Photoshop Elements for Bloggers: a Video Workshop

Photoshop Elements for Bloggers: a Workshop by Jeni @ The Blog Maven

I’ve had thousands of people read and share my post series “Growing Your Blog with Pinterest: The Ultimate Guide” – and most of what I’ve written has been about content: how to write posts that are helpful to readers, so they’ll want to share them with others.

But these posts have overlooked one critical thing: Pinterest is about the images.

I’m fully aware that not everyone is a designer, but everyone can use professional tools to “step up their game” and make their blog posts sparkle.  That’s why I’m starting a post series on Photoshop Elements for Bloggers.  This series will take you from Zero to Proficient in Photoshop Elements, with a focus on integrating words and images.

Why Elements?

Everyone knows about Photoshop, the professional grade tool for manipulating images.  I use it for my blog and web design work every day.  But not everyone has $480 to shell out for a copy of Photoshop.

Enter…Elements.  It’s a step down from Photoshop in terms of functionality, but it does everything a regular blogger would ever dream of – and more.  The price tag is the best part.  At around $80, it’s definitely an investment, but it won’t break the bank.

A Project Based Approach

While it may be nice to have an encyclopedic reference at your disposal, like “How to do everything you ever dreamed with Photoshop Elements,” most of us simply don’t have the time to dedicate to reading a 200 page owner’s manual…and then figuring out how to apply it to what we really want to do.

I’m here to give you the basics.  To go step-by-step through creating images that will make your posts sparkle, so you can be proud of everything you’re publishing on your blog.

Lessons in this Series (so far!)

How do I sign up?

I want to make this series accessible to everyone who wants to join in.  If you’ll do these three things, you’ll stay in the loop with every new post as they’re published, plus you’ll know about everything else that’s going on here:

  1. Pin this post (via the image above) to let other bloggers know about this workshop.
  2. Subscribe to my mailing list and get lots of fun (and FREE) tips for growing your blog while staying true to your personal style.  Don’t worry, I hate spam too.
  3. “Like” my Facebook Page and write a quick note to let me know you’re on board.

How much does it cost?

Nothing.  It’s free.

What do I need to participate?

Just a copy of Photoshop Elements installed on your computer.  If you already have it, then great!  Just join in.  If not, you’ll need a copy of the program and I’d appreciate you using my affiliate link to purchase it.  It’s the cheapest price you’ll find, and it helps me out as well.

(BTW – I’ll be using Elements 10, though if you have a copy that’s a few years old, it should work fine as well.  A few people have asked about Elements 11, which just came out last October.  I’m sure that for the features I’ll be teaching, there won’t be a noticeable difference between 10 and 11.)

Questions? Comments?

Drop me a note in the comments below or leave a note on my Facebook page.  Definitely let me know if there’s a specific skill you’d like to learn.  I can’t wait to work with you!

Please leave a comment below | theblogmaven.com

45 Comments

    • says

      You know, if you have something that’s already working for you, I’d say stick with that. No need to spend money if you’ve already got a plan. :)

  1. Beth Lehman says

    hi, i’m very interested in this series. i think i have elements 9. i signed up for the mailer, but don’t do facebook..! hoping i can still participate!

    • says

      Hi Beth, you’ll definitely be able to follow along. All the videos will be posted here on my blog, and you’ll get word about new posts via my mailing list. So glad you can join us!

  2. says

    I own both Photoshop and Elements, but use Elements way more. I’ve been trying to decide if I should make an investment in Photoshop and take an actual class or not. Then Elements 11 came out and I’ve heard it has some big changes, such that Elements may be all I need… Hopefully your tutorials will help me make this decision. I’d rather stick with Elements, Photoshop is just so overwhelming….
    Maureen Sklaroff recently posted..Homeschool Mother’s Journal–Adapting to a New ScheduleMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Maureen, my opinion is that for bloggers, Elements now does anything you’d want to do – and more. :) The two big differences between Elements and full Photoshop now are: 1) Elements doesn’t let you create in the CMYK color mode, which is used for professional grade printing (like they would do at a publisher) and 2) Photoshop has lots of features for creating 3D graphics. As a blog designer, I don’t even use the most advanced features of Photoshop. Hopefully you’ll get enough info from the workshop to make your choice – although if you’re looking for courses specifically on Photoshop, both Tuts+ and Nicole’s Classes have some good ones. Thanks for following along!

    • says

      Hi Beth Anne, thanks for your note! I’m glad you’ll be joining us for Elements for Bloggers. If you come across anything that isn’t clear, please leave a comment on the lesson and I’ll be right over. :)

    • says

      Hi Halle, thanks for your note. I hope the series helps iron things out for you a bit with Elements. And if you enjoy it, I always appreciate shares. :) Welcome!

  3. says

    Serendipity…I randomly stumbled on your blog the day after I purchased Elements 11. And the night I was “going to figure it out.” Ha! I had an old copy of Photoshop CS3 that was never used because frankly I had no idea how to do anything besides some actions I downloaded. I am already through three lessons and wanted to thank you for this workshop as I am already more comfortable and know this will make a huge difference on my blog.

    • says

      Hi Adrianne, so glad to have you! Elements is far easier to use than GIMP (that’s what I started out on myself), and it’s great for working with photos and creating web graphics. If you’re using hand drawn images, you may want to think about taking the plunge and learning Adobe Illustrator – that’s really what it’s designed to do. It costs a lot more than Elements, but if it’s something you’re interested in pursuing, let me know and I’ll send you some resources for where to learn Illustrator. Hope you enjoy the lessons!

  4. says

    Hi Jeni,
    I’m still a little confused over how to decide what size and resolution my photos should be, especially since it seems like each photo might be different, depending on how much space i have for it on my blog. For example, in the tutorial, you chose a width of 620 pixels but I wouldn’t know how to guess at a good number like that to begin with. What do you think of the free image compression tools like WebResizer or Smush.it for single photos or iResize for compressing photos in bulk?

    • says

      Hi Zandra, if you vary the size of the photos on your blog, then you might be better served to resize them individually, based on your needs. The reason I say “620″ in my tutorial is that that’s the width of my content column. There has been a trend in blogging in the last 2-3 years to have huge photos and maximize your horizontal space, so lots of folks just do full width for all their photos. Small Things is one example. For resolution, however, you can do 72dpi/ppi for all your photos. That’s standard resolution for computer screens. Feel free to use whatever tools work best for you; I’m just giving the options in Elements because that’s the focus of this course. :) Hope this helps!

  5. says

    I actually have Photoshop (snagged a copy from my brother years ago) but have no idea how to use it. Is Elements completely different? Would I be able to use any of your workshop on Photoshop itself?? Do you have any tutorials for Photoshop??

    Thanks so much!!

    Jena

    • says

      Hi Jena, they’re not so different…but it also depends on which release of Photoshop you have. You’d want to skip over all the parts that talk about the Organizer, as Photoshop doesn’t have this. But the basic principles apply to both programs. …and no, I don’t have any Photoshop tutorials. My readers are primarily bloggers, and this series is a “favor” to the blogging community to help folks step up their game for Pinterest. But hopefully you can still find some useful material here!

  6. LadyC says

    How can I remove the transparent pink when I type fonts. It’s so annoying, every time I type the letters turn white with little blinking dashes. another question is, why does my transparents pic have a grey background? please help!!!!!!!

    • says

      Hi LadyC,

      If you can send a screen shot of the text issue to jeni@theblogmaven.com, I might be able to help figure out what’s going on. Without seeing it, I can’t tell.

      Regarding the PNG files having a gray background, is this happening just in Elements, or when you open the file outside of Elements?

      Jeni

  7. says

    Stumbled across your website today while looking for resources on how to create more pinnable content for my blog, and can I just say I am in love with everything you have written. If you see weird stats with someone being on your site for 2+ hours in the next couple days it is just me. I am so excited about this PSE free tutorial series. I bought it in March to use on my blog, but have no idea what I am doing. Thanks so much!!!
    Kate recently posted..10 Delicious Treats For Your DogMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your note! Glad you’re enjoying browsing around. Hopefully you’ll find some gold nuggets to take with you for your blog. Give a shout if there’s anything you need.

      Warmly,
      Jeni

  8. says

    Hi Jenni,
    Hurrah! The answer to my prayers .These are great – nice and clear and straightforward – and I like the bite sized pieces. I’ve been paddling around in Elements and doing things by trial and error – mostly error and wasting loads of time. I especially like the posts on lighting and retouching.
    A quick question. Should you do the touching up and then re -size or re-size then touch up?
    Thanks and keep up the good work.
    Alice Prier recently posted..A sunny day in ShoreditchMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Alice,
      It doesn’t matter all that much which of these two steps you do first. I like to do the retouching first, because I have more pixels to work with. You’re making those changes on a larger palette, if that makes sense. The only step you’ll want to save for after resizing is sharpening; have everything else finished, including cropping and resizing before you sharpen your photo. Hope this helps!
      jeni recently posted..How to Watermark Your Photos in Photoshop ElementsMy Profile

  9. says

    Jenni:

    Just like a few of the other post, I came across your blog trying to find a way to use PSE with eBlogger/BlogSpot. I have PSE 10 in my system and still trying to figure out how to use it. I do use Crop, Guided (in Editor) and Spot Healing (in Full Edit). My objective: to get my photos (individual and/or albums) from PSE to eBloggers; to get my photos to Pinterest and Twitter!
    I have a “gut feeling” that what I have been looking for is here! I will be starting the lessons today!!
    **If anyone (anybody) can let me know how to get my photos from PSE to eBlogger, I would appreciate it.

    Jenni, thanks for being “out there”! I am looking forward to getting started!
    Papa

  10. says

    Hello Dear Jeni,
    I have just found this blog while I was looking for a helpful blog for me, as I am working with Photoshop..I’m going to follow all of your lessons…
    Thank you so much…Stay fine..
    Ifat Sharmin recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

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