Photoshop World 2014 Recap

Wow, what a week. I anticipated it for so long, and it is hard to believe that the week flew by that quickly! Doesn't it always?

I had the honor to be able to blog for Kelby One for the event - which was a ton of fun because I got to work with Stephen Bell and Ajna Adams at Kelby Media Group, and had the fortune of blogging with Kevin Stohlmeyer, who had some great insight and photos  throughout the conference.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put this event together. This was a great conference and is a huge amount of work to be able to coordinate attendees, instructors, classes, conference apps, signups and vendors. Running the classes in a timely manner and setting up for the instructors is always a huge task, but everything went smoothly to the attendees' eyes.

When I look back at the week, there are so many highlights, it's hard to choose one. So here are my top 10 moments:

  • My absolute favorite part of every PSW is being able to share the conference with my dad. As I have mentioned before, he was always supportive of my photography learning as a kid, and once I got into it as an adult, it turned into something we were able to do together. Because of him, I was introduced to the world of Photoshop, Lightroom, Scott Kelby and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP- now Kelby One), through him, and it makes me happy to be able to share this with him. Why we rarely seem to get a picture together at this event, I'll never know.
  • Before the week even really started, I was walking down the hall of rooms at the Mandalay Bay (the host hotel) and ran into than none other than Bert Monroy  (who I had also admired before I knew about Photoshop all of those years ago because of my dad). He was so very nice and humble- just a great guy. Later that evening at the Photoshop World kickoff party hosted by the Las Vegas Adober User Group , Bert celebrated his birthday with all of us there. It was just cool and really set the tone for the week to come.
  • I felt a sense of pride when my very talented friend Patrick LaMontagne won the Guru Award for Best in Show with his digital painting "One in Every Family". I became familiar with his work before PSW a few years ago, and befriended him during the conference one year. Since then, I have enjoyed watching his work, and seeing Patrick get recognized with the highest honor was a pretty cool moment.
Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

  • Seeing my friends Scott Valentine, Kevin Stohlmeyer, Patrick LaMontagne and Jake Peterson present on the Expo floor. I have talented friends and it is so great to see crowds of people (myself included) learning tips and tricks from them. I even won Scott Valentine's book (and had it autographed) at the PSW kickoff party. No- it wasn't fixed! I won it fair and square!
  • Learning from and meeting some of the best in the photography industry was a pretty great experience. Being able to sit in a room with Moose Peterson, Julieanne Kost, Peter Hurley, Matt Kloskowski and Joe McNally (just to name a few) makes this conference well worth it.
  • Making new friends, just by happening to stand or sit next to them is pretty fun. Everyone at Photoshop world has at least one thing in common: passion for creating images. Two friends that I made this week were Guru Award finalists and/or winners: Rocky Montez-Carr and Christine Pentecost It is a huge honor to even be a finalist, so I am proud to call such talented people friends. I was also able to meet social media friends in person - which was so fun! I think I shocked the daylights out of James Gordon Patterson  during Moose Peterson's class - but it was such a fun experience!
  • Catching up with old friends that I only see each year at Photoshop World. Because of social media, I am able to keep up with them on a regular basis, but being able to chat with them in person is much more fun.
  • It is just impossible to attend PSW and not run into inspiration around every corner. Whether it's learning from instructors, seeing amazing images during presentations, learning new tips or just meeting other talented people, you leave with creative ideas bouncing around in your head.
  • The Art of Photography panel is a huge highlight every year. Being in the room with such creative and inspirational individuals as they show images  from their career is a pretty great experience. You can read my recap of it here.
  • Looking forward to the next Photoshop World. By the end of PSW, my brain is fried, my feet hurt, and a good rest in my own bed is needed. But I look back on the week and all of these amazing moments, and I look forward to next year!

Thank you all for reading my posts here and on social media throughout the week. I look forward to Photoshop World in August 2015!

Midnight Madness

Day 2 of Photoshop World ends with Midnight Madness, which actually starts at 10. this is a fun event where you learn, well, nothing about Photoshop. Except for how to play tricks with people in the Photoshop menus.

A large crowd waits to get in the doors of Midnight Madness

A large crowd waits to get in the doors of Midnight Madness

Participants play games like Rock, Paper, Scissors for great prizes

Participants play games like Rock, Paper, Scissors for great prizes

Guru award winner Rocky Montez-Carr and Don Jacob enjoy the traditional Midnight Madness Krispy Kreme donuts

Guru award winner Rocky Montez-Carr and Don Jacob enjoy the traditional Midnight Madness Krispy Kreme donuts

On to the last day of Photoshop World!

The Art of Photography Panel

One of the big highlights of Photoshop World day 2 is the Art of Photography panel. Hosted by the talented Jim DiVitale, the evening is full of the images and stories of some of the photo industry's best photographers. Jim started out the evening by showing his wonderful images and celebrating 40 (!) years in the photo industry!

Julieanne Kost showed us her first composites (you know that is embarrassing for anyone, let alone showing it to a packed room) to demonstrate that everyone has to start somewhere.

Julieanne ended her presentation with the following words of wisdom:

  • If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all
  • Praise in public and air any criticism in private
  • Never cast disparaging remarks on another person's art- don't let other people change what you have to say
  • Your capacity for greatness is immeasurable

Dave Black showed us some of his amazing sports images and told us the background stories behind them. Dave always pulls at the heart strings, and this year he showed us his images of figure skater Michelle Kwan. His relationship with her beginning from her age of 12 was a beautiful thing to see through his images.

Joe Glyda is a huge proponent of the self assignment, and showed us his panel self assignment of the Hoover Dam. He showed us a lot of dam great images!

Bill Fortney started his presentation off with his own personal wake up call that changed his life. Talk about pulling at the heart strings! he followed his story with his beautiful imagery and left all attendees with something to think about.

Joe McNally showed us his imagery over 40 years as a photographer (apparently 40 was the lucky number this evening). His images showed the retrospective of his work- and answered a question that he had post: is the life of a photographer worth it? Joe's images that evoke so many emotions are the definite answer of "Hell yes!".

Always the last presentation is that of Moose Peterson. His stunning images that show the grandeur of nature need no words - it is completely inspiring to sit back, listen to the beautiful music he pairs with his presentation and be amazed.


The Art of Photography panel

The Art of Photography panel

Photoshop World Day 2

Where can you see a live Ferrari shoot, learn about the squinch, and see a Guru award winner's techniques all in one day? The answer is Photoshop World Day 2!

The day started off and running early- and there were plenty of sessions to attend in classes and on the Expo floor.

Classes were in full swing, with Tim Wallace bringing in a red Ferrari to do a live car photo shoot. Peter Hurley had a great portraiture session for headshots. moose Peterson inspired as always about shooting landscape with passion, and showed his own spectacular images.

On the Expo floor, the Wacom booth was abuzz with demos by Patrick LaMontagne, Scott Valentine and Bert Monroy.

Patrick LaMontagne shows his techniques for sketching and painting images like his Guru award winning "One in Every Family" at the Wacom booth.

Patrick LaMontagne shows his techniques for sketching and painting images like his Guru award winning "One in Every Family" at the Wacom booth.

Scott Valentine demonstrated several techniques, including a piece that he wrote an upcoming article for in Photoshop User Magazine.

Scott Valentine demonstrated several techniques, including a piece that he wrote an upcoming article for in Photoshop User Magazine.

The afternoon sessions had even more great lighting and retouching sessions. Overall it was a great Day 2 - and the evening is full with the Art of Photography panel and Midnight Madness!

Photoshop World Day 1 Recap

After the keynote, the day started off running! between sessions, the expo floor, demo sessions on the Expo floor and the After Hours party- day 1 was a full day!

Scott Valentine presents at the Peachpit booth on the Expo floor.

Jake Peterson demos Adobe Camera raw at the Adobe booth.

Canon offered camera cleaning and print services free of charge to attendees.

Portfolio Reviews

Photoshop World gives attendees the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by some of the best photographers in the industry. This is a fantastic opportunity to get out of your comfort zone (trust me - it's uncomfortable) and get honest and open critiques of your work. The sessions last about 20 minutes, and are full of helpful information. I have participated in the reviews for the past few years and have learned so much each time. It is scary and uncomfortable to do, but you are glad you did it once it's over. Personally, I have learned so much about myself and my photography in those short sessions.

However, this year I was an observer and less of a participant. Here are some pictures from the sessions:

The Peterson family checks you in to your session and lets you know who will be reviewing your work.

The Peterson family checks you in to your session and lets you know who will be reviewing your work.

David Ziser

David Ziser

Bert Monroy

Bert Monroy

Moose Peterson

Moose Peterson

Alan Hess

Alan Hess

Jack Reznicki

Jack Reznicki


Photoshop World Keynote Recap

Photoshop World started off with a fun and creative keynote video featuring all of our favorite KelbyOne instructors - as pirates!

Scott Kelby kicked off the event, which consisted of Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost showing us the newest updates to the Adobe family and Joel Grimes showing his inspiring imagery from Iceland.

A highlight of the keynote is the recognition of those that use Adobe in amazing ways. The awards start off with the induction into the Photoshop Hall of Fame - this year welcomed Russell Williams, principal scientist at Adobe, and Felix Nelson, creative director at Kelby Media Group.

The Guru Awards recognize the creative work of individual users - and it is a treat to see how other people use Adobe. Here is the list of winners and their respective categories:

Artistic – James Wesley Taylor “Fly Away”   

Artistic – James Wesley Taylor “Fly Away”   

Illustration – Brooke Figer “Reflection to Perception”

Photo Montage – Dominik Kokocinski “Apocalypse Berlin”

Photography – Kobi Gulianni “Wild with Elephants”

Restoration – Sheri Harvey “Sweet’s & Gee’s Wedding”

Retouching – Rocky Montez-Carr “Fall Day”

Vincent Versace – Deb Uscilka “Winter Branches”

Best of Show – Patrick LaMontagne “One in Every Family”

For pictures of all of the winners, checkout Kevin's post here.

Congratulations to all!

Photoshop World Meet Up

The day before the start of Photoshop World is the day for pre-conference in-depth workshops the evening of the Photoshop World Meet Up. This meet-up takes place the night before the start of PSW and after pre-conference workshops, and gives attendees the opportunity to meet other PSW attendees and to mingle with the instructors.

Held at the Eye Candy lounge - an indoor lounge to avoid the Vegas temperatures -  at Mandalay Bay for the past few years, attendees were able to compare notes with other attendees and chat with the week's instructors.

I love that I am always able to meet people that I have seen at Photoshop Worlds past but never got the chance to talk to, and to chat with the instructors whose classes I'll be taking during the week.

A packed house for the Photoshop World Meet Up!

A packed house for the Photoshop World Meet Up!

The meet up spilled outside of the Eye Candy lounge.

The meet up spilled outside of the Eye Candy lounge.

Patrick LaMontagne and Alan Hess.

Patrick LaMontagne and Alan Hess.

On to the official start of Photoshop World - the Keynote and Day 1!

Squarespace Workshop

One of the many great things about Photoshop World is the opportunity to learn something around every corner. While pre-conference workshops were in session this afternoon, other vendors hosted free workshops and classes. One such vendor was Squarespace, a company that makes it super easy to host and build a website for us non-developers - which is a major reason I use them currently to host my own site. They held two workshops: one for starting a website, and a more in depth class to delve a little deeper into tweaking sites. I chose to take the latter class, which was really great. I was able to learn more about utilizing Squarespace to make my site a better user experience for myself and my visitors. I look forward to utilizing the tools that I learned this afternoon.

I loved sitting in a classroom of other users, and uncovering a nugget that made all of us say, "Ah ha!".

Thank you to Squarespace for offering this class and for providing free transportation from the Mandalay Bay!

The Expo Hall at PSW is also a great place for free classes. If you didn't get a conference pass this year, you can get a free expo pass for Thursday and Friday and still learn something from vendors that host demos.

Photoshop World Kickoff Reception

Photoshop World week has kicked off with a reception hosted by Adobe and the Las Vegas Adobe User Group. This was a fun event to mingle with other Photoshop users, instructors, and even the opportunity to win great prizes. I was lucky enough to win a book The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop by the talented Scott Valentine.

Here are a pictures from the evening.

Patrick LaMontagne, Glyn Dewis and Bert Monroy have a conversation.

Patrick LaMontagne, Glyn Dewis and Bert Monroy have a conversation.

Kevin Stohlmeyer, Bert Monroy, Scott Valentine and I with my signed copy of Scott's book 9it's glowing!). Thanks to Krystal Hosmer of the Las vegas Adobe User Group for the picture and for the great event!

Kevin Stohlmeyer, Bert Monroy, Scott Valentine and I with my signed copy of Scott's book 9it's glowing!). Thanks to Krystal Hosmer of the Las vegas Adobe User Group for the picture and for the great event!

Bert Monroy celebrated his birthday with us! Happy birthday Bert!

Bert Monroy celebrated his birthday with us! Happy birthday Bert!

Photoshop World Recap

Photoshop World (PSW) is a complete bubble. I entered the world of Scott Kelby and NAPP starting on Tuesday for pre-cons, or officially at the kick-off Keynote on Wednesday, and I didn't leave that world until the closing ceremonies on Friday afternoon.  It's an overwhelming few days, and it takes a little bit to process the experience overall. I have had some time to process the week, and I think this was the best PSW that I have attended. It definitely had the most attendees, which means even more like-minded people to meet. Being able to connect in person with instructors like Matt Kloskowski, Scott, RC, Joe McNally and Moose  Peterson is such a great opportunity. Being in the same room with the amazing photographers and teachers is just energizing in and of itself.

Every Photoshop World, I realize how much more I need to learn in Photoshop. As a Photoshop World attendee this year, I received a one year Creative Cloud membership, so I will be putting the things I have learned to good use.

Because this was my fourth PSW, I wanted to check out some different types of classes in addition to the Photoshop and business track. This is how I discovered the amazing work of Aaron Blaise. Now, I am not an artist, but seeing his digital workflow was just inspiring.

Perhaps the best learning experience during the week was my Portfolio Review. This is a special event available to attendees for a small cost, and I only started taking advantage of this last year. I wish I had the guts to participate in this every year, because I have learned so much from each session. This year, my review was with Vincent Versace, an absolutely amazing photographer and artist. Sitting down with Vincent and going over my images completely made my day. He pointed out things in my pictures that I had overlooked and gave me life changing ideas about looking about my photography. All in 15-20 minutes. The guy is just amazing, and I am so thankful to have had (and utilized) this opportunity to sit down with him.

The Expo Hall is a pretty great experience, in that you can go chat with the vendors that you regularly use. I was on the fence about where to go with my Squarespace site, and now have a much better idea of what I will do, because I was able to chat with them in person. That is just one example of the many vendors that are there and willing to help their customers (or potential customers) in person.

I have noticed something quite amazing at the past few PSW's. I absolutely love the fact that there is such an age range. I mean, from the high school kids to the 65+ age range. I'm not in either of those age groups, however I was able to talk to anyone in any of those groups, because of our common passion. Last year during the closing ceremony, I was sitting next to a man that told me he was 85 years old...and we were discussing Lightroom and how we use it. We have over 50 years between us, but a similar workflow. That just blows me away. I saw him around the conference  this year, but did not get a chance to chat with him. I will make a point of it next year.

I think the variety of people and ages is really a testament to Scott Kelby's ability to bring people together through their involvement in NAPP, as well as your ability to bring understanding of the technology to people of all ages.

Overall, it was a fantastic PSW, and I was really happy to reconnect with old friends and make new friends. Kevin Stohlmeyer is one of my new friends, and was also blogging about the week here. Check it out for pictures that recap the week.

Thank you to Kelby Media Group for putting on an awesome conference, the staff who worked so hard to make sure every minute ran smoothly, and to all of the instructors for sharing their vast knowledge.

I look forward to PSW next year!


Day 3 Photoshop World recap

Of course it was another amazing and educational day. With so many sessions to choose from, there were some pretty hard decisions that I had to make. I started off the day with the man, the myth, the legend- Matt Kloskowski. His "Lightroom and Photoshop for Landscape Photographers" was pretty awesome, and showed some great tools to get the most out of landscape photos. It was also really cool to see that Matt had his dad in the audience of his class. This was really touching, especially since my dad and I always attend Photoshop World together.


I always try to make it a point to get attend a Scott Kelby portrait retouching class. There is something so different (and dare I say magical) about learning from Scott in person. His sessions are always entertaining, and I always learn a ton from him.


The Wrap Up Rally and giveaway session is the final event of every Photoshop World, and is standing room only. Every year, a variety of photographers bring the ideas and emotions of Photoshop World home. This year, Bryan Hughes of Adobe spoke about the many ways that Adobe is listening to its customers -- through forums, social media and events in person. Erik Valind spoke about the way that he got into photography, the struggles he faced and the lessons he learned from those struggles. Moose Peterson always has a beautiful presentation of his stunning images, and is something I always look forward to at the closing ceremony.

The closing ends with some pretty cool prize giveaways, which are of course are an awesome bonus...but you have to stay until the end to see if you have won! I always stay to the end and try to catch the instructors and staff to thank them for an amazing Photoshop World.

I cannot believe that this Photoshop World is now officially over, and I am so happy that I was able to participate this year.


Thank you to Kelby Media group and NAPP for putting on yet another amazing Photoshop World, and for allowing me the opportunity to blog about my experiences. I look forward to next year!



Day 2 Photoshop World Recap

The second day of Photoshop World is always jam-packed with awesomeness! From sessions in the morning until Midnight Madness late at night, there is constantly an opportunity to learn and have a blast. Of course there are so many amazing classes to choose from, sometimes it's impossible to attend all of them. Luckily Photoshop World provides these huge notebooks with the instructors' notes and presentations that come along with your registration. Even though you might not be able to make all of the sessions, it's helpful to have the notes to refer to.

My morning started off with something a little different. Animator Aaron Blaise was recently added to the PSW roster of instructors, and I attended his "Digital Illustration Workflow" class to try something completely different. Now I cannot draw much beyond clouds (puffy ones), but Aaron's art (both the traditional and the digital mediums) absolutely inspired me. It was also interesting to see how Aaron used light and color to create amazing work.

Moose Peterson's class "Breaking In and Making it in the Editorial Market" finished up my morning. Through various classes and workshops I have taken in the past with Moose, I have always known him as an awesome photographer, but this class really drives home what a smart businessman he is.

Perhaps the highlight of Day 2 is the Art of Digital Photography panel. This year, the panel consisted of Jim DiVitale, Julieanne Kost, Dave Black, Joe Glyda, Vincent Versace, Jay Maisel, Joe McNally and Moose Peterson. The variety of photographers and the stories they tell with their photographs always amazes me. Vincent Versace called the audience to action to help build a school in Myanmar, and then proceeded to show his amazingly beautiful images from that country.

And then Day 2 wraps up with Midnight Madness. It is, well, sheer madness. And really, you don't learn a thing about Photoshop. But you do have a ton of fun (it's guaranteed, in fact).

Tomorrow is unfortunately the last day of Photoshop World. I can't believe that it has gone by this fast. It has been great to reconnect with old friends, make new ones and learn from some amazing photographers.


Photshop World Day 1 Recap

And that is how Photoshop World Las Vegas starts! The keynote kicked off with a hilarious video introducing the Photoshop Guys --I really think this was the bes t and funniest of the videos for a keynote so far. The behind the scenes of shooting that introduction was just priceless. From there the keynote just got more exciting keynote with some pretty amazing announcements from both Wacom and Adobe. Wacom announced a new Intuos tablet that really pushes the envelope for creatives. Adobe previewed new advancements for Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as unbelievable Creative Cloud pricing for both--just $9.99 US per month! This is pretty amazing stuff and is really transforming the way Adobe users utilize these tools.

Once these awesome announcements were made, the Guru and Vincent Versace awards were announced and we were off to our first sessions.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about copyright from none other than Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki. These two make up an awesome team that stresses the importance of copyright for anything you create, and break it down. This is such an important topic for photographers, and is something that any creative should look into and understand.

I also attended a panel called "Are You Ready to Go Pro", moderated by the now Adobe Hall of Famer Matt Kloskowski and comprised of Cliff Mautner, Joel Grimes and Erik Valind. Each of the panelists had a unique perspective of starting out in the photography business, but all agreed that it takes hard work to build a body of work and a brand.

The opening of the Expo hall is always exciting. The amount of vendors is enough to make your credit card scared, but many vendors have specific talks and demonstrations that are always entertaining and educational.


This afternoon was also my portfolio review session, and my review was with none other than Vincent Versace--I will dedicate a whole post to this and the importance of the portfolio reviews later in the week. This is a wonderful opportunity that is available to attendees-- it is an amazing learning experience! If you weren't able to do one this year, make sure it's on your to do list in the future.


For the evening classes, I chose to attend Scott Bourne's session about attracting an audience to your photography through Twitter. He had a lot of helpful information, and really gave the class a lot to think about.


The highlight of the first day is always the PSW After-Hours party. Scott Kelby's band performs live at the House of Blues, and they really rock! This is also another opportunity to mingle with other PSW attendees, as well as the instructors and NAPP staff who work so hard to put on an amazing conference.

I am ready for Day 2, and look forward to more amazing sessions, the Art of Digital Photography panel and Midnight Madness!


Photoshop World Meetup

The day before the start of Photoshop World is the day for pre-conference in-depth workshops and for the Photoshop World Meet-Up. This meet-up takes place the night before the start of PSW and after pre-conference workshops, and gives attendees the opportunity to meet other PSW attendees and to mingle with the instructors.

Held at the Eye Candy lounge at Mandalay Bay this year, attendees were able to compare notes with other attendees and chat with the week's instructors.

Personally, I was able to meet people that I had seen at Photoshop Worlds past but never got the chance to talk to, and to introduce myself to instructors whose classes I'd be taking for the first time.

Onto the official start of Photoshop World - the Keynote and Day 1!

The Photoshop World Experience

You will see me posting a lot about Photoshop World from now until September. I am so excited to announce that I will be blogging for Photoshop World, as well as on my own personal blog. Aside from the fact that I'll be blogging, Photoshop World (PSW) is an important event to me. Not only is it an amazing few days of inspiration and education, but it is something my dad and I have attended pretty much every year since the first year we went.

Back when I first got into photography and got my camera, my dad introduced me to the world of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), and I believe he gave me the gift of membership for that first year. As he was introducing me to the likes of Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Rafael "RC" Concepcion through blog posts and NAPP videos, he kept talking about this conference in Las Vegas called Photoshop World that he had always wanted to attend. Every time he would describe it, his eyes would light up.

The following year, dad and I decided to bite the bullet and go to PSW Vegas. We were both like little kids in a candy store from the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony. Not only was that first year awesome fun, but it truly opened my eyes to this community of photographers, and that other people also see the world differently through a lens. Needless to say, my dad and I loved every minute of it and kept talking about "next year".

I have gone several times by now with my dad, because it is the most inspiring few days of the year for both of us. To learn from great photographers and digital artists is just awesome. The fact that my dad and I get to attend together is just so cool. Photoshop World is not just an event or conference; it is an experience.

Whenever I meet other attendees or instructors at PSW, they always ask, "You brought your dad (or parents, depending on the year) to Vegas?!" My answer is always, "Absolutely!". My dad introduced me to NAPP, and it is only right that I attend the biggest NAPP gathering on the West Coast with him.

You can also attend Photoshop World to experience it for yourself. Don't worry, if you go alone, you will make a lot of new friends along the way. However the deadline to save $100 is fast approaching -- Plus this year, everyone who registers gets to try Adobe Creative Cloud for one year free! The deadline for earlybird registration is August 2, 2013. To register 800.738.8513 or visit PHOTOSHOPWORLD.COM


Photoshop World Las Vegas 2013

We are just under 50 days away from an event that I look forward to every year...Photoshop World!

Here is all of the information you need from NAPP about Photoshop World, and how to sign up:


Photoshop World Conference & Expo

Las Vegas

September 4-6, 2013






Photoshop World Las Vegas Wrap Up

Back to the old grind, as they say, and I have had a few weeks to reflect on this year’s Photoshop World. I didn’t get to blog as much as I wanted to on the PSW blog during PSW because of unresolved technical difficulties.  However, I didn’t let that fact ruin my PSW experience, and the staff worked hard to put on a great show. I loved every moment of PSW and didn’t want to miss a thing. That’s hard when there are 5 amazing classes going on during one time slot. Thank goodness for the hundreds of pages in the PSW Workbook, even though it’s not the same as sitting down with a legendary instructor to teach you those things.

Between the classes and the Expo floor, there was always something to see, learn and buy. My favorite event at both the last PSW I attended two years ago and this one was The Art of Digital Photography panel, comprised of nine PSW instructors: Jim Divitale, Joe Glyda, Joe McNally, Jeremy Cowart, Jay Maisel, Gregory Hesiler, Julieanne Kost, Dave Black and Moose Peterson. Each photographer exhibited a different perspective that they brought to the table and left the attendees in awe. I am humbled that I had the opportunity to even be in the same room with these talents, and even more so by the fact they were presenting their own work before me and a few hundred of my PSW friends. But nothing was more memorable than when Joe received a standing ovation for his project “Faces of Ground Zero”, a portrait series of the heroes and survivors of September 11th in 2001, and in 2011.

Something I noticed in each class and walking the Expo floor was the range of attendees' ages. I saw young kids (a 14 year old boy was one of McNally’s subjects) and retirees. I loved seeing that variety. How great is that to be a young kid in the 10-14 age range and to be going to Photoshop World? I applaud the adults in these kids’ lives for nurturing their passion at such a young age, as well as retirees for continuing to feed their passion. One of those retirees whom I attend every PSW with is my dad, making it a wonderful experience for us to share.

Which leads me to the PSW closing ceremony. This year was definitely an emotional closing ceremony. The afternoon began with a movie clip from Joe McNally’s “Faces of Ground Zero” project in his absence. Then Moose Peterson took us on his photographic journey, which chokes me up every time. One of the newer instructors Dave Black told the tear-jerking story of how one college professor saw his talent and encouraged him to pursue photography even though it wasn’t his major. New Photoshop Guy Pete Collins wrapped up the presentations with the equally emotional story of how he started out as a missionary in Thailand and ended up on that stage in Vegas.

I want to thank all of NAPP for putting together yet another amazing PSW. Thank you to all of the instructors who shared their knowledge for three days out of their undoubtedly busy lives.

And thank you for stopping by.