It’s been a while since I’ve been home but with one thing and another, I’ve just not found the time to write this post. I attended Photoshop World (PSW) – Las Vegas September 2013 This post is a general review of the expedition and hopefully contains some useful information for those thinking about attending in the future.

That IS Joe McNally!

To quote Larry Becker, “Vanelli is a networking ninja”.
Oh… and in case you are wondering the guy is the Yellow T-shirt is Mike Kubesy… Production Photographer for hit US show NCIS .

Through networking our group grew to include, Camille, John and Mike.

Get there early
Arriving a day or two early not only allows you to adjust and get settled in ahead of the conference but is a great opportunity to meet other attendees.I arrived on the Sunday and settled into my hotel (registration and orientation was Tuesday).I’d got a ticket to attend a free event organised by the Las Vegas Photoshop Users group, “The Photoshop World Tweet up” (twitter/meet up) on the Monday. This was key to my PSW experience. I met several people whom I would see through out my time is Vegas, Mark, Ronald, Kristie, Nina (Marks wife joined us on the first day of the expo). Also at this event I met fellow Brit and incredible photographer / photoshopper Glyn Dewis.

Meeting people (in my opinion) is the secret to having a great time at PSW. These are the people you’ll chat to before during and after classes, the people who will tell you things you’ve not heard before and the people to discuss ideas with.

For me (travelling quite a distance from Scotland to Vegas, alone), Photoshop World is one of the friendliest places EVER. If you are thinking about going to PSW, you’ve probably seen the adverts and heard people saying how the lecturers are more than happy for you to stop them in corridors and speak to them. Let me tell you this is absolutely true.

Most of the time I walked around saying to myself… that’s Joe McNally…that’s Brad Moore… that’s Matt Kloskowski and so on…
I did stop and speak to Matt, Cliff Mautner, David Zeiser, Scott Kelby and a few others. Everyone was happy to chat and answer questions although most of the time I was just saying how nice it was to meet the people that had influenced my photography.

Network like CRAZY!!
You don’t need to force networking, as you chat away to people you’ll make friends, collect names and emails naturally. It’s those friends that make PSW such as great time.

Go to the orientation
Even if you’ve been before I’d recommend the orientation. You learn what’s going on and where things are… simple.Keep you ear to the ground

There are several things that go on, either a couple of days before PSW or during PSW, listen and don’t be afraid to ask what’s going on. Be flexible with your plans, things change and you might hear of a different event at the last minute. Mark and I attended the orientation, during which Larry said”There is a free workshop on tonight with Dave Black, I think its already full but you can always go along and see there might be some spaces”.After the orientation we grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed along to the room the workshop was meeting at. Luckily there was spaces available and we were on a FREE light painting workshop with Dave Black!
…which brings be to my next point, carry your camera, spare batteries, spare memory card and, if you can manage it, a tripod.
Since my hotel was a good walk from the expo there was no way I could get back to my room and get my tripod so Mark ran back to his room and grabbed his. However, after a few shots at the light painting workshop my camera battery died on me. Thankfully Mark let me use his and gave me copies of the Raw files.Get some sleep when you can (I cannot stress this enough).
Before leaving Scotland for the bright lights of Vegas, I read a post from Scott Kelby saying,”Get some sleep before Photoshop World, because you wont get much during the expo”.I remember saying to myself,
“Nonsense! The classes finish at 5pm and even if I go out for dinner and a couple of drinks, I will have plenty of time for sleep!”
I forgot one thing…it was Vegas!Making friends and hanging out is part of PSW, and after deciding 10pm was too early to call it a night, I suggested our group go to Coyote Ugly… which resulted in me getting back to my hotel room a bit worse for wear at 3am… but I was awake again for 7am to get to my morning PSW class. I hadn’t travelled 3000+ miles to sleep. I did manage to grab an hour or two sleep between classes later that afternoon.

Photoshop world was fantastic! I loved the classes, the expo, the friends I made, and the social side with all the events. The only thing I didn’t like was the distance, because I’d be going back every year if it was closer!

Thanks for a great time everyone!
Scott, and everyone from Kelby Training, and everyone else I met during my trip!