This one (above) really is like a movie trailer, and I’m in a pirate suit, so I’m not quite sure what to say hereâ¦..anyway, we have a Pirate theme for the Vegas Photoshop World Conference & Expo this year, and this little trailer gives you a taste for what’s in the opening keynote movie that kicks off the three-day training event. It should be Arrrrrrrrr rated! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Anyway, Steve Nicolai, Daniel Bryant and our crew over in KelbyOne video land do some really clever, amazing, and often funny trailers for our online courses and I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite’s here (you can watch them below — they’re all pretty short — usually 30-seconds to a minute each). Here goes (in no particular order):

1. Peter Hurley’s “Mastering Headshot Photography”
I love how real Peter is throughout this trailer, but it’s the very end that just cracks me up!


2. Joe McNally – Making Great Photos in Bad Weather
This is just so Joe. Dig the Twister reference, and Joe’s inappropriate arm gesture.


3. Dave Black – High School Football Photography
Our crew did such a great taking the images Dave made during the live class and giving it a real big-time sports theme. The graphics, type and treatment are just great (and Dave’s class is killer, so it really fit).


4. Exposing HDR — What Happened to RC?
This was our first teaser trailer, andâ¦wellâ¦it’s just creepy. I wouldn’t have shot there.


5. Frank Doorhof ‘s “The Art of Dance Photography”
I love this one simply because of the shots Frank was able to pull off during this class (seen in the trailer). He is just amazing.


6. Bill’s Fortney’s “Close up: An introduction to Macro Photography”
I like the twist and reveal near the end of the trailer.


7. Bill Frake’s Environmental Sports Portraiture
Bill just flat out does some clever stuff and you get a peek at some of it in this trailer. One of my sports photography heroes.


8. Glyn Dewis’ Character Composite
Just like McNally’s trailer is so “Joe,” Glyn is just so “Glyn” in this trailer. The funny thing is, the mechanic in the trailer is a real mechanic who works right down the street from our studios.


9. Dave Black Horse Racing
I love the historic feel and look of this trailer. Really well done, and it makes you not only want to watch Dave’s class, it’s make you want to grab your camera and head to the track.


10. Tim Wallace — lighting cars with just one flash
I think what I love about this class is the final shot of the car, completely lit with one hot shoe flash, and I’m still like “dude, no way!” but yes. Way!


10.5 Matt’s Compositing Secret’s Book
OK, this technically isn’t a class, but it’s one of my all-time favorites, and one of the first one’s Steve did when he came on board with us as our trailer superhero and man he just won our hearts with this clever, funny, and really well done book trailer.

I know nothings worse that seeing a cool trailer and not being able to see the feature (or in our class, the online class), so if you want to watch any of these classes, and you’re not already a KelbyOne subscriber, you can get a free 24-hour pass and check them all out (as long as you don’t have anything planned that day, right?). Anyway, here’s the link just in case.

If you’re already a subscriber, if I were you I’d still watch all 10 — even if the topics aren’t what you normally shoot. Maybe today’s the day you fall in love with something new because these instructors are so inspiring, so amazing, and so information it just might open a whole new world for you. Hey, ya never know. :)



P.S. Tomorrow on “The Grid” it’s our “Blind Photo Critique” episode and if you’d like your 3 or 4 of your  images considered to be critiqued during tomorrow’s 4pm live show, submit your images at this link. Good luck! 

Hi Gang: Here’s just a quick collection of stuff I thought you find interesting (well, I thought they were interesting, anyway):

(1) I wish I had thought of this
I saw this (below) over on Digital Photography School and this is way cool! I love the portrait and I like how the photographer (Rey Vladyc Mangouta) got there even more (that behind-the-scenes shot is awesome!). Here’s the link to the article at DPS.

(2) Matt Hernandez is crushin’ it with his portrait series of McDonald’s All-Americans
You can see more of Matt’s series (and his other work) at this link. Super-diggin’ his work.

(3) “Around the World in 360° — I love how this photographer is living his life!
I know I’m not the first to share this video (below), but if you’ve already seen it, you probably want to watch it again — really fun and inspiring. Wish I had the guts to do what he’s doing when I was his age. Talk about “going for it!”

(4) Another “Matt” is making some awesome landscapes!
My buddy Matt Kloskowski was in Portland last week (just a few days before I got there for my seminar) and he took quite an amazing hike, which including hiking down a stream in a wet suite in freezing neck-deep water and traversing a huge Beaver dam to get the shot you see below (my favorite from shoot), but make sure you see his whole story and his other images. Very cool stuff (here’s the link). Also, congrats to Matt — this image on make it up to the #1 spot the same day he posted it!

(5) This is a really fascinating Time Lapse called “India within – Mumbai & Bangalore”
I’m not really big on Time Lapse stuff, but when you see a really good one, they’re really good! Well done to photographer Pierre Ogeron (saw this originally on

Well, there ya go — just some cool stuff I ran across this weekend. Hope you enjoyed it, and here’s wishing you a better than average Monday. :)



For years now I’ve felt that Joe McNally is literally one of the best photographers on the planet, and I know there’s probably a lot of folks that share that very seem feeling, but for years now I’ve also felt that Joe is one of the best people on the planet, too. He genuinely just loves people, and you can see that in his work and they way he lives his life.

A couple of days ago Joe sent me an email and the subject line was “The Reach of KelbyOne” and he’s what Joe wrote:

“Was in Prague recently, and had been contacted by a young man and his family. High school kid, very passionate photog, wondering if they could meet with me. They drove 4 hours, with an interpreter to Prague, and Annie and I bought them dinner, and had a wonderful meal, and talked about his pictures. I gave him an impromptu PF critique at the tables outside the restaurant. He was very thankful for Kelby Training, as they use it in his school. I did a little (vertical) video of him which is coming to you via my acct. at YouSendIt. Just thought you’d enjoyâ¦.

While I honestly think it’s awesome that this young man (his name is Luk¡Å¡ Kala) is using our online training in his high school in Europe (he attends SSPOS Brno [] High School Food Trade and Services). I think it’s way more awesome that Joe, one of the busiest guys in the world, took the time out of his schedule to not only meet with this young man, but that Joe and his wonderful wife Annie (who is the perfect match for Joe, because she is one of the most awesome people I know) took them to dinner. Joe does stuff just like this all the time. He helps photographers along their path, and he genuinely wants the best for them personally and in this career. Joe honors the people that helped him along the way by helping so many others along their path, and by passing his knowledge, his passion, and his heart to anyone he can and he touches people’s lives in ways that go way beyond his incredible photography.

I know many of you have met Joe in person, and I know many of you have been touched, helped, guided or inspired by Joe along the way, but for everyone that hasn’t, I wanted to share this small glimpse into another side of Joe and the grace he shares with others. I could fill a hundred posts recounting the kindness Joe has shared with others, but I’m happy that today I at least got to share this one.

Luk¡Å¡ recorded a video message to me on Joe’s iPhone (I’ve embedded it below), and it’s really sweet. He seems like a great kid, and Joe told me Luk¡Å¡ has a really good eye, so I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot about him soon as he makes his mark on the photographic world.

Have a great weekend, everybody, and here’s to the Joe McNally’s of the world who help make this all a better place. :)



Capturing The Wild: Safari Photography
Join Rick Sammon, a Canon Explorer of Light, and discover tips, tricks, and techniques that can apply to anywhere your camera might take you. Rick draws on his experiences leading photo safaris in Africa to teach you how to prepare for your own safari, consider what gear to bring, the importance of developing a daily routine, and how to get the best photographs of the people, wildlife, and places that you will encounter.

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, Joe McNally, Corey Barker, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
June 17 - Nashville, TN
Aug 26 – St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 – Kansas City, MO

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
May 20 - Hartford, CT

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 - San Jose, CA
June 27 - Seattle, WA
July 24 - Milwaukee, WI
July 28 - Boston, MA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 - New Orleans, LA
Aug 1 – Miami, FL
Aug 13 – Austin, TX

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
May 28 - Sacramento, CA

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we'll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Win A Free Year of Crashplan from Terry White!
Looking for a cloud backup solution? Head over to before this Sunday, May 18, and leave a comment letting him know why you think backups and offsite backups are important to you for your chance to win a free year of Crashplan!

On Taking Pictures with Bill Wadman
Previous guest blogger Bill Wadman hosts a weekly photography podcast called On Taking Pictures where he and his co-host, Jeffery Saddoris, talk about the ‘why’ of taking pictures, the creative process, writer’s block, growth, and similar philosophical stuff. Imagine the conversation you a few friends have sitting around some couches late at night after the party thins out, except the conversation goes on for 106 ninety minute episodes. If you’d like to check it out, head over to and browse the episodes, or subscribe on iTunes.

Last Week’s Winners
The Inspirational Series with Dixie Dixon
– Al

KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Marcel Bauer

If you're one of the lucky winners, we'll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Real World Tips for Photographing Real People
People have held a fascination for me from the first moments that I picked up a camera in my adolescence. They were the very first things that I turned my camera toward, and it's a fascination that continues to this day.

Despite such an early start, I still face many of the same doubts and insecurities that you likely feel any time you are out in public and want to photograph strangers. Such feelings don't ever go away, but I've managed to find a way of working through those feelings to make intimate photographs of people.

The fear that people will become angry or even violent is how far we take our anxiety over photographing someone we don't know. But the reality is that most people, when approached in a sincere and friendly way, are often flattered and thus agreeable to being photographed.

Though I discuss in depth my personal approach in my e-book Portraits of Strangers, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few tips that I think you will find helpful the next time you want to photograph a stranger.

Begin with a Compliment
I was walking to my car after a teaching assignment when I spotted this young man talking to some friends in the parking lot. I approached him and complimented on his hair and joked about the fact that I'm follicly challenged. I asked if I could make his photograph, which he gladly agreed to.

Approaching someone with a sincere compliment about something you find interesting is a great way to start an interaction. First off, giving a complete stranger a compliment catches most people off guard. They are often flattered. Secondly, it provides them with an understanding of why you want to photograph them. They don't need to ask, "Why do you want to make my picture?" because you've already established why. Whether it's their hair, the dog they are walking or just the fact that they look great in a suit or a dress, it helps to bridge the physical and emotional gap that separates them and you.

Having Your Camera Ready
When I saw this caballero walk into the restaurant where I was having lunch, I knew immediately that I wanted to photograph him. As he and his wife were ordering their meal, I was busily setting my camera's ISO, white balance and aperture to take advantage of the light within the space. So, when I finally approached him and he agreed to my making his picture, I focused completely on keeping him engaged rather than fiddling with my camera.

As I am often making street portraits, I am always assessing the quality and the quantity of the light and adjusting my white balance, and ISO accordingly. I especially pay attention to my shutter speed and increase my ISO as needed to ensure a reasonable shutter speed that will keep my images sharp.

Stay Aware of your Light and Background
During the anniversary of Union Station, there were several people dressed in vintage clothing. I stopped this young man who I thought looked stellar in his suit and hat. Though the light was great in the initial setting, the background was far to busy and cluttered and so I moved him to a location with a simpler and cleaner background. This resulted in a much better portrait that emphasized his style.

Don't hesitate to move your subject. Often the place where you initially find your subject isn't the ideal location for a portrait. Remember, if a person has agreed to being photographed, they likely will be more than willing to move to a location where the light and the background is better if you explain simply that you are doing so to make them look as good as possible.

Get Closer
When I saw this fellow place his dog in his jacket, I complimented him on the dog and asked if I could make a photograph. I had a wide-angle lens on the camera, which allowed me to include him in the frame. So, when he pulled out a cigarette and lit, I was ready to include the gesture of his hands to make a better photograph than I had initially anticipated.

Don't be too preoccupied with invading someone's space especially after they've already agreed to be photographed. For the few moments that you are engaged, you have received permission to move closer to a complete stranger than you normally would have any reason to. Take advantage of that, because the result are images that are much more intimate and immediate than something you could produce at a distance with a telephoto lens.

Include the Environment
While in a small town in Guadalajara, I walked into this muffler shop and simply asked what kind of work they did there. After a brief chat, I explained that I was there as part of a photo workshop and asked permission to make some photographs, to which they agreed. I wanted to do more than a head and shoulders portrait. So I included part of this man's workspace in my composition to provide some context that explained who he is and what he does.

If the setting provides some insight into who the person is and what he does, it's a perfect time to open up the composition and include those important elements in the frame. Be careful to scan the edges of the frame to eliminate anything that doesn't serve the subject or the image. Carefully consider your composition so that you can succeed in making a strong environmental portrait.

Slow Down
When I saw this young man, I complimented him on his look and asked to make his portrait. I positioned him so that the background was as clean and simple as I could make it. There were cars and people passing by in the background and so I had to wait several times for them to pass. I didn't rush it and I didn't settle on just making one image. I simply explained why I was taking as long as I was and thanked him for his patience. In the end, we were both pleased with the final result.

I recommend that you don't rush things once someone has agreed to be photographed by you. It's tempting, because you don't want to take too much of that person's time, but it's important that make sure that you get the best shot possible. That's likely not going to happen if you just make one frame. As the photographer, you have the responsibility to make the most of the opportunity and to honor the person with the best image you can muster. You should be quick, but be efficient.

There is no real secret to approaching strangers. Like with anything in photography, it takes practice. Yes, there will be times when you are rejected, but the worst that will happen in those situations is that people will simply say, "no." Just thank them anyway and move on to your next subject. In due time, you will find yourself making photographs of complete strangers and not only coming away with a good photograph, but a wonderful story to go along with it.

Ibarionex Perello is a photographer, writer, educator and host/producer of The Candid Frame, which features conversation with some of the world's best established and emerging photographers. He is the author of 5 books including Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography Using Available Light. You can see more of his work at and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Above: That’s me, Nicole Young, Brad “Your face is going to freeze like that” Moore, and Brian Matiash at a waterfall somewhere in Portland (note the beautiful falls behind us. Errrr, to the left of us. Outside the frame. Yeah, that one). 

Greetings from beautiful Portland, Oregon where the sun is shining (well, not this instant as I’m writing this right before bed, but it was a gorgeous day here today), and we’re hanging out with some friends, and shooting’ and stuff.

I’m here for my “Shoot Like a Pro” Seminar today, and as you can see from the photo aboveâ¦I’ve just got nothing for the blog today. Nuthin’ — but on some level, I think the expression Brad is making above was totally worth a visit. Just sayin’.

Hope you all have a “I hope your face doesn’t freeze like that” type of day!



P.S. Although I’m posing here in Oregon with Brian Matiash (from Google photos), he’ll be our very special in-studio guest this Wednesday on “The Grid” where he’ll be sharing some cool stuff. That’s all I’m gonna say. :)