See the bottom of this article for a special offer for ronmartblog.com readers that gives you the best training on the web for up to $40 off!!!
Kelby Training is the hottest online training resource for photographers because they have countless hours of training from superstars of the photography industry like Joe McNally, Rick Sammon, John Paul Caponigro, Eddie Tapp, Jay Maisel, Frank Doorhof, (of course) Scott Kelby, and so many more. Despite this fact, I frequently get asked if KelbyTraining.com is any good. In this article I’ll tell you what I think about KelbyTraining.com as well as offer you a deal that is best you can find on the web so you can join today.
Behind the Scenes
Normally when I do a behind the scenes review of a web site or service I include tons of screen shots so people can see what is behind closed doors so to speak. However, in the case of KelbyTraining.com, the things that are most relevant are available to you in the Free Trial. You don’t have to sign up or pay a penny, but you can see all of the course offerings and watch the first segment of them to see what you think. When you become a registered member the only difference is that you can watch it all, but that first segment is the same so you can actually skip over the ones you’ve already watched.
As you might expect there is support for searching, marking your favorites, and viewing your history. All of these features are available from your account settings as well as the flash player where you watch the training.
I found the video and audio quality to be excellent for the videos that I watched. Of course if you try to view them at 1900x1200 you’ll notice some compression artifacts, but it’s still totally viewable. Personally I found the 940x580 (including navigation) pixel window to be a good size for viewing with high quality results. The video also handles buffering for internet connection drops very well ,but most of the time I was at home I almost never saw the buffering happen. When I was using my laptop in various places I sometimes had the wireless need to buffer from time to time, so I’d categorize the experience much like you’d see with YouTube – but with MUCH higher quality.
I did sometimes observe the audio had that speakerphone sound as studios tend to echo, but I always found it easy to hear the voices in the classes I watched.
I was pretty impressed with the choices of videos and the fact that new content was always becoming available. Honestly there’s so much that there’s no way my schedule would let me view it all!
If you are debating on joining or not, I would encourage you to check out the course offerings and view some of the intros to see if this is the right product for you.
There’s a good FAQ available here where you can get answers to most questions you are likely to have. Before signing up my biggest question was “is it worth it”, and now I can say without question – YES. However, you don’t have to trust me – you can check out the previously mentioned free trial yourself to get a taste of the classes you are most interested in. I think you’ll find many classes will exceed your expectations, and even in the worst case simply meet your expectations.
What I Love About Kelby Training
Kelby Training is just full of great content that is up to date and relevant to what I do, but also to others in various other creative disciplines. There is great content available to the newbie just getting started as well as great stuff or advanced photographers looking to pick up a new tip or two from top photographers.
There are more classes than my lifestyle will ever allow me to watch, and new content is constantly coming. However, the best part is that there are many legendary photographers like Joe McNally and Jay Maisel featured in these courses to give you the opportunity to learn from industry legends for a tiny fraction of their typical workshop rates.
I can watch a high quality video from my desktop computer, my laptop, and rumor has it that mobile versions are coming soon to a device near you. This is critically important to me as I may find 10 minutes here or 5 minutes there, but it’s really tough for me to find hours at a time that I can dedicate to doing anything.
What I Didn’t Like About Kelby Training
I want people to trust my word when I say something is good, so I try hard to also point out what isn’t so good. In this case, here’s the areas of improvement for this service:
- The bookmarking / progress tracking system seemed buggy to me. I wanted to be able to stop and then pick up later from any machine, but even on the same machine I found my videos starting over again leaving it up to me to find my previous stopping point. This was really annoying too since the system would show my last stop point in minutes and seconds into the video so it knew exactly where it needed to put me – but it didn’t.
- I’m busy so I wanted to queue up the things I was interested in using favorites, and then go watch them later. However, I was pretty annoyed when I discovered that the My Favorite Lessons area just shows the segment name instead of the class name so I found myself with a bunch of links to “Introduction” with no context or clue as to what introduction the link was for. This was just plain silly, so I’m hoping this bug is high on the priority list of things to fix.Honestly, I just wish it would be like the “Your Online Training Favorites” section which has an annoying limit of only 5 topics, but the hyperlinks are exactly the info I need and want.
- Nikon flash bias – If you are a Nikon shooter, you’ll feel very at home. If you are a Canon shooter, you’ll be annoyed when you discover a lot of the small flash videos are targeted to Nikon shooters.
I’m pleased to say that none of these things prevented me from enjoying the service, but I have shared the feedback with the KelbyTraining.com team in the hopes that they will be addressed at some point.
Classes I Viewed During My Review
Click the name of the instructor below to view their class offerings where you can watch the intro of the classes I watched. Next to each instructor I list their classes where I watched at least two or more segments:
- Joe McNally - Shooting with the Elinchrom Quadra System and Accelerated Corporate Portraiture
- Scott Kelby - 10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs to Know
- Frank Doorhof - Freeze Motion Photography, Photoshop Techniques for Fashion Photography & Why Fake It When You Can Create It
- Jay Maisel - A Day with Jay Maisel
- Matt Kloskowski - Tack Sharp! Sharpening in Photoshop and Lightroom
- Jack Reznicki – Photographing Children & One Light Lighting
- Joe Glyda - Food Photography
- Jim DiVitale – Commercial Photography
- Cliff Mautner - Wedding Photography - Shooting Around the Clock
- David Cuerdon - Beauty and Portrait Retouching Kit
- Bill Fortney - Intimate Landscape Photography
- Jeremy Cowart - On Location Photography with Jeremy Cowart
I found every one of these classes to have something useful in them for me. Due to my busy work schedule I wasn’t always able to watch all of the segments of a given course, but that’s the beauty of KelbyTraining.com – I don’t’ have to! I can watch what I want, when I want and repeat it as much as necessary. It’s a great way to learn a little bit and then apply what you’ve learned before moving on.
Kelby Training Means Results
Ignoring the obvious differences between the models, both shots were taken in exactly the same studio and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the lighting is way better and more complex in the AFTER shot.
I can directly attribute the improvements above and below to a nicer lighting setup, but more importantly the skills I learned from Frank Doorhof and Scott Kelby’s training sessions on KelbyTraining.com. I better understand how to use my lights to accomplish the image I want to capture as well as how to preserve the colors and shapes of the subject I’m shooting.
There are many subtle things I’ve picked up from the online classes that go into my mental rolodex when I shoot that I probably wouldn’t have picked up from a book, so I’m really glad I took the courses.
I’ve loved many of the videos I’ve watched. I’m a busy guy with very little free time, so I’ve enjoyed just getting quick and directed training in the things I’m interested in by some great pros I respect. I’ve been able to immediately take what I’ve learned from my lessons to my work in my studio and see the results. If you’ve compared the costs of workshops with photographers of this caliber, then you’d quickly discover that even the annual Kelby Training subscription at full price is peanuts compared to what you’d have to pay to get this type of training from instructors of this quality.
I love Kelby Training and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Special Offer – Save up to $40 CASH off the annual subscription price!!!
Get $20 off KelbyTraining.com when you use the code RONMARTBLOG. KelbyTraining.com assures me that this will be the best cash offer on the web, so you can use this deal with confidence that you are getting the best deal available. It’s also a nice cash offer for those who already have the free gifts that are offered sometimes as incentives to sign up.
You can take advantage of this special offer by using the coupon code RONMARTBLOG when you check out at KelbyTraining.com. THIS CODE AND OFFER MAY CHANGE in the future, so be sure to check my Discount Coupon Code page for the latest code and offer details details.
Here’s a visual walkthrough of how to use the code:
You start by clicking here and choosing one of the ANNUAL options. NAPP members will be required to log on later, so the cart will initially look like the one below. Enter your code and choose Check Coupon >>>
NAPP members will be required to enter their login id, and when authenticated will get the extra NAPP discount applied. Non-members will see the full price minus my discount.
Satisfaction is guaranteed, so if you don’t like it then you can contact KelbyTraining.com for refund details. You can also try out the first lesson of every course for free to see if you’ll like it before making a commitment, but come back here to make sure you get your discount offer when you sign up.
Save on NAPP Too
Click here to see my review and special offer on NAPP as well.
WARNING: You should sign up for KelbyTraining FIRST and then sign up for NAPP to maximize your discounts!!! Only one offer can be accepted per checkout.
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I was provided a free membership to KelbyTraining.com to evaluate the service for this article. I may also get a commission if you sign up using my special offers or use my links, so thanks for supporting this blog by using my special offers and links!
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