Trip Report: Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It with Scott Kelby


What do I do on my week off? I hop in my car  and drive 4 hours up to Toronto to see Scott Kelby do his "Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It Seminar".

It's not often that I get a chance to actually sit in on someone else's classes. I go to Photoshop World twice a year and I see a list of great glasses, taught by world class instructors and then I sigh because I know that either the class I want to take is happening at the exact same time as one of the classes I'm teaching or I have some other show duty that prevents me from attending.


This means that when I have an opportunity to take another instructor's class, I grab it! 


I would dare say that I've learned most of what I know about photo retouching through my buddy Scott over the years and although I'm quite comfortable doing portrait retouching I'm always eager to learn something new.


The sports shoot


This seminar was structured a little differently than a typical Photoshop Seminar. Instead of just having Scott open up an photo and then start showing you how he'd retouch it, he actually starts from scratch and lights the subject.


Then you not only get to see the live lighting setup right before your eyes, but you also get to see the photography take place on the spot. 


This means that you also get to see Scott's workflow for shooting tethered into Lightroom and doing his image selections.


Michigan Model: Amanda and Makup by: Renata MUA

It's always good for me to see how another photographer does things because I can usually walk away with a couple of tips that I will put into practice IMMEDIATELY.


Scott's seminar was no different. I learned a couple of techniques in working with a beauty dish as well as shooting at different angles for fashion shoots.


After Scott shoots and makes his picks, he does whatever he needs to do in Lightroom to the image first and then heads right over to Photoshop CS 5.


Hope photographed with a bass


Hope composited onto a background right before our eyes

At this point you see how Scott approaches image retouching and what areas to look out for and probably areas of a photo that you may have never paid attention to in the past. Even though I've seen and sat with Scott one-on-one doing portrait retouching, I still picked up a least 3 techniques that I can't wait to try.

One of the things that you also have to realize is that while there is usually one model that Scott knows and has worked with before, he hires two local models (a guy and a gal) that he has never seen before. 


It takes a great deal of confidence to be able to not only photograph someone walking in the door that you've never seen before, but also to retouch them and have it look great in front of 500+ photographers and Photoshop users!

It was also great and an unexpected pleasure seeing so many of my own fans. Thanks goes out to all that came up to me and said hi as well as giving kudos for this blog and my podcast. I really appreciate it.


The Bottom Line

If you have the opportunity to catch this tour, you should jump at the chance. For me it was a day well spent. Not only is Scott an accomplished photographer and retoucher he will have you laughing constantly throughout the day. Even with the jokes I was AMAZED by how many shoots and retouches he got done in the one day! That alone was a take away for me that I may be overshooting at times. Thanks Scott!

Find out the schedule for Scott's tour here.

If you can't make the tour definitely check out Scott's Portrait Retouching Book here.

You can also pre-order his upcoming Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It book here.

10 Replies to “Trip Report: Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It with Scott Kelby”

  1. Sounds really fun. I actually just purchased tickets for the Los Angeles stop in September. Not at all a portrait shooter, but really looking forward to it. Really like your blog Terry.

  2. Scott Kelby L.S.R. seminar in Toronto was awesome!!! Even if you are not a portrait shooter, this might make you one. Best seminar I have ever been to so far, and I hope he comes back very soon.

    Terry, it was great to meet you in person. I’m a big fan of you and your tech blog is a must read for me, same goes for the MacNews blog even though I’m a PC guy and don’t own a single Apple gadget. Both of them are always great a source of information.

    Thanks Terry.

  3. Thanks for taking those pics and sharing your experiences. I have my ticket for the Orlando leg of the tour on Aug. 5th and have really been looking forward to some tips to get me back into portrait shooting. Then Brad blew my mind yesterday on Scott’s blog when he mentioned that Scott was doing a hands-on workshop in Tampa at the end of the month, so I signed on for that, too.

    Looks like I’m going to get overkill of this tour, but Scott is an excellent instructor and I’m looking forward to seeing how my own shots work out from the workshop.

    Of course, you neglected the most important tip. How does the average guy get a front-row seat?

    1. … you get there really early… 🙂

      I was there 90 min before they opened the doors – lets just say that was not early enough – but it was still great.

  4. Thank you for this review Terry. I will look out wenn Scott’s seminar is more in range of travel to me, grts marc

  5. Terry, it was a real treat to be in attendance at Scott Kelby’s seminar in Toronto.

    That being said, I was impressed by how many behind the scene shots you took (I was sitting just behind you, and sadly I am in the last photo of your post too).

    You’re a machine! I loved your impromptu demos during the break periods of how you shoot wirelessly to your iPad. I have been using the exact setup thanks to your blog. It is an invaluable resource. Thank you!

  6. I came through to your site via Joe McNally’s blog.
    I was at Scott Kelby’s Toronto tour stop and I do believe we ‘met’ in passing – short black girl, waaaaaaay at the back of the conference room.

    I enjoyed the tour, but unfortunately arrived late [had a client package to fedex that morning] and only got back row seats – a bummer. A lot of what he demonstrated on the shooting side I’ve done or tried [but on a smaller scale] and would have been really nice to see it up-close 🙂

  7. “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It Seminar” is coming to Livonia, MI on Oct 7th. I am from Traverse City and will be attending it. Will you be at this one too since you live close to the Detroit metro area? I missed you a year a half ago when you did a class shoot up near Traverse City. I was wondering if you are going to do something with Kelby when he comes to town? Will this be open to others to sign up? I am retired and photography is just a hobby.

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