Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions has written 1154 Articles:

Should You Jump Ship From Facebook For Google Plus?

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This is the question most photographers are asking right now.  I hear the buzz all over social media.

“Should I leave Facebook for Google Plus?”

And the answer is: NO. Don’t jump ship from Facebook. Just change the way you use it.  Times have changed — you may feel like less people see your images and posts, no matter incredible the photos or exciting the conversation. Facebook constantly changes their algorithm.  They need ad dollars to please stockholders, and unfortunately this leaves less space for the content you want to deliver and receive.

Here are some ideas on how to work with the Facebook changes:

  1. Create great content, share beautiful images, and post what your audience wants to see.
  2. Experiment. Each week design a plan and stick to it.  One week try the “post only once a day” and another week try to post every few hours throughout the day.  See what works best for your audience.
  3. Check your insights and see what types of posts do best and do more of them.
  4. Don’t take it personally – don’t measure your worth by your numbers.  It’s not you, it’s them.   If you start feeling down about yourself, take a step back.  Maybe take a few days off, or even have a friend post for you.  Seriously.  Your photos rock!  If you see a low percent of people seeing your posts and the decreased amount of interaction, remember that Facebook is holding back.
  5. The bigger your Facebook account gets, the lower the % they show your posts to organically.  So, consider finding your ideal target customers, not just bodies, to like your page.
  6. Be careful of “the experts.”  Much like an overweight person who wants so badly to lose weight, it’s easy to fall for the “free” webinars promising more fans and interaction on your page. Most are designed to lure you in to paid products. Since social networking changes constantly, I’m skeptical of people who coin themselves “experts.”  Maybe “experimenters” is a better name – they try and tell you what they think works at that moment in time.

 

What else you can do… The best advice I have for photographers!

DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET!

This is the same advice I might give a kid on Easter.  If the wind blows and you drop your basket, you lose all the eggs. Start thinking in terms of diversity.  Sure, you can have a favorite social network.  Your heart may even still belong to Facebook.

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Ownership is everything! The most important thing isn’t what social networks you belong to, but that you take ownership of a website, a blog and a newsletter.   You control these 100%!

Then diversify your social networking efforts.  It may be impossible for your business to be on Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  But we recommend pick at least two or three so that you spread out and reach your customers where they like to socialize.

Now it’s networking time!!! Who wants to play….

Below, we listed all the places where you can find us. We definitely do not expect you to follow us everywhere, but we hope you’ll like us on any networks that you frequent.  We even added a description of each so you will know which are best for you.  Oh, and “networking time” – you may wonder what that means.  We want you to tell us where we and other MCP fans can find you too.  Just type your info in the comments section below.

OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS:

MCP Facebook PageWe share tips, tricks, and news related to photography and editing.
MCP Facebook Group  – Request your invite to connect with MCP customers around the globe.  Ask questions. Share your edits with our products.
Jodi’s Facebook Page - Get to know me better… A mix of photography, editing and personal thoughts…
MCP Google Plus PageWe share tips, tricks, and news related to photography and editing. See MCP posts that Facebook hides from you.
Jodi’s Google Plus Page Get to know me better… A mix of photography, editing and personal thoughts…
MCP on InstagramWe get a little more personal here – but also host a fun, photo a day challenge.  Come join us when you can.
MCP on PinterestWe share tips, tricks and news related to photography and editing – some from our sites and other stuff from around the Internet.
MCP on Twitter - Like your information in 140 characters or less.  Join us here for quick tips and links to new blog posts.
Jodi’s Facebook Page - Get to know me better… A mix of photography, editing and personal thoughts…
Jodi’s Google Plus Page Get to know me better… A mix of photography, editing and personal thoughts…

Beautiful Jodi 03 edit 450x675 Should You Jump Ship From Facebook For Google Plus? OUR WEBSITES:

StoreShop for Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets and editing classes.
BlogLearn photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and business tips and tricks.
MCP Show and TellSee before and afters with step-by-step recipes teaching how to get the look. Then share some of your own.
Weekly Newsletter Sign UpDon’t miss a beat. We deliver photography and editing tips and tutorials right to your in box.  Plus the occasional freebie and new product details.

 

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Proof That Newborn Photoshop Actions Are Not Just For Editing Babies

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One question we get asked often is “Can I use Newborn Necessities Photoshop Actions on other images?”  The answer is “YES, it can be used on any images.”

The follow up question is often, “Why did you name it Newborn Necessities and market the actions for editing baby images?”  Great question. When we started working on the newborn actions in 2011, we wanted a product that would help the growing industry of newborn photographers. Editing baby images is tough.  Babies are so beautiful, but sometimes their skin-tones range from gray and drab to yellow and jaundice.  Often they have purple or red feet and hands.  At first, we aimed to smooth their skin and fix these issues. We ended up building the set around that foundation and added workflow and toning actions as well as finishing actions – we built a complete solution for retouching and dealing with hard to edit baby images.

 

Photo by: Blythe Harlan Photography

While we truly focused on newborns when we developed and started selling the Photoshop actions, we never really considered that they are a perfect solution for a light, airy, clean edit for all images.  Photographers who buy these rarely limit the use to just babies.  We’ve even considered changing the name or re-marketing it.  In the end, we’ve decided to just let people know that in can, in fact, be used on all kinds of photographs.  Here are a few examples. We hope you enjoy!

Newborn Photoshop Actions used on non-baby images:

Photo by Holly Stocks – she’s just been in business since mid last year.  Beautiful!

Photo by: Jane Atwell

Photo by Atina King Photography

The Next Two Photos by: Impromptu Photography

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Photo by Jessica Dyck

Photo by Nicole Baldwin

Photo by Lauren Tomten

Photo by Jackie Scarpari

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Quick Edits to Add Artistic Flare to Your Images

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Sometimes on the MCP Blog and on MCP Show and Tell we teach photographers how to fix an image or make drastic changes to a photo.  But one important use for Photoshop actions is to do quick edits and add artistic flare to an already strong image.

The “before” photo had light skin smoothing. All edits used just one action on top of the before using the MCP Inspire Actions for Photoshop and Elements.  Photo courtesy of Kruithof Photography.

Which is your favorite edit?

Before Inspire

TS9A1655 600x400 Quick Edits to Add Artistic Flare to Your Images

Inspire Beaming – Warm Toned Color Action

Inspire Countryside – Pastel Toned Action

Inspire Denim and Pearls – Classic Vintage Toned Action

Inspire Rainforest – Rich, Contrast Action

Inspire Sun-drenched – Warm Light Action

Inspire Sweet Dreams – Peach Toned Action

Inspire Chic – Matte B&W Photoshop Action

Inspire Vogue – High Impact/High Contrast B&W Action

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10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

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10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

When I started in my photographic journey more than a decade ago, I was warned “use a lens hood to avoid lens flare at all costs.”  Most photographers thought of flare and excess light as a bad thing for photos.  Some still do.

I love light.  I love the way light can bounce off an object, can stream through a window, and can even create a soft haze on an image.  I have chosen to purposely “use” light to craft starbursts and sunflare.  And yes, I even sometimes add extra sunflare in Photoshop or add streams of light in Lightroom. Cringe! icon smile 10 Secret Ingredients to Get Powerful Sunflare

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Here’s a few tips on how to get great bursts of sunlight on your own terms.

  1. Shoot the sun against a vibrant blue sky.
  2. Switch to Manual, if not already there.  You’ll get the best results this way.
  3. Set your speed. Aim for ISO 100, but closer to sunset (or after sunrise) you may need ISO 200-400+. If you want a “burst style” flare, set your aperture between f16-f22. If you want a hazier look with less definition, you  can open the lens wider though.
  4. Lastly set your shutter speed.  You will need to vary this setting quite a bit depending what you want to preserve (sky or subject).  I usually try to retain the blue sky and slightly under expose my subject. I then adjust the exposure in Lightroom or Photoshop.
  5. For more control over the light, use a reflector or a flash to light your subject if they are “in range” of your source.
  6. If you are shooting objects further away, such as a building, take two exposures. In one, expose for the sky. In the next expose for your subject.  Then merge in post processing.
  7. This technique works best when the sun is not directly overhead.  Look for times where the sun is lower in the sky.
  8. Edges work great. While you can get sunflare and the starburst effect in mid sky, you can get even more dynamic results when it gazes the edge of a building or object.
  9. A lens hood “can” be your friend. If you want a hazy look, take it off.  If you want a bolder starburst flare effect, keep it on to enhance the contrast.
  10. Results will vary depending on the type of lens you use.  I get completely different results using my Olympus OMD EM5 than I do with my Canon 5D MKIII.  When I use a prime lens versus a zoom, and depending on the aperture and focal length, the look changes too.  Experiment to find your favorite looks.

Have fun with this new technique.  I love the look and I often take a few images like these in different locations – just for entertainment… As with anything, you can have too much of a good thing.  Beware – this can be addicting!

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Now it’s your turn.  Add your sunflare images below!

 

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MCP Photo A Day Challenge: April Themes

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To learn more about MCP Photo A Day.

It’s never too late to join in.  And if you miss a day or two, or get behind, that’s fine as well.  Just participate when you can.  Here are the fun themes for April. You are welcome to pin this and post it directly to Facebook, Google+ and Instagram too!

How to participate:

  • Take a photo with any camera you want (SLR, phone, P&S, etc). Post the image to your Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus or best yet – all of them.  Hashtag it #mcpphotoaday. If possible list the day, date and/or theme.
  • Bonus fun – You can also follow us and tag @mcpactions on Instagram. If on Facebook – tag the MCP Business Facebook Page and if on Google+ – tag the MCP G+ Page.
  • If you edited the photo with MCP products such as our Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets and textures, you can also hashtag it #mcpactions.  For more exposure, you may post MCP edited images to our Facebook Group and state what products were used.
  • Spread the word.  Tell others to visit this shortened URL to join us: http://bit.ly/mcp-photoaday
  • Make sure you FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM and OUR PERSONAL FACEBOOK as we will try and feature photos daily.

 

That’s it – super easy.  We hope you participate.  Make sure to check out MCP on Instagram. We will feature participants’ images – so visit to get inspired and maybe to see your image. 

Comment below and let us know if you will be joining us!

 

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