PHOTOSHOP WORLD 2018 a look behind-the-scenes at the KelbyONe annual conference

It was the best one yet!

That's not just me talking (but I would tell you same thing). I heard it again and again from people who had been to many Photoshop World Conferences in the past. Maybe it was that we all needed an escape from the news, and the politics, and all the stress and totally lose ourselves in being creative. Maybe it was the venue (the Hyatt Orlando was the BEST venue for Photoshop World ever!). Maybe it was the incredible faculty of instructors, or the vibe of the students, or all of it together but it made for a truly special event this year. You could feel it. You could see it everywhere. Here's a peek:

Ladies and Gentlemen…please welcome… The Beatles!

Each year we choose a fun theme for the opening keynote which kicks off the conference. It's our way of telling the crowd — you are going to learn a ton, but you're going to have a lot of fun doing it. This year we went with a Beatles/British Invasion theme, which started with a hilarious 10-minute movie short, and then we had the star of the video (British superstar, and Photoshop World instructor Dave Clayton), come out an introduce a Beatles tribute band who opened with a spot-on live version of "I want to hold your hand." These guys were amazing, and it was as close to actually having the 1964 Beatles playing live as you're going to get.

We're getting ahead of ourselves

For a lot of folks, Photoshop World starts a day early — they come to take part in the pre-conference workshops — these are indepth, more intimate workshops with a limited number of participants and they run the day before the full conference officially kicks off. Let's take a look at a few of those;

That's Serge Ramelli's Shooting Cityscapes workshop top row, then Dave Black's Light-painting workshop, Lindsay Adler's and Glyn Dewis' students lighting and shooting models, and Moose Peterson's class on location shooting 1940s style portrait on location in a hanger (and B&H Photo gave each of Moose's students a mini-softbox - thanks for the images, Moose).

Later that same night…

The night before the conference kicks off we have a "meet up." The instructors and the attendees all get together at the bar just to hang out, get to know each other, make new friends, and just relax and have fun before three days of learning and laughing begins.

Here's a few shots from "The Meet-up" the night before.

There's More to The Keynote Than Just The Beatles…

10:00 AM Thursday Morning — after the opening movie, and a song from the Beatles tribute band "Beatle Beat", I came out to welcome the crowd. We showed a blooper reel from the making of our movie, then I gave a short presentation about The Power of Print, in which I gave five really compelling reasons why all of us should be making prints. Well-known photography industry Podcaster Derrick Story was in the audience, and he talked about my presentation on his podcast (here's the link). After my talk (that's me during the presetntation seen below), it was time to bring out the headliner for our keynote, Adobe — and their Digital Imaging Evangelist and Director, Julieanne Kost.

Photoshop World is produced by KelbyOne for it's members, and features the same awesome instructors members learn from online at KelbyOne. It kinds of brings the online training to life.

Behind the Scenes at the Keynote

There's a lot going on backstage to make what happens out front look good.

He Was a True Hall of Famer

Each year we have an induction ceremony for the Photohsop Hall of Fame to reconize those whose contributions to the Art, Development, or Education of Adobe Photoshop. have enduring value. This year it was truly an honor to induct my dear friend, and Adobe Vice President of Engineering for Photoshop and Lightroom, B. Winston Hendrickson. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year after a brave cancer battle, which he faced with an attitude and grace that was absolutely remarkable. You can learn more about Winston from a blog post I wrote after his passing.

Winton's wife Teresa and their two daughters accept the award on his behalf.
Winston's wife had prepared a short speech but before she could give it, the crowd gave a warm, prolonged standing ovation - a fitting tribute to one our industry's best, brightest, and most beloved. We will be missed.

If you want to learn more about Winston, his life, his photography, and the man behind the software development, here's his Hall of Fame tribute video (below), which was shown during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Time To Head To The Classes

There are around 100 classes in 8 simultaneous tracks, plus two theaters on the expo floor. Here's a look at just a few of the classrooms, and our awesome instructors. We truly to assemble a dream team of the best darn instructors on the planet, including international instructors from the UK, from Europe, and from India this year and we draw attendees from all around the world.

This collection of instructors only happens here. Seriously.

OK, I have to brag for just a sentence or two, but there is nowhere on earth where group of instructors all come together like this. This is the magic behind Photoshop World. A hand-picked roster of the very best instructors anywhere, and we are so proud to have them teaching for us at Photoshop World. OK, stepping off my soapbox. ;-)

After Class, It's Party Time!

My Band, Big Electric Cat, played a live set (classic rock, 80s and 90s dance music, and a new song or two), and then after a short break we invited some of the instructors to come up jam with us in our first-ever "Instructor Jam Session" and a number of instructors took us up on the offer, including Frank Doorhof, Mark Heaps (his first time teaching at PSW), Sam Haddix (Kaylee Greer's finance), Rick Sammon, and KelbyOne Instructor Rob Foldy. It came off surprisingly well, but I guess I should be surprised that people like Frank, Mark, Rick, Sam and Mark would rock — they're all really talented musicians!

An Evening With Jeremy Cowart

Each year we host a special evening event where we give the stage to one photographer to share their images, their story, and their passion with the crowd. This year we were honored to have entertainment photographer and humanitarian, Jeremy Cowart. His stories. His images. It was a night few will forget. He's making a difference in this world, through his art, and through his caring for those less fortunate, and his message really resonated with our group. What a special night.

To learn about Jeremy's current project, The Purpose Hotel, visit this link.

Time For "Midnight Madness!"

It's a Photoshop World tradition — we stay up late — Photoshop Cruise Director "Vanelli" gets the crowd all crazy and hyped up, and then we hit the music, swing open the doors, and play games, and give away fun stuff until really late at night. It's just this side of controlled chaos, but it's a ton of laughs, and some folks win some really cool prizes like Apple TVs or Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones, and more. Plus, everybody gets a cool shirt just for staying up late (and it's also a tradition to serve Krispy Kreme donuts. Why? I dunno, it just is, so we always do).

This year we played four games: Photoshop World's Got Talent (5 contestants sang, juggled, did artisic dancing, and hip-hop dancing to win prizes). Then we did "Photoshop Jeopardy" along with a Scavenger Hunt everybody joined in on, and lastly a Midnight Madness version of "The Price is Right."

Natural Light Shoots

Each year we building shooting bays, both indoors sets fully lit with studio lights, and we do a natural light shoot, and this years we had everything from flowers to brides to Vikings, along with a food food, all lit with natural light, and instructors right there to help you get the shot.

Never Underestimate The Importance of Having Fun!

(—Randy Pausch)

Canon Sensor Cleaning

Canon gets a lot of love at the conference because they invite ANY Canon photographer at the conference to have a completely free sensor cleaning while they're at the conference (and hundreds of cameras get cleaned during those few days). My hats off the Canon to for being so cool to offer this once again to our attendees. That is just so cool!

Partner Pavilion

We have our own version of an Expo, with lots of exhibits from companies we partner with like Millers Imaging, Tamron, Platypod, Adobe Stock, Bay Photo Labs, B&H Photo, Tethertools, Corel, BenQ, DJI, Drobo, LaCie, Westcott, Skylum, Topaz and more who are all there showing off their latest gear. Plus, we set up shooting bay — complete sets with models for attendees to literally just walk up and shoot. It's great practice, especially for folks who aren't used to using studio lighting or getting the opportunity to work with models. A big high five to KelbyOne members Gilmar Smith, Mark Rodriguez, and Melanie Kern-Favilla for their incredibly awesome and creative set-ups this yet (they were a BIG hit!).

The Photoshop Guru Awards Ceremony

It's one of the most highly anticipated events of the conference, and a chance to win the Photoshop community's most prestigious award — a "Guru" Award. The ceremony, sponsored by B&H Photo, features winners (who get prizes, including B&H Gift Cards) in a wide vareity of Photoshop, graphics, and photography-related categories along with an overall Best-of-Show winner. The Guru Awards, followed by loads of giveaways from our sponsors, wraps up an incredible four days of learning, making new friends, and fun.

But if you really want to know what it was like…

Just watch this video (below)

Yeah, it was like that!

During the keynote we announced that next year we're doing two Photoshop Worlds: one in Orlando and one in Las Vegas. You gotta to go to at least one, right? (you are invited ya know).

One more for the road…

You so should have been there. :)

Thanks for letting me share my Photoshop World story with you. :-)

Photos by two of the most awesome photographers ever to cover an event: Mr. Brad Moore and Rockin' Rob Foldy! These two are the best!

Created By
Scott Kelby


Photo by Brad Moore & Rob Foldy

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.