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In April I attended the Photoshop World Expo here in Orlando, FL in April. There were so many people in attendance it was crazy. I ran into a few people I knew locally, but met a whole bunch more from all around the US. This was my first time ever attending a Photoshop World Expo, so I was like a kid in a candy store.
For those of you who have never attended the full expo, here’s what goes down. It is a few days of full day workshops led by some well-known industry leaders in photography and Photoshop. The last two days is the expo part, and that is where all the vendors are, real demos from experts, speakers, and even some hands on experiences from various software manufacturers.
Getting to see the vendors actually using some of the famed software like Photoshop CS6 or Perfect Photo Suite 7 was pretty cool. I ended up buying some software right on the spot convinced I’ll be able to replicate the effects they showed that day.
One of the apparent fan favorites is the free model shoot you can just walk up to and shoot with whatever camera you happen to bring with you that day. This theme was of a young blonde dressed in a nice aviator outfit accompanied with an aviation background. There were two constant light setups to both sides of her.
Our friends over at Creative Market always offer some great design stuff. Check out their site to get their free “Pressed Flowers Photoshop Brushes” absolutely free! And while you’re at it, sign up to be on their email list. That way you never miss a free give away or deal on some great themes, fonts, graphics and more!
These brushes actually come right on time for Mother’s Day if you were planning on designing something special on your own.
Before and After Edits
This topic is one that I must say is a bit close to home. Maybe its a bit of therapy to say some things out loud, and maybe its a cry for help. Either way, it’s something I felt I should bring up to get you (our readers) to comment on. When I got into the web design or design industry, I had taken no prior classes, courses, lessons, drawing, nada. My background was in IT. Break just about any device and I could fix it. Now when I decided to walk into the design field, I jumped all in. Pestered my friends to let me use their computers to try out Photoshop. Bought really old versions of Macromedia desktop publishing software. I tried to get my hands on all the tools I would need to be a success.
After attaining all the things I needed, I really got involved in learning. However the more I learned the more I learned I had a lot to learn. So then I started to learn less new things, and develop skills in the things I knew or wanted to be better at. And that’s when the problems started. I became pretty good in creating wireframes and websites, basic business logos, flash animations, and more. However when opportunities came to me for more complex jobs, I shied away from them. Sure I would take some but most I wouldn’t because I knew I’d be getting in over my head. What I should have done was take all that as a sign to become a master at one thing at a time.
When you’re a solo-preneur in this industry, you almost don’t have a choice but to try to learn and do everything yourself. My advice is to learn a trade at a time. Get to be great at design, then move to web. When you’ve conquered those then move to mobile. But being “ok” in all of those and more will end up hindering you on seeing big picture and acquiring bigger clients. I mean that’s the goal isn’t it? To get bigger contracts that allow you to continue to do what you love. Now if you don’t have time to learn more, hire someone who already does know more than you. In fact surround yourself with people who know a heck of a lot more than you. It helps you stay humble, but also makes you aspire to be a greater designer.