New Courses: DSLR Basics and Photoshop for Bloggers

Two new A Beautiful Mess e-courses available at!DSLR Basics E-Course! Sign up at Today we are SO excited to announce two new e-courses we have been working on for months for you guys! We are pleased to launch DSLR Basics and Photoshop for Bloggers. First let’s talk about DSLR Basics. Watch our trailer—

In DSLR Basics you will learn the ins and outs of setting your camera like a pro as well as how to document your life creatively and beautifully! This course is taught by Elsie Larson, Emma Chapman, and Janae Hardy. You will learn all about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, metering, and so much more! The course also contains sessions to push you creatively, to find your own photography style, and to capture life all around you. This course is meant to take away any fear you may have about how to set a DSLR camera so you can focus on taking beautiful photos.

It is recommended that students have a DSLR camera or that they are planning to purchase a camera soon. One of the first sessions will walk students through some basic gear and lenses so they can understand what to buy if they don’t already own everything they want or need. This course is not meant for point and shoot, smart phones, or toy cameras, although many things you learn will apply to those cameras also. We believe great photos can be taken with all sorts of devices, but this course focuses on DSLR photography.
6What Will I Learn?
-Common photography terms with explanations
-Basic gear and explanations of common lenses
-When to use auto mode
-Achieving great focus
-Rules of composition (and when to break them!)
-Understanding shutter speed
-Understanding aperture and F-stops
-Understanding ISO
-Metering light and using histograms
-How to use white balance
-How to use reflectors like a pro
-Five techniques to add mystery and drama to your photos
-How to photograph with backlighting and lens flare
-How to develop your personal photography style
-How to photograph interiors & room tours
-How to photograph newborns and babies
-The basics of portrait photography
-Tips for great food photography & styling
-Five ways to get creative with self portraits
-How to photograph landscapes and nature
-How to take great photos while you travel
-How to photograph children
-How to photograph still life or product photography
 BONUS: How to set your camera cheat sheets (you can print these out or save them to your phone for easy reference!) 
What do I get with my purchase?

-immediate access through your account
-24 lessons and a bonus session
-5 videos to supplement the course materials
-3 camera setting cheat sheets that you can take anywhere!
44PDF of the entire course
-Access to a private Q&A board to ask the instructors questions and read the archives of other students’ questions
-a printable notebook to use during the course
Cost: $99. Click here to purchase!
Photoshop for Bloggers!Already feel completely comfortable with your camera but you’re ready to take your photography to the next level with editing? Good. We’ve got you covered. In Photoshop for Bloggers, photographer Sarah Rhodes will cover just about everything you need to pump up your Photoshop game. You might be brand new, having never opened Photoshop before, or you’ve played around with it some and are ready to dig deeper. You’ll learn all about each of your palettes and windows, adjustment layers, how to edit people, how to create your own actions, how to make dynamic collages easily, how to switch heads and change background colors, how to make animated GIF files, and much more. This course will focus on being technical, efficient, and creative! And most importantly, you will learn that Photoshop isn’t as scary or overwhelming as you might think it is!

Photoshop before and after Photoshop for Bloggers! It is recommended that students have Adobe Photoshop before starting the class (even if you’ve never opened it!). We recommend the monthly subscription of Photoshop and Bridge from Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which is what the course will be taught from. The course lessons are applicable to Photoshop versions CS3 and newer. Users of Adobe Photoshop Elements might find some lessons within this course useful, but overall, we do not recommend this course for students with Elements as many lessons will not be applicable. If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop, Adobe’s Creative Cloud has a Photoshop + Lightroom package for $9.99 a month – it’s an incredible deal! We really recommend the Creative Cloud package (we use it ourselves!). You can find more info or sign up for it here:

Photoshop for bloggers! Photoshop for bloggers! Photoshop for BloggersWhat Will I Learn?

How to:
-Set up Photoshop, Bridge, and your Photoshop workspace
-Use the Camera Raw window
-Use adjustment layers for editing
-Use the history palette
-Use each selection tool
-Use each editing tool
-Edit people (my favorite methods)
-Use adjustment layers for faces and skin
-Edit photos without using actions
-Rotate and straighten your images
-Create a double exposure look
-Install and use fonts, brushes, and actions
-Add shapes and text to photos
-Insert images into text
-Use shortcuts and create your own for your fastest workflow
-Sharpen images two ways
-Use layer masks to change hair color and background colors
-Make your own actions
-Swap heads
-Create a holga-blurred photo
-Use liquify the right way
-Use grids for design and composition
-Create collages 3 ways
-Add handwriting to photos
-Make an animated GIF file
-Troubleshoot in Photoshop

BONUS: How to batch edit your photos

Photoshop for Bloggers - e-course from!What do I get with my purchase?

-Immediate access through your account
-25 lessons and one bonus lesson
-An exclusive mini-pack of Photoshop actions
-20+ videos to walk you through various lessons
-An entire downloadable folder of images to follow along with each lesson
-PDF of the entire course
-Access to a private Q&A board to ask Sarah your Photoshop questions and read the archives of other students’ questions
-A printable notebook to use during the course

Cost: $99. Click here to purchase!
DSLR Basics and Photoshop E-Courses at Interested in both courses? You can buy both and receive a special rate (just $175 for everything!)
If you love the photography you see here on A Beautiful Mess, then you’re going to love our new photography based e-courses. We can’t wait to share all our secrets with you! Let us know if you have any questions about these courses in the comments. We’re so excited to see all the amazing photos you all are going to take!!!! xo. Emma, Elsie, and the A Beautiful Mess Team.
  • These are fantastic! I’m recommending them to everyone I know, particularly the Photoshop course. I’m confident saying that my decent Photoshop abilities are what take my photos from good to great. The power of Photoshop is incomparable when it comes to blogging.


  • The DSLR course just got added to my Christmas list. It’s like you people are in my brain. I recently purchased my first DSLR and have been learning the very basic functionality, but would love more guidance and ways to use it more creatively.

  • I’m thinking of getting that DSLR one. When you say immediate access, does that mean you can complete the lessons at any rate you want, or is there a certain time you want students to follow (ex: week of December 1, we’re talking lenses)? I already know some of the lessons, but others look like just what I need. Plus, I feel like A Beautiful Mess lessons will be happily free of some of the snobbishness and judgment I’ve seen in other “how to use your DSLR” stuff on the internet, which is just another bonus.

  • Wow! You have answered all my prayers in one blog post! I’ve been a looong time reader and aspiring blogger/etsy shop owner. I haven’t quite dedicated myself to it yet because of my lack of photography & photoshop skills – looks like that’s no longer going to be a problem!! Now I just need to find the time, but I think your Goal Setting blogpost is putting me in the right direction.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Can’t wait to get started 🙂

  • Hi Emma! Yes! You’ll have immediate access to the course and you can follow along at your own pace. Let us know if you have anymore questions! 🙂 -Jacki

  • These are awesome! I really want to take both. Are these classes that have to be signed up for right now because there are only so many spots or are these classes that you can sign up for anytime, now or later?

  • A friend of mine and me wanted to take a photoshop class together.
    But dang- we have Elements and are on student budgets.
    Great price though for the class!

  • Thank you for saying that Cat, I couldn’t agree more. If people only knew how important it was for taking your blog to the next level they’d be clamoring to learn! 🙂 Well said! xo – Sarah

  • The trailer for the courses was so cute…I just couldn’t stop smiling :). I have been wanting to perfect my Photoshop skills so I think this May be perfect!

  • Trisha, I totally get student budgets – I’ve definitely been there!! If you do ever decide to sign up though, we’ll be here for you! And just FYI if you ever want the full version of Photoshop, Adobe has an incredible deal where you can get the Creative Cloud version for 10 bucks a month. This is the same version that we use. Here’s more info – 🙂 xo-Sarah

  • ahhh! This is soo what I need. I have been saving for my very first DSLR camera and photoshop has been on my “learn to do” list for months! I will definitely be signing up for this e course in the next few months.
    Thank you!!!

  • I’ve been waiting for you guys to create courses like these. Maybe both but at least one of these courses is going to be my reward when I completed my goals. Thank you for all the inspiration!

  • One more thing, I’m thinking about giving one of your courses as a gift. Have you considered designing a gift card that you could print. That would be really nice!

  • Wow! I want both of these so bad. I’ve had a DSLR for a couple of ears now and I feel pretty good with the very basics, but I’d love to get deeper into photography, and some in depth knowledge about both using the setting of my DSLR and photoshop to my best advantage. You guys are awesome!

  • Hi Caitlin! It will be available for a while! We don’t have an exact date, but you definitely have some time if you’re thinking about purchasing it 🙂 -Jacki

  • Hi Mia! Gift subscriptions are currently available to purchase for friends/family! Gift cards are not available yet, but you can absolutely “gift” a subscription and can select this option at checkout 🙂 -Jacki

  • Oh wow! These look so great! 🙂
    Just wondering how is the DSLR course different from the Mastering your DSLR with Candice Stringham (I did this one! :)?

  • Hi Sam!

    The class features some different camera styles to try and new homework within the lessons. If you already took the other DSLR class, you may not need to take this one. 🙂 -Jacki

  • This is so awesome! ABM is my number one favorite blog to visit. You are such an inspiration for me and I bet many other people. Elsie & Emma, as well as your entire team at ABM, you guys are so creative, helpful, and you take your readers into consideration when writing your blog posts. These are all things I really appreciate every time I stop by ABM, and this is why your blog is so successful. We live in a world where people are all about their own success and don’t really share much of what they know. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful and clever ideas, as well as a piece of your knowledge!

    I am excited about all of these courses that you offer. I look forward to taking some of these courses soon. : )

  • Just wondering if this would apply to my Canon Rebel T1i camera. I would love to learn how to use my camera more and understand it better. Fingers crossed! Thanks.

  • As far as the photoshop course…I have a PC not a MAC. Are the lessons geared torward MAC users? Or does it not matter? I just want to make sure I can easily follow along 🙂 I am definitely getting the photography guide…I have been wanting to do this for a loooong time, so excited!!

  • This is an amazing guide for new blogger and seasoned bloggers thank you so much!

    IPAD MINI GIVEWAY & Christmas gift guide for him and her

  • Hi Nicole, that is a great question! The course is taught from a mac… For the most part it won’t matter, but there are many commands that are different on a PC than they are on a Mac – however I provide both of the Mac and PC commands and shortcuts throughout the e-course so you won’t be lost at all! And if you ever have any questions I’ll be answering questions on the Q&A board as well! 🙂 Hope we have you along on the Photoshop e-course!! I’m so excited about this! xo- Sarah

  • I would love this so much but student budget you know. Still I think you guys are offering great prices for such a great course

  • I have a bridge camera, not dslr. Is the photo course worth it if I have that type and not dslr?

  • I am very excited about your Photoshop class! Being a graduate of art college in the mid/lates 90’s, I didn’t learn any computer skills for designing. I am an illustrator & printmaker running my business for coming on 17 years now & still use all old methods (like hand cutting rubylith, ink painting on velum, etc) for my separations and making screens. I have been very interested in learning basic Photoshop skills and have had a hard time finding a place to learn them. I am really hoping that this class can help me learn some basics and feel more comfortable exploring Photoshop and applying it to my work where I need it. I learn best from doing the task at the same I’m taught (hands on) is that how your classes are ? I am so happy to have found you guys on Instagram! Thanks for the hard work it took putting all this together! I’ll be signing up!

  • I’ve always been interested in these courses, but I think the DSLR one is the first I’m going to purchase. They’re expensive, but I think it’s going to be worth it, especially with an expensive camera that I don’t use as much as I should!

  • These course are just what I was looking for, and after reading your posts about setting and achieving goals… I am super motivated! One question though… If you just have regular Photoshop 6 and not the cloud version, is that going to be a set back?

  • If somebody has completed or started a course, can y’all comment on here a review? I’m super excited to start this! I know what I’m doing Thanksgiving break!!

  • Just wondering, what kind of camera do you have? I’m thinking of buying myself a dslr camera for christmas 🙂

  • I’m very interested in these courses! Is there a cap on each class? First come first serve? Or do you have unlimited spaces? Is there a deadline to sign up?

  • I did your Mastering Your DSLR course earlier in the year, which was great, but it’s a shame this photography course wasn’t in your shop before I took it as it looks like you learn more things and for less money :0( xx

  • Hi there! I’m planning to buy a MILC camera in the near future. Do you think that the DSLR course will work with this camera? Thanks a lot. You are so great inspiration!

  • Perfect timing! I was planning on buying a DLSR camera this month, so these e-courses are just what I need. I don’t know if I’d better start with the DLSR one or take advantage of the special offer, even though I don’t have Photoshop on my computer. If I was to buy both classes, could I first take the DLSR one and once I’m more comfortable with photography, following the Photoshop class? I mean, these are not workshops with an expiration date?
    Also, I was wondering if the discount code from readers survey in March was still usable? If I remember well, we could use it until the end of 2014 but since you changed your shop platform, I guess it can’t be used anymore?
    Thank you in advance for your answers 🙂 and thank you for all the hard work you put in your new shop!

  • Eeek! This is so exciting!! I have been trying to wrap my head around Photoshop and now it seems Christmas has come early for me 🙂 Thank you for creating these courses!

    Mo x

  • Hi! I love your e-courses and want to sign up for the Photoshop one. I have Photoshop, but it’s in Italian, will the actions that come with the course work with it?

  • Hi Claire! The new class offers different photography styles and fun new homework within the lessons. They are similar, but the new one is slightly different with perspectives from three different teachers. 🙂 -Jacki

  • Are you guys going to bring back the Elements actions that you offered previously? I’m sure the demand isn’t nearly as high but I actually went to go purchase them a couple of weeks ago and they’d vanished. Unfortunately, I recently bought and installed Elements (instead of springing for the full Photoshop since I’m definitely beginner-ish so it was hard to justify regular Photoshop at the time). I’ve looked all over the internet for Elements tutorials but it’s pretty bleak out there.

    Thanks! :o)

  • Hi Kristin! The course lessons are applicable to Photoshop versions CS3 and newer. Feel free to send us an email at support AT redvelvetart DOT com if you have anymore questions! 🙂 -Jacki

  • Hi Sandi, exactly what Jacki said! I use the bamboo tablet in the e-course but it shouldn’t matter what model it is. It’s really more about achieving a handwritten look in Photoshop, and most tablets can deliver that! Great question! 🙂 -Sarah

  • Jessie, this is such a great question! To be honest I’m not familiar with the processes involved in screen printing, but this course will teach you all of the tools in Photoshop and what they are used for. The course uses photos as the examples (and there are a couple of sessions on editing people and faces that you might not find useful for screen printing, hah!), but I learned Photoshop by editing people, and from there after I learned how to use the tools, I learned how to use them for other purposes, make sense? I’d recommend reading over the “what will I learn?” section on the right hand side of this page:
    You’ll find everything the course covers there, and because you know your business workflow better than I do, then that might be more helpful for you to make a decision! And 17 years in your business? Amazing! Go you!! 🙂 xo – Sarah

  • Hey gals! I’m very interested in the new DSLR camera course, but have a confession: I took your earlier e-course with Candace and didn’t do that well with it. As in, I’m still intimidated by my camera and a bit apprehensive to even pick it up. Is the new course different enough in style and scope that it would be helpful as a second try?? Thanks heaps. xox

  • This is everything that I’ve been looking for. I’ve been quite busy lately and an eCourse if definitely a better bit. I’m so looking forward to this.

  • How long is the course opened for? will I always have access to the content of the class or will it expire and close?

  • I haven’t picked my DSLR up in a few years since I lost my charger, I really want to do this to re-learn everything I might have forgotton!

  • Hi Nina! You could definitely do that! The e-courses don’t have an expiration date. Send us an email at: customercare AT studiocalico DOT com with your coupon information and we will honor it! 🙂 -Jacki

  • What amazing timing! I’ve just got a new camera and one thing I’m desperate to learn is how to use it to its fill potential (ie. not in Auto mode all of the time!) These new courses look absolutely fabulous! x

  • The DSLR class looks great! My mom wants to take a class to learn photography basics but she only has a point n shoot. Would she glean much from this class, or would it be over her head? Can you recommend any classes for that?

  • Hi Colleen! Unfortunately, she wouldn’t benefit from the class as much without a DSLR camera, since most of the lessons teach you different ways to change the settings on your camera in order to improve your photography skills. Right now we don’t have any classes for point and shoot cameras, but you might do some google searches to see if you can find something online. 🙂 -Jacki

  • That’s a great question Chantal! There’s a TON to choose from for every budget. We use the Canon 5D Mark iii here at A Beautiful Mess, but if you would like other recommendations depending on your budget, feel free to email me – sarah AT redvelvetart DOT com. 🙂 xo – Sarah

  • Quick Question… Are you able to watch the tutorials for the class more than once? Or do you watch one level, go to the next, and can’t go backwards, etc.? Sometimes it helps to be able to go back and reabsorb the lessons!

  • I have 2 kind of dumb questions…1) What is Bridge and how do I know if I have it? I have Photoshop CS5 but I dunno about Bridge. 2)Are there any tutorials about uploading and saving photoshopped images to your computer? Silly question but my current method is crazy time consuming.

    But for real, when I get that figured out both of these are happening. Its just what I need to get motivated!

  • Kallie these are not dumb questions! 🙂 Bridge is a program that comes with Photoshop – so if you bought CS5 then Bridge should have come with it. If you didn’t download it maybe check your disk that you installed it from to see if it’s on there! If you’re having trouble finding Bridge (or unable to install it) I would recommend contacting Adobe Support to see if they could help:

    For your second question, one of the first lessons is about opening and saving photos to your computer, so yes! I hope that helps your workflow a bit! I know Photoshop can be really confusing to navigate on your own so no worries! There’s also a bonus lesson about how to mass resize and save your photos quickly. We’re talking like, seconds. 😉 I think you’re really going to love it! Thanks for the great questions Kallie! xo-Sarah

  • I’m really interested in taking and getting started on both classes! Any input on how to go about working through both classes? Side by side, one class then the other? I’m relatively familiar with my DSLR, Photoshop will be completely new territory for me. Also, I’m assuming the Creative Cloud package works on Macs? Thanks for your help!

  • Hi Megan, the Creative Cloud is what we use on our macs here! 🙂 You could do one first and then the other, or you could read through a couple of lessons of each and then decide what you’re feeling up to! I hope that doesn’t sound like a non-answer. 🙂 It’s really up to you though – both of our courses are pretty flexible. Either way we are all happy to have you along! xo – Sarah

  • This is one of many great blogs I visit every month, and it joins a growing list of other great bloggers. I am continually amazed at how small and medium sized bloggers are becoming so sophisticated with their production value. The internet has a very powerful democratization effect that cuts through the tightly owned media landscape. Great post and a great blog!

  • Omg I know what I want for christmas!!! They both look so amazing, I want to do both. Perfect timing too!

  • Ah I’m getting so excited while watching your beautifull trailers! But I don’t really get how these courses work :/ Is it like video’s that you get? And how long is it available? Can you explain this to me please?

    One day I would like to follow one of your e-courses, but right now exams are coming. I’m a freshman in a university of Belgium, so I’ll have to work hard!

  • These classes look great! I’m putting them on my wishlist. I’ve been using my iphone camera for blog photos and just editing with whatever I can currently use (instagram, iphoto, picmonkey) but my husband has a dslr that is sitting in a drawer, and I might be ready to go to the next level!

  • Hello,

    I LOVE this, I want to get the bundle deal 🙂 I do not have Photoshop yet, and I am looking at getting the Creative Cloud PS and Lightroom y’all suggested. However, in the future I would like to purchase your Complete Collection. Will it work in the Photoshop from Creative Cloud or do we need to get a different version of Photoshop somewhere? I just don’t want to have to purchase two different versions, so could you let me know which will work for both? Thanks! (sorry, I’m a Photoshop virgin 🙂 )

    Thank you for your help! 🙂

  • Hello,

    Will the Photoshop in the Creative Cloud package work with your Complete Collection?

    Thank you!

  • Hi Ladies of A Beautiful Mess! Really excited about these courses. Quick question: Are there any reviews available from users who have gone through the courses? Just wanted to hear the feedback before I made a decision whether to purchase or not. Thanks!

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