It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Dave Clayton!

You know that moment when you are sitting in a bar and the pretty girl keeps looking over at you, she approaches you, then walks right past as she was actually looking at the good looking guy behind you? Well, when I got the email from Brad asking if I wanted to be a guest blogger here, my first reaction was to text Glyn and say “I think Brad meant to send you this email mate.” I would like to stress that I don’t think of Brad as the pretty girl nor Glyn as the handsome guy, that is a scenario none of us need to think about!

Hi, I’m Dave Clayton, a.k.a ‘NAPPMEMBER UK’, a.k.a The NAPP UK Evangelist, a.k.a The Earl of Grey & Lord Chappyton Jollybottom (the latter two thanks to Scott Kelby).

I’m not a photographer but one day hope to be within touching distance, I still have my ‘Learner’ plates on. I do love graphic design, I would call myself a graphic designer more than a photographer, not quite in Corey Barker’s league but if anything’s going to help me improve it’s his new Down & Dirty Tricks book!

I’m Dave. Dave the NAPP member, Dave the Dad, Dave the husband, Dave the mate. And Dave dislikes himself for referring to himself in the third person just then …it’s so not ‘Dave Clayton!’

So here I am writing a blog post for Scott Kelby. Incredible! If I wasn’t ‘NAPPMEMBER UK – the UK NAPP Evangelist’ I would be sitting where you are reading about another inspiring photographer (amazing post from Glyn last week by the way!), so I apologise for that break in continued inspiration!

So what is a NAPP Evangelist?
Despite it’s religious connotations it also means “an enthusiastic advocate” and by that it means I am an enthusiastic supporter of The National Association of Photoshop Professionals and all that is connected to it. I guess keeping with this year’s Photoshop World theme I would also be a ‘campaigner.’ I am also an enthusiastic supporter of my football team, Queens Park Rangers and where possible I will try to convince you that they are the greatest team in the World and hope that you believe me. Sadly, in that instance it’s not strictly true, some days they are not even the best team in their own postcode (zipcode) but I love them all the same.

With NAPP / Kelby Training it’s different. This is my other team, a team that only gets better and better, pushing boundaries, trying new things and always looking to give the absolute best to its members. They have the best instructors, the best selling books and authors, amazing classes on their training site, live seminars, a twice yearly event like no other and the darn nicest people (even Brad Moore!) you could wish to meet. That’s why I am enthusiastic and why I became a full member 4 years ago after years of buying Photoshop User magazine wherever I could find it in the UK (not easy) since around 2001.

Where it all began
It all started with a letter in Photoshop Creative magazine late 2009, Scott saw it, blogged about it (he mentioned two chaps by the name of Tim Wallace and Glyn Dewis – whatever happened to those guys?) and was encouraged enough to promise a trip to London in 2010 on the back of it. Scott knew nothing of me back then. It was Nancy Masse, a wonderful young lady who goes beyond superlatives when I describe her, that started the process. We emailed each other, I told her that I’d like to get more NAPP love for the UK and so it began. There were no terms and conditions, just “please spread the word and we’ll love ya”. That was good enough for me! I was chuffed to bits, such an honour. “Dave Clayton – NAPP UK Evangelist” – it’s up there with a Blue Peter badge (UK will get that one) ;)

I then set about recruiting members and generally spreading the word where I could. I was determined to show that there was great potential for more interest in the NAPP organization across the proverbial pond. The organization helped with a joining incentive for UK members and with that I built my first blog site at followed by a Twitter page and a Facebook page. I was so convinced that it was totally worth the £65 a year I just started mentioning NAPP wherever possible and I might have even suggested we would get more in good time (gulp).

In 2010 the organization came through with a visit from both Joe McNally in July and Scott Kelby in October (just after PSW) for seminars at The Design Centre in Islington. Scott’s visit was the first time I met him properly and also Glyn. What an introduction, a day with Scott Kelby to meet a new friend! Spending time with those guys wasn’t hard, it was like being with two mates you’ve known for years, I’m sure that day felt like years to Scott too – to quote him “I hate those guys” ;) Between these two events I had traveled to Photoshop World in Las Vegas to introduce myself properly (met Scott very briefly)  and show I was serious. Best decision ever – if you’ve never been to a Photoshop World then really try and make an effort. 100% satisfaction, trust me!

What happened next…
2011 built on the events of 2010 and was more than I could ever have hoped for. Among some of the highlights were:

A ‘shout out’ by Scott at the start of the live streamed Photoshop World Keynote in Vegas.
Scott’s personal visit to London in May hanging out with Glyn Dewis and myself.
Dave Cross visiting for the Focus on Imaging expo and his & Marlene’s first visit to a QPR game with me.
An acknowledgment in Alan Hess’ iPad 2 book. Brilliant & unexpected!
Meeting Calvin Hollywood and Gabor Richter on their UK visit. Lovely blokes!
My first mention in Photoshop User magazine and numerous mentions on The Grid, Photoshop User TV etc.
Scott congratulating me on my marriage to Andrea in June on the live ‘Day with Jay Maisel’ webcast and Jay’s subsequent nod of approval. Jay is so cool ;)

I believed in the value of the organization when I began to evangelize but to have met the people that I have along the way only drives me further to do them proud. We all do the things we do for some kind of reward, whether it be financial or personal. My involvement with the organization has been very personal. Sure, I’ve learnt a lot of cool techniques to use in my work or creative endeavours, but it’s the exposure to people at all creative levels that I wouldn’t ordinarily have and the friends I’ve made and continue to that makes it worth the effort. When you turned over your first $99 for membership it may have been simply a means of getting the knowledge to further your career or your hobby, but I’ll be willing to bet that your relationship too will become personal.

I will say this, I’m 46 years old, I’ve had a great life, made good friends, I’ve enough life experience to know the kind of people I like to be around and consider to be friends. All the people I know through being a NAPP member and my association with all at Kelby Media fit into that mould. I’m no ‘hero worshipper’ (apart from maybe Pele and Stan Bowles – Google them), I have people I admire greatly and a lot of that is also down to their ability, professionalism and personality. This NAPP Evangelist gig feels right, it feels natural to me and it’s part of what I am proud to add to my life achievements. I’m in this for the long term and its pretty blooming exciting !


Where am I going?
Now in 2012 I am happy that my ‘evangelist’ role is pretty self explanatory to most and becoming more recognised but my work is nowhere near done. The UK (even Europe) community of photographers and Photoshop users is massive and I will continue to find new and creative ways to spread the word and encourage more people to join NAPP and Kelby Training. Already this year we have convinced a 10 strong group to travel from UK/Europe to attend Photoshop World in Washington DC (MISSION:PSW was also featured in a full page spread in Photoshop Creative magazine in January) and Scott has just confirmed his Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It tour in Islington London for 28th April 2012, lets sell that one out and try for another later in the year!!

Let’s be clear, those of us with the moniker of ‘NAPP Evangelist’, including my cohorts in the U.S. are not employees of NAPP. Personally, I hold down a regular full time marketing job, I have a small freelance design company, I’m married to the amazing Andrea, we are proud parents to four wonderful children (two fantastic teenage boys, 14 & 15, and two beautiful daughters aged 2 and 3) and my spare time is very limited which makes my NAPP work that much more special. But I wouldn’t enjoy what I love doing and the new skills I learn without NAPP or any of the fine services provided by the Kelby Media group and its associates. My reward is the help and support of my peers in what I am trying to achieve.

Ultimately I want and hope that I have created a role that others around the rest of the world can take on to the extent that I feel I have done and spread this community far and wide. Let’s see Kelby seminars around the world and make the ‘National’ truly ‘International’. I will support and help anyone who wants to become an Evangelist, don’t be afraid to put yourself forward if you are anywhere in the world, other than UK of course ;o) I’d eventually love to be leading a Worldwide ‘collective’ of evangelists so let’s make this happen. If you can put in the time it’s totally worth it.

I’d like to take this opportunity (because I don’t normally have this many viewers !! ) to give a huge thanks to Scott, Nancy and all at NAPP/Kelby Media, David Rogers and Alan Brusky for their constant valued input, Alan Hess, Kim Brockie,  the #curryclub chaps, Gareth Davies (Studios), also some people for helping out with our Photoshop World trip: Brian at ThinkTank photo & Snapperstuff, Stewart at LensesForHire, Danny at 3leggedthing , Jeff at SnapilyPro and Simon at Photoshop Creative. Of course  all the UK (and US/Worldwide) supporters and new members who Re-Tweet, Share, +1, Like and engage who have become good friends – especially my old buddy and cohort Mister Glyn Dewis – my brother from another mother. When Glyn got asked to teach at Photoshop World I felt like a proud big brother, he is worth all the trust they have put in him. Glyn even encouraged me to do my first modelling gig at one of his workshops, that image is about to grace the front cover of top German photography magazine, ‘Pictures’ !! Since then we’ve done two more, both great fun indeed!!

It goes without saying but I will because I can, a massive thank you to my wonderfully gorgeous wife Andrea, with four children its hard to find time to do much for ourselves and she is superb and very patient in letting me spend some of that time doing the NAPP UK work. I love you Mrs Jollybottom! x


So, now when you hear my name and any associated (all in good humour) verbal abuse on ‘The Grid’ you’ll know who I am and why I am – so please follow, share, like and tell your UK and European friends. I have swag and I’m not afraid to use it !!! Thanks for reading if you got this far – usual service resumed next Wednesday ;)
Please come and find me at PSW and say hello, always good to put faces to names.

If you have any questions, suggestions or constructive criticism or want to somehow sponsor NAPP UK by way of prize items or discounts then please contact me over at at I am also, @nappmember_uk and

  1. Way to go mate! Fantastic to see you here on Scott’s blog!
    Hard to believe that we’ve only known each other for a relatively short space of time but I sincerely thank the Photography & Photoshop Industry and indeed Scott without whom we never would have crossed.

    It’s great now that you’re here because a heck of alot more people are going to ‘see’ what a genuine, honest and real deal of a guy you are.

    Tipping my Bowler Hat as we speak,

    1.  Ditto mate – NAPP has changed my life and I hope for more positive changes to come in the future – thank you for everything and more mate. It’s a healthy man sized bro-mance ;)
      I don’t want any “Those aren’t pillows” moments in DC though ;)

  2. Dave, way to go mate! You made the big time. :) I sure wished we had known each other when we rode the bus together at PSW in 2010! Maybe we can hook up soon at another PSW. I will not make DC (prior week long commitment) but I’m sure you’ll make another, I know I will!!

  3. Dave:

    As you said, it’s great to put a face to a name (and learn a bit about you in the process).  Scott mentions you and Glyn so much, and with great affection (in a manly sort of way, of course), that I’m surprised it took this long for both of you to be guest bloggers.

    I wholeheartedly agree that Kelby Media employs some of the nicest people in the US, and that’s a reflection of Scott and his personality.  I had the pleasure of meeting Scott at PSW Orlando last year, and it really impressed me that he took the time to chat a bit with me on two separate occasions during the conference.  God knows how busy he is, and I’m just an average guy that comments on his blog posts!  And Matt, Nancy and Brad were the same way when I met them.  Truly a great team of educators, and just plain good people.

    I hope you and the contingent from England have a great time in DC next month!  I’m not going to that PSW, but I’m already making plans for PSW Vegas this fall.  It would be great to meet you (and Glyn) at a future conference!

    All the best,


    1. Hi John. If Scott, the NAPP/Kelby team weren’t so supportive and enthusiastic and their ‘product’ wasn’t as mind blowing as it is then I don’t think I’d be here on this blog today other than commenting as just ‘Dave’. My remit was to make an ‘Evangelist’ a role that people would want to take on and follow what I have tried and more. The rewards are right here on this page !!

  4. Dave It is so cool to see your guest post here. I was just telling my husband tht you were the first “online friend” that I met at me first Photoshop World in 2010. Really wish I could meet up with you next month in DC.

    1.  Theresa – I remember it like it was yesterday and often recount the story of this in my PSW story from Vegas and how happy I was to see you claim that well deserved Guru – “I know her!!” I shouted ;) Thanks, will see you again soon. Sadly my vacation days prevent me from attending Vegas, I have to earn many ‘man points’ to make the East Coast event as it is ;)

  5. Hi Dave. Just read your story – highlight of my night shift! Unfortunately circumstances prevented me going to PSW but I have booked my place at Scott’s upcoming Islington gig. Hope to see you there!

  6. Oi, mate!!!

    You cannot believe how happy I was when I saw this article pop up in my RSS feed! It’s fantastic that Scott, Brad & crew gave you this forum for your moment and you certainly did not disappoint. The read was well-paced, full of humor, and felt very personal – all hallmarks of a brilliant guest post. Plus, you have some wonderful accompanying images.

    It seems like forever ago when we first met at the PSW Vegas HDR Photowalk and I’m thrilled that we’ll have another chance to get together in DC – perhaps toss back a proper pint or two with Jacob.

    Well done, again, mate. You deserve it.

    1.  Brian – my uvvah bruvvah ! I’m glad I joined that walk in Vegas, I met Ken, Mike, Brian A, Jacob and your very patient (that damn Sony) self – you are a superb fella and I am buying that first pint my friend – thank you for your friendship and support !

  7. Hey Dave. 

    This is no surprise to me.

    One of the most interesting people I know. What I love about you is you know ‘where’ you are and that your passion will get you the rest of the way.  You give everything working alongside Glyn and although you are incredibly talented, I’m not sure you know how much you are simply liked.  

    This blog emphasises your values and love for those around you. That’s important and often overlooked in life.

    Keep up the good work matey

    Now go conquer across the pond

    ewwww…. just had this naff image of you and Glyn in Gladiator!

    See you soon


  8. Dave what can i say mate, you so deserve your spot on Scott’s blog and it’s great to read the whole story.
    From spending a bit of time with you i know how passionate you are about NAPP and look at you now with your first magazine cover, love it.
    Cheers Mate

  9. Great post Dave, congrats on getting on Scott’s blog. It’s awesome to have met you last year and I am very excited to be travelling to DC from the UK to PSW with you guys.

    1. Likewise – you’ve had a pretty good year too, new NAPP member, signed up to Kelby Training, winning the Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It competition AND a Photoshop World pass – you owe me a blog post very soon ;o)

  10. Lovely jubbly geezer – congratulations on being the first cover model to get this accolade on Scott’s blog ;-p
    Looking forward to catching up again next week at Focus on Imaging before we roll onto PSW in DC.

  11. Scott, Glyn, Dave: You guys rock! I’ve learned so much from NAPP and Kelbytraining. And of course as magazine publishers we’re happy to see “the editor” on the cover of Pictures. After having Scott in with an interview, Glyn with a fantastic portfolio and some of his tipps we’re now absolutely proud to feature Dave on the cover. Keep on the great work, guys. 



  12.  Dave, you are the pretty girl and I’m staring right at you. Wait…what? That was weird. But that was a good read, thanks for posting mate. I think you said it well with your “I’m not a hero worshiper” paragraph. The knowledge that the guys at NAPP churn out is amazing, but I think the fact that they are just good guys doing what they love is what makes it all work.

  13. I loved this! Dave Clayton you’re awesome! My co-horts at work call me the NAPP Guru because I’m always talking about it. I’ve even converted a few people to join up and they love it too.
    Its awesome to read a post from a Graphic Designer. Thanks for the great read today!

    1.  Thank you Holly. I hope you use your referral code when they join and one of the great offer gift codes, then everyone is a winner from the first minute – it just gets better and better from that moment on !

  14. Dave, it’s always inspiring to hear people talk about something they are truly passionate about. It’s what makes the whole Kelby crew so successul, they all love what they do and it shows. I think you fit right in. You also seem to have quite the colourful (note Brittish spelling to make it eisier to understand) personality and I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you in person some day.

    One question.  When you officially became the NAPP evengelist, did you get down on one knee and have Scott Kelby touch you on each sholder with a Wacom pen?

    Thanks for the post!

    1.  “Arise Lord Jollybottom” were his exact words ! Yeah, I think I found ‘my people’ with the whole NAPP experience. Go to a Photoshop World, all the NAPP staff work the event and every one of them is friendly and enthusiastic. Work at Google, Apple or NAPP? I’d choose NAPP every time !!
      Unless NASA need a 46 year old inexperienced astronaut of course ;)

  15. Great write-up and nice to hear your back story (since we hear about you all the time on the Grid, etc :-)). I also have a fondness for the Brits since my husband is one (a Welshman with his wellies …). Thanks for sharing your story and it sounds like you are doing a great job!

  16. Dave, just love your humility – you and Glyn are two of a kind;  putting yourselves down against those around you. Yet you both inspire; you both encourage and you share all you have for others to benefit.  You’ve mentioned how quickly all this has happened to you in such a short space of time.  If it wasn’t for your NAPP Member UK link last year, I would not have contacted Glyn, would not have had a great day meeting you all in Oxford for the WWPW and everything since. I just wished this had happened so much earlier in my life.  Sadly I will not be joining you at PSW in Washington. Great blog! Thanks. John

    1.  Hi John – I’m achieving a lot more through having a great friend like Glyn to be around, inspiring chap, great laugh and excellent at what he does. We find ourselves texting each other and finishing with #teamwork !!

  17. Well done Dave!  As a UK expat in Canada I loved the references to Blue Peter etc, and definitely won’t hold QPR against you ;)

    I had the pleasure of meeting Scott and Brad when they came up to Toronto with the Light it Shoot it seminar and had a great time.  I am hoping to get to Photoshop World next year and it would be great to meet up with a fellow Brit.

  18. Congrtatulations in getting the accolade of a Guest Blog, Dave: good one. I am guessing, like me, an ultimate dream would be a Photoshop World here in Britain!  Maybe see you in Islington?

    Balliolman :)

    1.  Photoshop World Europe – maybe a smaller version, 2 days – is on my agenda, I’ll try for as long as it takes ! Sadly can’t make Islington, my gorgeous daughter is 4 years old that day and we are taking her to the zoo. There will be monkeys. I love monkeys.

  19.  I had the pleasure of meeting Scott and Brad when they came up to
    Toronto with the Light it Shoot it seminar and had a great time.  I am
    hoping to get to Photoshop World next year and it would be great to meet
    up with a fellow Brit.This post has been somewhat of a revelation to hollister uk.

  20. Thank you so much everyone for all your kind words, thank you Scott for giving me a platform normally reserved for ‘the Pro’s’ – it is much appreciated and now most of you know why !! My mum and dad read all your comments and text me to say how proud they are of me for all of this. T’was a good day indeed ;)

    1. Thanks Richard. So where are you based now ? I’m London born, well, Middx but a stones throw literally. All family are QPR, we suffer collectively but are a loyal bunch :)

      1. Now I live in Katy, Texas – a suburb about 25 miles to the west of Houston. I got to meet Scott when he brought his Light-It, Shoot-It, Retouch-It, Live! to Houston earlier this year. Previously I’ve met Matt Kloskowski, Dave Cross, Jack Davis, Ben Wilmore and Bert Monroy when they’ve led NAPP classes in Houston.

        I usually get back to Swindon every summer around July 4th to visit my folks. I’ll ping you on the Twitter or G+ when I know what my travel plans are. Maybe we could met for a beer if you have the time.

        Keep up the good work!

  21. Hi Dave, we met Saturday, I was the overly smily guy taking up your lunch break…lol.
    I just wanted to say I found this blog very entertaining mate, your writing style had me chuckling through out, also it was a great insight to your journey to date. No doubt we will speak soon. Keep up the good work.

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