Category Archives NAPP

Dear Adobe:

As president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) I represent more than 70,000 Photoshop users around the world. However as I’m writing this open letter to you today, I would say that most of our 70,000 members have no idea about the upgrade policy changes you just announced, or about how these changes will affect them.

From the information I’ve gathered, it appears to me that this new upgrade policy for the next version of Adobe Photoshop and the Creative Suite (presumably called CS6) will leave a significant number of your customers with no affordable upgrade path to Photoshop CS6 or the Creative Suite.

It’s my understanding that when the next version of Photoshop and the Creative Suite is released, if you do not already own Photoshop version CS5 or CS5.5 (or the 5 or 5.5 Creative Suite):

(a) You will not be eligible to upgrade to Photoshop CS6 (or the CS6 Creative Suite). Instead the only way to get Photoshop CS6 at that point will be to repurchase the entire product again at its full price (presumably $699 US). If you’re a CS4 Creative Suite User, you’ll have to buy the entire suite all over again to move to CS6.

(b) For Photoshop CS4, or CS3 users, their only real option is to pay to upgrade now to CS5.5 (though you are offering a 20% upgrade discount upgrade until the end of the year), and then to pay again to upgrade when Photoshop CS6 is released, or sign up for your new monthly subscription plan.

While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers (and our members). Here’s why: You didn’t tell us up front. You didn’t tell us until nearly the end of the product’s life cycle, and now you’re making us buy CS5.5 for just a few months on the chance that we might want to buy CS6 at a discount when it’s released. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all.

Those users who didn’t upgrade to CS5 or 5.5, either couldn’t afford the upgrade, or couldn’t justify the upgrade, or they would already be on CS5 or 5.5. But now you’re kind of holding us hostage—–you’re making us buy something we don’t need now, just so we will still have the option to get something that we may want (CS6) when it is released without buying it all over again from scratch. You’re playing hardball with your customers—either upgrade twice or you’re out. That’s not the Adobe we know.

I have always felt that Adobe was very customer centric, and that their decisions were based on what’s best for their customers, but in this particular instance I can’t see how cutting off CS4 and CS3 users, and making them either pay two upgrades in a row, or pay the full retail price to get CS6, benefits anybody but Adobe.

With that said, here’s my plea to Adobe:
If you really want to be fair to your customers, at the very least don’t start this policy yet. Start it with Photoshop CS7. Make CS6 your new upgrade pricing transition version, and tell everybody now, up front—–at the start of the product’s life cycle, that everybody will need to upgrade to CS6 at some point because the next version (CS7) won’t support older users. That way, we’re not spending money just to spend more money again. Adobe, you can still have what you want—-you can still get everybody on the current version, but it gives us time to save, time to plan, and anybody still left behind at that point will have had more than fair warning.

Another option I feel would be very fair to Adobe customers would be to offer a tiered upgrade which rewards your best customers (customers who upgraded to CS5 or 5.5) by giving them the best upgrade deal, but then offer CS4 users a reasonable upgrade path (they would pay more for their upgrade, but they’re getting all the features added in CS5.5 as well, so that’s fair) and then why not even offer an upgrade path to CS6 for your CS3 users? They would certainly wind up paying the most in upgrade fees, but at least it wouldn’t be the full $699 (or even more if they’re on the CS3 suite). This tiered approach gives everybody an opportunity to stay on as an Adobe customer, but still gives your best customers preferential upgrade pricing.

I know, Business is business…
I understand that Adobe is not in business to be our friend or our buddy. Adobe is a public corporation with a responsibility to its employees, partners and shareholders to continually generate and grow profits. We don’t buy Adobe products because we think they’re our friend—we buy Adobe products because you make amazing products and tools for creative people like us. You have the right to charge $5,000 for the Creative Suite if you want, and likewise we have to make decisions based on what’s right for us and our business.

I also know that the clearest message you can send any company is not to buy their product and I am not suggesting in any way that we intentionally don’t buy Adobe products, but I am afraid for many people, including many of the Photoshop users I represent, that will be the case. Photoshop CS4 will wind up being their last version of Photoshop ever, and I for one would hate to see that happen. I think that would be a lose/lose for everybody.

Adobe, it’s not too late
You can still fix this. You can stand by your customers and make CS6 the “Transition upgrade”—-the one where going into it from the start ,everybody will know that after CS6 there will be a new upgrade policy. That way you don’t leave anybody behind that wants to stay with you. Nobody can say you pulled a fast one on them at the last minute, or didn’t give them reasonable notice about the next upgrade. You never go wrong by doing the right thing.

Thanks for listening, Adobe.

All my best,

-Scott Kelby
President, The National Association of Photoshop Professionals

The Photoshop Guys take a moment during “It’s A SNAPP” to look off to the side of the set and smile at something. Probably just a courtesy smile for something Larry said that he thought was funny ;)

If you weren’t able to catch It’s A SNAPP with The Photoshop Guys last night, you can catch the re-broadcast until 10:00pm Eastern tonight! It’s streaming constantly over at until then, and goes into the NAPP archives after that. If you’re a NAPP member (and we hope that you’ll become one if you watch the webinar), you’ll be able to watch it any time you want.

While you’re over there, make sure you scroll down the page to check out the killer today-only deals we’re offering!

– Become a NAPP member or renew for a year and you can get a FREE membership to gift to someone else.

– And if you buy a full conference pass for Photoshop World Vegas and get another pass for half price.

All the details, discount codes, and phone numbers (these deals are call-in only) are over at Call any time between 8:30am and 7:00pm Eastern to take advantage of these amazing discounts!

Hey Gang, Brad here with a last-minute reminder that tonight is the SNAPP event with The Photoshop Guys! It’s like the NAPP-a-thon we did last year, but with a different name :)

You can register over at over at, then tell all your friends, family, and pets to tune in from 8:00-10:00pm tonight for two hours of tutorials, fun stuff, and even some great giveaways like Lexar memory cards!

The main reason for this is to show non-NAPP members what NAPP is all about, so if you love NAPP and want to share it with your friends, let them know to come check out the webinar!

It’s quick, because I am totally beat, but I’ve got a few quick things before I hit the sack and head to Indianapolis tomorrow.

(1) My Portrait Retouching book for photographers now is in stock at Amazon and B&N
It just showed up late yesterday at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon—it’s in stock and ready to ship from both for around $29 ( or B&N). Just a heads up: this book was designed expressly for photographers who do their own retouching—it was not designed to teach you how to become a high-end retoucher. I saw a full review yesterday in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, (written by T. Michael Testi of and he totally nailed who the book was written for and why. Here’s the link.

(2) Minneapolis rocks!
Had an absolute ball yesterday, with nearly 600 photographers in attendance, and some of the nicest, most fun folks I’ve had the opportunity to teach in a long while. (Here’s a shot from the event tweeted by @azarinelli) What a great crowd! They even let me live when I totally trashed something in the last five minutes of the class. Great day though, all around, and I even got to the Mall of America after the seminar. Man, that place is HUGE!

(3) My Indy and Chicago Tour Stops are Sold Out!
My Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it seminars Wednesday and Thursday are already sold out, and I’m really psyched to get to train to over 2,100 photographer in just four cities, in a little over a week. We’ll be announcing another tour date maybe by Friday. :)

(4) Two Grids in One Week
Last week we taped “The Grid” live from Photoshop World, and then yesterday Matt had Scott Diussa (from Nikon Professional Services) on as his guest during the live broadcast. By the time you read this, last week’s Photoshop World episode will have already been posted online, and then this week’s show should be up later today. Here’s the link.

(5) Here’s some more Photoshop World coverage & photos
A few folks, including our buddy Rick Sammon, who posted their own coverage of last week’s Photoshop World conference, and I wanted to share some of their links:

> Rick Sammon’s story on the Grid live broadcast with photos (link)

> Hoffman Art & Design (link)

> Michelle Hedstrom (link)

> Daniel Glass (link)

> Cool B&W photos from Day Two from PSW blog (link)

> Day 1 B&W photos from PSW Blog (link)

> Great photos from Moose & Joe’s PSW workshop (link)

> Orge Photography (link)

If I missed any, just post ’em in the comments below.

(6) OK, now I’m really beat
I’ve got to hit the sack. I’m flying to Indianapolis this morning, but I’ve got the whole day off with nothing to do. I’m not sure I’ll know how to handle it. ;-)

Want to love coming to work every day? I have three awesome jobs we’re hiring for right now that could be the job of your dreams. Here’s who we’re looking for:

(1) Photoshop Guy (or Gal)
We’re looking for the next Photoshop superstar to join our team (you’ll have the same type of job here as Matt, Dave, RC, and Corey, except Matt would be your boss, and he screams a lot. Mostly at me, though).

You’ll need mad Photoshop skills, but I already know a ton of people who are incredible at Photoshop. I’m looking for more than that. I need a world class teacher, a passionate instructor, a creative genius, a gifted communicator, someone who can captivate a room with 500+ Photoshop students, and someone’s whose dream is to be one of “The Photoshop Guys” (even if you’re a Photoshop Girl).

The job requires you to relocate to our headquarters in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida (we have a cool office for you), but we have really great benefits, and loads of opportunity (plus, you’ll become a household name if you really rock, which to get this job, you’d have to, so it’s a lock). Details at the bottom of this post for how to apply.

(2) Marketing Genius
We’re looking for an absolutely kick-butt marketing maverick (or maven) to work on expanding our rapidly growing online training segment. You’ll have tons of opportunity, and a great team around you (you’ll need to work in HQ in Tampa, but I saved you an office right near mine), so you’re going to totally love your job and what you’ll be able to accomplish! If you are that kick-butt person, you’ll be helping us to expand into international markets, and open new ones here in the States.

You’ll need to have some serious marketing experience, lots of energy, passion for what you do, and the ability to not only come up with great ideas, but make them happen. An incredible opportunity for the right person, and you can start right away (the pay’s not half bad either, you get awesome benefits, plus there’s plenty of opportunity for growth). You’d report directly to me, and unlike Matt, I rarely yell. This is the job you’ve been waiting for. Seriously.

(3) Photoshop & Web Tech-Geek SuperHero
Things are exploding here (in a great way), and we need a fairly geeky, yet still kinda cool, person to help answer email questions that people run into who watch our online training.

Here’s an example of what kind of stuff you’d need to handle: let’s say somebody watches one of my online classes, and they see me use the Texturizer filter, but when they go under Filter menu to try it for themselves it’s grayed out. That’s where you come in. You’d ask them, “Is your image in 16-bit mode?” Then they’d say “Yup.” And then you’d tell them that Texturizer doesn’t work on 16-bit images—only 8-bit images. Then you’re a hero. You saved the day!

Plus, if they have a problem with their browser, or the video player, or any one of those pesky thing that people run in to with some browser none of us have ever heard of, you could rescue them, too (tell them get Firefox). Anyway, you need to be a little geeky, a little Photoshoppy, you need to have the patience of a Cleveland Browns fan and an awesome attitude, because you have to love this stuff—solving people’s problems and making them happy. The good news is: you can work from your own home, and telecommute (which means you can work in your underwear. We’ll never know). A perfect job for that cool, yet slightly geeky problem-solver.

A little bit about us
Kelby Training is an awesome place to work, with a casual work environment, really cool offices (link to photos–part 1, and part 2), and you’ll be surrounded by some of the best, most creative, and most fun people anywhere.

We only hire kick-butt, highly motivated, really smart and creative people, so if you get a job here, you know you’re the best of the best (and we treat you like it).

If any of these sounds like a perfect fit for you, or someone you know, them come and work for us! If you post a comment here asking for our HR dept, I’ll email the contact info where to can send your resume (don’t send us a stuffy resume that sounds like you’re looking for a job at Bank of America. They’ll weed you out way before it gets to me, and I want you to make the cut).

That’s the gig. Although we’re pretty casual about a lot of things, we’re really serious about finding incredible people, with great attitude, ethics, passion, and personality. If that sounds like you, I want to meet you. Soon!