The inspirational cloud I’m sitting up high on right now is mind-blowing! A big thanks to Scott and the whole team behind Photoshop World for putting on the world’s most incredible conference!
I’m Dave Williams and as with every #TravelTuesday, I’m right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share something from my world. As someone who is involved with KelbyOne, but only involved in Photoshop World as an attendee, it seems appropriate that this week I share some of the little nuggets of gold from the hub of inspiration, education, and networking that the Hyatt Regency Orlando became!
I’ll focus on what I take as the most important element of Photoshop World, but this is from my perspective and not from everybody’s: the networking.
You see how many awesome people are in this picture? Conference Technical Chair of Photoshop World, Scott Kelby; the host with the most, podcaster, broadcaster, and so much more, Larry Becker; former assistant to Joe McNally and Scott, now ruling concert photography, Brad Moore; the 2018 Photoshop Guru Award winner for Best in Show, Kirk Marsh; the 2017 Photoshop Guru Award winner for Photography, now owning underwater photography, Dalton Hamm; Photoshop World dog photography instructor, Kaylee Greer; the other half of Dog Breath Photography, and a totally lit portrait photographer, Sam Haddix; Photoshop wizard and Guru Award-winning Mark Rodriguez; Photoshop User magazine contributor, photographer, and “down to the very last pixel” creator of mind-meltingly magic photos, Gilmar Smith; portrait and real estate photography king of L.A., J.R. Maddox; capturer of magic and sparkles, park photographer, and videographer, Doug Young; and wedding and event photographer, with an eye for detail and a 2018 Couples’ Choice Award to prove it, Matt Divine. Even I’m lucky enough to be in this shot! You get my point, right?
What I’m saying here is that Photoshop World is the best place in the industry to make and maintain connections, bar none. It’s funny because when you learn to write for editorial there are a whole bunch of rules, one of which is that when you want to emphasise something you put it in italics—you don’t make it bold and underline it, but I just can’t make that point strongly enough! Take this example: the photo floating above this paragraph is me with Chris Main, Managing Editor of Photoshop User magazine and Lightroom Magazine. I’m standing with him on the expo floor, proudly showing some of my articles and tutorials on the screens. What’s particularly nice about this is being able to spend time with Chris in person rather than just via e-mail. Similarly, in the photo below I’m with (L-R) Noah, Larry, and Mina, who are the entire Platypod team. Seeing them pop up so frequently in KelbyOne productions might make you think that it’s a huge corporation, massively financially backed with a huge marketing budget, etc., etc. In fact, it’s Larry who invented the Platypod, and it’s plugged so frequently because it’s simply a great product! Being able to spend some time with them, too, rather than limit all exchanges to e-mail was really special.
The sheer power of connecting with the people you see at Photoshop World is phenomenal. It’s literally a career builder. It’s inspiring to talk to like-minded individuals in a setting where you absolutely know you can say almost anything to almost anyone and both be on the same page. It’s a place where, not only can you learn, but you can also take a lunch break or an evening meal and still carry on learning and building connections. Even over breakfast, you can have a meeting or a conversation steered towards photography, Photoshop, creativity, business, anything! I’m the kind of person who uses coffee for fuel, and man I couldn’t get my coffee quick enough at this breakfast (below).
So, in summary, my point is this:
You should never underestimate the power of networking provided by Photoshop World, as well as the learning, inspiration, motivation, and everything else on offer! You never know who you might be talking to and everyone there is your friend.
British pro tip: take the time to experience the local culture and cuisine, like I did with Mike “Hollywood” Kubeisy and J.R. Maddox. ;)