Photoshop World Las Vegas Wrap Up

Where in the world can an amateur photographer sit in a room and hear about the career of Joe McNally? Or for the likes of Jay Maisel and Moose Peterson to show them their photos? Or to see Scott Kelby liquify the eyes of a beautiful model right in front them? Photoshop World is THE place to be for all of this to happen. I have only been doing photography for the past few years, and have dabbled in Photoshop an even less amount of time. This was my first Photoshop World, which is put together semi-annually by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). I have been a member of NAPP since February, allowing for me to access Photoshop User magazine, NAPP workshops and the NAPP website. The benefits of NAPP are amazing, but I didn't know what to expect at Photoshop World (even thought I knew it would be awesome).

Photoshop World is held twice a year. The first one of the year is on the East coast, and the last one is on the West coast. This year (as many other years) the West coast one was in Las Vegas, NV which just happens to be just a few hours' drive from my home in Los Angeles. I decided after reading about the one earlier this year in Boston that I was going.

The actual conference was from Thursday October 1 until Saturday October 3. I was able to start with the opening keynote (which was hilarious) and end with the closing session (which was also hilarious). In between those two sessions, the learning and inspiration that took place just cannot be described in words. I was also able to squeeze in the party at House of Blues (thanks to my Pro Pass) and attend Midnight Madness (thanks to waking up EARLY--- for Vegas time--- and getting line).

My goals were simple for the conference:1) Hear Joe McNally and Moose Peterson speak 2)See Scott Kelby teach Photoshop 3) Meet a photographer I really admire by the name of Scott Bourne and 4) learn as much about Photoshop and Lightroom as I could.

I am happy to say that I accomplished these goals by attending sessions and part of  a so-called Tweetup. However, I wasn't quite prepared for how awe-struck I would be after accomplishing these goals.

I knew Joe McNally was extremely talented (duh), but to hear this photographer speak honestly about his career, show his photos and tell the stories behind the photos was just amazing. His passion for photography was astounding, and he was absolutely inspring in his two sessions I attended ("Tips for the Working Photographer" and "Location Lighting").

Moose Peterson just left a lump in my throat every time he showed his photos. His eye is just amazing, and he was showing us his use of Photoshop (On his PC, might I add, go Moose!). I also learned that he is the only person in the world who, in Photoshop, has an "Okie-Dokie" button instead of an OK button, and a "No Way button" instead of a No button. Apparently he has some sort of in with Adobe...Imagine that!

To have world class photographer Jay Maisel just kind of chat to us about his photos and show us his New York was just amazing. His pursuit of light and how it changes as you move around the subject is so important to remember as a photographer.

And of course, to have the master of Photoshop himself, Scott Kelby, show how he retouches a portrait was just insane. This guy does things in 5 seconds that take most people 5 hours. He truly enjoys what he does, and of course his session was full of laughter and fun.

Meeting Scott Bourne was awesome. He is a really nice guy, and he had just gotten his hands on a Canon 7D, which was pretty cool and I see he has been having some fun experimenting with it.

Friday night's Midnight Madness was, well, madness.  I see Scott Kelby, Terry White, Matt Kloskowski, Corey Barker and Larry Becker just a LITTLE differently now. And that's all I can say about that.

Everything I experienced last week was nothing short of amazing. The common thread that really hit me with every photographer that spoke (and I saw tons) was that they emphasized failure. To have these greats (Jay Maisel, Joe McNally, Vincet Versace, Moose Peterson and Vincent Versace are just a few) talk about THEIR failure was humbling.

I learned some great technical skills during the sessions, as well as an enormous amount of inspiration for Photoshop and photography. I want to thank the whole NAPP team for putting on an amazing conference!