Photoshop World is my time to be selfish. All year long I help others develop their skills in Photography, Photoshop and yes Martial Arts. When I attend this conference I get to relax and have fun while learning new skills and meeting old and soon to be new friends. I plan my days to get the most of PSW. Kelby One host two Photoshop Worlds every year; East Coast and West Coast. I have had the honor to attend all of them (except for 1) since 1999. Most people don’t have the luxury to attend the conference twice a year so selecting classes may be difficult. In my case, the classes I missed on the East Coast, I catch on the West Coast. So, what do you do when you can only attend once a year? I have outlined a few tips and tricks to get the most out of PSW!

  1. ATTEND A PRE-CON: Pre-cons are a great way to get PSW off to a great start. The staff works hard to offer a wide range of Pre-Cons for everyone. The only problem; there isn’t room for everyone. Signing up in advance is the only way to ensure you can attend a Pre-Con. If you miss out, you can try to attend a few NON OFFICIAL photo walks that members set up.
  2. PLAN AHEAD AND USE A FRIEND: Scott Kelby and his group has developed a genius plan to organize the classes. The classes are coordinate into “TRACKS”. These tracks let participants select what they want to learn. One pitfall; sometimes you are conflicted on choosing which class to take! This is where friends come in. Plan ahead which classes you both want to take. If there is a conflict, split up and later that day review your notes with each other. If you don’t bring a friend with you, make a friend and do the same. If you have a problem making a friend, come see me and I will loan you one of my friends.
  3. TRAVEL LITE: You will receive a Photoshop World conference book. The Alumina affectionately call it “The Phone Book“. The book has notes to ALL the classes. It’s heavy, leave it in your hotel room! Bring a note pad instead. Laptop computers? Nope don’t need them. It’s best just to sit and listen to the instructors. You don’t need to write everything down, that’s what the book is for. Just write brief notes to remind yourself where to look in the book. Sometimes the instructor has something that isn’t in the book and they will tell you to write it down.
  4. SNACKS and WATER BOTTLE: Each room will have water available. Staying hydrated will keep you focus on the class. Bring a small water bottle and fill it up before the class starts. Healthy snacks will also keep your mind off hunger pains!
  5. BUSINESS CARDS: Business cards are great. One main problem, you will hand out and receive lots of them. Organize them as people give them to you. Write a little note on the card that will help you remember the person who gave it to you. When you return to your hotel room, add them to your contact list on your phone or computer. Also add any notes you have on them. Organize the new contacts as members of Photoshop World. When you get back home, you can send them a thank you email. Keep in mind most people took a week off to attend Photoshop World. They may be slow to respond. DON’T give your contact information to anyone you don’t want to contact you.
  6. COMFORTABLE SHOES and OUTFIT: I’ve logged over six miles walking back and forth from my hotel room to the convention center and to the classes. Wear shoes that will make your feet love you. It tends to get cold in the seminar rooms. Wear something that will make you feel comfortable while sitting in the classroom.
  7. LOAD PHOTOS ON YOUR iPAD OR PHONE: Load up your iPad or phone with your best work art. Show them to people who ASK for them or if you need ADVICE on a project. Over showing your photos can turn people off. Read the people you are with and if they want to see your work, they will ask. Don’t be afraid to ask others if you can see their work. If you see something you like, ask them how they did it.
  8. EAT WITH NEW FRIENDS: During the breaks, have lunch or dinner with new friends that you have met. Share conversation with them.
  9. ATTEND PORTFOLIO REVIEW: As a Photoshop World conference attendee, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get one-on-one instructive feedback as your portfolio is reviewed by some of the most highly acclaimed professional photographers in the industry today. Helene Glassman and the gang developed a great system for reviewing participants portfolios. The only catch, you have to sign up at least two weeks in advance.
  10. CHECK OUT HELP DESK LIVE!: This is where you go to get your Photoshop questions answered, one-on-one, directly from the Photoshop World instructors themselves. Led by Photoshop author and Kelby One’s resident Help Desk guru Peter Bauer, Help Desk Live is open all three days during Expo hall hours of the conference, and located close to the classrooms so you can just walk up and have your Photoshop questions answered in a fun, informal setting. Bring questions you would like answered.
  11. CHECK OUT THE EXPO: The expo is Disneyland for Photographers! It has grown to include extra classes, live photo shoots and the Exhibitors are some of the key players in the market. If you need an excuse to purchase a new camera, accessories or software, saving a few bucks may be just what you need.
  12. LASTLY, ENJOY YOURSELF: Attend the After Hours Party or Midnight Madness. Not only will you have fun, but you will meet new people. Go out to dinner with new friends and relax.