Yesterday I spent the day in Los Angeles with Scott Kelby, Brad Moore and a room full of photographers and Photoshop users. I was there for the latest Kelby Training tours; The Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It tour and it was a really fun day.


Scott tells the attendees what to expect during the day

The day is broken into five different sessions, each of which last about an hour and each of which has a different look. That is, each of the sessions uses a different lighting setup, a different model or at least a different look for one of the three models and a different set of retouching techniques. This keeps the day moving along really fast and I was shocked when Scott started to wrap up the final session and I realized it was close to 5pm already.

The class schedule is as follows:

  • Registration begins at 9:00 A.M. – Event begins at 10:00 A.M.
  • Lighting & Retouching for Headshots – 10:00 to 11:15 A.M
  • Dramatic light and Retouching Techniques – 11:30 to 12:30 P.M
  • LUNCH BREAK 12:30 to 1:30 P.M.
  • Edgy Light & High Contrast Post Processing – 1:30 to 2:30 P.M
  • Lighting & Retouching for Fashion and Glamour – 2:45 to 3:45 P.M
  • Compositing: Lighting and Photoshop Techniques – 4:00 to 5:00 P.M


With the model in place, Scott starts the shoot it part of the lesson

Some of the retouching work being shown live

Let me backtrack here a minute and talk about how the day started because it really did set the tone for me, at least for a while. Since I live in San Diego and the training was taking place in Los Angeles, I knew I was in for a long drive (121 miles in Southern California traffic)  so I got up early and left the house at 6am, hopping to make it to the L.A. convention center by 8:30 or 9am at the latest. That’s before I hit the huge traffic jam created by a big rig driver  who while leaning down to grab a spilled can of soda, slammed into the back of a Fed Ex truck on the stretch of Interstate 5 between San Diego and Orange County. This little fender bender which spilled 38,000 lbs of tomatoes over three lanes of the freeway, caused the usually 3 hour drive to LA to turn into a 4+ hour crawl up the freeway. I arrived at the convention center a little after 10am and grabbed a seat off to the far side of the stage. I knew that my buddy Mike had a spot for me but I didn’t want to try to find him or the seat while Scott was talking. So I watched the first session from the side, annoyed that I had gotten up early and still hadn’t made it to the conference on time. By the time the first session was over, I had forgotten about the drive and was just waiting for Scott to show the next setup.

This is the net that Scott uses when Brad wonders off and needs to be caught.

Brad works the fan...Very important work...

I don’t do a lot of studio work and learned a ton of really practical information yesterday during the class. The lighting setups were easy to follow and scott explained the logic behind each step. The shoots went off easily and the retouching was spot on. The most amazing thing was how quick it took to set up the lights, position the model and get a great image from Photoshop. After it was all over I realized that Scott had managed to do about 10 different looks in less than 5 hours, all the time teaching us the process. Granted, Scott has Brad helping him out but as he mentioned up front, it can all be done without an assistant but it does help if you have one. I am pretty sure that Brad will come and help everyone set up their lights if needed.

Creating a boxing ring corner with a few ropes and some assistants...

Scott signs a memento for one of his fans

One thing that is amazing about all the Kelby Training instructors is that they are available at every break and after the show and will answer questions and take photos until the last attendee has left. In L.A. yesterday, Scott was then interviewed by one of the local television stations KTLA and was finally able to leave about 2 hours after the seminar was over. (I am pretty sure the last attendee was still around since he seemed to have an endless list of questions for everyone. Honestly, he started to get a little creepy after a while)

The Tour is coming to the following places and I highly recommend that you check it out.

Brad pointing out the photographer in the corner

I have no idea why the reporter is on his knees...