If you’ve got a photographer on your holiday gift list, here are seven books (in no particular order) I highly recommend that will help make you a holiday hero:

A Life Behind the Lens: Thirty Years of Award Winning Photography from Sports’ Most Iconic Moments

By Richard Pelham

Based in the UK, Richard “Dickie” Pelham is one of the leading sports photographers in the world today, and a top shooter for London’s The Sun. His collection of sports images is just stunning (I have a copy — it’s brilliant!), and if the photographer on your list is into sports, they will cherish this coffee table-style hardcover book.

Amazon link (Hardcover)

Wedding Storyteller, Volume Two: Wedding Case Studies and Workflow

By Roberto Valenzuela

This is a follow-up to Roberto’s groundbreaking book on wedding photography, and it straight-up has a 5-star rating on Amazon for a reason: it’s packed with advice, proven techniques, and incredibly inspiring photography throughout. If the photographer on your list shoots weddings, they will love this book!

Amazon link (Softcover print and Kindle eBook)

Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash

By Joe McNally

Joe is the legend of flash. The king. No contest. This book is rated 5-stars, and that is an incredibly hard feat these days. But, not only does it have 5-stars, it also has 133 reviews, and it’s still rated 5-stars, which is just insane. It’s one of the best books ever on the topic of flash—hands-down. Get this for the flash lover on your list. They will love you for it.

Amazon link (Kindle eBook and some print copies still available)

The Complete Aurora Guide: For Travellers and Photographers

By Dave Williams

This is a brand new book from the one and only “Travel Tuesday with Dave” Williams, and he has become known for his incredible Aurora photography. In this book, he shares his images and techniques, and if the photographer on your list wants to take these same types of images, pick up a copy right now.

Amazon link (Softcover print and Kindle eBook)

The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone

By Lindsay Adler

I’m a huge fan of Lindsay’s photography and her books, and this wonderful 5-star-rated book (with 189 reviews no less) is a super-great pick! This stuff is gold, and anyone you give it to will make better portraits because of it.

Amazon link (Softcover print and Kindle eBook)


By Serge Ramelli

This is Serge’s follow-up to his black-and-white Paris coffee table book that made him one of the best to ever capture the city of light. It’s a hardcover, coffee table-style book like the original, but this new version, with new images, is in color and it is just stunning. They. Will. Love. It.

Amazon link (Hardcover)

The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos: 83 Composition Tools from the Masters

By Marc Silber

If you watch my weekly photography show The Grid you’ve heard me talk about this book on photography composition, and you may have even seen Marc himself as my guest on the show. Everybody will get something out of this one.

Amazon link (Softcover print and Kindle eBook)


I hope you found these picks helpful. There’s no risk in choosing any one of these books—they are pretty much guaranteed hits for any photographer on your holiday gift list, so…happy shopping!

Have a great weekend, everybody, and I’ll see a few hundred of you on Monday in Fort Lauderdale at my seminar. Can’t wait! :)


The Best Retouching Secrets Uncovered with Viktor Fejes

Join Viktor Fejes and learn all of the Photoshop tips and tricks he wished he had known when he started out as a retoucher. Starting with the benefits of a tablet and proper monitor, Viktor dives into his favorite interface settings, how to get the most out of pen pressure on your tablet, key brush settings for retouching, how to easily tone down highlights on skin, brilliant tips for working with layer masks, alternative ways to cut out hair from a background, and so much more.

In Case You Missed It: The Essential Elements of Retouching

Learn the essential elements of retouching. Join Viktor Fejes as he provides you with a solid a foundation for how to approach retouching. This is not a class on how to use the basic tools of retouching, but rather how to think about retouching in a logical and methodical fashion, so that you can develop a workflow to properly retouch a photo from start to finish. You’ll learn how to evaluate an image, how to start in Camera Raw, how to structure your layers in Photoshop, how to use techniques involving false colors to fine tune texture, tones, and color, and all the while gaining a firm understanding for why you would approach retouching in this way.

On assignment in January 2017 covering the presidential inauguration with the RED camera.

Pivoting to Video

In 1985, while still in high school, I received training in video thanks to the fact that cable companies across the United States were digging up every sidewalk to lay cable, and requiring community access stations and training in exchange for the monopolies in cities everywhere. Think a real-life Wayne’s World, without extra cowbell. Lugging around a huge tape deck and separately hardwired camera was a lot for this young scrawny high-schooler, but I managed, and learned a lot in the process.

In 2000, after a decade as a full-time still photographer, I returned and dipped my toe back into video. Over the years, my YouTube channel grew, largely as an arm of my efforts to promote best business practices for photographers and the messaging for my book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, where I did over 70 videos with a quick-hit insight into a single business topic in each one. Even so, my still photography business continued to grow, as did my staff.

Over the last five or so years, I began what can only be called a ocean-liner speed turn from stills and a little video, to making video a solid part of my business offerings to clients. In the last year, video revenues have grown to about 30% of gross revenues, and are headed in that direction even more in the near future.

A VR video of a Presidential Motorcade winding its way through the streets of Washington DC.

So, why? As still photography grows into an ever- commoditizing offering, video still has largely non-commodifiable components. Knowing how to capture good sound, knowing how to edit a package, and even the addition of simple graphics like lower-thirds, means that it doesn’t seem to clients like “everyone can do it.” Further, telling stories in video is a really exciting way to express my creative side, and it’s a lot of fun. For many Adobe users, you already have Premiere as a tool you can download as a part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

Video using UAS platforms is an immensely creative experience.

Professionally, I’ve put together an award-winning documentary short that is on the festival circuit, worked on documentaries for Showtime and HBO, to name a few. Being a part of those teams have been incredible opportunities and really fulfilling in a way I’ve not felt since the early days of excitedly seeing my images on the covers of magazines on the newsstands.

Trailer for WARBONNET: An Odyssey of Honor, currently on the Film Festival circuit, with numerous awards and accolades.

KelbyOne has a great deal of DSLR filmmaker resources where you can learn now to do this, and it’s an exciting thing to add to your still photography side of the business.

How many ways can you learn to light a portrait? Why not start fresh with video? I’m not suggesting you abandon still photography, but if you’re not expanding your business, you’re slowly dying.

John Harrington is an award-winning filmmaker and Washington DC-based still photographer who has worked on assignment for, or whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Rolling Stone, HBO, Showtime, PBS, and many other news outlets, and whose commercial work has been completed for over half of the Fortune 500 companies over a 30+ year (and counting) career.

You can see more of his work at JohnHarrington.com, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to pick up his best-selling book Best Business Practices for Photographers, Third Edition from Rocky Nook!

From a very, very cold Lapland, #TravelTuesday is here! Right now it’s -13.5c (7f) and my mission to the cold, dark north has faced some setbacks, but overall it’s going well. I was in Norway, but yesterday I drove through to Finland because of the adverse weather and so far, so good here.

This is actually what has inspired what I want to share with you today. I use social media to show the world everywhere I go because it shares a sense of adventure, shows people the world, and also adds to my credibility and ability as a travel photographer, and you should do it, too!

Social media, in the age we live in, is so powerful to us as photographers and creatives, and we should be harnessing that power. There’s a reason the micro-influencer industry has been so well-received. Large, multi-national companies are utilising the influencers of social media to share their brands, dividing their budgets between multiple small campaigns, which exude a sense of trust and following rather than splashing out the entire budget in one big swoop on a TV or billboard campaign. That advertising translates to us, too. We have built or are building a following, and that following trusts us and trusts our opinion. Not only can we use that to promote others, but we must also promote ourselves!

It’s the holiday season and there’s no time like the present, so get started now on promoting yourself on social media, using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and any other social accounts as a shop window, sharing with the world what your strengths are and where (and how) people can buy your products and book you!

Instagram has perhaps the best tools for this, followed closely by Facebook. We can share stories, showing people who we really are, and providing a sense of interaction for people who want a glimpse of us and our lives.

Here’s a shot I shared in my story yesterday, showing everyone what the conditions are like where I am and forming part of a bigger story about what I’m up to here. Intermittently, we can plug in links to the story to put people’s attention where we want it, which may be a blog or website or an online store.

Put it this way: – there’s a reason my new northern lights book is selling so well with only social media promotion, just as there’s a reason Scott shows you every time there’s a new book or new course, and just as there’s a reason we see sponsored posts and the hashtag #ad on Instagram posts.

Ladies and gents, the power of social media is huge, and it’s real. If you aren’t yet using it to its fullest potential, get started now! It really is your shop window!

Much love


(And on that note, check my story to see what I’m up to in Lapland)

OK, guys — today, Cyber Monday, is your last chance to get our absolute best price of the year on KelbyOne Pro annual membership:

This makes an amazing holiday gift, too!

Here’s the link to get our incredible CyberMonday offer!


Today, starting at 10:00 am ET and running until 5:00 pm at the top of every hour we’re doing LIVE 10-minute screaming deal Webcast where we convinced one of our partners to offer an insane discount but just for one-hour (and ONLY1-hour) but you’ve got to watch to get the Discount code.

Here are the details:

Who: Join Larry Becker LIVE from our studios
What: Unbelievable Cyber Monday deals that only last 1-hour TOTAL!
Where: Here’s the link
When: Today starting at 10:00 am and at the top of every hour until 5 pm ET.
Why: Cause we always do something cool on Cyber Monday!

Of course, our KelbyOne Pro Membership deal is running all day today, too, so for goodness sake don’t forget about that mega-deal!

If you’re stuck for gift ideas, check out my Holiday Gift Guide

Lots of great stuff for photographers, from Stocking Stuffers to gifts that will totally blow their minds! Here’s the link.

OK, that’s the Cyber Monday scoop! The deals are here, but only for today!

Happy Shopping! :)


Today is “Black Friday” in the US — the biggest retail shopping day of the year) and in honor, we’ve got our best deals of the year on our KelbyOne Pro plan (you can save $50, plus some cool free stuff):

We’d love to have you as a KelbyOne Pro member — we have an incredible line-up of instructors and more amazing courses planned for 2020, and plus you’ll be joining a worldwide community of people just like you, helping each other, sharing their techniques, and taking advantage of a ton of benefits that make your membership absolutely invaluable. It’s the best value on photography and post-processing education anywhere.

Plus, on Monday we’re broadcasting live with special deals from our partners

We’re doing it again! On “Cyber Monday” we’ll be doing LIVE broadcasts EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR starting at 10:00 AM ET with special “1-hour only screaming deals” we’ve specially arranged with our partners. These are CRAZY deals and a lot of them sell out right on the spot. It’s all hosted by the always awesome Larry Becker and I’ll post a link here first thing on Monday so make sure you start your day here).  

A big thanks to everyone who is going to join KelbyOne today — we are absolutely delighted to welcome you to our community. Hope you have a great cyber weekend (#rolltide), and we’ll see ya back here on Monday! :)

Happy Shopping!