make mistakes, in life and with our cameras. Love what your actions can do, they are amazing! Thank you for all you do Jodi, keep it up and don’t let the negativity get you down!

  39. Kara on March 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Photoshop and Lightroom can correct exposure, white balance, tone, and contrast — but they can’t make an image emotional or well-composed or visually interesting. It can’t go back in time and capture the exact moment of a kid kissing his sister’s tears away. If her composition had sucked, no amount of PS or LR would have saved it. Dayna captured a moment — of her kids, not a client — and forgot she’d turned her flash off. Whoop-dee-doo. If she’d waited three seconds to adjust her settings, she would have missed this moment. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess she’d rather have this image of her children than have the approval of a bunch of judgmental strangers online who only care about EXIF data. Ansel Adams said, “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance.” That means (gasp!) he viewed processing as a necessary part of the art.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Kara, you nailed it! If you see this image (SOOC) you can tell someone with a good eye (pro or not) took it. And much better to save or have the ability to save an image – than listen to people hiding behind a computer. Well said!Jodi

  40. Renee G on March 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Great article! The negativity of some tends to overshadow the positive bunch. And that’s too bad! I’m in that group of newbies… just bought my first DSLR last year SOLELY for taking better pictures of my kids/family. NOT to compete, NOT to be better than the professionals. Just to expand my knowledge and develop a hobby. Although I’m busy and don’t have the time to devote to learning FULL on manual mode at all times, or how to develop my own workflow and manipulate all Photoshop settings… MCP has taught me a lot and I’m so glad they’re here for every photographer! I can be proud that whether I got the right angle, accomplished the right settings, or applied the right actions… the result is still my work up there on the wall… and that’s my kid in the photo!

  41. Julie on March 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Jodi, I am just a “hobbiest” who wants the best pictures. I know my camera inside out but still use your products to “enhance” a few of my great and not so great pics. All I have to say is “You go Gurl”! and I love all of your stuff.

  42. Ee on March 12, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I am working my tail off to be a better photographer and the goal for me is to achieve a professional level. I have been very frustrated by the professionals who are discouraging and basically saying if you aren’t there yet you never will be. I wonder how many of them skipped the hobbyist/amateur level and we’re instantly professionals the moment they held their first camera? I echo many of the encouraging sentiments already posted, so I won’t repeat the points. Thank you for this article and for the actions you create. As a graphic designer (by degree) I find I equally enjoy shooting and post and love playing with actions!

  43. Jennifer on March 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

    This is a great response. I have found it is, generally, the more insecure people who are so negative ( in all aspects of life). I believe a product speaks for itself and if someone is truly as good as their pricing, sales will reflect that no matter what the competition is doing. I chose a photographer for my family photo that charges $500, while a competitor down the street charges $200. Why? Because the $500 photographer had photos in her portfolio that the $200 photographer either couldn’t or chose not to do. Do the people who have been critical think Joe McNally is/was concerned about the photo guy down the street charging less than him? Um,no.I am only an amateur that loves photography. My main goal is to have wonderful memories of my family. I also love photoshop and lightroom because I can play with my images. My oldest son is in wrestling and I have taken photos of the boys all season and gave the photos to the boys. Some of the photos SOOC where dreadful, but with some editing, they were decent. When the boys saw themselves they were SO excited. Those photos would not have been possible without the tools individuals like you have made available. So, Thank you!

  44. Your name on March 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    So how did you save it? What was your editing process? Nice work.

  45. Jules on March 12, 2014 at 9:28 am

    It is so nice to hear someone speak about tolerance and respect. I feel like people have become so competitive (insecure perhaps?) and therefore have lost their sense of respect, tolerance, and open-mindedness when dealing with others.

  46. Kim on March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Thank you for helping us non-professionals. I like learning about photography so I can take pictures of my kids and family when we are out. We can’t always bring along a professional to capture some of these moments, not only would that be impractical, it would be really expensive. So, please continue to share.

  47. Melissa on March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I’m baffled by anyone’s need to be so critical. Your photos are stunning and beautiful and artistic. I read a book once about Alfred Stieglitz and the group of photographers called the Photo Secessionists, who were moving away from photography as simply a way of documenting and moving toward it as an art form. Boy did they catch some flack! So you’re in good company. Keep making beautiful images!

  48. Christine on March 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I was part of the crowd in awe of the “save.” It’s a shame that others feel the need to bash others work. If you have the tools to preserve a shot like that, why not use it? I love all of your actions and love learning from the group. Don’t let the others bother you! Keep up the great work! And thank you!

  49. abrianna on March 12, 2014 at 9:34 am

    If those people had bothered to take some time and look at your site, they would know that the last thing you do is encourage people to take bad photos and not learn their camera. Using Ansel Adams as an example-many people admire his work and aspire to be like him. He could spend as many as 200 hours on *one* photo in the darkroom, but you don’t hear people say he ruined photography. On the contrary he revolutionized it.As for me I am grateful for the digital darkroom and the ability to control the final image output. I could never work in a darkroom as I have sensitive skin and working with so many chemicals would ruin it quickly.

  50. Selena on March 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Is not Photoshop and Lightroom a skill of it’s own? Can they not grow? We are told that photography is ever-changing and you can not learn it all!This is a new era in photography. Just like the switch from film to digital. It’s time to adapt!Yes i see the trend that once someone picks up a camera, installs Photoshop and then they think they’re a pro. What about the rest of us? The one’s who put in the hard work, advertise like crazy and still have to compete with 100 images for $10? And these are the ones who get the client!Fair enough if you want to edit your cherished moments for yourself or family/friends. But learn the ropes before diving in as a business.MCP make great actions and presets. But it doesn’t mean their market isn’t limited to business clients.Yeah i sound like a fence-sitter, but both sides have valid points.

  51. Klaus on March 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Never ever try to please everyone. Great shot and post production.

  52. Diane Harrison on March 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    We’ll said Jodi!

  53. Wendy on March 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Believe me people, if you get in right in camera all the time- number one, my hat is off to you! Number two, photoshop is time consuming so you should not be worried about competing with someone with poor photography skills competing with you. If they have no photography skills they will spend hour after hour after editing, they will be getting paid far less on an hourly basis. It is definitely personal preference, but I get angry when I hear a photographer criticized for using photoshop. It is a tool to achieve your vision. Much like in a museum, if you don’t like someone’s art, move on to looking at something you enjoy. If nothing was supposed to be enhanced, why do we wear makeup and buy beautiful clothing? Photoshop can make great photos look jawdropping and capture important ones you missed by a mistake in taking the photo. It’s like saying if a professional photographer took a perfect moment of a dad embracing his daughter on her wedding day and his flash didn’t fire he shouldn’t try to fix it- it’s just silly. Even very highly paid professionals get bad photos from technical issues, I have watched many major pros shoot tethered and get bad exposures, etc until they work it out- in real like you would miss that shot without photoshop and/ or actions.

  54. Susan Gary on March 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Awesome read. I posted on my FB page. Love all the versions of the image and the story of how the org image came to be! Important not to miss those one in a lifetime shots and thank goodness there are ways to save them too!

  55. Diane on March 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Well said!! There is room for everyone, and everyone starts somewhere. Be comfortable in where you are in your own work and the work of others should not be a threat. I love that you offer what you do, and I love we all have something to learn from one another, no matter what stage of the process we are at!!

  56. Cory on March 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Jodi,I am in awe of pretty much all your work. I LOVE this image, both before and after. What a great save. I am so sorry that you received attacking comments regarding this image. To those who are ridiculing you regarding this image I say, get a freaking life! Do they not have anything better to do with their time? They obviously have not taken a look at your website and know what you are all about!Keep up the fantastic work!

  57. Johanna Howard on March 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Well said.

  58. cary on March 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    How sad that people feel the need to be judgemental. I continually try to improve my photography and I do use Lightroom. Actually, post editing my shots has improved my photography. As I make my adjustments I think through what I could have done in camera to get the same result and then I practice it. The bottom line for me is that we are all trying to create what pleases us (and clients if a pro) and that’s all that matters.

  59. Jesse on March 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

    The art world/industry is can be a very cruel place. While in college as an art major, I remember artists constantly critisizing one another’s work and not in a postive and constructive manner. The photography medium; and those that make the images are not immune to this phenomenon. In fact, it seems as though the photography industry is a far greater offender , filled with rude, narcassistic photographers. (Though certainly not all photographers fit that description, just like not all artists are critical). Art is art. Rather than judge others focus on building up yourselves. There is nothing wrong with sharing photography techniques with others. Artists can take the same classes, receive the same knowledge base, but that does not mean their work will be the same. Who cares if this helps an ammature photgrapher better his/her art. It has absolutely no bearing on someone elses artwork. Jodi, I am sorry narrow minded people feel threatened by those who share knowledge. Their animosity stems from fear, after all knowledge is power, and those that have the power (in this case insecure photographers with previous photography knowledge and experience) will try hard to keep it for themselves. I personally feel a better use of your critics time would be to positively promote photography as a valuable artform, and invest time in determining what makes their voice as an artist unique or meaningful.

  60. Sandy on March 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Me, too, Jodi! Keep on keeping on! Haters will be haters. That will never change. People know and respect you and your work and will find you to help them do whatever it is they need to do with their images, at whatever stage of photography they’re at. Continue to rise above it as you always do. You have a lot of true, loyal followers out there. 🙂

  61. Joe on March 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Editing is part of the whole enchilada in my book. I believe that Ansel Adams spent a great deal of time in the dark room, and guys like Heisler, Brandt and Batdorff do their share of editing as well. It’s all part of the process. Adams once said that you don’t take a picture, you make a photograph!

  62. Bonnie on March 12, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I just want to say that I love your actions and they help me create unique art out of my photos. I think that how you edit your photos becomes your trademark in the industry, and is what sets you apart from others in your field. I also believe that true photographers have a knack of seeing things differently through the lens than your average person, and it is not something that can be learned, but born in you…. to be shaped and strengthened through practice, like all other art forms. Don’t let the critics get you down and please continue to do what you do. You have helped me so much over the years, and I look forward to your next new thing!!!

  63. Heather on March 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I’m sorry for all of the terrible comments you received. No matter how good you are everyone has accidents and it’s wonderful we have the technology to “save” our oops if they are indeed belonging to an image that captures something amazing and non-repeatable. Your products are wonderful and so was the image you showed. The photographer did a wonderful job correcting the oops and the image is beautiful.

  64. Andrea on March 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Jodi, thank you for this blog. I am a photographer rather than an image designer and of course I also prefer the ‘get it right in the camera in the first place’ approach. BUT…, I don’t get every picture correctly straight away, yes, some of my images are over- or under exposed, focus messed up or whatever, yes, some of the shots are definitely worth being rescued and I thank the lord of photography for the blessings of Lightroom and Photoshop sometimes.I know quite a few photographers and NONE is always taking perfect pictures and they all happily admit it. In my experience the photographers usually complaining most about saving a snap with Lightroom or Photoshop are usually middle aged men that have for whatever reason elated photography into some kind of religion or a holy grail, only accessible by those with a similar grim expression on their faces when it comes to this craft/art. Don’t get me wrong. I love, live and breathe photography, I am absolutely passionate and serious about it and I am so grateful I am able to actually make a living out of something that never ever feels like work or a chore. But as everything in life, let’s take things not overly serious, let’s be generous and embrace the little flaws in life and work and try to make the best out of it.

  65. Alisha Shaw on March 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Jodi, I absolutely love your sweet response! If we were to get real about “real” photos, we would have to go back to cardboard pin hole cameras too. Every camera being used has technology attached to it and most are mini computers themselves. The ability to take an image and enhance it IS art!! Even in auto, it’s still art! And art is subjective so allowing others their freedom of expression is what makes us all unique. If everyone was perfect and edited the same way, there would be no one great and nothing to work toward.Professionals should be thrilled with newbies who give added value to their art by comparison and newbies should be thrilled with professionals who give them examples to work to be like.An image like this is a tribute to a photographer who captured it and technology that made it even better. Keep up the great work, both of you!!

  66. Chris on March 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for your response. I am probably one of THOSE hobbyist they complain about. I am still learning and have been shooting along time. When you stop learning or trying to be better it stops being fun. I have actually been attacked by the “Pros” in my area. I typically shoot action photography because I love it and make all of my photos available to the kids in our area for free. I also shoot senior photos for those parents that absolutely cannot afford the astronomical prices being charged around here. We are extremely oversaturated with photographers and they are very good, no disputing that. But these are kids and parents that would go without because they just simply can’t afford it. I think I am a pretty good photographer, its not my couldn’t pay me to wade into that world here no matter how good I was…too cut throat for me. I don’t undercut anyone I just work it out with those who need it. Do I rely on Photoshop, Lightroom and MCP to better the pictures? heck yeah and I bet if you take a close look at the “Pros” shots they do too. So I really appreciate all of the information and tools you provide all of us photographers.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Chris, so glad we are able to help you and your images! That is why we do it – to help people make images look better and to save them time too 🙂

  67. Ken Grimm on March 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Congratulations! The fact that you got haters means you are now living your life and are successful. Haters cannot STAND to have someone do well. So if you’ve been targeted, AWESOME!I’ve learned to embrace my haters – their natural knee-jerk reaction to something they see that is awesome and they didn’t think of it or can’t do it is to criticize and spew hate towards the person that did what they wish they did.And you’ve saved I don’t know how many hours in production workflows, helped spread the joy of photography by making it easier and accessible, and overall the photography universe is better because you’re in it.Well done.

  68. Stuart Martin on March 12, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Well said & you have my wholehearted support. As a semi-professional photographer it pains me to come across these sorts of comments – usually (in my opinion) made by the sort of dinosaur professional who has spent the last x number of years overcharging the public & milking the market. Get with it people, times change, adapt or die and if your photographs & service aren’t good enough to adapt & survive then you have no right to be in the industry anyway!Well done Jodi & keep up the excellent work ;o)

  69. Kevin on March 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Well said Jodi.A well thought out response that educates without blame or prejudice.Perhaps another skill that others can learn from your posts and blogs?

  70. Linda on March 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

    What an eye opener! I had no idea of the fierce bias ‘some’ professional photographers have towards those people who ‘rely’ on Light-room or Photoshop. I am in an art-group and the focus is on combining images into an artsy picture, not learning the ins and outs of our cameras. And what is wrong with that? And what is wrong with selling those images even though I relied on auto settings in my camera and have no understanding of aperture etc.? America was built on free enterprise and ingenuity. An example of this is the man, Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon. He recently announced his plans to start delivering packages via drones. When the interviewer asked about how that was going to affect companies such as UPS, Fed-Ex or the postal service etc, Jeff basically replied with something like “how they respond is their problem because America has system has been built on free enterprise has always been built on competition. Either find a way to compete or get lost in the dust.” Do I feel empathy for the employees of UPS and postal workers who might be affected by Jeff’s decision? Yes! Just as I have empathy for professional photographers who find that they are being undercut by people who sell images that have been Photoshopped or edited in Light-room to customers who are uneducated or could care less about the process used and they just want pictures they love at prices they can afford. However, the burden on the professional photographer is to find a way to adapt just as UPS, Fed-Ex, and the postal service will have to adapt or lose business share. The challenge to change and adapt has always been part of free enterprise. Change is usually hard and requires effort and ingenuity which is why we grumble about it at times, but nevertheless, it’s required under free enterprise. Jodi, you provide a great service evidenced by those who purchase from you to keep you in business. Those that don’t want your services do not need to buy them. In several of my art groups, negative comments are NOT tolerated so that everyone has a chance to grow rather than be shut down and I find that people are very helpful to one another when this rule is in place, and we all learn from each other. Maybe that should be a rule you put into place.Keep up the good work!

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Linda, that is the most ironic part… If someone does not believe in editing photos, enhancing photos, or even fixing a photo that needs some help, why bother with being on my social media page or blog in the first place??? It’s like a person Starbucks Facebook page, when not a coffee drinker, and complaining that the drinks have caffeine. Um – duh! Don’t go it in the first place.

  71. Kay on March 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I just have to add one more thought because I had a different interpretation of the photo (and I do love the edited silhouette version). When I first looked at it, my thought was the boy was leaning over, telling his sister a secretӔand she was reacting with surprise, putting her hands over her mouth as we often do when told something surprising.

  72. Jackie on March 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

    So, who gets to define what a pro is? Technology has changed the face of photography! What difference does it make if people without much experience or knowledge try to compete with the “pros”? Photography is an art, and if people are creating beautiful images, why does it matter if they did it intentionally by getting all the right settings on the camera at just the right time….or if they are just snapping pics and then creating something beautiful with all the awesome tools available to us all? When it is all said and done, the end result is still an image. And isn’t THAT what photography is really about anyway? Capturing an image….a split second in time that can never be relived again, but can go on in that image!

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Jackie, photography is about capturing a memory (to me it is) and yes, however you can do that – whether it is with an iPhone or a dSLR – using editing software or SOOC. It does not matter if you are happy. Or if you sell your work if your client is. Sure, it’s human nature to do the best we can do, but using all the tools available to us.

  73. Elizabeth on March 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Wow, it’s not so hard to be nice. Having a bad day? Take a walk. Business isn’t going well, please seek professional advice, but please do not slam your fellow photographer, they may be standing next to you.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Elizabeth, exactly. Maybe people need to imagine that the person they are talking to is someone they love – a wife, a husband, their children, a close friend. So many times it’s as if they are talking to the person they hate most in this world…

  74. susan on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Anyone who would even think something like that must have their own weird issues. Why would that pop into anyone’s mind. I’ve seen retro photos where a little boy is kissing some little girl and she is totally disgusted. Back then no one would even think something that sick. People need to get their heads out of the gutter. It’s a staged photo. If they weren’t siblings would someone be offended?

  75. Julie on March 12, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I love, love, love the photo. Before. After. In between. It doesn’t matter. It’s a moment in time, as parents, we cherish.

  76. John P on March 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

    The photography industry is controlled by the consumer. In certain instances the consumer is the photographer, the rest are those who will pay the price asked by the photographer. In every case, I have never met a photographer who hasn’t taken a photo they were not happy with. If you are that photographer, (the one who is happy with every photo ever taken), where is your gallery, do you teach your craft? Some of the best photographers of our modern era are also teachers, some critical of style, but teachers none the less. Let the nay-sayers be. To those who enjoy the craft I commend you, keep learning. To the pros like Jodi, keep showing the rest of us how to become better, I know I take something away from every image I see. Whether I like it or not.

  77. Jennifer R. on March 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Well, I think the picture is beautiful! Thank you for giving us tools to use to create a beautiful image from an almost lost amazing moment!

  78. Kerith | Visual Girl Photo on March 12, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “Hopefully, no matter where you are at with your photography skills, we can all support and respect the work of others and embrace our differences instead of exploit them.”Well said, Jodi, well said. 🙂

  79. Erin on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Honestly, I unliked your FB page because of all the unsavory comments towards those of us just learning (I’m not even trying to do it for a living, just for my own family photos). I got tired of hearing all the negatives. (Even the well meaning really know how to dig that knife.) It’s sad how much the comments turned me off of learning more from others. Now I’d just rather get the newsletter and come to the site and read your articles and ignore comments altogether.With that said, I really love the photo and while the silhouette photo is great, I love being able to see their faces and the detail. Plus, I like the softness of the colors.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Erin, we try so hard to catch rude behavior. But not always in time. And it is impossible to moderate every comment the second it comes in. That said I am sorry that you left for that reason. I cannot guarantee a place with zero negativity and rudeness, but we sure try hard to keep it close to that. Sometimes stuff like this pops up – and I like to use it as an opportunity to educate. Again, you are welcome back any time. It is a shame to let a negative, mean few ruin it for those who can learn and grow, like yourself.Jodi

  80. johnathan woodson on March 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    When I saw the email this morning that said “An extremely controversial photo,” at first I was perplexed, then disheartened by the negative attitude demonstrated by so-called fellow photographers. I see both sides as well…I used to be a club DJ spinning records (remember those?) and I see “the kids these days” running around with tablets running the “DJay” app and I know there are naysayer purists crying “foul” because the craft is beside the point now, but I figure at least they have taken an interest in something creative. In this modern digital microcosm that has been constructed to make our lives easier, any jackanapes with a smartphone can call themselves a writer, photographer, DJ, musician, etc. However, at the end of the day, it takes talent (whether it be conscious or not) to deliver the goods. And those of us that have the trained eyes and ears can tell the difference between someone in it for the money and someone who adds the secret ingredient of their love of what they do into their work. I’ve spent the last year building up my portfolio in iPhoneography and recently invested in a MILC because I want to turn my passion into a career where I love what I am doing and I can share the world the way I see it. I think that is what Jodi is doing with MCP. Please keep up the love in your work, it does show! Remember, if you receive hate mail, that means you’re doing something right (:o)

  81. Leanne Patton on March 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Hello-Your going to get negative comments no matter what you do. All you can do is no your heart is right when you do something and let that stuff go!

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      I do let it go…usually. But when it hurts those who let me use their images, it becomes more personal. If it was my own image, it might bug me less actually. Regardless, people need to be called out occasionally and maybe this will help one person realize that they should think before they “type/speak.”

  82. Sandy on March 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I was totally shocked when I read your article… Why specifically? because the hateful things that people say in public/write on internet. I am always floored that people want to trash what others are doing. I am so sad that you had to read all those stupid comments and then waste your time explaining. But you handled it graciously! photographs are always manipulated.. the darkroom, with reflectors, with strobes, with angles, etc. Photography is an art and the creator has a right to create. Artists buy different brushes to paint with, canvas material, better photo paper, different types of paints, etc. actions are NO different!

  83. Meg on March 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    A very thoughtful post Jodi and a gentle reminder to “live and let live”- I have never been one for the technical part of photography-I learned what I needed and continue to learn as I move along-but for me the quest is how to get a good image-sometimes you get it right through the lens-but then there are times where post processing really can help an image that does have something to say-I shoot almost exclusively with my iPhone now and it continues to amaze me how people refuse to see the merit in those cameras and that there is some amazing work being done with them-I love your blog and your actions-Thank you for being there for the rest of us who navigate these waters-

  84. Vanessa Diel on March 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Love it~ Sorry you had to deal with negativism~ Keep up the great work.Blessings,Vanessa

  85. Rachel M on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    People are so full of themselves. Beautiful shot.

  86. Ashley Durham on March 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Haters gotta hate! I think that while YES you should know your camera … stuff happens. I think it’s AMAZING that we have the technology to create ART such as this image.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Isn’t Photoshop and Lightroom amazing?! I mean to me, it is part of the process… Yes, nail it if you can. But when you cannot, use some crutches and keep working on your steps 🙂

  87. Alicia on March 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    It saddens me that our industry is so full of people who would rather trash/belittle others rather than accept that there are many MANY different ways to do things!Photoshop & Lightroom are our digital darkrooms, and even Ansel Adams made adjustments to his now-famous images.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on March 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Alicia, I agree 100%. It is sad – I think it goes beyond just our industry. I think many feel that they can use the computer and internet as a buffer. Sure some are mean in person too, but most would not say a fraction of what they say online to someone in person.

  88. Pete Bond on March 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    What a great read. I think pro photographers that slam armatures are feeling a little threatened and insecure in their own work.I have only met a couple of pros that are happy to help and these guys are good at what they do and are more than happy to share some knowledge. Keep up the good work.

  89. Skye on March 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Well said! There is so much snobbery surrounding photography. Who cares if Lightroom/photoshop is used to enhance an image. At the end of the day it is all about the finished photo and the viewers response. Sometimes an image that is not technically perfect and breaks all the rules can deliver spectacular results.

  90. Christine on March 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    As has been stated over and over, thank you for your well written article. What I laugh at (somewhat secretly) is the fact that had you not shared the before, the haters probably wouldn’t have known to hate. Most of us know that every professional image that we see has done a little time in post processing. Especially if you’re shooting raw; you are never sharing an image SOOC. Art is subjective and I happen to love some of the “unapologetically enhanced” work of people like Trey Ratcliff. Some of us use “crutches” to make our lives more efficient. I can change my own oil too, but I pay a professional because my time is valuable to me. Presets and Actions allow me to work smarter, not harder (whether I record them myself or purchase them) and that’s sound business if you asked me.

  91. Lisa Landry on March 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I just love how actions can help us be more creative! 🙂 Thanks for the article!

  92. Allie miller on March 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    This is a great article! There is so much to be shared an taught we should focus on that!

  93. Laura Hartman on March 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    People who claim post processing ruins the industry know nothing about the industry. Back in the days of film, I spent hours and hours in the darkroom dodging and burning. This is no different.

  94. Andrea on March 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I can not stand the argument that using tools/technology to improve the finished project makes a piece of work less valuable or the user less talented/skilled. Editing software is an extension of the camera and photographic process to achieve the desired result. That is like saying that a carpenter who uses power tools to create a beautiful piece of furniture is somehow faking it,I’m going to hire a photographer based on the final product. It makes no difference to me if it was straight out of the camera, or fixed to my liking in Photoshop.

  95. Wendy on March 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I for one am grateful for the action sets out there. Using them doesn’t mean I take bad pictures in camera, it just helps spice them up. Cameras have limitations and workflows help overcome the limitations. That’s just my opinion. It’s like a girl who wears make up. Done properly, it can enhance the beauty that’s already there.

  96. Wendy on March 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I for one am grateful for the action sets out there. Using them doesn’t mean I take bad pictures in camera, it just helps spice them up. Cameras have limitations and workflows help overcome the limitations. That’s just my opinion. It’s like a girl who wears make up. Done properly, it can enhance the beauty that’s already there.

  97. Edward Hubert on March 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Let me start by saying that your actions are wonderful and I use them often to save and make an image better. Also the image to me is even a great image SOC even though it was a mistake. Why is it you ask, because it is a moment in time that she was lucky enough to catch.Now for the hard part and I do see both sides so bare with me. Truth be told there is no professional who does not edit the photo in some way, especially if they are shooting RAW. They can call small adjustments not editing but they are, it has to be the process. Should professionals teach and be helpful to up and comers yes, by all means share the wealth of information. Are there pros who overcharge? Yes and it is their choice to do that.For all the negative comments you had from pros I really see as many negative comments from non-pros also. Old timers, dinosaur, elitist, and so many others. Is it so wrong for somebody to actually want somebody to learn a craft before creating a FB page advertising yourself as a pro photographer because you can.Now let me see if I can make this clearer as to why I truly see both sides. I am an unemployed father of one left at home trying my best to start a photography business. I am self taught and trust me spend numerous hours, usually in the very early mongering trying to be a better photographer, learn the rules, exposure triangle, f-stop, and oh how many other things. I am trying to do it the right way by paying taxes and everything else a true business is suppose to do. Now you have somebody, who granted wants to make some extra money on the side or they are supported by somebody else, and they create a FB page offering a session and you get all the pics on disc for 100 dollars, or whatever amount. I have talked to them they don’t want to ever get off auto everything, they don’t want to learn any rules, and by no means do they want to take the time to learn the craft. The same craft they say they love, by the way. They are only concerned about getting that quick money and nothing else, here is your disk now go print them wherever you want. They don’t pay taxes and most could care less about the quality of the print, because truth be told most don’t get printed anyway. Now in no way shape or form can I compete with that, it is not sustainable, and it is kind of defeating to say the least.Now with all that I am starting to feel like the consumer needs to learn more about good photography. They need more knowledge and understanding that if you believe the picture is great just imagine if focus, exposure, and white balance were done even close to correct. This is one image and as I said I believe to be a great image SOC. But if I am to get the consumer to be able to see a difference in quality of a picture done right I would have to find a way, not to down a photographer, but to I say critique the photographer. I feel defeated either way I go!Keep up the great work and as always keep us wanna be’s informed!

  98. Christine on March 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Well said, Jodi. Some people need to get a life and quit being so grumpy. 🙂

  99. Samantha on March 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Photography is an art. But so is the editing. What I’ve learned as a new photographer is that editing takes time and work. Anyone who thinks the new photographer is out there with the goal of taking subpar photos and editing them is dead wrong. It’s much easier to edit a good captured photo than a bad one. So when we do capture a good moment but the photo is bad -should we trash it? No! If we want to put the work into saving it, let us! In the end it is the captured MOMENT that matters.

  100. Sam on March 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    It could have easily have been the result of a speed light that didn’t fire because the moment happened quicker than the recycle time!Some people are just grumpy for the sake of being grumpy.

  101. Dayna More on March 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Well you all pretty much made my day! I love getting things right in camera, but when I miss it for one reason or another, I love having the ability to fix it! And, when I get it right in camera, I love being able to make it even better. Hooray for editing! (I confess, I’m a LR + PS junkie)

  102. Judy Reinford on March 12, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I loved all the versions of the photo. The fact that we can manipulate images to the point of saving or changing the character of an image, is our choice to do. It does not make us bad photographers.

  103. teri on March 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I hate that you receive abuse from anyone. You’ve taught me so many things over the years with your videos. And, your actions innovative and amazing, always. They make my life easier and save me more time that I can count!People never cease to amaze me. Seriously, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing! No one cares to hear you spew nastiness. Truly, it shows nothing about the person of whom you’re speaking and volumes about yourself!Jodi – You’re an asset to our industry! Thank you for all you’ve done, all you do and all that you continue to do! You are a true professional!

  104. k Randle on March 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I wonder why people jump at the chance to howl? And why they give themselves permission to rant at other folks? If you had been selling drugs, or advocating teenage sex or something, maybe yeah – but meh. What they don’t realize is that they are not making an important point, but they are exposing themselves as dorks. Life comes in a million packages – I’d prefer not to be an ugly one, thank you very much. I hope, when you read this stuff they wrote, you just sort of blinked and shook your head and rolled your eyes. That’s the healthy way to go, isn’t it? I don’t play with my exposures the way you do – but I will fight to the death for your right to make wonderful magic. (She bows, smiles and waves.)

  105. Jessica on March 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Maybe if some of those old school photographers learned how to use the wonderful image editing software that we have available to us today, they wouldn’t be so angry.Times have changed and image manipulation is a wonderful thing to know how to do. Sure, a perfect exposure in camera is the best way to go for the sharpest image. But that isn’t always possible. I think the real issue here is jealousy. They are jealous that someone is able to earn an income creating shortcuts (presets and actions for others).

  106. Brooke on March 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I think both the adjusted image and the more silhouette-y one have their merits, but I just want to hear more about how you broke your leg at your wedding.

    • Brooke on March 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Just because it sounds like something I would do. 🙂

  107. spanishmayne on March 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Well said Jodi

  108. Ana Garcia on March 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    WOW I cannot believe that people who call themselves professional photographers would even give a negative comment on that shot! It’s stunning! Being a professional photographer does not give one the right to trash nor tear up someone else’s work of art, what is so professional about trashing and tearing up someone else’s art work?You do an awesome job of helping and teaching others. Keep up the great and positive work, good things come to those who treasures others 仫Thank you Jodi, for being YOU 🙂

  109. Judith Arsenault on March 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Jodi, I think what you do is AMAZING! The “tricks” of the trade and help is immeasurable. Photo editing is EVERY WHERE! Thank you for your help and don’t stop! There will ALWAYS be haters. If they don’t like using editing software, then don’t, but don’t criticize those that do just b/c you disagree. This is AMERICA that’s why there is freedom of choice. Use it or don’t but respect everyone’s opinion and move on.Just my 2cents.Gratefully,Judith

  110. Donna Jones on March 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Jodi, the image is great both ways. I don’t understand people who criticize you…you are providing great photography helps, great products, good info and content appropriate for beginner or seasoned photographer. As my grandmother used to tell me….those who criticize you are probably just jealous and definitely not worth your time. Keep up the good work….Donna Jones

  111. LWhite on March 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    This article caught my eye and after I read it I am rather speechless. I can’t believe you received backlash for this? I think the people ranting about this are pretty insecure photographers if they take this as a threat. I think this was a great save and it an adorable photo. Yeah, none of us want to make habits of under or over exposing our images and having to spend time fixing our mistakes in software. However, to some point we can fix mistakes and at time we must to save a once in a life time moment. With that said, I would be curious to see how well this photo would look printed. I mean we are looking at it on the small size here on a website. Lot of times when you underexpose an image even when your recover it you get color noise and such when you blow it up to 100%. So there is some degradation in pixel quality. Other than that,I think overall what an amazing save.

  112. Sharla on March 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I’m so sorry that people felt the need to be mean. We all start somewhere. I myself am a “new” photographer and I study like nobody’s business! But we all need a learning curve. No ONE begins as a great photographer, that’s not my experience talking , just common sense! I love your blogs and sets, although I don’t use them regularly that doesn’t make a difference. Keep doing what your doing and know that many others appreciate you! 🙂

  113. Lynn on March 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Go girl – wonderfully said – photography is for all of us to enjoy and parents capturing child hood images that means something to them is important. Isn’t it wonderful that the imperfect image can be made to be the perfect image that captured a moment. It’s not all about money and not all of us can become professional photographers …. and we all can’t afford to have a professional photographer by our side at all times – sometimes being good enough is ok – help from actions is great. Keep up the good work.

  114. Victoria on March 13, 2014 at 1:20 am

    What I’ve learned over the past several years is that no matter what hobby, profession or career, you will find passionate people who take that passion to a whole new level of crazy. My daughter loved horses for years… until she met that one (of many) over-the-top “crazy horse lady” who ruined it for her, possibly forever. She has not sat atop a horse, nor wanted to do anything with horses since. I do not understand why a passion, talent, gift, whatever.. makes one the king or queen of nasty. I hope I will NEVER do that to anyone. We all started at the beginning, no matter WHAT we do. Can’t we just remember that and help others who share our passion instead of denigrating them and discouraging a fellow (or future) peer? Someone desperately needs a time out. Sorry this happened to you… I love your product and am grateful for the creative effort you put into it.

  115. Bobbi on March 13, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Wow!! I am not one to usually comment, but I could not read this and not say a few things:first, i am a rather new photographer/business owner and have recently started using your actions and they have done wonders for my photos. In most cases the actions take an already good picture and give it that extra something special & catchy. this has been nothing but a blessing to me to come across such user-friendly and cost efficient materials.Second…how incredibly rude for someone to say about such a wonderful picture and illustration of what the combination of capturing a great moment & having knowledge of editing software can do for a keepsake that may have otherwise been overlooked. These people are just looking for a bone to pick and are clearly showing just how “professional” they are in making such arrogant and underhanded comments.Third, and lastly, THANK YOU for taking the time to address this and reinforce what your brand is about and what you believe in…it only further reinforces my support for what you do and the MCP brand. very well said Jodi! thanks for all you do!Bobbi Rogers, Columbus, Ohio

  116. Donna on March 13, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I think photographers who think Photoshop is cheating are just intimidated because they don’t want to learn Photoshop. Photoshop is the ‘new’ darkroom…the traditional darkroom is almost obsolete and people who know the ‘old style’ are resistant to change. Besides, it doesn’t take just 5 minutes to change a photo in Photoshop, so what does it matter if a photographer takes the time before or after the shoot?

  117. Jade Maitre on March 13, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Here, here. Powerful article Jodi.There are so many wonderful ways to make images with a range of tools. In the end, the quality of a photo will always come down to the eye who is seeing and creating the image. I have seen professional photographers with a poor eye for filters and amateurs who have a talent at creating stunning images. Professional photography is not something mysterious; it is creating beauty, and the range of applications we have are merely tools.There is also so much to be said for creating supportive communities of photographers across the world. The demand for photographers is not fixed and finite; we do not need to criticise each other but only join together to mutually inspire each other in capturing people’s special moments. Watching your videos for the Infusion presets was the first time I had done so and I was impressed with your work on the photo. You’ve created something beautiful from accidental moments, and that is what photography should be all about.

  118. amanda on March 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I think it’s ridiculous the backlash you received over this. Sure it’s our goal as professional photographers to get our images as perfect as possible SOOC but sometimes that doesn’t happen. I think it’s wonderful that images like this can be saved with some clever editing techniques. And if this had been an image of my children, I would have been thrilled to have been able to save it! I admit, I do minimal editing to most of my images but I have found myself in positions where I needed a bit of extra help 🙂

  119. Sona on March 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

    WOW! as a beginner I am flabbergasted. Are we to understand these same people do not use smart phones, ipads, washing machines or cars for that matter, all of which have made our lives easier and time more manageable. Again as a beginner, whose business is it when someone wants to play with their own photos, or learn one process over another? Quite frankly,it makes the “pros” sound childish and petty. It is true I have only heard one side of the story but I hope some of these same people will reconsider some of their outrage and apologize for their short shortsightedness.

  120. Mandy Provan on March 13, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I have to echo what has been said before and just encourage you to carry on the great work you do Jodi!!! 🙂 Your posts are always informative and helpful and as has been said on almost all of the posts before mine – people who have nothing good to say should really not say anything at all. As a photographer who appreciates the brilliance of post production editing, I applaud your posts on making our editing easier and the wonderful actions you put together to make that editing available to those of us who are not as well versed or skilled in Photoshop. Big up to you for sharing your knowledge and making the world of post production SO much less frustrating….and so much more beautiful! 🙂

  121. mm on March 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Are people shouting at lecturers not to take any new students to schools and universities ? No. Internet is in some way a school itself and who is willing share the knowledge, its free to do so. If some photographers feel threatened because other people would learn the skill, I think its maybe this kind of photographers who are not actually good at it, because a good photographer recognises his/hers talent and strong sides, is willing to learn and teach, and his good works would shine through his images so has nothing to fear ( and its willing to adapt to changing markets ). If you dont wanna share your knowledge, it’s your choice but stop bullying other photographers decision, if they are willing to do so. Its their right, own choice their freedom. PS: thanx for sharing your tips, dont get discouraged by bullies

  122. Dawn | KitchenTravels on March 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you for your spot-on response to the rude and unnecessary comments. The last two examples you mention, in particular, struck a cord with me. I’ve spent the last few years honing my photography skills, studying photography books, reading dozens of online articles, and following the work of photographers I admire. I just want to improve, always. Making photographs brings me joy, and sometimes, my creations bring joy to others, too. Sometimes people pay me for photos, sometimes I give them away. I don’t make these choices to undercut “real” photographers (someone else’s words, not mine), I make them based on the situation, and for my own reasons. How dare anyone tell another person they “have no business” being a photographer? If someone is inspired to pick up a camera and try to make something beautiful – and then share it with others – that should be celebrated! At the end of the day, if the person behind the camera is lacking in passion and artistic talent, then all the technical knowledge in the world won’t help him/her make a great photo.

  123. Lisa Hawkins on March 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I really don’t care what the critics say, I say keep teaching, and I will keep learning, that’s why we are in a digital age, hey if some one likes the old dark room techniques that’s great, but don’t punish anyone who wants to come to the 21’st century. I like the fact that I can save a picture, or manipulate a picture on my own terms, with my own artistic view, and learn my camera at my own pace,I am not what I would call a professional photographer, but I want great pictures to scrapbook, and make fabulous and unique pictures to hang on the wall without all the hassle of finding buttons, without missing anything, then if its so so or not great, I can correct and make amazing images. Your work is amazing and please keep inspiring us.

  124. Shari on March 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Yes a hugh part of photography is about using a camera, but there is not a photographer out there that will say that’s all you need. You need to also have an eye and creativity. No one says “i want to be a camera operator”, they want to be a photographer and learning how to use a camera and manipulate it to do what you want is all part of that and take years to learn. And sometimes, getting the shot is more important than the “perfect” exposure.

  125. Autumn on March 14, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Art is about a connection. A “good” photograph should connect with you. And there is no doubt that Dayna’s edits (above) create a more powerful connection. Does it really matter what other people think about her path, her skills, to creating her art? Nah! This is a great print for canvas. The backstory of sand-eating, priceless.

  126. Carol on March 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I agree with what Andrea says 100%”Andrea:I can not stand the argument that using tools/technology to improve the finished project makes a piece of work less valuable or the user less talented/skilled. Editing software is an extension of the camera and photographic process to achieve the desired result. That is like saying that a carpenter who uses power tools to create a beautiful piece of furniture is somehow faking it,I’m going to hire a photographer based on the final product. It makes no difference to me if it was straight out of the camera, or fixed to my liking in Photoshop.”I happen to actually love the editing process! I think I am one of the few

  127. Rachel on March 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you for a rational and respectful response to the criticism of others. Just goes to show some people jump the gun and form judgements without seeing the complete picture. Should be a lesson to all of us as a general life lesson. Don’t jump to conclusions before you know all the facts!

  128. Julie on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    This is such an insightful response to the critics. I am sure that some of them have had shots they deleted which could have been edited. I learned photography in college back in the 70’s when there was only film. And we were taught how to manipulate a photo in the darkroom. I had to teach myself digital photography, which, I must say, was a bit easier reading posts from you and others. I have seen “amateurs” and “hobbyists” that have a better eye than some “pros”. Thank you again for your insights.

  129. Carolyn Gallo on March 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Amen Jodi!Most pro photographers I know use editing software, Some lightly, some a bit more. One thing I can say about most of them: they are not afraid to share tips, tricks, work-arounds, tutorials, KNOWLEDGE!For those that get all bent out of shape: if you are as good as you think you are, if you market yourself and run your business the way a “professional” business person should, then you should not concern yourself with what hobbyists/ amateurs, semi-pro’s, newbies or anyone else does. If you are as good as you say you are you will make money. There is enough to go around for everyone. If you aren’t maybe you should look into another profession.

  130. Stephanie on April 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I disagree with you. I am not going to lie though, I too have used software to “fix” a less than perfect image. I think everyone has done it. And we are not perfect, we mess up sometimes. HOWEVER, this being posted as an ad for what your actions/pre-sets can do is to me like saying “see, you don’t really need to take a good picture. Just buy my product and you don’t need to learn to use your camera, my product will make everything perfect! It’s sooooo EASY.”

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