9 Days of NAPP Day 7: Scott Kelby

scottkelby I have a confession: I am a Scott Kelby groupie (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). Scott is the editor-in-chief for Layers Magazine, Photoshop User magazine and the president of NAPP, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

It all started when repairs to my van forced me to wait for hours, wandering through a local mall. It was in the web design section at Books-a-Million where I came across Photoshop Classic Effects: The Essential Effects Every User Needs to Know. Although I intended to peruse the content, it was the intros that drew me in, starting with the fake tutorial at the beginning. (If you’ve read any of Scott’s books, you know the intros have nothing to do with photography or design and everything to do with goofball humor.)

Once I got a DSLR camera, my next purchases were Scott’s The Digital Photography Book Volume 1 and Volume 2. There were so many “ahhh!” moments. My husband just smiled and rolled his eyes over comments like, “Scott Kelby has my best interests at heart.”

You see, Scott writes—both on his blog and in his books—in a conversational, friend-to-friend way. He’s an ace photographer and Photoshopper and wants you to be one, too. Instead of using mathematical formulas or charts that strip away the joy of learning and make your eyes roll back in your head, he just tells you what to do, plain and simple.

Scott’s not afraid to confess his errors: forgetting his memory card, failing to reset his image size or ISO, even accidentally leaving without his camera. Personally, I’m a bit of a ditz and it just makes me feel better knowing that sometimes he makes the same mistakes I do.

I should have his acronym, WHIMS, monogrammed on my camera strap. Scott made up WHIMS to help him remember to check his settings at the beginning of a shoot:

W: White balance check
H: Highlight warning turned on (to tell if portions of your shots are blown out, or overexposed)
I: ISO check (correct ISO for your surroundings)
M: Mode check (whether aperture priority, program, or manual mode)
S: Size (image size and quality settings)

I have a problem with only checking my WH_MS, or my _HIM_, or my WH_MS, or some other incomplete combination of the five. It’s the ones you don’t think you need to check, like image size, that will get you (and make you do stupid things like accidentally shoot in Small for much longer than you care to confess).

Without a doubt, the most surprising blog comment that I’ve ever received was from Scott on my photoblog (I don’t post there anymore, but I won’t delete it because good grief, people, there’s a comment from Scott Kelby over there!). There was something about a Scott Kelby stamp of approval on my photo that pushed me to develop it more. Recently it was selected for inclusion in the upcoming Blurb photo book from the iHeartFaces contest, and is supposed to be featured in an upcoming ad campaign for Adobe Lightroom software.

I got to meet Scott last year at Photoshop World! (Corey Barker is in the background, and I believe that Dave Cross‘s head is what looks like a lump on top of Scott’s):


Related posts:
9 Days of NAPP Day 1: My NAPP Story
9 Days of NAPP Day 2: NAPP on Twitter
9 Days of NAPP Day 3: Matt Kloskowski and the Lightroom Killer Tips blog
9 Days of NAPP Day 4: KelbyTraining LIVE
9 Days of NAPP Day 5: NAPP Members’ Website
9 Days of NAPP Day 6: Corey Barker and Planet Photoshop
9 Days of NAPP Day 8: Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk
9 Days of NAPP Day 9: LIVE from Photoshop World!
I’m a NAPP Evangelist!

How do you win?

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three prizes at the end of the “9 Days of NAPP” series! Tell us about an “ahhh!” moment that you’ve had while reading something Scott has written or while watching PhotoshopUser TV or D-Town. (A recent “ahhh!” moment for me was viewing the pics of his recent Tuscany trip that he took using a D60 and D5000)

Go visit his blog—you’re bound to find some juicy tidbit or inspiration. My only request is this: please leave the man a nice comment; he reads them all. For someone with such a fun and informative blog, sometimes he gets comments that would me go sit in the corner and cry. (For some people it’s obviously a power trip that they have the ability to leave rude comments on blogs.)

There will be three giveaways at the conclusion of the “9 Days of NAPP” post series, with winners selected from the comments on all nine posts: an autographed copy of Photoshop CS4 for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby, an autographed copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby, and the grand prize of a 1-year membership to NAPP!


  1. says

    Im with you – Ive never got to a Photoshop world yet but its one of my life goals – Living in NZ makes it somewhat more expensive……………. my ahhhhhhhhhh moment – well its more of an ” aaaaaaaaarrrrrgggggggggh ” moment because of the amount of money Ive had to spend on things Ive HAD to have after seeing D-Town tv and reading blogs etc – most recent purchases were an upgrade from D40 to D90 and just this week the purchase of a 70-300 VR lens after seeing and hearing great things via D-Town and Photoshop User Tv
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Gimme More Freebies for this week – ( week ending July 11th ) =-.

  2. says

    I was getting ready to send out a search party for the rest of these posts :) I have his “The Digital Photography Book.” I need to re-read it a few more times. And I’m pretty sure I need a new lens because my pictures are really sucking!
    .-= Lisa B @ simply His´s last blog ..10 years ago today … =-.

  3. says

    I understand what you mean by he acts like a real person as I go thought his lightroom book, and thank the good lord he is such a people person and loves to shares his experiences both good and bad with the rest of us. Great article hun.
    .-= mitzs´s last blog ..Define Brush Preset and DPI =-.

  4. says

    Oh, please – for the love of #moonfruit – pick me! I need the free Mac and everything Scott Kelby ever wrote so I can be a REAL photographer with Photoshop SKILLLZ, BABY!

    My Ahhhhhh moment was when I won his CS4 book from a contest on NAPP’s twitter account and blog. I opened the box and just held it for a while. Staring in to its eyes. … OK, so it was some model’s eyes that happened to be on the front cover… but I was like: Ahhhhhhh. I can’t wait to read this book.

    And now that I have Photoshop, I am going to read it! Very soon. I promise. I love you Scott. I love you Dawn. You are so cool.

    “I love you man.”
    .-= sprittibee´s last blog .."I Wish Life Was Simple" Woman’s Daybook =-.

  5. says

    Yeah, i agree absolutely that Scott just rockz!
    I’ve to admit that it is most of the time watching Scott on photoshopusertv that i get one “ahhh!” moment after the other :-)
    I already own 2 of Scott’s books and they sure not gonna be the last ones that i bought. It absolutely blew me away when reading Scott’s article about his Tuscany vacation – i extremely admire Scott’s creativity and productivity.
    .-= stefan´s last blog ..don’t touch me =-.

  6. Robert Strickland says

    My “ahhh” moments almost always come with his guest blog posts. Don’t get me wrong, Scott offers AWESOME insight into stuff, but the fact that he also uses the blog to show off the insight of some other great photogs is AWESOME.

    Thanks for the blog, Scott. And thanks for the WWPW!

  7. Kim says

    I have several Ahhhh! moments due to Scott Kelby. The first one was my first Photoshop World in Miami 2006. I think I just sat there with my mouth hanging open for 4 days straight. I came as a graphic designer but after Photoshop World I felt like I could become a photographer. I bought a DSLR after that and I’ve never looked back. His typography class at Photoshop World ROCKS!

    The 2nd was the 1st Digital Photography Book. I love the way Scott writes like he talking friend to friend. After reading it I really felt like would be able to get good shots and I have.

    Without Scott Kelby, I would not be the photographer that I am today.( Not that I don’t have a long way to go :D ) His easygoing manner and his generosity to share his hard earned knowledge with all of us is amazing. It is not often found that a person with such talent is so down to earth.

    And what is the favorite thing on my wall of my studio??? My framed Scott Kelby and the Histograms poster from Photoshop World Boston 2007. :D

    If there’s another Scott Kelby groupie in the world,it’s me. I have practically every book the man has written and that’s a LOT! :D

    Thanks Scott… for everything.. you RAWK!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Inspiration from Nature =-.

  8. NAPP_News says

    Ok… I’m not eligible for the contest naturally (b/c I work for Scott) but I wanted to share my story too.

    I was working as a freelance copywriter/marketer and I wanted to make a specific graphic for my web site. I asked my boyfriend for help and he handed me Scott’s “Photoshop Classic Effects” along with the words, “This book has taught me everything I’ll ever need to know about Photoshop… oh, and you’ll love the way this guy writes! His style is a lot like your own.”
    Well, I promptly forgot my project and devoured the book instead. He was right! As a writer, I was completely drawn to Scott’s style b/c it was so great to see a successful writer using an informal conversational tone.

    Flash-forward about a year later… I’m interviewing at NAPP HQ and I’m thinking to myself, “Why does this guy’s name sound so familiar?” Then I remembered that awesome book. The next day, I had my interview with Scott Kelby. We had a great conversation and I had a good feeling that the job was mine. (I’d been through five interviews by then!!!) =)

    We reached the end of the interview and I told him the story of my boyfriend giving me his book a year ago… With that, I pulled out his book and took a chance in asking him to sign it for my boyfriend. Scott had a good belly-laugh and grabbed a pen. He asked my boyfriend’s name and that’s when I asked him for a small favor… After a ~really~ good belly-laugh, Scott so kindly obliged my wishes…

    Now, that book sits on a book stand in my boyfriend’s office…
    The inscription:

    Dear James,
    Nancy RULES!!!
    – Scott Kelby

    LOL! What a good sport! =)
    .-= NAPP_News´s last blog ..New & Returning PSW Instructors =-.

  9. Neal Jacob says

    I attended Scott’s Lightroom Seminar a few years ago (pre-LR 2.x). My “ahhhh” moment comes when I read anything the man has written. :)
    .-= Neal Jacob´s last blog ..DC Photo Walk with Shawn Duffy =-.

  10. Nikowa@KHA says

    I just read one of his books (I believe it was Photoshop Elements 4..I have PSE6) & I dogeared SO many pages. I LOVE how I FINALLY learned how to create layers & make the eyes pop! I also learned how to do a BEAUTIFUL frame complete with faux mat! :) Not the book you said read, but I’m a newbie. :D
    .-= Nikowa@KHA´s last blog ..We’re expecting…the tooth fairy =-.

  11. says

    I honestly think it would be extremely difficult to read/watch anything that Scott and his cohorts at NAPP do and not have constant “ahhh” moments. Here are a few of mine. Photoshop User TV is a constant lightbulb. I have picked up many tips, and even better, many shortcut-keys from watching them. Because I shoot Nikon, I have also learned A LOT while reading his blog and watching DTown. Recently, my “ahhh” moment came from watching their DTown series on using flash. I learned lots about using my flash off-camera (I had been trying to learn on my own) much more quickly because of the clear, straight forward style. I have loved his Digital Photography books and am looking forward to #3 arriving at my house.
    .-= GayleV´s last blog ..Deer Creek =-.

  12. says

    Okay, no bull. I’m so glad that I subscribed to your blog weeks ago! You have shown me more in the past few weeks than I’ve known in the past 2 years! I knew about SK but didn’t know about Photoshop User TV. I must live under a rock. All I did was click on the most recent episode and had that “Ahhh” moment. OMG! I learned things right out of the gate. He’s awesome but you already knew that. I’m hoping/praying I get the one year subscription but if not, I’m still going to stalk his site!!!!
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..Happy Birthday! =-.

  13. says

    I have had many an “aah moment” thanks to Scott Kelby, but the most important and useful one was when I discovered Camera Raw! I already had Photoshop, but I thought Camera Raw was sold separately! Thanks to Scott, I now use Camera Raw before editing all of my pictures…it’s a life saver!