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Katie teaches



Katie passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Katie delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 18+ and special needs

Teaching since:
August 1997

I am here to help you succeed! Do you need to take on more graphics projects at work? Are you unsure of how to make Photoshop or Illustrator do what you need? I'm an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and have taught Photoshop and Illustrator with infinite patience for over 15 years. I'm truly here to help everyone, including beginners. I can help you with problems an average Photoshop user can't answer, and I can help if you're a beginning Illustrator user. I've also been a professional photographer for over 20 years. Look online for my 470-page textbook called "Photo 1: An Introduction to the Art of Photography."


Jul 2015 - Present
Training UX

Training for computer graphics used in reporting the findings of usability testing and user experience (UX) testing. Broad training for Photoshop and Illustrator, including prototyping, graphic design, and fine art work.

I also conduct cognitive science reviews of websites to help with design decisions based on human needs and emotions. These reviews give you insights into how to design websites and online stores that people will use.

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Retired Emeritus Professor
Sep 1997 - May 2018
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Taught Photoshop, Illustrator, digital photography, digital video to students in the Web and Digital Media Development major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Illustrator emphasis is on web prototyping and usability testing/user experience (UX) reporting.

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Master of Fine Arts in Graphics/Photography
Sep 2002 - May 2004
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Individualized Master of Arts
Jul 1997 - Oct 1999
Antioch University McGregor


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop CC
Oct 2014
Adobe, Inc.

Photos & Videos

This video was created by UW-Stevens Point
Close-up photography is a passion of mine. This image is cropped to fit the needs of the website.

This photo was on the front cover of Popular Photography's Digital Imaging Guide, Summer 2002.

Raindrops on an iris. This is a great example of controlled depth of field, exposure, and composition.

This image started as a color transparency and was converted to grayscale, then burned and dodged in Photoshop.

This blueberry field was photographed one day, the muffins in my studio the next day. I used Photoshop to merge the two.
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12 Reviews

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Kim Dec 16, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

I am a complete novice-- Katie was patient with my questions, catered to my experience level, and made sure to reference my intended application. I am 110% happy with Katie's teaching style and the confidence she gave me to work on my own.

Christina Oct 2, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Great first lesson - Looking forward to my next...

Susan Jun 10, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Really enjoying my classes with Katie. She is an expert at Photo Shop and very meticulous about her presentation of the information. Every lesson is a new and exciting advantage to the program. Looking forward to taking more classes!

collette May 23, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Wow! First lesson and learned so much. I'm excited to see what's next! Katie is awesome!

Sarah May 17, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Katie has been so incredibly helpful to me as I seek to learn the basics of Illustrator. I can't recommend her enough!

Erik B. Apr 8, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Katie is very knowledgeable and patient. It has been a great experience working with her. I will use he again in the future.

Jodi L. Nov 15, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In home

Wonderful! professional , warm and engaging, super knowledgeable. So excited to be working with her!

David H. Apr 15, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In home

I’m a retired botany and ecology professor who has been using Photoshop for many years with vegetation photographs, illustrations for botanical websites, and documentation for conservation easements. But I had been self-taught and in retrospect, was remarkably ignorant of the capacities of that software. Several years ago, my wife gave me the unusual birthday present of private Photoshop lessons with Katie Stern. We were already familiar with Katie’s fine photography and her reputation as an exceptional teacher in computer applications and fine arts.
Going in, I thought my grasp of Photoshop was not bad, but those lessons transformed my understanding of the software, and increased my ability to use it by an order of magnitude. Katie is able to distill her comprehensive knowledge into lucid explanations with great efficiency. Never have I learned as much in so short a time as I did in those two one-on-one sessions! Her extensive teaching experience enables her to communicate effectively with a diverse audience and her focus guarantees that lessons will always be on track.
My work with Katie Stern is only documented in my notes. Having video recordings of the sessions such as what she offers here on TakeLessons would be great!

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Angie A. Apr 12, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In studio

At the beginning of my college career, Katie Stern was my first formal Adobe Photoshop teacher. Her classes are comprehensive and in-depth. And in class be prepared to work and becoming fluent in Photoshop because although rigorous it will teach and guide each student on how to use Photoshop properly. Proudly today, I work as a retoucher at one of the top global luxury fashion companies and it all started in Stern’s Photoshop class.

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Will R. Apr 8, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In studio

When looking for digital media development courses, Katie Stern's classes always stood out as being the most encompassing, informational, and relevant.

As a student who had no knowledge of arguably one of the most complicated applications in existence, Katie's step-by-step process of teaching various components of Photoshop (and how to use them together) built such a firm foundation for learning that I can still recall the process for creating pseudo HDR images, even though I haven't done it for several years.

Katie's autodidactic drive for Adobe products gives her students the best in new and emerging techniques, while her vast experience gives her the grounding to provide down-to-earth basics and fundamentals that are critical no matter what version of Photoshop you're using.

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Lance A. Apr 7, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In studio

I took multiple classes with Katie while earning my degree in Web and Digital Media Development from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Katie is extremely proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Photography in general. Any/all questions I had while in her classes were answered in a timely manner!

Katie has helped me advance my understanding of photography as a whole, and has proved to be a great resource on all things Adobe. I would highly recommend Katie as a teacher -- please book her for lessons!

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Sherri L. Apr 6, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · In studio

I'm a non traditional student who went through a couple of Professor Sterns courses in college. What a fabulous teacher doesn't encompass her knowledge or patience. Professor Sterns passion and desire to make sure you the student understand the material is amazing! She has a true passion for what she does. She's been a inspiration for me and my "hobby" of photography since college.

Illustrator is very problematic for me as I am dyslexic so the tools can be rather confusing for me to process. Professor Stern.... took an awful lot of her time to help me so I could "grasp" the concept in my own way. If you want to learn everything possible in the time you have scheduled....take Professor Sterns class she will encourage you, make sure you understand, and most of she will share her passion with you.

Professor Stern has not a clue to the degree in which her time and patience assisted me in my photography passion and desire to learn. I can truly say the day I walked into her first class.... I was rather intimidated....by the knowledge...by the end of my second course with her...... my passion had exploded! Thank you Professor Stern I hope someday you can see the inspiration and passion your way of teaching brings out in others:) Thank you!

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