Photoshop World Vegas Recap (in Two Minutes or Less)

I didn’t think we could top Orlando, but thanks to an incredibly energized crowd in Vegas, I think they took it over the top. Amazing energy the whole week, and I couldn’t walk 2 feet without someone stopping me to tell me this was our best show ever.

Sometimes, it’s just a vibe in the air, or the fact that with the economy like it is, everybody needed to get away and get totally immersed in learning and creativity and that’s exactly what they did.

Here’s my take on the show (photos by official PSW photographers Brad Moore, Jim Sykes, and Josh Bradley):

Totally Cracked Me Up
I sat down at the instructor table for my “Photoshop for Travel Photographers” class, and I’m setting up my laptop when I hear a text message alert on my phone. It says “I’m in this class. Make it good.” It was Ken Toney.

Owned the Expo Floor. Again.
Westcott once again ruled the floor, with their creative live shootout booths, complete with live models, full sets, costumes, and lighting. This is a HUGE  hit with the attendees and anytime you went by there, there was a big crowd at every set (they could all shoot simultaniously because the sets were lit with Westcott TD-6 Spiderlites).

He looked like a wounded sloth…

Vanelli. He was very subdued this year. It’s possible he finally got off the crank. (totally kidding. I think he hurt his foot in the tub or something equally less glamorous, but it didn’t slow him down too much, but it did a little).

The “Tweet Up” goes Prime Time

A couple of years ago, it was 30 people. When it was 300 hundred. Now it’s so big that it’s an official part of Photoshop World, and it’s a perfect place to make new friends (and goof off in front of a really big softbox). Brian Matiash from OnOne had loads of giveaways, and that didn’t hurt either. ;-)

Pulling huge crowds on the show floor…
Wacom’s in-booth theater was a big hit. They tried it in Orlando, and people loved it so much that they took it up a notch in Vegas.

Their product announcements were the talk of the Expo floor

Nik Software releasing their major update to their Photoshop (and Lightroom) plug-in  “Color Efex Pro 4” and OnOne Software releasing their “Perfect Photo Suite 6” with lots of big updates. More on both of these coming soon, but everybody that saw either was over-the-top about them.

A first-timer making lots of noise on the floor
Camera filter manufacturer Tiffen. They had a big booth, and it was packed every time I went by.

An honor to have him teaching at Photoshop World:
Gregory Heisler. What a fascinating, witty, and amazing photographer. What a treat to have him at our event.

Coolest “New Kid on the Block:”
Compositing master Joel Grimes taught his first classes at Photoshop World, and he was an instant hit. His students loved him, and we loved him. He’s the real deal.

Got a Standing Ovation…

Joe McNally’s “Faces of Ground Zero” presentation during the after hours “The Art of Digital Photography” panel. His words and images have incredible impact, and the timing was not lost on the crowd. A very emotional, yet somehow uplifting talk.

He was a rockstar!
Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg’s class was such a hit, that he continued the class, for 45 minutes, out in the lobby outside his class. His insights and advice for photographers is absolutely invaluable!

America loves him!

Frank Doorhof. He loves them right back. What a great teacher, and such a nice guy.

The other expo hit:
iStockPhoto’s “Photoshop Wars” booth was rocking, and people loved watching, and joining in on the fun. You could hear people cheering no matter where you were on the Expo floor.

Didn’t sleep for five days straight:

RC Concepcion. He was like a human glow-stick. Everywhere he went, he was lit (kidding). Seriously though, I don’t know who had more fun at Photoshop World, RC or Frank Doorhof, because these two guys did everything, went everywhere, and created new ends for the candle to burn. They’re both probably going to sleep until Thanksgiving.

I was tickled to see

My first copies of my new book in the bookstore. I did a book signing, and during the book signing Thomas Knoll came over and said hi. Couldn’t talk him into buying a book, though. ;-)

Took it easy this time.

Believe it or not…me. I cut nine things out of my Orlando schedule, and I actually had to time to see the Expo floor, visit with friends, have nice dinners with my wife, and generally enjoy myself. It was a very different experience, but I liked it. A lot.

We listened when they said, “We want more Jeremy Cowart!”
And not surprisingly, people loved him. Big time. He was even on the “Art of Digital Photography” panel. I know he had to be nervous, being wedged between Joe McNally and Jay Maisel, but he totally fit right in, and everybody totally dug his work and his message.

Best Booth Design

Adobe takes it again, with this open, airy layout and inviting design. It was more like a coffee house, with Adobe as your host, and people were loving it.

Really cool to see….

Senior Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes get inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. A very humble, classy, and freakin’ smart guy.

Gettin’ “the props” they deserve
Our award-winning video team captured so much of the event, and they were everything covering every thing. They are probably the only people who sleep less than RC, but man do they rock it!!! At the Closing Wrap Up Rally, we showcased their winning entry in the 48-hour film festival and they crowd loved it. It was great seeing this wonderful team getting the recognition they deserve. Really warmed my heart.

Classes that I heard totally rocked it:

I heard numerous mentions for Dave Black’s light painting and sports photography class, Jeremy Cowart’s sessions, Matt Kloskowski’s Compositing class absolutely killed it, the social media for photographers track was a very big hit;  Helene Glassman’s posing class was mobbed, Rich Harrington’s DSLR classes got lots of love, as did Julieanne Kost’s class on Time Lapse photography. Cliff Mautner gets big love, too! Also, heard lots of great comments about Joel Grimes classes. Of course, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, and Jay Maisel all had jaws dropping the entire week.

Lots of Adobe folks at the show

Besides having a big presence on the trade show floor, Adobe was there in full force with Photoshop team members attending the show as well, including Senior Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neal Hughes. I think it’s so cool that our participants get to meet face-to-face, one-on-one with the crew from Adobe.

One last thing…
If you did your own coverage of the show, including posting photos from the event, or blogging about it, or posting videos on YouTube, let me know and I’ll post some links here on the blog. Thanks again to everyone who participated in Photoshop World, from the instructors to the attendees, to the staff. Together you all make it a very special event, and it’s an honor and a blast to be a part of it.

  1. Had a great time at the show, learned a lot… of course a big thank you to the Sr. Management at Kelby… but a HUGE thank you to all the “STAFF” folks. I’ve been to a lot of conventions for various things… hands down the most well run convention… I attended Boston ’07 and felt that way then… just got back from this one, yet again, IMPRESSIVE!!! Thanks Kelby Media!!!

  2. CAKB, got in the first paragraph (I feel bad I didn’t post 1st). Went to see movie Contagion, then I come out with scratchy throat?!

    I just hope somebody reading this who hasn’t been to PSW would make it a priority to go. The fellowship alone is worth the cost, not to mention the vast amount of photo knowledge and experience.

    My “funny” moment was while shooting the Aria I was approached by a guard who said I had to leave, no tripods. Well at that moment I thought about Matt’s church experience so as I asked him stupid questions, I held the wireless remote to get a long exposure. (one of my best shots)

    Nothing was sweeter than getting to meet all the twitter friends I’ve made since last years event! I am so looking forward to the next PSW!

    PS- Scott showed out, his class was awesome.


    1. I am looking forward to meeting the legend that is Ken Toney again – hoping you make Washington DC my friend, be great to chat this time ;)
      For anyone from Europe or UK thinking “I wish I could go” – you can and its worth every extra penny to fly out there – info to help you will also be on for the UK ‘campaign’ MISSION:PSW2012 as well as the official site – Trust me, the BEST money you will ever spend on your education, networking and CAKB experiences !!
      And you might even meet Ken :)

  3. Scott and team,
    Fantastic event. I also want to thank the staff for putting it on, directing us, making sure AV works, etc. I know from shooting events behind the scenes, these guys come in early, leave well after everyone else is gone, and don’t get a lot of sleep for the entire week. Thanks!

    Also, the instructors were fab. I had a port review with Jim DiVitale. What a great guy. Loved Dave Black’s sports class too.

    To all who haven’t gone yet. Go and take advantage of everything possible. You won’t regret it. See everyone in DC.


  4. This was my first time attending and I had a blast! It was unlike anything I have ever been a part of. I already have my ticket to DC. Can’t wait!


    P.S. – Even though I’m a Cowboys fan, thank you for signing my copy of “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it”. ;-)

  5. Really a super great show! Everything worked like clockwork (as usual). The only minus was the closing ceremonies. It ran beyond the scheduled 4:45 pm end and a lot of us had planes to catch so no chance to win any goodies which was the only disappointment. Seeing McNally’s tribute was a big plus though.

  6. I agree – this was the best PSW Vegas so far (5 time attendee). If you didn’t get charged up being there, you must have stayed in your room all week! Great selection of instructors this year. Let’s do it again!

  7. Scott:

    Thanks for the recap! I had hoped to stay in touch with people attending via Twitter and the blog here, but I’ve been too busy at work. But it’s better than being unemployed as I was when I attended the Orlando PSW!!

    I watched the keynote on YouTube. Glad to see you skipped the balloons this time. :D I thought some of the dresses in Orlando were better than Vegas (especially the paint bucket one), but all the designers at the Institute did a great job.

    You mentioned that your video team taped a lot of stuff during this PSW. Will that be available for NAPP members to view at a later date?

    I saw the photos of the Tweetup that Eric Valind put up on Flickr, and saw there was only one of you (with Kalebra). Great photo, btw, but it was good to see that you got a chance to relax and mingle with the crowd, and not get tied up in front of the camera! And Nancy needs to bring props to all future Tweetups. Looks like they were a huge hit with everyone. 8)

    Wonder what you guys have on tap for 2012 at DC and Vegas??!!


  8. Hey Scott,

    This was my ninth PSW Conference and it was better than ever! You are the BEST and I LOVED all of your classes—I always learn so much from you in just an hour…thank you!

    By chance, will you be posting the Vegas wrap-up video? It was FANTASTIC…kudos to your crew—they did an amazing job!

    Thanks for a great week…hope to see you and your amazing staff in 2012!


  9. I had an excellent time as always! This was my first time attending a pre-con, and it was worth every penny.

    By any chance will the closing ceremony video be online?? I ended up in it three times and my mom wants to see :)

  10. Just attended my first PSW and it was awesome! Met so many nice people. The classes and Expo were highlights for me. My feet are still recovering. Already signed up for next year!

  11. It was an awesome week! That is all.
    (I’ll just go on and on and on so just read my postings on the photoshop world blog!)
    Thanks to the entire NAPP crew, my friends, the instructors and Vegas for another memorable Photoshop World!

  12. Hey Scott! Thanks for an amazing PSW in Vegas. I was able to bring 20 students from BYU-Idaho and we loved it. In fact, that is one of our students in your photo in this post. You are signing your book for for him… the tall kid in the blue shirt. I have been to PSW several times and I love Kelby Training, but this is the first time I could bring a student group from BYU-Idaho. They all enjoyed the guru contest and portfolio review. In fact we had 4 of your 21 finalists from our group! One of the students (Thane Clark) already has a job offer because of his Guru finalist image. The exposure and networking will really help these kids, so I just wanted to say thanks! I am applying for the funding to bring another large group back to Vegas next fall. I hope you always keep the fall PSW in Vegas. It is affordable to access and a great place to shoot too.

    Also, thank you for asking the talented Dave Black to join your staff. I loved him in Orlando last April, so I took his pre-con Light Painting Workshop and it was so awesome. Here is my post with my four shots from Dave’s class:

    Keep up the great work, and I will see you in Washington D.C.!

  13. Scott-

    First off let me say, PSW Vegas was great, my 3rd year, it won’t be my last!

    The classes were great, this year I went out of my way to attend as many Russell Brown, and Terry White, classes as I could, and learned a lot. I was disappointed that you didn’t have as many classes as previous years but I can appreciate you needing some time for other things. I would recommend everyone needs to attend a couple PSW’s you know who’s classes to take (and definitely who’s to avoid!)

    Thanks to you an your team for the work they put in.

    A small request (Please don’t take this as whining) a lot of the classes I attended the instructors seemed to have technical difficulties mostly Internet related. Could your team please look into this, it really derailed the classes. Sometimes it felt unprofessional, while PSW isn’t overly priced, for the price we pay I would imagine these issues would be worked out.

    Thanks again to you an your team!

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