The February’s Fabulous Females series continues today with the founder of MCP Actions – Jodi Friedman. Jodi is a very successful business woman, mother, and wife. MCP Actions have revolutionized the way that photographers edit their photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. I personally love the eye doctor action that she has created! It makes eyes pop in a special extra way. Jodi also has fantastic Photoshop training that she offers to photographers. Read more about that below in the interview.
After reading Jodi’s interview, be sure to head over to her Facebook page and take advantage of all of the generous freebies that she provides.
To stay in the know on who is up next in the February’s Fabulous Females series, be sure to come on over and “Like” the Laura Gravelle Photography Facebook page. A new contest begins today for one lucky person to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a bonus $25 Starbucks gift card from Laura Gravelle Photography. Contest entry is very simple. Enter HERE.
1. How did MCP Actions begin?
MCP Actions started in 2006. It evolved from earlier businesses I had doing product photography and photo editing. I wanted to help photographers by providing editing tools (Photoshop Actions) and also teach them how to edit (through online classes). Each year my business has grown, but with social networking the past few years, it has become more interactive and exciting. Photographers can find us on Facebook at http://likemcp.com
2. In a culture where busyness tends to overtake us, how do you find balance in your own life between having a fulfilling personal life as a mom, wife, and friend and also running a thriving business?
I wish I had the answer for this … I am still working on balance. I am not as good as I should be. It is a juggling act. I love my family. I love my work. And unfortunately “sleep” usually is the loser. My twin girls are 10 years old, and one fun thing I have done is integrate them into my business when I can. They love helping name actions, pick contest winners, and even like reading my blog posts to see if they “make sense.” I also have started teaching them how to shoot with an SLR camera.
These are Jodi’s beautiful twin girls, Ellie and Jenna.
3. There are a lot of people creating Photoshop actions these days, but your business still stand out from among the crowd. What makes MCP Actions so unique?
Many have called MCP Actions a “pioneer” in the actions industry. When I started in late 2006, I can count the number of action makers around on one hand. Now there are hundreds, maybe more. I often have people say “I remember when I bought your Eye Doctor actions (or Blog It Boards); there was no such thing as an eye action (or web-sized collage actions) prior.” We have built our business on a solid foundation, and while social networking is important to us, we have deeper roots than many of the companies that have started in the past few years. We do not “pump out” products. We have longer development time, and then we heavily test them to make sure they work on a wide range of imagery. We access the needs of photographers – and often base our next creation from that on feedback. In the end, I think most people buy from us because we have innovative ideas, support our products, and believe in what we do. Check out our actions here: http://www.mcpactions.com/actions/all-actions.html
4. A lot of photographers struggle with learning post-production skills. You offer several training courses for Lightroom and Photoshop. Can you tell us more about those courses and how somebody could get involved?
For nearly six years, we have trained photographers of all levels on how to edit their photos. Our classes are taught live, online, and we offer individual and group training. Learn more here: http://www.mcpactions.com/workshops/all-workshops.html
5. What is your most popular set of actions?
Our most popular product usually is the newest one. Currently that would be MCP Fusion (http://www.mcpactions.com/actions/all-actions/fusion-actions.html), which released in March of 2011. We will release a new set this Spring – but the specifics are hush hush right now. Come subscribe to our newsletter to be informed once it releases: http://www.mcpactions.com (scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up)
6. What tool in Photoshop do you think is most critical for photographers to learn?
I have to answer with two… 1) CURVES 2) Masking (so you can control each adjustment on your photo)
7. Do you still do much photography of your own, or are you mostly running MCP?
I work around 60+ hours a week for MCP Actions. My husband says I work 80-100 but he counts when I am on my iPad in bed answering emails and on Facebook. I don’t. So… while I wish I could devote more hours in the day to photography, I never seem to find the time. Most photos I take now are when I am on vacation. Occasionally my girls will say they are in the mood to model and I jump at the chance to photograph them.
8. When you have spare time (which is probably few and far between as a mom and successful business woman!), how do you enjoy spending that spare time?
I have a few TV shows I love: Dexter, Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad Men and I am probably forgetting one or two. I record these and watch them late at night when I need to unwind. I do often end up back on the computer afterward. And though I would not call it spare time, I am now “carving out time” to exercise regularly. I try to get to the gym four days a week for spinning class. I know I need to do this as my job is very sedentary. I need to get my blood and heart moving.
Here are some fun photos of the time that Jodi bid on and won a trip to ESPN in a charity auction.
9. If you could sit down and lunch with any person, who would that be and why?
Well, I know you are wanting me to say a famous person or a celebrity. But the answer is… my family. Life is short. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so I need to appreciate every day with the ones I love most, my husband and kids.
10. What is a fun fact that many people might not know about you?
I have read every James Patterson adult book written, except two that I just did not love, and have read most of his teen catered novels too.
11. Can people still join your fantastic camera giveaway?
Hurry to enter (ends 2/19) – We are giving away winner’s choice of a brand new Canon 5D MKII + 85 1.8 lens OR Nikon D700. To enter, visit: http://www.mcpactions.com/blog/2012/01/19/win-canon-5dmkii-nikond700/
Thank you so much Jodi for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview! Your business has helped the world of photographers so much!
Go ahead and leave an encouraging comment below for Jodi. Let her know how much you appreciate her business and maybe let us know what your favorite set of Photoshop actions is!