Behind the Scenes at Kelby Media Group Headquarters

Last week RC Concepcion walked around our headquarters (located just outside Tampa, Florida) and took shots of our offices, studios, and stuff like that, so we could show it during our live NAPP-a-Thon.

He got to show a few of the images on the air, but I asked RC if I could share them here on the blog, and he was more than happy to. So, here’s a quick visual look at our home base.

Above: This is the view down the hallway when you come in the front door (if you make it past reception. Barb up front forms a human barrier).

Above: That’s Eric, the big chief of our video operations, hanging back between some of the sets. This is where he goes to hide when I come over to his department looking for him. When he’s not hiding, he does an amazing job, and he’s a totally great guy.

Above: This is the area where Matt, Corey, RC, Dave Cross and I work. It’s where all the cool kids work. And Brad. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). My office is the last one on the right side. That’s RC’s office straight ahead with the red walls, and you can see a hint of Corey’s to the left of RC’s (in blue).

Above: Just outside my office is our photo studio, and here are some of our crew, getting set-up for a shoot.

Above: This is Juan; he’s a video editor on our team and perhaps the meanest Jib operator in the world today. Juan’s great, and despite his mean look, he’s a really mellow, super nice guy—very talented, and he’s got a great dry sense of humor.

Above: That’s Nicole, a freakin’ unbelievable designer in our video department. She has mad skills.

Above: That’s Meredith, who is interning with us on our video team, and here she’s running a camera with a teleprompter, which to me is just hilarious, since any of you that have watched any of our shows knows darn well we don’t ever look at a teleprompter. Mostly because we don’t know how to read.

Above: That’s Adam—super talented guy, really great guy as well, and one of the only employees we allow to drink during the work day, so he’s usually rarin’ to go!

Above: This is one of my dearest friends, one of the hardest working guys, and absolutely one of the best guys on the planet, my buddy Dave, our Chief Operating Officer. He has a cluttered desk, and he’s trying to look busy, but he spends most of his day playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. We all do.

Above: This is the view of part of our graphics and design department. This is where the team that puts together the magazines, ads, and book layouts works, in these work “pods.” That row of offices in the back belong to the owners (Me, my wife Kalebra, and Jean A.). We have glass fronts so we can spy on the designers. It totally freaks them out. (By the way; we have two buildings on the same street, so I keep offices in both).

Above: That’s another Dave (we have a lot of Daves. Anyone named Dave is hired immediately). Dave lays out all sorts of stuff, but he pretty much single-handedly lays out the entire Photoshop World NYC-telephone directory-sized workbook attendees get. He’s in a cool band, and he plays guitar and sings (he’s good!).

Above: This is one of our conference rooms (we have four, because meetings are so awesome. Let’s have more! Let’s have meetings to plan our next meeting!). I’m not sure these people really work here. They may be paid actors.

Above: That’s Jean A, one of the founders and co-owners. She’s trying to look really serious here, but she a sweetheart, and a great friend for many years. We dig her.

Above: This is where the Kelby Training Live and Online crews live (well, where they work anyway). They’re not at their desks because they’re probably all at Chili’s, the official restaurant of Kelby Media Group.

Above: This is Jessica, who is totally awesome! She designs all my books, and all the books we do with outside writers (like Moose Peterson, David Ziser, and Joe McNally), and she totally rocks! Great designer. Great person.

Above: That’s the wonderful Chris Main, Editor of Photoshop User magazine, who has been with us for more than 10 years. His desk looks like a Sci-Fi convention fell on it. Chris is a really great guy, and he never yells at me.

Above: That’s Fred, who works on our Web team. I hand picked Fred myself, and let me tell you—-Fred is absolutely awesome!!!! I love this guy!!! Super talented, very humble, and I love his designs. We were lucky to get Fred.

Above: This is Tommy. He is the Powerful Web Wizard that runs our Web team, and Tommy is a genius. I’m not making this up. As my son would say, “He’s insane-o smart” and he’s a really great guy on top of it all. He’s somewhat of a hero in our halls.

Above: Ladies and Gentlemen, may I proudly introduce, our Social Media Ninja; the woman behind @NAPP-News, and the International Ambassador of Love (I have no idea what that means), Nancy! She’s not French, but she pretends she is. We go along with her, because we don’t want her to spill her croissants.

Above: I think that’s Allison, from Kelby Training Live, but it’s hard to tell, seeing as her back is turned. She puts mirrors up, so if she’s sees me coming to her desk, she can hide the Web broswer where she’s usually watching Glee.

Above: That’s Felix Nelson, our Creative Director, and one of the most talented, creative, funny, and downright brilliant designers on the planet. I’d put him up against anybody. He creates magic!

Above: That’s another Dave, from Canada, and he’s in the midst of stealing American jobs. He’s a member of the United Auto Workers. While it looks like he’s speaking into a mic, that’s actually an assembly line robot. Dave needs more stuff in his office.

Above: This is my long-suffering executive assistant, Kathy. She’s a Redskin’s fan so she’s not happy today. Her desk is very neat and orderly because she actually does nothing all day. Sometimes she goes shopping for hours at a time. (Totally kidding. Kathy rocks!!! Anyone that has had to put up with me for 8 years deserves a special place in Heaven. She might have two. I’ll bet they’re neat and orderly).

Above: That’s Brad, my photo assistant, who incidentally is on vacation until the end of the year, so while he’s gone we’re going to take all the concert prints down from his walls and replace them with portraits of Matt running in a field. Serve’s him right. Brad runs the studio, too, and he shoots concerts, and he’s a big teddy bear (Oooh, I just heard him cringe all the out in Tennessee).

Above: This is part of our Printer room. We’ve got lots of printers because we print stuff all the time. Plus, if you leave these printers alone in their own room for a while, they multiply.

Above: Here’s where we keep the paper and inks for our printers. What you see here represents about $22 million in paper and ink. It’ll last for 2-1/2 weeks. At best.

Above: That’s Jen—She’s the new kid on the block in our Video Department, and she’s a really good editor, which is her main gig (it’s tough to get a job in our video dept.—to work there you have to totally kick #$% and she does). She’s also a camera operator and she directs us on the set. Once she puts that headset on, and starts talking to the control room, she thinks she’s Francis Ford Coppola. I don’t have the heart to tell her Francis is a man.

Above: That’s Daniel, an absolutely kick-butt editor on our video team. He is really great at his job, and he’s got a fantastic attitude, and loads of talent. But beyond that, he’s a really great person, who’s already done two mission trips to Haiti to help out there. He was a real find!

Above: A view from the other side of our video sets. We have nine sets in all, and one of the key jobs of our video crew is stand there and stare at them, as shown above.

Above: This group shot is of our customer service team, and they are, hands down, the best in the business. They really care about our customers, and we’ve empowered them to do whatever it takes to make our customers happy, so our customers are happy, and our team is happy, because nobody wants to work in a position where they can’t help people. They are a totally crack team, and I’m very proud of them. They’re lead by Julie, (2nd from right, back row), who also is the show director for Photoshop World. Julie is the best. Period.

We have like 60 or so more full time employees you didn’t get to see (like our Accounting dept, HR dept, Shipping, and on and on), because we’d have 60 or so more photos, and you’d have stopped reading a long time ago. In fact, you’re probably not reading this now, but I at least hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes look (courtesy of RC), and you got to see some of the very special that I feel very fortunate to work with each day.

  1. Thanks for share all this info, I did read it all, love to see the behind stuff. Just a little hint as to how you guys get all the stuff done that you do. I?m there is more, maybe you will share that also. Thanks for the good works you do to help so many. Mahalo nui loa, Rahy

  2. Thanks for share all this info, I did read it all, love to see the behind stuff. Just a little hint as to how you guys get all the stuff done that you do. I?m there is more, maybe you will share that also. Thanks for the good works you do to help so many. Mahalo nui loa, Ray

  3. I’m amazed how big is your headquarters and it looks really nice. Perhaps you could make a video too presenting the place and your collegues. You have an amazing team, and I’m sure they all make good work. Even the women play COD?

  4. Thanks for a behind the scences look at headquarters. It is always interesting and great to see team members getting some love. You guys put out fantastic work and should all be proud.

  5. Hey Scott,

    Great office space, nicely decorated and well protected from observation.

    I realise you’re only showing some of the intense highlights. Is there any space with natural light? Any atria, coffee bars etc for the mandatory (here in Britain) 15 minute break from screens every 2 hours?

  6. It looks like a great place and a great team to work with. I’ve also noticed that whenever I attend a Kelby seminar, the people onsite are always friendly, helpful and have great attitude. They are the ambassadors of the Kelby brand.

  7. Hi Scott,

    I have a totally unrelated question/christmas wish. :-) Your tips how to create posters here on your web site (e.g. and also in your books are really helpful. With your help I was able to create some posters where the images have space to breathe and are not crammed into the frame. This works great for landscape oriented images, but I have some portrait oriented images I would like to convert into a poster.

    Here’s my question: How could I create a poster from a portrait format image? I could scale the image so that I have some space below the image but then I fear that the image is too small and the borders are too wide. Do you have some suggestions/ideas for the readers and me?

    Pretty please. ;-)

  8. Kelby Media rocks! When I grow up, I want to be Scott Kelby. Well, in lieu of that, I’ll just come to work for you. I’ll even change my name to Dave, shave my head and learn to speak Canadian! It’s a little like Klingon, isn’t it?

  9. Cool tour.
    These are some if the nicest people anywhere.
    They are also the folk you will meet at PhotoshopWorld.
    They are the ones walking around in the staff shirts. They rock….

      1. Ken… I remember when you won that! Very cool. I recall playing that very guitar in Scott’s office on a visit there! Scott’s office is always great for an impromptu jam! Nice bullet proof “Pope box” for it! :-) After the last Photoshop World after hours party I’m partial to Scott’s powder blue Fender Strat!

      2. Like Scott always says “there’s a reason why its free”. :) That guitar is my most prized possesion! Everyone asks me about it, then I tell them how they can join NAPP from my website!

  10. I’m impressed by the surplus of color and deficit of light. Quite the opposite of the average corporate affair. Now let’s hope that Brad can find his way out of the Tennessee snow when it’s time to come back.

  11. Loved the photo tour of your offices! What a cool looking place to work!! I love all of the space you have too for the studio parts. Did you just get a huge warehouse and partition it to your needs or build it from the ground up? It really is amazing! And yeah, I’d like to see the break room and hang out places too. :-)

    1. Here’s the thing.. and I mean this sincerely.

      Among the three buildings – there is prob 2 break rooms. They have fridges in them, and coffee, and the usual stuff – but most people just go eat lunch in there and don’t break.

      Why? You never really feel like you’re working. It’s a real Testament to everyone that works here – but this place feels like a breakroom with family – just hanging out.. chatting.. conversations… and in the process of all of that – a massive amount of work gets done.

      If you’ve watched Photoshop User TV – that’s what its like.. 65 hours a week!!

      1. If it’s like Photoshop User TV … then I would love to work at a place like yours. Btw: Thanks for all the great pictures.

  12. Forget “Dave”. You need a Myles working there. You know, to kinda break things up an all. Seriously, this is a great view into the environment you all work in. I always wanted a more in depth look at your offices. Looks like a place that would be a real dream to work at. I imagine you all can’t wait to roll into work each day. Awesome!

  13. What an experience and joy to be invited to a photography journey into the dungeon of Kelby Media Group Headquarters. Also not to forget the great descriptions attached to every single photo.

    So thank you very much for sharing, was quite a informative, joyful and inspirational ride! :)

    Yours Sincerely

    Kim S. Brockie

  14. Hi Scott
    Thanks for sharing RC’s pictures with us (tell him thanks). What a great place you guys have created. You’re doing a great job and I’ve got so many new ideas thans to you all. Thank you for what you do to help us :-)

  15. I wouldn’t expect anything less than an amazing work environment for amazing people.
    I’ve become a Kelby Media Junkie by going to school the first couple of hours each morning in my “cave”, absorbing as much of your teachings as possible. You guys/gals are awesome!
    Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  16. Great working space, love the colours and the open concept of some of the areas. Thanks for the “show” Scott and unfortunately I’ve missed the Nappathon :(
    It is quite a joy when you have the chance to work within an environment that promotes
    solidarity and creativity to its fullest.
    Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  17. This is heaven, right ?

    I am a Dave and at least one half of my name begins with the ‘c’ / ‘k’ sound (pre-requisite to be a Photoshop Guy) – shame I live in UK ;)
    Great insight Scott, thank you and great work to all you NAPP guys and gals at HQ !

  18. Joe,

    What a great blog. Your photos show the great atmosphere that people get work in and your character shines through in every word you write and video you create. I know everyone feels fortunate to be working there.

    I can also say that I had to call and ask for help once from your customer service for Kebly Live and they were awesome. Super nice, made me feel like they had been sitting there waiting all day to just waiting to help me. Such a nice change from so many companies that make you feel like your bothering them. The art of customer service has been lost to so many companies it is great to see one that maintains and delivers exactly what they promise.

  19. Great overview. Now, in many of the books I’ve read about color correction, they pretty much always say use an office with neutral colors on the wall, preferably gray. How do you guys get around that??

  20. We have 5 Daves in our family so the Holidays get a little crazy. But since my name is Dave, I could use a job. Graduating from Valley Forge Christian Colleges Digital Media program in the spring. Just throwing that out there in case you wanted to hire any more Daves. By the way you guys have helped me out a lot through my college career “6 years”, with all of your tutorials, classes and tips. You are pretty much my role models.

  21. Scott,
    This is a cool and kick-butt blog, this is ALMOST good enough to keep me from coming down there to see for myself (getting ready to send Barb some flowers). Dave’s (the Canadien one) office looks like mine, only after a tornado. You didn’t have a picture of the “red” phone, you know, the one with a direct line to Adobe!
    Seriously, you guys have it together! ….see you soon :)

  22. In the picture of ‘That’s Eric, the big chief of our video operations, hanging back between some of the sets.’ there is a rail with hanging picture frames, looks similar to ASKER rail system, but not the same. Who makes these rails and hangers?

    1. Hey Bob,

      They’re from Pottery Barn. It’s their Studio Wall Easel frame hanger system.

      Nicole, the “freakin’ unbelievable designer in our video department” found them, in fact, she found almost everything for our new sets, all eight of them, and designed them all at the same time.

      I’m very blessed to work with such a talented and creative team.


      Director of Video Operations
      Kelby Media Group

  23. Great to see this, had no idea there are so many people, and great for the economy. To blow up your passion like this help so many people become better shooters and editors must be rewarding. Having met Scott and R.C. who are so down to earth and nice you would have no idea they are this succesful. To even work there you know those people are the cream of the crop based on the content that is produced.

  24. love the review of your office, very funny (but sorry I really hate the new Animoto advertisement on the side of your website that constantly flashes photos at us).

  25. Great to see a glimpse of these photos on the NAPPathon last Thursday and now on your blog. I bet a lot of thought went into the design and color scheme of the offices and work stations. Your offices remind me of the videos I have seen of the Pixar offices! Thanks for the pix, RC!

    I have to agree that your Customer Service people are tops in the business, from the times I have dealt with them in the past. Give them all a nice Xmas bonus, promise?

    Hope to make it down to Tampa one day and ask for a tour. Although, by that point, you will probably have to have the “cattle corrals” (like Disney has you wait in before their rides) to handle all the people who want tours! Maybe you can get one of those motion simulator rides!! :D


  26. Awesome looking operation. Thanks for creating all those great jobs here in America and the great service/products you make available for your customers. In a day where some companies can’t wait to run jobs out of America, it is refreshing to see a company building and prospering here. Okay, now you can show the photos of the rest of the customer service team of 100 in Sri Lanka. :) Seriously, thanks for the “cook’s tour.”

      1. Yes, RC, I did see that photo when Scott mentioned your trick to get still photos in NYC few weeks back. I’m glad you are going to replace that. :)

  27. Hi Scott, I will be in the Tampa area in early January can I drop by and get a tour and maybe watch a filming of NAPP TV. And renew my NAPP membership. I am from Canada and don’t get to Tampa every ?

  28. Hey Scott,

    I’m a junior at the University of South Alabama and I’m wondering about any available internships that may be available. Seeing just one intern up there on your video team really sparked my interest (or at least guide me in the right direction, please?). Might I add that I have been following the evolution of you blog, psutv, and dtowntv for the past 2 years now. Really great stuff, if that helps at all. haha :)

  29. Gorgeous digs, Scott! Tastefully and artistically laid out and looks like a great place to work.

    Though some of those older Macs made me wonder (I saw a G4 monitor and a white iMac)… Time for some new 27 inchers all around!

  30. That was great! Behind the scenes of something you care about is always a lot of fun.

    Thanks for sharing because believe it or not when ya’ll talk about your office it is something I’ve tried to imagine.

    That is a really, really nice place.

  31. Definitely doesn’t look like any cubicle, corporate office I have ever worked in. The opportunity to work in such a beautiful office with such amazing people would almost entice me to hang up my pajama, work at home wardrobe and move across the country from one sunny coast to the other.

  32. I love it Scott, thanks for showing us the photos of your office.
    On the other note, I thought it was pretty funny that you asked RC if you could “share his photos”… like he was going to say “no, scott!” lol! :) You’ll be like… “ok RC, you can keep the photos and today will be the last day you’ll see this office yourself” :)

  33. I loved your office blog, had no idea it was so enormous, but so inspiring nevertheless! I guess it explains how you can do all the things you do with a marvellous team like that. My fairy brain thought you were superman.! Still wondering why I couldn’t get onto Nappathon though tried for hours and cried. A Long way away inOz…Love Naap though …and Kelby and the books and the service…..thankyou

  34. Nice looking offices and working environments with cool pot lights for a more subdued atmosphere. Superb lighting sure makes it easier to look at monitors.

    The other thing that struck me was the individuality of the offices with their different colour schemes. Was this the choice of the interior designer, or the various staff and artisans who work in them?

    Brad’s office gets my vote as the best with the dual colours and super cool photo layout. And fellow Canuck Dave seems to like red walls to match the Maple leaf flag on his cabinet. Talk about a room on fire! However, in my office I have probably more stuff though them him (OOps!). But I bet he’s super organized… like me!

    Thanks for the great tour… though I couldn’t help but notice that interior views of Monsieur Kelby’s office were unseen. Perhaps because he has two and couldn’t pick one?

    Decisions, decisions…

    Salût! Cheers!
    Frederic in Montréal

  35. Hey Scott, Loved the behind the scenes look, and I read every word — great stuff!

    Would you entertain a live tour for an entire, but small, (10) local, in-house creative services group, sometime in 2011?


    1. Hi Nick:
      I would love to do something like that, but if I add in-house training to my calendar, my staff will beat me to death with a blunt object. It’s all I can do to keep up with already on my plate, but nevertheless, I very much appreciate the offer. :)


  36. Hi Scott,

    Congratulation for this excellent working environment! It is the best motivation to repaint my room and buy a nice second monitor to my MBookPro. As I’ve seen your team is working with the Apple and DELL.
    I’m mainly working on photographs.
    Do you have a suggestion 24 or 27? Dell or NEC or ….

    Thanks in advance, and have a nice weekend!

  37. Scott,

    How about a 65 yr old guy, looking to finish up his working life being apart of a great company. Sort of a half baked photographer, but a good rabbit for for odd jobs, delivery guy, odd jobber, wanting to move to florida. I am a people person, great greeter, loves people, not wanted by FBI as far as I know. A Kentucky guy admiring your business. Stick me as a warm body to do something…….

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