Happy #TravelTuesday one and all! I’ve expressed it that way this week because I’m busy typing away from the Starbucks in Oslo Gardermoen Airport where I’m currently between flights, and I’ve just spent a couple of days in Arctic Norway shooting a class for KelbyOne. The problem is it was delayed because of the ‘rona so, unfortunately, I had very little daylight available. But, hopefully, the content I packed in actually makes enough educational sense to be worth putting out there. We’ll see!

Today, I want to tell you a story about that time when one of my photos was stolen by a travel company to market their product/service. The memory is still very vivid in my mind, mostly because it was last week!

It all started when I noticed I’d been credited in a photo. There are harder ways to find your images online I guess, but there are also services we can use to find our images, such as a reverse image search in Google, or Pixsy, which is a company that constantly searches the images you upload and notifies you when they’re found somewhere. This particular image was being used on Instagram, which makes the subject a little tricky to work out ethically, but it’s my copyright nonetheless.

That’s the post right there. As you can see, it’s clearly advertising the fact that this company can take you to Jasper National Park in Canada as one of their destinations, and whilst there, you can go to Medicine Lake. As part of the “bigger picture,” this image forms part of their “grid” on Instagram, headed by their name and a link to their website. Interestingly, when you arrive at their website you can pick up a package to Jasper National Park for £2,069 ($2,760/2,310) per person for eight days. That figure is just worth keeping in mind. The point I’m making here is that this is not a feature page sharing my photo for nothing more than the sake of art; this is a company using my photo as part of their marketing.

As the owner or marketing executive of a travel company, one needs a salary in order to get through life. Similarly, as a travel photographer, I need an income in order to afford such luxuries as rent, food, my phone, etc. My income comes from my photos and I keep a close eye on selling them in order to generate that income. When I saw this post on Instagram I decided to check my stock sales to see if this image had been bought (whilst secretly knowing I hadn’t actually uploaded it to any stock site, but better safe than sorry.) When I was sure that it hadn’t been purchased by this company I took the first step to right their wrong in the form of this comment: –

You see, I had to be slightly firm and get my point across, but I felt it appropriate to leave the door open for them to correct the situation rather than slander them (which is what I felt like doing), so I offered my e-mail address. Some time passed with no response and I learned that they’d hit the “restrict” button on my comment, meaning I could see it but nobody else could. This got my back up, so I hit them with a couple more: –

Let me explain: If this company had taken a moment to send me a short message along the lines of, “Hey, we like your photo of Medicine Lake. Do you mind if we share it?” I would have probably just said yes. This isn’t the biggest company, but I’ll refer back to income. When Lonely Planet, Time, National Geographic, Passion Passport, and countless others have used images of mine, they’ve paid me. When travel companies offering vacations use my images in their marketing material, they pay me. So, why should this company, using my image as part of their marketing, be allowed to do so for free?

A little while later (the next day) a message landed in my Instagram inbox: –

How would you have taken this? Would you have accepted the “sincere” apology and moved on with your life? My reaction was far from an acceptance. This message simply riled me up, and I’ll explain why: Firstly, I asked them twice to e-mail me, but instead, after some pressure, they sent an anonymous message on social media. The next point is that they seem to be implying that they know full well that they misused my image, and I expect their entire social media marketing plan is hinged around misusing people’s images. I have a feeling they simply post other people’s images in the hope that far more often than not they are happy that their photo was recognised and shared by such a company, which links to another thing I’m not happy about with this response: the credit. They pointed out that they credited me with the photo, like I’m sure they do as part of the plan I suspect, that I just described, but let me tell you this for free: credit doesn’t bring home the bacon! I’ve never got in touch with my electricity company and offered to pay my bill with “credit” or “exposure,” and I wouldn’t expect them to let me. There’s no real difference here.

Anyway, another couple of hours passed and I received an e-mail:

As I said before, I suspect this company relies on sharing images and hoping the photographer is happy with the “exposure” as a major part of their cost-effective marketing strategy. The response from the Senior Content and Affiliates Executive suggests this is the case and they know full well what the market value of a royalty-free image would be at this scale and for this usage type because look:

This is one of my images on Getty Images, a reputable stock library. Their price is a fair indication of the market value of such images. I decided to accept the offer of £50—it was a fair offer had it been made upfront rather than retrospectively, and I was no longer in the mood to argue with anybody. My response will be next, but I want to take this opportunity to remind you all that as photographers, the images you create are your intellectual property. There are different methods worldwide for attaining copyright on an image, but first and foremost, unless under contract that says otherwise, that copyright belongs to you. You are a professional and, as such, you deserve to stand shoulder to shoulder with other professionals in equal stead. Just as a plumber sends invoices for their work, a photographer sends invoices for theirs. If their intellectual property is being used without permission, it is something that should be dealt with according to law. Realise your value and never let anybody steal your hard work.

For the record, I’m still waiting for the payment to be made, but here is my response:

It’s your copyright. It’s your property. If it’s stolen, don’t let anyone off the hook. We need to take a stand against image theft, and we’re all in it together.

Much love

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!

I’ll bet you know someone who would get so much out of a KelbyOne membership — this is the year to do it. They will love you for it!

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 another LIVE screamin’ 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!

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 KelbyOne memberships and tickets (and full rebroadcasts) to our online multi-day conferences.

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 2021, 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.

OK, here’s our Black Friday super deal!

Here’s the link to all our Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals.

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

We’re doing it again! On “Cyber Monday” (Nov. 30th) 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!


Today is a big holiday in the US. It’s a day where we take time off to celebrate all the things we’re thankful for. We get together with family (in our case this year, immediate family); we over-eat a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, and then we watch a football game which this year is between two teams that are horrible, but nevertheless, we watch them anyway and snack relentlessly until we pass out. It’s just about a perfect day.

I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life, and for the last couple of year I’ve written a post listing some of the many things I’m thankful for.

Last year I did a post called The Top 200 Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving Day” and this year I wanted to follow up with another 100 things. I know 2020 has been a pretty much been a dumpster fire wrapped in a hot mess, stuffed inside some roadkill, but I’m still so thankful and grateful for the many blessings this year still held, and yet holds, and today I’m thankful I get to share another 100 of them with you.

Here they are, (in no particular order):

I’m thankful….

  1. …for Ted Lasso (the most uplifting show of 2020, in a year where we really needed a show like this)
  2. …for Sola Golden Wheat low carb hamburger buns (they are way better than you’d think)
  3. …for having such a cool wife. She’s the coolest person I’ve ever met.
  4. …that Dairy Queen makes a really tiny kid’s size cup for their Blizzards and they never check to see if I actually have a really tiny kid in the car with me when I order one.
  5. …for The Mandolorian. I have spoken.
  6. … for all the fun Smart Home stuff my buddy Terry White has turned me on to (and has me hooked on).
  7. …for the 1Password app. However, if I ever forget my password to 1Password, my life as we know it is over.
  8. …my friend Tayloe shared this music video, which brings a tear of joy to my eye every time I watch it, for so many reasons.
  9. For my Apple watch, and how it makes my life easier and more fun
  10. for “Great Low Carb Bread’s” low carb spaghetti and pastas. They helped me have great meals while losing 22 lbs. this year.
  11. For all the cool AI stuff Adobe has added to Photoshop. Less time doing boring production stuff. More time to do creative stuff.
  12. That I wake up in a really good mood almost every day
  13. For Dr. Greg Savel, and that he got both of our kids through their childhood coughs, colds, and everything else they could get into. The Crown Price of pediatricians.
  14. For Locatelli Pecorino Romano grated cheese. It’s just so. darn. good! It activates your pasta in ways that are hard to imagine or describe.
  15. for comfortable fitting masks
  16. That Tom Brady and Gronk joined the Bucs. They made Buc’s football fun again (and it’s been a while). Plus, getting to tease my Patriots-loving friends has really been the icing on the cake.
  17. That 2020 is almost over.
  18. For my buddies turning me onto Call of Duty Warzone (we a play a few (or more) rounds every night).
  19. For the laughs I get from Maxx when we’re playing games online. He totally cracks me up.
  20. For my son moving back to Florida after College. Getting to see him numerous times during the week is such a treat.
  21. that my son met such a wonderful girl — they are so good for each other, and it’s just fun to watch young love in bloom.
  22. when my daughter literally comes moonwalking past me while I’m watching TV or playing COD. It just cracks me up every time, even though I’ve seen it dozens and dozens of time.
  23. for the beautiful, fascinating, and just so well done Apple TV screen savers, and I love that that constantly release new ones.
  24. …that my kids are such thoughtful gift givers, and know us so well.
  25. …when we’re watching TV on the couch, and my wife reaches over and holds my hand.
  26. anytime the good guys win.
  27. when I hear something great happens to one of our employees.
  28. when Rick Sammon sends me a music video to watch
  29. when my buddy Paul sends me a jazz song to listen to, and I get to send him back a classic rock song to listen to (there’s a way better chance I’ve heard the jazz song than he’s heard of the rock song. When it comes to rock, he has literally been hiding under one).
  30. for Laughing cow spicy pepperjack spreadable cheese. It’s magic.
  31. that I got to see a lot of my British friends last year. Even yet, I still miss them, except of course for Dave Clayton. He’s insufferable for a Royal.
  32. for having Dave Williams on my blog every Tuesday and Rob Sylvan on Wednesdays on LightroomKillerTips.com. Their posts are the highlights of both blogs
  33. that we were able to quickly transition to hosting online photography conferences, and for all the instructors who stepped up to make them so great.
  34. for all the people who prayed for me for any reason, even for little stuff. It always makes a difference.
  35. for anyone who asked me to pray for them.
  36. for everyone who bought one of my books this year. I couldn’t keep writing them without you.
  37. for everyone who calls or texts to check on me when a storm is anywhere near Florida.
  38. for Saturday night movie night at home with my brother Jeff and Dee. I look forward to it all week.
  39. for a father who was such a man of integrity, and a mother filled with love and laughter. I miss them both so.
  40. for the way my wife supports my crazy ideas.
  41. that I get to work with Larry Becker on a pretty regular basis. He’s so talented, helpful, hard working and his “dad jokes” are the best.
  42. that my family has been able to adjust so well to the “pandemic lifestyle.” Considering we’ve been stuck inside so long, we have really enjoyed the time together so much.
  43. for Bon Jovi.
  44. for when my buddy Kelly shares another one of his shots that got published. I just love seeing that!
  45. for all the times I didn’t change lanes at exactly the wrong time.
  46. that Chilis does curbside takeout
  47. for every morning when I see my wonderful wife at the kitchen counter with her big mug of coffee, and she gives me a big morning hug.
  48. for Maki the super dog. She is the ultimate family dog, and I truly believe a gift from God for my wife. Maki brings her so much happiness, love and joy. She made me into a dog person for life.
  49. that I’ve already found and ordered the perfect Christmas gift for Kalebra (it’s on its way. Shhhhhhh!)
  50. for having coffee each morning with the tree already lit (yes, we put it up before Thanksgiving this year), and Christmas music filling the air.
  51. for every time Maki the super dog sneaks into the laundry room, grabs a pair of my socks, and brings them to me to ‘trade’ it for a treat. It literally is the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen (even though I know I’m being conned).
  52. anytime I look at the score and Alabama is ahead by more than four touchdowns.
  53. for White Castle frozen cheeseburger sliders. Heat for 1 min in the microwave, then add yellow mustard and a couple of dill pickle chips, and man! I don’t know how they make the bread taste so fresh, because a minute ago it was totally frozen…but somehow, it doesn’t taste frozen. The calories, carbs and fat aren’t too bad either, if you eat just two. The problem is, you want four to six. The struggle is real.
  54. when my son tells me about his day.
  55. for every time my wife surprises me with sometimes super yummy for dinner (which is fairly often).
  56. for mornings when I sleep in
  57. for my wife discovering Kizik shoes (and that she got me a few pairs).
  58. anytime I find something I need in the house, but when I start searching I really have no idea where it is, but I know it’s “somewhere”
  59. that we have people that mow our lawn each week, because if it were left up to me, our yard would look like the Congo Basin.
  60. that my son can make some just incredible homemade cookies
  61. how beautiful Kalebra makes the house for the holidays
  62. when my son comes over on a Sunday and grills out hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ for the family.
  63. that my wife can spell any word correctly, which comes in really handy while I’m blogging late at night
  64. for having Kathy Porupski in our lives
  65. that my wife likes football now and will not only a watch a Bama game, but will even watch a Bucs game with me and enjoy it (well, if we win, anyway).
  66. for the mountain of help, advice, laughs, and insights my dear friend Terry gives me on a daily basis. I don’t know how people who aren’t friends with Terry get through their day.
  67. for everyone who voted, no matter who you voted for.
  68. for all the front line workers in hospitals and clinics who risk their lives to save people every day. These are very special people.
  69. for every time my phone rings and I see my wife’s face come up on my screen
  70. for the mute button on the TV
  71. for the incredible plug-ins people come up with that work with Logic Pro X. Those folks are geniuses.
  72. for my car insurance company, Pure — they are way better than they have to be, and they really helped me out this year when I totally trashed the front end of my car backing out of my own driveway. Probably not my finest moment.
  73. that I can fall asleep so quickly.
  74. for Maggie the Wonderdog, and all the times she runs around in really tight circles when she gets excited.
  75. for Amazon Prime 1-day shipping and for all the drivers who bust their butt getting us the stuff we needed this year.
  76. for all the folks who totally unsolicited say something nice about KelbyOne on social, or drop us an email of thanks. You don’t know how that makes my day.
  77. for every time one of my students has a big success. For a teacher, hearing their wins — that’s as good as it gets.
  78. that my daughter is able to go to school online this year.
  79. that our unofficially adopted son Maxx is graduating college next month. He has an amazing life ahead of him.
  80. that 30-something years ago when our band was out of work and needed a singer for a gig that weekend, that Wayne our guitar player said, “I know a great singer named Kalebra — her band just broke up. Let me give her a call and see if she’s available.” She joined our band, did the gig (and totally rocked it), but little did I know, that was the most important wonderful turning point in my entire life.
  81. that battery powered tire pump Terry turned me onto. That thing is a little miracle.
  82. that Juan always has my back on the set or on a shoot.
  83. to my friends for just being my friends.
  84. I can get advice for my Fantasy Football team from my son (except for the week I’m playing him)
  85. for everyone who invited me to be on their podcast or to do an interview.
  86. to everyone who donated to the Springs of Hope Orphanage this year, and helped us raise more money than last year through the Worldwide Photo Walk. You made a difference.
  87. for every hilarious meme my friends and family send me.
  88. for everyone I follow on social media who kept their personal politics out of their posts.
  89. to Jean A. for all her prayers and words of encouragement during the year.
  90. for the Apple News app, my new favorite (overtaking my beloved Google news).
  91. for all the times when my brother cuts up some apples, and some wonderful cheeses, and serves them up on a wooden cutting board. I don’t know what special thing he does, but it’s always incredibly delicious.
  92. for the many sacrifices of all the families who have a member serving in our military. I am so grateful for your, and their service.
  93. that Brad is a daddy now (and what a great dad he will be)!
  94. for the wonderful leaders in the KelbyOne online community who help members from all over the world, just because they are awesome people who want to help other people.
  95. that when my new iPhone 11 Pro hit the ground, it only shattered the glass on the back. It’s like I have a cool one-of-a kind custom pattern now.
  96. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend, first thing in the morning, with four coffee mates (yes, four. I’m thankful it’s not five).
  97. to Dave Gales for just being awesome
  98. for our doggie door. Best “been around forever” invention.
  99. I’m thankful that if it weren’t already 2:35 AM I could sit here and crank out hundreds more things I’m thankful for (I got started really late, but we won a game of Warzone Duos tonight, so we had to keep playing a for a while ’cause we were rockin’ it).
  100. for God, and His Son Jesus Christ, for leading me to the woman of my dreams, for blessing us with such amazing children, for allowing me to make a living doing something I truly love, for always being there when I need Him, for blessing me with a wonderful, fulfilling, and happy life, and such a warm, loving family to share it with.

Here’s wishing you a safe, happy, healthy Thanksgiving full of family, food, and gratitude for our many blessings. Also, I hope your team wins this weekend unless you’re an Auburn fan! #rolltide! 


New KelbyOne Course: Mastering Black and White Photography in Photoshop

Learn how to create stunning B&W photos in Photoshop with Serge Ramelli! As a compliment to his Mastering Black and White Photography in Lightroom class, Serge is back to teach you a variety of new techniques and tips for gaining mastery of your B&W photography using Photoshop.

This class will take you step-by-step through eight different photo projects, and each project highlights different approaches, challenges, and skills for creating eye-catching B&W photos. From the basics of B&W to challenging HDR scenes to completely replacing a sky, Serge demonstrates his workflow for creating some of his most famous photographs.

In Case You Missed It: Mastering Black and White Photography in Lightroom

Take your B&W photo processing using Lightroom Classic to the next level with Serge Ramelli! In this class Serge goes through 9 color to B&W processing projects designed to teach you a variety of tips and techniques for mastering black & white photography. By the end of the class you’ll know Serge’s complete workflow for making fine art black & white photographs that can be applied to landscape and portrait images.

Kelby people, long time no talk. Long time no see, actually I haven’t seen anyone for a long period of time, I am sure you can relate. Kind of a bummer, but hey – it could be worse. Anyway I am (was?) a Music Photographer. Meaning I spent the majority of my time on the road photographing musicians. Here are some of my most recent favorite photographs.

When Corona restrictions hit LA I was left feeling uninspired, lonely – I couldn’t see my friends at concerts. I couldn’t hear the music I am an addict for. I couldn’t create the art I had been creating for over half my life. You know – all that considered my life isn’t that bad. I actually thought to myself – alright if this is really all you are dealing with – surely you can do something with your time. After all I was fortunate enough to be able to pay my rent and buy food to eat. That is more than enough for me.

It still took me a few months to wrap my head around the situation I was in, but after the sensor dust had settled it was time to get to work. I don’t know about you guys but I need to be creating, I want to put my time towards concepts I care about – I want projects I can obsess over.  I called my friend/ business partner/ more hair on his head buddy named Thomas Falcone and we got scheming.

Thomas Falcone and Adam Elmakias

What can we do that involves the Music Photographer community, brings them closer together – and gives back in some way or form.

… In real life gatherings – not happening.

… Another A Music Photography Magazine with all of our friends (issue 2 ft. your very own Brad Moore) – good idea, but too many moving parts.

… Online A Music Photography Magazine PDF – eh, kinda boring.

… Online A Music Photography Magazine…. Gallery.. Virtual Gallery?

Alright now that’s what I’m talking about baby.

This checked all the boxes. We could make a VR gallery with all of our friends, ask for donations, and treat it like an IRL event. It would be ticketed, have a launch date, and then run its course. You could invite your friends, your family etc. My general rule of thumb is that if it genuinely excites me, it’ll probably at least tweak a few folks interest. 

So that is what we did. We started hitting up every music photographer we knew while at the same time accepting submissions for this project from any music photographer that wanted to submit. The goal was to include all of our professional friends while the same time including the parts of the community we hadn’t yet connected with. The quantity of submissions we got was close to 1000 and churning through them was nothing short of a pleasure. So much talent in our community. 

Going into it we thought it would be about a single month of work. In the past I had done the magazine alone, and it was 50 photographers. Now we have two people and we are going for about 90 photographers – how much harder can it be? Turns out, a lot. It ended up taking us about five months.  

We asked everyone. We got a lot of yeses – and an equal amount of nos. Tell you what I am good at now – being told no. I mean I was pretty good before. I’ve had my fair share of creative ideas that probably deserved all the nos they got. This one felt special though – it was for a good cause and we were doing it together. 

That being said – when people told me yes – it made my heart warm. There is nothing better than coming up with a creative project, pouring your heart and soul into it – and then having people join you in your mission. Some of the photographers that agreed in this project were people I have looked up to for most of my life. Danny Clinch, Jeremy Cowart. Additional a lot of my peers I respect and value their friendship joined in – Lindsey Byrnes, Pooneh Ghana, Rob Loud, Matty Vogel, Ashley Osborn.

After confirming all the people that would be involved we had them each dig down into their hard drives and find images that meant a lot to them. The only other rule that we had was it had to be music related. We wanted the gallery to be full of moments people held close to their heart.

Anyway I am not sure what else to say. I am pumped. Come to our gallery, enjoy it like you would an in real life event. BYOB. Each photograph has an audio caption that goes along with it that tells a bit more about the photograph – straight from the photographers mouth. 

Here are a few quotes from their captions:

The gallery opens tomorrow, November 26th.

You can buy your tickets here (it is free, optional donation).

All the proceeds got to NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association.

You can see the full list of photographers below. 

You can see the virtual gallery starting tomorrow, November 26 at AMusicPhotographyMagazine.com. Find more work from Adam at AdamElmakias.com, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter.