Posts in Photoshop
Straw Poll: How do you use Photoshop @ work?

I would really love to get an idea of how women are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements at their workplaces. Would you answer this quick straw poll?

QUESTION 1: What do you make for work using Photoshop?

Part A: If you said nothing, is that because:

  • you have literally never needed to use graphics anywhere at your job, or
  • you don't know how to use Photoshop (but wish you could)
  • you use another program (Canva, Word, etc) to put together any visual materials needed
  • you hire someone

QUESTION 2: What kind of job do you have? 

Part A: Are you self-employed?

QUESTION 3: How often do you find yourself using Photoshop, or wishing you could or knew how, for work?

Please pass this on, ok? 

xo, JS

The AWESOME BrushBox Brush Management System

Recently, I was introduced to Brushbox, which has been a game changer when it comes to Photoshop CC brush management! Unfortunately, this only works with Photoshop CC, no older versions or Elements.

This amazing brush management extension combines the brush palette and the brush preset palette, along with a few more things. After installing it, it gets docked in like a palette, and all your brushes are grouped together by name, amazingly organized, easy to find and set your favorites. What I LOVE about this, is when I create my own brushes, I am able to save them right from BrushBox as their own set.

 

 

Having the BrushBox menu installed has made it so easy to find the exact brush I want and organize my brushes as I want them! If you have Photoshop CC, I highly recommend checking them out by clicking here!

Explore Your Family History: 3 New Classes

Hi there!

If you're like me, you probably have a box (or bag, or envelope, or more) with a whole hoard of vintage photos. Perhaps they're from your own childhood, or those of previous generations. For six weeks, starting June 28, I've got THREE new classes that celebrate our heritage, and I think you'll find that stash of vintage pics handy as you learn to restore vintage snaps AND build your own gorgeous projects with them! 

I've designed the courses to begin one after the other, for a full SIX WEEKS of family history goodness, plus a discount for registering for all three courses! Check that out at the bottom of the post. 

Check out below for a chance to WIN a free Family History Bundle ($118 value!)

Family History Course 1

Four-Generation Family Tree Poster

This one-week course begins June 28, and features a detailed video and the poster .psd we'll use to capture FOUR generations of your family in one place! This course is great for beginners! I'll show you how to add the photographs to each block in the tree, how to add an overlay so all the pictures are the same tones of black and white, AND help you make the cute name bracket you can see in this sample:

Plus, you'll even get a discount for the printing of this 16x20 beauty, to get it off your computer and into your home for all to enjoy! 


Family History Course 2 (begins July 5)

Family History Album, 2016 Edition

Okay, this one right here - is important. Even if you never do another family history project, you NEED to do this one. This album captures an overview of the lives of the three generations that came before you: your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents. In class, I'll show you how to search for, gather photos and stories, link up, plan, and create a gorgeous 20-page album. You might not know a lot about these members of your family, so consider this an opportunity to get to know them. If you DO have a lot of information on "Your Three Generations," consider this an opportunity to capture the essence of their history in an easy-to-read book for all your family members to enjoy. 

Basic Photoshop skills are required, and we'll have great fun telling stories in class, too! You'll receive a discount on printing this as a 12x12 or 8x8 photo book!

*You can begin gathering photos and stories of your "Three Generations" now, to be ready for class to begin!


Family History Course 3

This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Snapshots (2016 edition)

This is a before and after example from the photo restoration class : This Old Photo!

This is a before and after example from the photo restoration class : This Old Photo!

This Old Photo is a complete remake of my original 2012 class of the same name. In this three-week class, we will focus on photo restoration in Photoshop: bringing those beautiful vintage snapshots back to life!

The tools and techniques for photo restoration are completely different from those we use to edit modern photos. I'll show you how to repair photos, including fixing rips, scratches, folds, dirt, and spots. I'll also show you how to repair color shifting in early color photos, as well as restore black-and-whites and sepias to their original glory.

When we restore photos, our goal is to remove the signs of aging, while honoring the photograph for what it is: a snapshot of a moment in time. These memories and their stories are waiting for you to bring them back to life! I can't wait to share the experience with you! Class begins July 19!


Family History Course Bundle 

Poster, Album, and Restoration for one Great Price!

I've designed each Family History class to follow right after the other: SIX weeks of awesome education, storytelling, technique building, and creative fun, for one great price! Essentially, you'll be getting the poster class for FREE by registering for the entire bundle. Check it out!

If you're as excited as I am, enter at the bottom of this post to win! Five Lucky, Lucky people will win a free Family History Bundle ($118 value!)

Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop, Class 5

I am excited to introduce Digital 5: Creativity Comes Alive! This intermediate-level class is the newest in my digital scrapbooking series for Photoshop. (If you're a beginner, check out my FREE beginner's class, Digital 1: We've Just Begun)

What to Expect

In Class 5, we continue with intermediate-level techniques to grow your Photoshop skills beyond the basics. I'll be right there with you in my HD video screencast as I walk you through FOUR complete digital scrapbook layouts. Each lesson is between 40-50 minutes of video, and each layout is packed with techniques that coordinate together, but also stand alone as useful & practical tools in their own right. (I mean, learning how to make text look like it's on fire is great, but it's kind of a one-trick pony, you know?)

Mixing and matching these techniques with others in your arsenal, you've got the "fixings" for dozens more layouts. But what exactly will you learn in Digi 5? Here are some specifics.

Lesson One: 5 Things I Love

This digital scrapbook page looks cute, AND contains a wealth of techniques you'll love. You'll learn how to:

  • Add four different patterned papers to create a unique background
  • Use the Photoshop drawing tools and a creative selection technique to draw a ring-shaped clipping mask AND its white outline
  • Create a three-photo block with a black matte
  • Create a block-style letter from a numeric font (introduction to the Polygonal Lasso tool)
  • Load and stamp four different brushes
  • Use Photoshop layer Groups to keep the layout pieces organized

And of course we'll save our page for print and for the web, so you can share it with friends and family no matter where they are! Record the stories of your life AND learn great new techniques in Digital 5.

Instead of hundreds of dollars (based on community college course costs), this class is $49. Yep. And you'll learn the best of the best techniques: How to combine images, brushes, photo edits, and type into great finished projects. 

As always, this course is self-paced, and will be available to you FOREVER at JessicaSprague.com


Get My Photoshop for Kids class FREE!

I'm looking for a few volunteers to help me test and review my new album class called My Awesome Life: Photoshop for Kids class! If you have a child between the ages of 10-16, I'll provide you (both) with FREE permanent access to the class in exchange for photos or images of your completed album, plus feedback on the lessons and a review of the class itself.

Pages 2-3 of the 20-page album, all about them!

Pages 2-3 of the 20-page album, all about them!

What It Is

The class is divided into 11 lessons, which should take your child about 60 minutes each. It's recorded in Photoshop CC, with cut-scene video showing any differences in Photoshop Elements.

What They Do

Each lesson is centered on one two-page spread, and includes instruction on how to get the images in to the file, plus at least one BRAND NEW technique each lesson (including selecting, drawing, outlining, cutting from alphabets, type, and more). They'll cut their files apart and save them for print and the web. 

At the end of the course they'll upload all their album pages using PaperKiwi (although any book printer, such as Shutterfly or Blurb, will work great), and receive their precious album in the mail. 

Who It's For

This class is geared toward kids ages 10-16, and comes in two distinct colorways perfect for girls or boys - and they get to pick which one! 

All they'll need is a digital camera (a phone camera works just fine!), and a little guidance how to get their photos onto their computer ready to use, and I'll show them the rest!

I'm really excited about this class and about teaching kids how to use Photoshop. This is a GREAT way to develop skills that will last them a lifetime!

What They'll Get

In addition to the amazing end result (a 20-page album with details of their life as it is right now), they'll gain the confidence that comes with learning real-world skills, and applying their own photos and writing to a project they'll create from start to finish. 

The skills they'll learn in Photoshop are an incredible investment that will benefit them for life - not only way out there, but RIGHT NOW, as they work on projects for school, gifts, invitations, decorations for their room, and much more. Photoshop is a tool they'll use forever, and they can learn it right now. 

What I Need From You

Please drop an email to support@jessicasprague.zendesk.com to apply, plus tell me:

  • Age & gender of your child
  • Your own level of Photoshop experience, and

include a link to a portfolio, gallery, or other place we can see your work, plus links to your blog/facebook/twitter/other

Thank you so much! I can't wait to see what they make!

Take your Photos from Good to Great!

Think back to the day you got your first digital camera. Boy how our lives have changed, right? I didn't realize all that could be done, all the memories I could hold onto. Now we can take photos all the time!   From phones to cameras to tablets... there are always photos to be taken, memories to be saved, a lifetime to savor.

In honor of our first digital cameras and ALL the photos we've taken since, I'd like to announce not one but TWO new photo editing classes, so you can take your pick! Each class is just $69 with the links below!

Photo Editing 1: Lightroom Edition

You've been asking for it, and here it is! My first-ever class for Adobe Lightroom! Are you as excited as I am? WOO!

 


In the Photo Editing 1: Lightroom Edition class, which launches November 3, I'll show you how to make easy global edits using the world-class Lightroom application, designed by photographers for photographers. If you've subscribed to the photographer's bundle from Adobe, this is the class for you! I'll show you how to combine easy Lightroom edits with the power of special techniques in Photoshop to create photos that will make your heart sing. I promise. You'll

Best part yet? I'm offering this class at an introductory price, more than 20% off with this special link. Regular price is $89, and you'll get the class for $69!

Register for Lightroom Edition

If you'd like to check out Lightroom, click here to grab the 30-day free trial

Photo Editing 1:Photoshop Edition


For Photoshop CC, CS6, CS5, and any version of Photoshop Elements!

If you only take ONE Photoshop class in your life, the Photo Editing 1: Photoshop Edition is it! (of course, if you've taken a bunch, this is still it! Ha!) Of all the things I could share or show, the one that will make the MOST impact on you as a memory keeper is the skill of editing photos.  

 

In this class, which begins November 3, I'll show you how to use the free plugin included with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements called Adobe Camera Raw, and then we'll take our photo right into Photoshop to make it sing! You'll learn how to make colors pop, how to turn photos black and white, add treatments such as tints and vignettes, sharpen, and save for both print and the web. You'll be armed with knowledge that will last you a lifetime, and will change your photos forever.

Best part? Right now you can get $20 off the original price! Check it out! Regular price is $89, and you'll get the class for just $69!

Register for Photoshop Edition

Regardless of which edition you choose, Photo Editing 1 is the place to start for editing those precious photographic memories. I can't wait to show you! Register today!

Build a Beautiful Online Course Homepage with Fedora

Image isn't everything. Well, that is except when it comes to digital design and doughnuts. 

Digital design is like the sprinkles of the internet. It makes pages look nice. Who wants to look at a plain Jane page? I know I want sprinkles on my doughnuts, and images on my pages. 

I joined Ankur and the team at Fedora for a much-requested webinar last week. We discussed how I turned their school page into what you see at JessicaSprague.com. Their support (as well as ours) has been filled with the question...

"You know how they say image is everything, I hate that, and don’t think it’s true, EXCEPT for web design, in which, image actually is everything. What I mean is that in order to put across that credibility that we’re looking for, in order to invite people to trust you as their teacher, you have to be able to show them beautiful things. That is the toughest part, but I’m going to help you along the way.” - Jessica Sprague

Using Fedora's platform, the Bootstrap starter kit, Adobe's Dreamweaver and Photoshop, Screenflow, the reset button, and more, I built the page you now see at JessicaSprague.com. Oh, you cannot forget the tears and sweat and sprinkles. 

Here's a preview of Bootstrap!

Here's a preview of Bootstrap!

You can build a school like mine, customize it, and sell your knowledge! You're awesome, and I believe in you!

You can read more over at Fedora's blog. Ashley Hockney did a wonderful writeup about sprinkles and the resources used to build JessicaSprague.com! There's also a link to watch the replay of the webinar. Check out her post Build a Beautiful Online Course Homepage.

I hope you get lots of knowledge from the webinar! 

My New Answer: You Should Get Photoshop CC.

I get asked a lot of questions. (And I like answering them, so don't stop asking). Among the most common is this one:

  • What version of Photoshop should I get?

My Old Answer: Beginners Should Buy Elements.

For years (seriously, like 10 years), I've been answering this question pretty much the same way. If you are a beginner, you should get Photoshop Elements. It's like the sleek little brother to the big honking Mack truck that has features you don't need and that will only get in the way*. And it's less than $100. I don't think that anymore.

*This FEATURES YOU DON'T NEED thing has been the major change for me, because it has features you DO need now. Read on.

If you want to read on for the backstory and the reasons for the decision, please do. But I'll sum up right here:

You Should Subscribe to Photoshop CC.

Even if you are a beginner, I think you should subscribe to Photoshop CC. If you don't need any of the other Adobe applications (Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc), then your price is simple: You can get both Photoshop CC and Lightroom for $10 a month and you should go do that right now. 

Here is the link for checking out the Adobe Photographer Bundle. If you already know you like Photoshop, just subscribe. If you're on the fence, get the free trial and head over to take my beginner digital scrapbooking class. 


And now for the WHY.

Firstly: What the heck is Creative Cloud?

(The CC behind Photoshop CC).

Creative Cloud is the subscription-based delivery for Photoshop and the other Adobe applications. You subscribe, click the Install button and you get the full version of Photoshop installed on your computer. Every time you connect your computer to the internet (which is all the time for almost all of us), it checks whether there are updates and gives you the option to install them right away. 

The good news: You get updates as soon as they come out - no hunting, no extra purchases. Just your monthly fee. Which if you JUST want Photoshop, is $10 a month. So cheap. 

The bad news: You never get to actually OWN any software. If you stop paying for your subscription, it goes away. (You own all your files, of course - you just can't edit them unless you buy PSE or install your old copy of Photoshop).

It's actually this bad news that had most people really freaked out. Nobody likes feeling like they have no contingency plan. What if Adobe goes away? What if somehow things go massively downhill and I lose access to all my files? This is a whole life's work here. You might remember the furore over the whole thing. But I REALLY DO think you should subscribe. It's been 2 years now, and there's no sign of slowing down. And I have a few good reasons for changing my mind.

So. Now for WHY. Gonna do these in reverse order like Letterman:

Reason #3: It is Really Cheap to Own Big Mama Now

In the past, I've always treated Photoshop C+ as the investment you made when you knew you were serious about digital crafting/art/photo editing, etc. But about a year ago, Adobe released the package for photographers, with Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. For $10 a month. Less than I pay for Netflix. Less than lunch at anywhere but fast food. And while for a long time my purpose was to get as many people using Photoshop as possible, Photoshop Elements was the best deal in town. Don't get me wrong. It still IS a good deal. You can get it at Costco in September for like $60. So if you upgrade every year, you'll pay $60-$80. If you subscribe to Creative Cloud, you'll pay $120 a year. 

Reason #2: Sweet Features

Everything I've ever taught in Photoshop HAD to be available in Photoshop Elements, because that was what the majority of people were using. In a recent poll, however, the numbers are now neck-and-neck, with nearly 50% of people using some version of Photoshop CS or CC. So let's talk about Sweet Features. PS CC offers features like paths, the pen tool, better selections, better color management, better brush handling, and the BIG HUGE new deal: Glyphs. Which are almost single-handedly the reason why I changed my mind about what to recommend. Read on:

Reason #1: The New Glyphs Palette

This is a sweet feature and therefore kind of belongs in Reason 2. But it belongs in its own reason because it's such a huge game-changer. Glyphs are essentially the same as "characters" in fonts. But the Glyphs Palette (which has been available forever in Illustrator and InDesign) is what enables you to access all the alternate characters that are offered in those really nice, expensive fonts like Mercury Script and Samantha

Mercury Script. I die.

Mercury Script. I die.

Samantha Upright. I also die.

Samantha Upright. I also die.

And the fact that I myself no longer had to go over to Illustrator to get the pretty, and then bring it back in to Photoshop was reason enough for me to change my mind. I think that this is the best move all around, and we've been waiting for it for YEARS. 

So if you are on the fence about whether to wait for the next Photoshop Elements (probably coming out in September or October) or whether to dive in to the free 30-day trial of Photoshop CC, GO WITH THE BIG MAMA. 

I'll be offering a class on working with the new Glyphs palette starting next week! I can't wait to show you how AWESOME it is! And it comes with a FREE font you can use!

Love it. Go grab it. See you there.

xo,

-J

100 Free Fonts Everyone Should Have! (part 2)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

Spring Shebang! 60% off Classes & New Site!

I'm pleased to announce that JessicaSprague.com is being redesigned and moved to a brand-new platform! 

Here is a preview of the new site! 

Here is a preview of the new site! 

Awesome, right? I can't wait! Of course I'll continue to offer the world's best online classes for digital crafters - in fact, now they'll get even better. With a redesigned, fully-responsive classroom, you'll be able to quickly view every part of the site from devices of any size, and access all your videos with just a few clicks. New table-of-contents and video-embedding features will make learning a breeze. Want a sneak peek?

This is a preview of the classroom!

This is a preview of the classroom!

 

New Classes, New Platform

Starting with my NEXT CLASS (read on for more on that!), all new classes will be created on the new class platform. When the new site launches, you'll find some of the newer classes available there as well.

But what about the older classes? 

Older Classes Become Archives

Rather than trying to mass-update or move all my older classes to the new  platform, we've frozen all the older classes into a permanent Archive. This means that while they won't be moved or updated, you'll still have easy, permanent access to EVERY CLASS you've ever purchased using the Archives link from the new site.

Spring Shebang! 60% Off Archive Classes!

You've probably realized that since I'm not moving the older classes to the new platform, most of my classes will never be for sale again in their current format. Before they disappear forever on May 1, I want to extend the invitation to you to grab up some of these classes to add to YOUR collection. And I'm offering them at a GREAT discount: 60% off of their original prices. $700 worth of classes! Check them out:

click here to shop the sale!

Note: If you're feeling really hungry, you can purchase the Whole Enchilada for 70% off. These are skills and knowledge to last a lifetime, but the sale ends May 1 at noon

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us

I'm excited for the new changes, and looking forward to many more classes with you at JessicaSprague.com. With much love as we ride into the future together, 

Register for Type-ology today!

Hi there! My newest class, Type-ology: Designing with Fonts & Type is now available as a self-paced class! When you register, you'll receive instant, permanent access to the course, which includes more than 6 hours of step-by-step video instruction, gorgeous PDF companion sheets, and lots of extras! 

Here is the syllabus, which includes EIGHT beautiful projects, including seven posters and a gorgeous mini-album you'll design and create yourself:

  • Lesson 1: Details Poster: Getting acquainted with the anatomy of letterforms
  • Lesson 2: Type as PatternSlab serif and outlined type creates a pattern for a poster or a card
  • Lesson 3: Mixing Fonts & BrushesUse block sans and script with watercolor brushes
  • Lesson 4: Exploring & Collecting FontsUse tags and albums to identify, collect, and compare fonts of various styles at Myfonts.com
  • Lesson 5a: History of Type, 15th-18th Centuries
  • Lesson 5b: History of Type, 19th Century
  • Lesson 6: Wood Type Poster: Create a poster using fonts patterned after 19th century wood type
  • Lesson 7: Font Mixing, Forever Young PosterSelectively mix fonts from different eras and add ligatures
  • Lesson 8: Font Management for the Hoarder, er, Hobbyist
  • Lesson 9: Love Poster: Use Photoshop patterns on type, and create a grid for a poster
  • Lesson 10: Cricket CollageCreate a collage using an offset grid and LOTS of layers to mimic a paper from Cosmo Cricket
  • BONUS LESSON: Collage Mini-album: Use a grid and the Cricket Collage to create a quick and beautiful mini-album

Here are some of the projects you'll create as part of this class: 

From Type-ology, Lesson 1

From Type-ology, Lesson 3

From Type-ology, Lesson 6

From Type-ology Lessons 9 and 10

n this class you'll learn about the history of type, the anatomy of letterforms, how to mix elements like Photoshop Brushes and patterns with fonts, and how to manage your ever-growing font stash. This is a must-have class for any digital scrapbooker, digital crafter, or designer! It's available at a special limited price of $45.00 (14$ off!)

You can register today for instant, permanent access, with over 6 hours of video instruction that streams to any device! This makes it easy to view the class on your phone or tablet, and create the projects on your computer.

As always, if you find this class isn't right for you, simply contact me and I'll give you a full refund. Register for Type-ology at JessicaSprague.com today!

Check Out My Newest Template

A great way to get your scrapbooking done quickly and have it look amazing is with templates. Snap Click Supply Company has my newest template available to you, and at 25% off, along with many other templates!

Below is the template, and 4 examples of ways to use it! Be sure to get your templates while they're on sale!