I know a lot of photographers are struggling with photo composition, and over the past year I’ve had dozens of people send me emails and comments asking when I was going to do a class on photo composition.

I actually had no plans to teach one. Ever.
But a few weeks ago, I came up with an idea about teaching photo composition that’s radically different from anything I’ve ever seen on the topic. My first thought was to write a book about it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the way I plan to teach this, doesn’t require a whole book. In fact, it wouldn’t even make a good long chapter, because I think I can make people really, finally, and fully “get it” in just about an hour.

I think if it’s presented like I have imagined it in my mind, (and we dispense with all that “rule of thirds,” and “leading lines,” and all that stuff in every class ever taught on the topic), I could finally make that light bulb come on for the participants on such a level that from that day forward, their photography would be dramatically better. I could see the whole class in my mind, and exactly how I would present it, and I got really excited about the about the whole concept.

Here’s where you come in
Now I really wanted to teach this new class and have our video crew produce it as an online class for Kelby Training, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to present it to a live audience. A class like this needs a live audience, but I wanted to be to more intimate than when I present to 600 people in my seminar tours. I even know where and when I want to present it; I want to do it at night, under the stars, at an very cool outdoor amphitheater. I want candles and acoustic guitar music, and an atmosphere made for a night of creativity and learning.

Well, that’s exactly what we have planned, and you’re invited to be there in person for this very special evening, that I hope will change the way you create images, and at the same time will benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya.

Here are the details:

When: Tuesday evening, September 13, 2011 from 8:00 pm to 9:00-ish

Where: The Amphitheater at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa, on the Hillsborough River

Cost: A $10 donation; all of which goes directly to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya

Sign Up: At this link right here.

We only have seating for 150 people at the amphitheater, and the seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis (and of course, all of this is weather permitting, since it’s an outdoor event).

I think this is going to be a very fun, unique, and informative night, and if you can make it, you’ll see and hear some concepts, ideas, and techniques that I’ve never seen anyone talking about anywhere. If you can’t make it that night, that evening’s presentation will become an online class on KelbyTraining.com, but probably not until after the first of the year (we have a huge backlog of classes already taped for this year).

This could be your night
If you’ve ever struggled with photo composition, this could be the night where you totally “get it”—one filled with smiles, nods, and “ah-ha” moments that can help you create the type of photos you’ve always wanted to make. The shots that you know are in you, but you just need the key to unlock them. I think I can give you that,¬†and I hope I’ll meet you in person that very night to put a key in your hand. See you there.

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. I guess I’ll be first to say I can’t make that, bummer. I’ll send $10 anyways. KT

  2. Come on Scott, you know you wanna do something like this up in Alaska. Spread us some love. In the meantime, hope you’d give a quick thought to posting the video sooner rather than later; with summer winding down and winter sadly not far away (we don’t all get Tampa weather, wink) many people’s thought are turning to revisiting their views on “the basics.” Would love to hear, and of course see, your thoughts on the matter.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful class and the cost is probably no where near what it is worth. Now how am I going to justify the $500+ airline ticket and hotel room so I can attend.

  4. Hey Scott, this suonds soooo cool! Every time you have an Event like this I wish there was a way to beam myself (Beam me up Scotty) over to the US.
    Ohhh well, I will be looking forward to seeing it online.

  5. Hey Scott
    Any chance this could be video/d? I cannot make the IRL version as I am in the UK but I’d pay to be able to download a video of this session. Thanks.

  6. It was silly of me to think I could beat Ken in being the first one to post a comment. Congratulations once again Ken. On another note, this class looks very intriguing. I’ve read Micheal Freeman’s books on composition, and I’m really curious to see what Scott has come up with. I will have to wait for the online class though.

  7. I live in England and we just don’t have anything like this here. Sigh!

  8. Same here as Ken, would love to attend this kind of event – sounds like the kind of evening you’d find the ambassadoress of luuuurve, Miss Meepy Masse !
    Tell me how to donate and $20 on the way from me.

  9. Sounds great and thanks for putting it on the KelbyTraining site. Tampa is quite far from Sweden :)

  10. My dear Scott, Hi

    I’m sure it will be a great class.

    Best wishes

  11. This sounds tremendous but unfortunately it’s a bit far from the Shetland Islands! Would be happy to offer a donation if you instruct how. Look forward to reading about it in due course.

  12. Too bad I can’t be there, I’m in Europe. Would really like to hear this stuff, as composition is the only thing I struggle with. Well, not really, but it takes up most of my “struggling time” ;)

  13. Sounds intriguing, but like the others above, I’ll have to struggle with composition until the first of the year when this goes live on Kelby Training. I’m sure you won’t have a problem selling out for this event!


  14. Scott,

    I’d love to be there, I am local. If it were any other day I would but that day happens to be my 25th wedding anniversary. If you changed the location to Bern’s I might be able to hear you from the other room, LOL.

  15. First of the year????? Come on Scott… It’s the same as showing your kid his new bike and telling him he is only going to use it in 5 months… Not fair at all. :)

    Ohh well I guess it is tough to be your son… :)

  16. Scott,

    Two places booked – can I suggest that you add a line to the order form allowing people to make an additional donation to Springs of Hope if they want to. Looking forward to the class.


  17. This is the only time I wish I lived in Florida……..what a great idea!

  18. I love the idea. The books I’ve looked into most recently are all from Michael Freeman. The Photographer’s Mind and The Photographer’s Eye. Both have been pretty helpful. He talks a little about the leading lines and thirds but spends more time talking about balance in what’s in the frame and color and how things “add up.” They’re a little dry but still helpful.

    Needless to say I’m very intrigued by what you’ve come up with. I hate that I’ll have to wait a few months to see it. :( I think what holds a lot of people back is that they have the technical knowledge but don’t trust their eye or they have an eye but don’t trust their technical ability.

  19. Dang Scott, not one commenter that can come! I think everyone who can”t come should give $10 for the Springs of Hope charity. I’ll have you a check at PSW. Now who can’t afford that for these children? You should post the address and how to contribute.

  20. This is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time. Wish I could be there also. Would you consider making a video of this event. I for one would like to purchase it as well as submit a donation. Its a win-win for everyone.

  21. I’ll be there too! Can’t wait to see it!

  22. Awesome!!! Just got my tickets …gonna use it as a Date night with my wife! We will travel from Orlando that evening…. Can’t Wait and what a great cause for the donation….

  23. Oh man…if only I lived there…helpin’ out any of the geographically challenged??

  24. Hey
    Any suggestions on a good quality point and shoot with HD video that’ll withstand an Afghanistan war zone???
    No way am I taking my dSLR. :)
    Thanks guys

  25. Sounds cool, wish I was going to be in the area during that time. Or that you would webcast it. (being that we all know you have the tech).

  26. Scott — Two things: Teradek Cube, and Livestream.com. I’ll watch from home and send in my check to the orphanage!

  27. This sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to see what your new teaching idea is all about.

  28. Thanks Scott for the public home town invite and sure to be awesome evening… I’m all signed up and looking forward to it! :)

  29. Kenya!!? Too far from home for me. Help the people here in the USA. Sorry Scott but this rubs me the wrong way. :(… Unemployment and foreclosures in Fl, businesses closed up, I live in Tampa too. Drive around it’s so sad.

    Scott, I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, I do hope it gets forwarded to you. I’m proud to see NAPP in Tampa and the jobs YOU have brought to this area , but I’m going to pass on your class if the funds go to Kenya. Sorry my man.

    Kind Regards,

  30. George, i’m sorry about your comment, it also rubs me the wrong way. As much as we are all entitled to our opinions , I fail to see where your point is. One of the fundamental ways to live harmoniously is to create balance within our lives and like it or not, we live globally — we do have a global responsibility. And that balance can only be achieved through sensitivity towards others besides our own people and the belief you’ve made a change, regardless how small that change might’ve been.
    I’m canadian and we do have our own problems to contend with and I do what i can within my community, but I never resented the fact that I volunteered for a month to help my American neighbours with the Katrina crisis. I could’ve very well use your argument and ignore it, but I decided not to. Let me tell you, it was one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had in my life. What an amazing people!
    Next year I will be volunteering for a month in India, helping with an orphanage. You see i got the bug, perhaps you should give it a try and maybe, just maybe it might change your mind.
    Best regards

  31. Awwww…. one time I wish I was going to be in Florida. Maybe you should do a runthrough @ Photoshop World in Vegas. You know, just to make sure it goes smoothly? Just sayin’. :)

  32. Sure wish I could be there. Hope you do a video broadcast at a later date. I mean who can’t use a lesson or two to improve their composition?

  33. I’ll be there! Gotta take advantage of every opportunity since we don’t seem to have that many way down in south Florida. This sounds like a spectacular night – praying for good weather!

  34. Sounds terrific! And this is one time/class that I could make – could easily be in the area, and would even have a place to stay. However,………it’s my birthday, and I’ll be elsewhere celebrating with family! Hopefully, another time!

  35. Shucks! Too far away for me. I’m with the others, happy to donate and would love to see a live stream or video long before January.

  36. Would love to be there as it sounds great fun. Unfortunately am on other side of Altantic. Video release would be great and happy to donate money in return. Enjoy and come over to UK at some point to do something similar.

  37. I’m running. I’m running all the way across the country to PSW!

  38. This sounds great but too far form the UK. I will have to wait until its streamed but a great idea. Will look forward to the kelbytraining online class.

  39. Waow!! I hope you Get the Atmosphere you Are looking for. I would love to be there. Since that is impossible, I hope you make a film of the event and make it an online treat for the rest of the world. I would gladly pay $10 for This online oportunity and This fantastic course in Kenya. Kind thaughts for your project from Norway

  40. While struggling to raise money for my grandson Armand, I can certainly donate $10 for the orphanage. I consider it a vote for an earlier release of the video. I invite everyone to vote by donating $10.

  41. I’m looking forward to it…. Rain, Rain, stay away…

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