Monthly Archives November 2022

Editor’s Note: We’re just a day away from December, so I wanted to bring back this fantastic 2019 post from Gilmar Smith about creating more exciting holiday cards. Enjoy!

Holiday Cards Don’t Have To Be Boring…

For the last few years, I have made a goal of mine to create the most amazing memories with my kids, both in real life and photography-wise. Of course, it is a mission of mine to make our Holiday Card an epic one every year. Who wants to receive another boring Holiday card anyways?

Our Holiday Cards and my Bad Santa series were personal projects I started doing for fun, and they turned out to be the greatest marketing tool for my business during the Holiday Season. 

This year, I started booking Holiday Cards sessions even before Halloween. 

As the song says, Holiday is the most wonderful time of the year, and it is also the perfect time for you as a photographer to make money. 

Mostly everybody I know sends Holiday Cards to their family and friends. A big part of that group prefers to send family pictures instead of store-bought Holiday Cards. 

I am sure you usually receive pretty much the same version of a Holiday card from different families. Matching outfits, fake smiles, all of them in front of a Christmas Tree. But not all Holiday Cards have to be like that! 

What I look to capture on Holiday Card sessions is a little bit of everyone’s personality in one image. For me to be able to do that, I make sure to collect as much information as possible from my client’s family. Some of my clients have already a concept picked by the time they book the sessions, and some others need a little help choosing a theme. That’s when the info I collect from them comes handy. I go ahead and customize inspiration boards for them and even draw a few sketches. 

Then my job is to escalate their concept to the epic level!

Having shot multiple clients’ Holiday Cards through the years, I can also say it’s a very competitive time between family and friends, but the fun kind. Once you send out your first fun Holiday Card, there’s no going back. They will be expected every year.

This family recreates a rock album cover every year for their Holiday Card… Can you guess which one is this?

This family wanted a portrait of the chaos that goes behind doors… I can relate!

Kitchen portraits are always fun!


I’m not talking about your data connection! It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always with something from the world of photography! This week, it’s your network!

Networking is huge. I cannot stress how huge. We can interchange a couple of words here: – clan, community, group… they all end up the same – network! As photographers it’s incredibly important to build a network and be in a network. Facebook is a great place for this with the sheer volume of people active on the network (there’s that word again) and the ease of being involved in a Facebook Group. I have one where I share a lot of 360º photos and experiences, and there are plenty out there that cater to almost any audience or hobby. A new one on the scene is the Platypod Users Group, for example. They can be very niche or very vague, but they’re all a community.

The advantage of having or being involved in a community is the constant education and inspiration that comes from others, and that we can contribute to, as well as the abundance of potential clients that we can market to. Education and inspiration are things I’ve talked about a lot before and they continue to be important. We should always be looking to grow and develop, to make ourselves stand out from the crowd, and we’re killing two birds with one stone if we network in the process. The age old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is something well worth bearing in mind. Having a network of friends and colleagues within the creative industry will solve so many problems and afford mutual growth. Think about it. We’re one big team!

In other news, I’m getting closer to my crazy adventure spending 80 days in the Arctic this winter. I’m documenting the journey on YouTube and while we’re talking about community, I’d love you to get involved and let me know what you think of my videos. Please do let me know what you want me to talk about and what you want to see.

We’re all on the same side – competition in photography and creativity works differently to many other industries. We can achieve more by working together than by seeing one another as competitors.

Much love

For Cyber Monday, we go to our partners and ask them to give just a crazy low price on something, but only for 1-hour, and sometimes these deals are so incredible it crashes their servers. Today is that day! , 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 you’ve got to watch to get the Discount code. They’re short, right at the top of the hour, we give you the deal and the code, and you’re off and saving! :)

Here are the details:

Who: Join host Larry Becker LIVE from our studios
What: Unbelievable Cyber Monday deals that only last 1 hour
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!

Next up: Killer Deals On Our Online Conference replays

You know about our fantastic KelbyOne Online Conferences, on everything from Landscape photography, Lightroom, Photoshop, travel photography, making money from your photography, and even iPhone photography – well, we have some incredible deals for you to watch any (or all) of our conferences replays on demand for an entire year. The best instructors, our most popular topics, now at the lowest price of the years.

Lastly, check out this Cyber Monday deal on a KelbyOne Pro Membership

Today, Cyber Monday is your last chance to get our absolute best price of the year on KelbyOne Pro annual membership, and 2023 is going to be an amazing year of training! (check out that video above for more about KelbyOne and why you should join today).

Here’s the link to save BIG! (Save $90)

Happy shopping, everybody. It’s going to be an incredible year of learning. :)


If you’ve always thought of becoming a part of the KelbyOne Online Educational Community, this is the best time ever; thanks to our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal –  we’re offering our best price of the year. Just $149 for a full year of our ProPlan, with full access to everything (including over 900+ full-length training courses with thousands and thousands of lessons, plus a subscription to Photoshop User magazine).

PLUS (cool feature coming up), when you purchase a KelbyOne Pro Annual Membership at this special cyber sale price, you will renew at this rate for as long as you remain a KelbyOne Pro Annual member. Your membership price doesn’t go up at the end of a year. Pretty sweet, right?

Here’s the link – it makes a perfect gift, too (giving the gift of education for an entire year).

Have a fun Black Friday shopping day today, everybody. :)


Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid EP. 536

What are you thankful for? Maybe it’s having your photos critiqued on this week’s Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna! Tune in to see what they have to say about this week’s viewer submitted photos and what you can apply to improve your own work.

New KelbyOne Course – Portrait Photography: Adding Special Effects in Studio with Frank Doorhof

This magician shares all his secrets! Join Frank Doorhof in studio as he shares a series of tips, tricks, and techniques for adding special effects in your portrait photography. You’ll learn how to add magic to your photos using small accessories, gels, projectors, masks, special lenses, fabrics, and so much more. Come be inspired to take your portrait sessions to new levels and have a lot more fun.

With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I wanted to share a few things I’m thankful for. There are many many more things I have to be appreciative of, but here is an incomplete list:

  • My Family: My wife and daughter are both amazing, funny, loving, kind people. They make me a better person every day, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us! My parents, siblings, in-laws, nephews, and niece are all wonderful people who are always there for us, and us them.
  • My Friends: Though we all seem to be more busy these days and don’t get to spend as much time together, I’m still grateful to have such great friends. Many of them came from my time at KelbyOne, through Scott’s football photography, Photoshop World, and the general network of people in and around the Kelby orbit. Even if it’s been too long since we’ve spoken, we can often pick up again like it was yesterday.
  • My Mentors: Throughout my life, there have been people with sage wisdom to help guide me along my path. I frequently think back to certain moments and realize that, if it weren’t for that person in my life at that time, my life could look very very different than it does. Whether that’s elementary and high school teachers encouraging my interests in technology; a college professor helping me learn how to see differently, and connecting me with… Joe McNally, who taught me more than words on a blog can contain; who connected me with countless other people who have been very important to me, including Scott Kelby.
  • Scott Kelby and KelbyOne: As I type this post out on, I can share with you how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to work with and get to know Scott on a level that few people get to know him. Working with Scott for 7+ years showed me that a business can have heart. His passion for helping people understand the nuts and bolts of creativity is inspiring, as is his big heart for people in need. I’m thankful for the community that he helped build, and that I continue to get to be part of, both inside and outside of KelbyOne.

I have much more that I could share, but I think that’s a good spot to pause for now. I hope you also are able to take a moment to reflect on the things in your life you are thankful for, and Happy Thanksgiving!