In the fall I wrapped up my first Photoshop class at 171 Cedar Arts Center. As I walked into the building and set up the projector to teach the last class, I was still just a little bit baffled.

See, it was not easy for me to learn how to use the program and I remember being really timid about it at first. Just overwhelmed and pretty angsty. I never thought I would get the hang of it… CERTAINLY not enough to teach a short intro course on it!

I don’t quite know when I went from crying tears of frustration over the complexities of this program to using it with confidence every day in my professional life.

I don’t know when I went from apprehension to competence. When I went from fear to love.



But I do love Photoshop. I love the things I know about it, and I love how I’m pretty regularly learning new things about it. I love how it bridges the gap between what image I can take with my camera and what fine art I saw in my minds’ eye.

And I love that I can teach others how to use it.

I don’t pretend to be an expert by any means, but I just love helping people and having fun and seeing how their eyes light up when the “get it.”



The first step on the path to using a camera to express your creativity is to learn how to use said camera in manual mode. (And there’s a class for that, too 😉 Just saying.)

But then I find the next thing my students want to learn is how to edit their photos. Not just to make them pop (I’m looking at you extra saturation and clarity) but to also cushion them as they continue to learn how to get the correct exposure in camera. It’s nice to know you have a  second shot at adjusting things after you hit the shutter button.

And that’s how my newest class offering at 171 was born… thanks to the eager enthusiasm of my students.



As an aside, I want to say thank you. Thank you to my students, for asking for this class.  Thank you to my Photoshop-mentor and best friend Kirsten  for giving me a pep talk on the phone and telling me “Of COURSE you can do this! You use it every day!” And thank you to my program manager Christina for wholeheartedly getting behind the idea… even though I was like “um this is what my students want but I’m a bit nervous about it…” It’s been a blast so far! 



So hey, the next 171 Photoshop Class with Jess is coming up… a 5 week intro course to all the basics you need to know to get your creative editing juices flowing! We’ll be meeting Friday nights from 5-7pm.

Laptop with Photoshop is required. You can contact me directly with any questions.


Call 171 Cedar Arts Center to sign up today! 607-936-4647 or email