Preparing Yourself for Photoshop World

With Photoshop World only two days away, I thought these helpful tips and hints will help out attendees. Granted this is not the full-blown Vegas Insider, but it should prove useful for you.

As you may have heard, Photoshop World requires a lot of time on your feet walking to the Conference Center, walking to your sessions, walking on photo walks, and more. So first things first, wear comfortable shoes. This can really make or break your Photoshop World experience. My first year I wore new tennis shoes thinking “Oh tennis shoes will be great!”. Wrong. By the end of day one I was hobbling around on blistered feet and searching for band-aids for my aching feet. To go along with the clothing theme, if you find yourself easily chilled, bring a sweater or light jacket to the conference, as the temperatures in the rooms tend to be cooler.

Next, your PSW conference book is just slightly larger than the Washington, D.C. phone book so it is very heavy. Be sure to bring either a bag or rolling cart to haul your wares, especially if you plan on purchasing items at the expo hall. I usually find time to take my workbook back to my room during day one and carry a nice notebook and pen. I find the workbook is so flushed out and full of information, I don’t need to carry it everywhere. But be sure to tear out and bring your evaluation forms to the sessions.

Also I would advise you to not bring your laptop to sessions unless absolutely necessary. The sessions are very fast paced and you will learn more by paying attention to the instructors and not trying to work along with your laptop, also seating is tight. Be courteous of your neighbors and don’t use the seat next to you for your bag, laptop, etc.

If you are a first time attendee, two events are not to be missed. First is Larry Becker’s PSW First-Time Attendee Orientation. His tips and insights will help you get the most out of your first PSW! The second is Dinner With a Stranger. This uncommon event allows you to meet up with other attendees and share your experiences in a friendly and welcoming environment. The event is held Saturday, March 26 from 8-11 pm so if you have an After Hours ticket, you may have to miss out on this. Register for the event on opening day and sign up at the registration desk. Be sure to get your button!

Now about DC and things to do:

First, if you are flying into Reagan International Airport, getting to the Conference is very simple. DC Metro is your answer. You can take the Yellow Line (toward Fort Totten) to the Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street Convention Center station. It is a very short walk to the Convention Center from the station. It will run you around $2.50 – $2.75 depending on the time of day you take the Metro. Here is a PDF map of the Metro system. There is also a free Metro app available on the iTunes store. (Thanks to NAPP Member Jeff Tamagini for the tip!)

If you aren’t aware Photoshop World is taking place at the same time as the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This annual event celebrates the gift of the cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan. The trees are expected to be in peak bloom during PSW so have your cameras ready! Find out more about the event and maps here.

Finally if you are planning on going to see the sights, why not start your own photowalk? Sure it’s not a Scotty Kelby Annual Photowalk, but still the more the merrier. The National Mall and many memorials are about a 2 mile walk SW down New York Avenue from the Convention Center. New York Avenue will also take you to Pennsylvania Avenue and the most famous house in the country The White House. Unfortunately, White House Tours are only available via a request through your Congressional member and requests must be made 21 days in advance. You can’t just walk up and take a tour, but you can get amazing shots from outside the White House street side.

If you plan on shooting with a tripod — check with this site for contact numbers and the policy of the U.S. Capitol Police.

I hope you find these tips helpful and see you out in Washington in just a few days!