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I attended my very first Photoshop World this past weekend and had an amazing time!  Here’s a quick rundown of my experience:


Keynote

It started out as being a hilarious spoof on Star Trek: TNG … I couldn’t stop laughing!  These guys have a great sense of humor and wonderful attitude.  John Loiacono also gave us a sneak-peek at Adobe Photoshop CS-“next”.  There will also be an official Adobe announcement (hmm, wonder what that might be?) on September 23rd … all I can say is “I can’t wait!!!”


Classes

Holy guacamole, do you learn a ton at this event.  I did my best to follow Matt Kloskowski’s advice on avoiding classes on topics you probably already know a lot about, and even snuck out of one of his classes on Lightroom for beginners!   Ultimately, my absolute favorite Photoshop class was “Earth, Wind and Fire” with Corey Barker (the image above was made from techniques learned in that class).  I really appreciate his style of teaching, and also love the fact that I learn something new every time he does a tutorial or lesson, since it’s so far from what I do every day within Photoshop.  My favorite photography classes were two classes led by Joe McNally — wow, is that guy amazing or what!  Such a great sense of humor, and, of course, a stellar photographer.  I came out of his “Shooting for Major Magazines” class feeling extremely inspired (even teary-eyed inspired … ok, I know, corny but true!).  Next time I attend PSW I am definitely going to a pre-con photography workshop with him!


Expo

This was a creative professional’s dream expo!  I did my best to just browse so I didn’t actually buy anything, but I did get to see some of the top-of-the-line equipment and software.  If you are in the area of Photoshop World, you need to check this out!  (Especially if you are planning on buying anything … they usually have some good discounts to NAPP members and everyone in general on the last day of the expo.)

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Party!

I was lucky enough to snag a pro-pass, and along with it I got to go to the coveted After-Hours party held at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay.  The band “Big Electric Cat” was great!  I brought my D200 and Ray Flash with me and got some really cool shots.  I even had the chance to meet and shake hands with Scott Kelby. :)

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People

This is definitely one of the best reasons to attend Photoshop World, ranked right up there with the classes.  I met so many people and learned a lot by just doing some one-on-one chatting.  I also had a chance to meet and hang out with a bunch of the iStock crew, most of them coming all the way from Calgary.  Thanks again to Rob, Kelly, Adam, Megan, Dave and Kevin for being such awesome peeps and spending time with me!


Advice

So, for those of you who are thinking that Photoshop World looks like it might be a fun time, believe me when I tell you that it is!  Here are a few things that I discovered personally that are some tips to keep in mind:

– Go to classes that teach things you know very little or nothing about.  (Well, at least stick to the software you know, like don’t go to an Illustrator class if you’ve never used it before.)

– Wear comfortable shoes!  (People told me this over and over, and I did follow their advice.  They weren’t kidding … you really get to do a lot of walking!)

– And most important of all – have fun!  These guys really do make it easy to have a good time, and the uplifting positive attitude of all the instructors and NAPP staff is probably what makes this event so wonderful.  It’s really a great thing to see so many people together at one time (participants included) who obviously just love their jobs!  It makes me feel like I’ve picked the right path for a career ( … now I just need a job!) ;)

To read more about Photoshop World and some upcoming Photoshop news, visit Scott Kelby’s blog (link).