What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
I’m known as The Lightroom Queen. It was a nickname I was given on the forums and it stuck! I spend most of my time supporting Lightroom users on the forums and through my help desk. When I manage to make some time to do some ‘proper’ work, I write Lightroom books.
What inspired you most to become a Photoshop Lightroom trainer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
To be honest, it wasn’t planned! I grew up in a photographic family business, and then started a business offering raw processing services to other professional photographers. At around the same time, Lightroom was released, and I got involved with helping out on the forums in my spare time. As time went by, forum users kept suggesting I compile a book of the most frequently asked questions, and eventually I gave in and did it. It proved more popular than I ever expected and turned into a full time job. It gives me the opportunity to help a large number of people on a daily basis, so I can’t imagine doing anything else now.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
The drive to get out there and promote yourself is a big obstacle for a lot of people. It’s not the kind of job where you turn up and are told what to do. There are so many “photographers” out there now, the really talented ones can get lost in the crowd, unless they’re working hard to promote themselves.
With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
I’m most excited by the changes in the Camera Raw engine. Image quality has moved on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Some of the recent headline features in Photoshop itself are great, but it’s the little things like background save that make the difference on a day to day basis.
What Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I love ‘traditional’ photography as an art performed well in its own right. Photoshop can do incredible things, but I like to see it used to enhance traditional photos rather than creating surreal shots. I don’t follow anyone specific, but I’m always impressed by people who have the skills to make photographs look like they haven’t been edited, even when they’ve made major changes.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
I try not to spend too much time on social networks, as it’s so easy for time to disappear without achieving anything. I spend more time on Facebook than any other, although I think Google+ is better for photographers. When I have time to spare, I enjoy browsing through 500px.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
I wish I knew! Just as I think I’ve got the hang of one, another one appears. Google is moving firmly into the photography realm, so I’m interested to see what they offer next. Adobe seems to be trying to step into the world of social media, so they’re worth watching too.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Photography?
The next generation of photographers are growing up with cameras in their pockets (on their mobile phones), and think nothing of documenting and sharing their lives through photography. Many of those new photographers have a really keen eye for a great photo, so I’m fascinated to see how they grow over the next few years.
I imagine it also won’t be too long before we have proper mobile operating systems, like iOS, on the backs of SLR cameras, offering the opportunity to edit and share the photo there and then, but without sacrificing image quality.