For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to attend a Photoshop World convention and this year I was fortunate enough to attend the one in Orlando, FL. Photoshop World is an annual conference put together by Scott Kelby and his KelbyOne team. It is normally a three day conference with classes and seminars on all things Photoshop, other Adobe products as well as photography. With Orlando only being a three hour drive from my house, I thought it was now of never if I wanted to attend this conference as every year the location changes.
1. First Takeaway: The Instructors
Every seminar I took from Dave Cross teaching me Adobe Illustrator techniques to Lindsay Adler giving live lighting demonstrations, I’d have to say the instructors were the best part of Photoshop World. Each one was excited to teach and it showed. They were very interactive and their personalities were on display with no hints of pretending etc. I found myself going to multiple Joel Grimes and Lindsay Adler classes. Joel’s “Art of Winning” class was a class I truly enjoyed. It was an inspirational class where he talked about his struggles and his successes as a photographer. I could relate and I think that was what made me truly enjoy the class.
2. Second Takeaway: There Was Something for Everyone
If you were either a photographer, graphic designer or in marketing etc. there was a curriculum for you. The best part was that your could mix and match what classes you wanted to attend. Naturally I went to photography based classes, but I also found myself going to a lot of InDesign and Illustrator classes as well as attending inspirational and social media based classes. I think it was pretty convenient of KelbyOne to have the schedule online early so I could map out my path.
3. Third Takeaway: Hands on Experience
There were plenty of opportunities to have hands on experience whether it be in the Adobe labs using Adobe Creative Cloud products or instructor led photo shoots. Most of these experience needed you to register for them earlier as the groups participating where capped at a certain number. In the Exhibitor ballroom there were models and stage product shots where anyone with a camera could get some shots in. Every day there were different models so everyone could get different looks.
4. Fourth Takeaway: Exhibitors and the Exhibitor Ballroom
Speaking of exhibitors, I thought there would have been more. There were about a dozen, but I had it in my mind that everyone in their mother would be there. Some heavy hitters like B&H Photo and Mpix were there. If you wanted to purchase a book from any of the KelbyOne instructors, they were all there at a great discounted rate. The exhibitor ballroom was only open during the lunch break which was about 2-3 hours daily. During this break there were four micro stations set up where different instructors gave 15-30 minute presentations. The only downside to this was that the ballroom was packed and there was a lot of background noise which made it hard to hear sometimes. Plus there was limited seating for each station, so there was a lot of standing by crowds of people which led to them blocking some of the exhibitor booths.
5. Fifth Takeaway: It Was Totally Worth the Price
Granted this wasn’t a cheap conference to attend, but it was well worth the price of admission. I got to attend a wide variety of seminars from instructors that I wanted to see. We all received a workbook with information from each class already in there. There were also multiple other downloads available for the attendees. Just able to interact with these industry leaders was phenomenal. Not to mention all the networking opportunities that were made available to the attendees.
If anyone was teetering on whether or not to go, they should just make the jump and go. It was worth it. I can’t wait to go to my next Photoshop World.
Photo Credit: Scott Kelby