Monthly Archives August 2018

  • Frederick, Maryland USA
  • Caloocan, NCR Philippines
  • Torreón, Coah, Mexico
  • Ft. Myers, Florida, USA
  • Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Muratpaşa, Antalya, Turkey
  • Tarragona, Spain
  • Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

These are just a few of the latest cities with Photo Walks joining 650+ Photo Walks in cities around the world for my 11th annual Worldwide Photo Walk™. The world is walking, Saturday, October 6, 2018 and you’re invited to come along (it’s free); make some photos, make some new friends, and have a ball!

> Here’s where you find a photo walk near you to join (each walk is limited to just 50 people. Here’s why).

> Here’s where to apply to lead a walk if there isn’t already a walk near you.

> Here’s where to donate just $1 to help the 51 children in the Springs of Hope Orphanage

> Here’s where to order your official 2018 Photo Walk t-shirt (100% of the profits go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage).

> Here’s where to join the walk I’m leading in Innsbruck, Austria on Saturday, Oct 6th.

You guys are awesome!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. :)



P.S. I had a spot open up for my sold-out travel photography workshop at the end of next month in beautiful Rome, Italy. Maybe that spot opened up so you could there. Get that last ticket here, and I’ll see you in Rome next month for a workshop you’ll never forget. 

Pro Techniques for Retouching Clothing with Viktor Fejes
Learn how to retouch clothing like a pro with Viktor Fejes! Retouching clothing requires its own set of tools, tricks, and techniques, and Viktor takes you through a series of exercises that demonstrates how to get the job done. In this class you’ll learn everything from removing wrinkles to toning down shiny surfaces, removing moire patterns to cleaning up dust, defining the shape of your subject to changing the color of the clothing, and so much more. All of the files used in the class are available for download so you can work along as you watch, or refer back to them later for practice. By the end of the class your digital ironing skills will be taken to a new level and you’ll have a whole new set of retouching solutions to whatever clothing problems you encounter.

In Case You Missed It
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.

Commonplaces – Surreal From The Real

I’m a big believer in story. Several years ago I made a 365 Project that was all storytelling based, because it’s a topic that really intrigues me. I love creating photographic stories. I find storytelling inspiration through studying paintings and painters of the past. Norman Rockwell has allowed me to see things differently in this world. His illustrations show an idealized version of life, the world as he wanted it to be.

“Commonplaces never become tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative. We find that it is not a new scene which is needed, but a new viewpoint.” Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell used photographs to help him tell stories.  His images started with a concept, were photographed by photographers he worked with, and then through a combination of tracing and his incredible painting techniques, he created the finished image. This is what I try to do with my work through Photoshop and compositing. I create several images and then arrange them in a way that allows me to layer them and create the story I want to tell. I am a photographer (because by no means do I have amazing artistic painting technique) but the key is where you start with a composite. You and I start at the same place as good ol’ Norman, with a story in mind. Trust him, he’s a genius of using common places and common people to tell simple stories with emotion and paused action.

The simpler the story the better: Norman’s paintings were detailed, but the action was always simple.

Story is how we relate to one another in visual or literary ways. In my opinion it’s what gives a photograph purpose. What story do you want to tell? That is the first question we all struggle with in our work. Headshots need to tell a story of trust or peacefulness, or warmth, or coldness for that matter (think about the actor who plays a villain). In Rockwell’s paintings it was usually a look that told the whole story. What are we trying to convey to our viewer? How can we create an image that others can relate to in their own lives? How can that most simply be conveyed? These are some of the questions I ask myself when developing a new piece.

There are so many questions that it can become overwhelming when trying to start a story. Start simply. Take a moment, stare at the clouds, sniff some orange peels, whatever you do for inspiration, then take out a sheet of paper. Yup. Paper. Write down a couple of thoughts you have about what you’d like to do in a photograph or composite. Figure out a story to place into that image. When starting I try to find the following:

  • A ubject (person, place, or thing)
  • An emotion
  • A location
  • A reason for them to all be there together

Look around the room right now. There are objects there; choose one object. Think of any emotion. The location is the room you are in right now. You are the subject. How do you interact with that object and why? Just try it for a second. You’ll have an idea. You may think it’s crummy or dumb or genius. Any of those thoughts are okay to have right now. Just choose one…be it silly, serious, playful, or any number of things. Look at this list of emotions below to find one if you need help.

After choosing subject, object, location, and an emotion, I draw up a little sketch of what I’ve come up with and see if it is feasible to do. Below are some simple sketches for a 365 Self Portrait Project I did awhile back and what they became. 

This is how they turned out in the end.  They aren’t identical, but they are pretty close to what I had been thinking when I designed them. 

Subjects: Male and cloud
Object: Leash
Emotion: Contentment

High Stakes
Subjects: Gamblers
Emotion: L to R – Concern, frustration, frustration, elation
Objects: Money
Location: Casino

Tips For A Better Story… Find The Paused Action
This is one of my secrets for compelling imagery; find the moment with your subject where they are in the middle of a compelling emotion. Viewers of art like creating their own stories based on our imagery. It is compelling to guess what is happening next in a visual story. Miss the apex of the emotion, just before or just after, and we are told too much or too little about what is happening in the scene. Allow people’s minds to fill in the gaps. Try to find examples of this in some of Rockwell’s paintings and then make it happen in your own work.

Some other examples of when I was inspired to do this is when I was living in NYC. I was living in a small apartment and found inspiration there all the time even in one room. Below are some of the concepts I used in one location and changed my viewpoint to shake up the way I saw the same room. 

All 17 of the above images were done in the same room. Look up, look down, look around a corner; different concepts, different emotions and different props can entirely change a story. Usually I didn’t spend money on props, it was all what I had in the room at the time (I’m weird, I know). 

Most of these are based on an emotion of some sort: sadness, surprise, wonder, relaxation, terror, loneliness, etc. Through changing the subject, emotion, or lighting, I was able to completely change the story.

Norman Rockwell has allowed me to see things differently in this world.  His illustrations show an idealized version of life, the world as he wanted it to be. This is what I try to do with my work, albeit in a different way. What does the world look like through your eyes? What commonplace object, location, or subject that you encounter every day could contain the most extraordinary image if you looked at it slightly differently? What if you added a different subject, a random prop or a different emotion? 

Be curious. Be appreciative. Show others the way you see the world, one story at a time.

Thank you Scott for inviting to share my view of photography and Photoshop. Your introduction into this world gave me my inspiration to become what I’ve become today.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out and ask! Find Kirk on Instagram, check out his photography at, and check him out at!

Above: I was in a bad place post-processing wise in 2012. I think it was the mushrooms. Haven’t had a pizza with them since.

I have a simple photo challenge for you…
and while there is no official prize (well, not one from me anyway), it has great rewards and you can absolutely be a winner. Here’s what it’s based on:

If you look back at photos you took and edited back in 2012 or 2013, chances are:

(1) You are much, much better at your post-processing now than you were then.

(2) You post-processing tastes have changed, evolved, and/or matured.

(3) There are features now in Lightroom and Photoshop that you use daily that simply hadn’t been invented yet.

(4) Your photography tastes have changed, evolved, and/or matured, too.

When you open a folder of those older images, you’ll almost undoubtedly see opportunity. A 2nd chance to re-edit those photos (find the originals, and literally start over from scratch on the post work) and bring new life to them.

I spent some time doing this recently and I rediscovered and reprocessed some older images that were eyesores when I first looked at them, but after reprocessing them with my “new eyes” — and new techniques (more subtle than what I used to do), I’ve fallen in love with them again.

Give this a quick try — seeing your old shots with new eyes and new possibilities. You might uncover some real gems. :)

Worldwide Photo Walk Update: 
Right now we have 679 Photo Walks in cities around the world already scheduled for the official date, Saturday, October 6th, 2018. and thousands of folks already signed up. To find a photo walk near you, click right here. 

What if there isn’t a walk in your city?
Maybe you should volunteer to lead one. Here’s where you do that. 

Have a great Monday, everybody. It’s a new week. A clean slate. Lots of awesome possibilities ahead. :)



Howdy, folks – before we launch into my picks – I’m doing a location “safari fashion shoot” today as part of a new class I’m doing on lighting location portraits with the Profoto B1x,  and we’ll be sharing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff on Twitter, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories, so I’ll hope you’ll come share the experience with me and the crew later today – we start around 4:30 to 5:00 pm, but we’ll be sharing some BTS even before. Hope to see you there.

On Instagram: @scottkelby or @kelbyonepics
Twitter: @scottkelby or @kelbyone

I started a new Instagram account
My existing one is just for travel, so I wanted a new one for portraits, fashion and beauty — it’s @scottkelbyphoto – I hope you’ll follow me there. :)

On to my picks:
Here are five really talented photographers — some doing portraits, beauty, and fashion — that I’ve been following and thought you might give them a follow, too.

Above: Dani Diamond Photography (Follow on Instagram)

Above: Meiji Nguyen (Follow on Instagram)

Above: Karina Yasmine (Follow on Instagram)

Above: Oleg Gekman (Follow on Instagram)

Above: Richard Schmon (Follow on Instagram)

All so talented, yet…
All so different, and all so awesome. They deserve a follow. :)

Bonus points if you follow…
…our own Juan Alfonso (Follow on Instagram) – super talented KelbyOne video editor, photographer, and one of the best guys anywhere. He shares his own images; behind-the-scenes from stuff we do, travel photos – you name it. I’d love it if you followed him.

On Monday, I’m running a live audience test of my new Photoshop seminar
We’ve invited a group of local KelbyOne members to come to the theater in our Headquarters as I do a test run of my upcoming Photoshop Tour (kicking off in October), called “Photoshop for Wedding and Portrait Photographers”. The crowd will give me straight up, honest feedback and ideas, so when I launch the tour it will already have been critiqued, tweaked, and ready to rock. I do this for all my seminar tours, and it makes an incredible difference. Details coming soon at

Hope you all have a great weekend (and don’t forget to give my new Scott Kelby Photo Instagram feed a follow. I’ve got nobody yet). 😢



The Photographer’s Guide To Traveling Right: What Gear To Take, How To Pack It, and Killer Accessories for Travel with Scott Kelby
Whether you are going on a big photo safari or a vacation with family, join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as they share their killer tips for how to travel right. In this class Scott covers everything from choosing the right bag for your gear, tips for ensuring you are within size and weight restrictions, what accessories can make your experience more successful, what to consider about tripods, strategies for backing up on the road, what to do when you get back home, and so much more. All through the class Scott and Larry share their experiences and advice to help you decide what gear to bring, how to get it there, and how to bring it all home with you. Safe travels!

In Case You Missed It
Consider this your very own photographer-friendly guide on where to go for the best photographs of London, England. Join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as Scott shares his favorite locations to shoot, along with the kind of veteran traveler tips that will help you capture images that you’ll be delighted to bring back home. Timing is everything, so you’ll not only learn where to go, but what times will yield the best chances for great photographs. This is strictly a travel guide for photographers (including a downloadable PDF), so there’s no Photoshop or Lightroom involved, just the kind of information that will aid you on your photographic journey and inspire you to get out there and shoot.