Whether you’re new to photography or already a professional, honing your skills through various learning opportunities is always a worthy investment. Photography is an ever-evolving craft, and that’s not only because of the gear aspect.
As such, if you’re looking for something to improve your photography that isn’t new gear, a photography workshop is your best bet. And if that’s the route you’re interested in, you’re in luck! Photoshop World is all set for Aug. 30–Sept. 1, 2022.
To help first time and longtime attendees, we asked Scott Kelby, CEO of KelbyOne and one of the talented minds behind Photoshop World, to give us some ideas on what to expect from the event. This year, the conference is going all virtual. So the organizers and instructors had a lot to consider to ensure the workshops provide fresh and engaging learning experiences. At a time when online events are the norm, but face-to-face is preferred, this goal can definitely be challenging.
Interestingly, Kelby said that engagement is both the main challenge and strength of Photoshop World. With the conference built around a nurturing sense of community for years, it’s a lot easier for him and the rest of the team to provide the same engaging learning experience that attendees have come to know and love.
Of course, we also had to ask Kelby to share his recommendations and a little bit of what to expect from this year’s run. In the spirit of making everything fresh and interesting, the instructors will be covering a lot of new stuff to learn about Photoshop and Lightroom. So, if you need a refresher or want to dive into specific Photoshop or Lightroom tricks, there’s a lot to check out here. Also, Kelby himself will be teaching something a bit unexpected but actually valuable for photographers, which is another thing to look forward to.
Read our insightful chat with Scott Kelby below to learn more about the upcoming Photoshop World.
Given the years you’ve been at the helm of the Photoshop World, how to you ensure that the conference always has something new, different and valuable for attendees?
“There are two main ways we keep the conference fresh. The first is to continually find the best new instructors and bring them on board. We have instructors each year that are teaching at the conference for the first time, which is exciting for us, for the instructors, and of course, the conference attendees. We seek out the best communicators and the most passionate instructors in our industry. The key thing we look for is people who are in it for the right reasons. They love to share what they’ve learned, and it’s part of their DNA to teach and help others along on their journey.
“The other thing that keeps the conference fresh, quite honestly, is the fact that Adobe keeps adding new features to Photoshop and Lightroom. Our instructors take those new features and develop new techniques and ways of working. Take the new masking tools for instance. They are absolutely game changers, and so this is our first Photoshop World where we show how to unlock their power, and that really keeps things fresh.”
In the age of virtual meetings and online events, how do you and the rest of the organizers and instructors make sure that Photoshop World remains exciting and interesting? What are the main challenges and how do you address them?
“The main challenge, and also the conference’s strength, is engagement. Luckily, for a lot of folks who attend our conference, it’s not their first conference with us, and so an entire community has sprouted around this idea. It’s a very helpful, nurturing type of community, and the instructors are right there, interacting and sharing with everybody.
“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s that interaction and sense of community that our attendees tell us they love the most. There’s a lot of exchanging of ideas, helping each other out, and making friends that happens during the conference. It’s really something exciting to see, and it actually works better than any of it would have imagined for an online event.”
In a nutshell, what can attendees expect for this year’s run?
“There’s a lot of new things to learn this year, especially with Photoshop and Lightroom. They can also expect to see some very unique classes, including ones you’ll only see at Photoshop World. For example, I’m teaching a class on Designing with Type for Photographers. That’s not your standard fare for a photography conference, but when folks attend that class, they’ll be amazed at what an important topic this actually is — one that will change the way they work with type and images together forever.
“There are so many classes that break that mold, but also ones that inspire you and make you want to grab your camera and head out to the door for a shoot. It’s learning, it’s inspiration, and there’s a lot of classes over the 3+ days of the conference. There’s just so much to learn, and luckily, the learning doesn’t end after the conference, because the entire conference is archived to stream on-demand for an entire year after the conference. That way, attendees can catch any classes they missed or re-watch any they saw during the event.”
Which sessions would you especially recommend for beginners, advanced and pro attendees this year?
“If someone is fairly new to Photoshop, they should catch the pre-conference Photoshop Crash Course the day before the official conference starts, so they can have a solid foundation for the next three days.
“As for which classes to take, of course, that depends on their interests. But what I would recommend is to them to take some classes that are outside of their area of interest. Often, you can apply techniques in a class that is totally unrelated to where their interests lie and apply those techniques to what they do day in and day out. Also, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and fall in love with a topic or genre you never really considered.
“This is an opportunity for growth and to try new things, and that, more than anything, is what I would recommend. Take classes you normally wouldn’t take, and see where it leads. You never know, right?”
“There’s an after-hours event called An Evening with Moose Peterson that I think will be very special. Moose is one of the most inspiring, engaging speakers, and he shoots such a wide range of topics. I think people are really going to love that.”
Lastly, please feel free to add anything you’d like to share to our readers about the conference!
“We hear repeatedly from past attendees about what an incredible value the conference is. This is great because it’s something we strive very hard to achieve. We want the conference to feel as much as possible like the in-person event we’ve been producing each year since 1999, and we want to come away feeling it was really worth it — that it was worth many times more than what it cost and that their return is something that keeps growing during the coming year.
“Having that access to the entire conference for another year after the conference is pretty amazing, and I think it helps make the value of the event really special and really worthwhile.”