Review of Kelby One

Many of you know that I teach online photography classes at PhotoClasses.com, but that doesn’t at all mean that I don’t do a TON of learning myself.  One popular resource on the web for learning photography is KelbyOne.

I have been an on-again off-again subscriber to Kelby One for a couple years and would like to give my review of the site.

What is Kelby One?

Kelby One is a website with hundreds of hours of video training on photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and many other topics related to digital art and media.  A subscription to the website costs $24 per month to watch as many photography videos as your little heart desires.

Overall Opinion

The folks at Kelby Media have lined up an all-star team of photographers to teach photography on their online video classes.  It is TERRIFIC to watch such fantastic photographers at work; however, just because many of the instructors are great photographers does NOT make them great teachers, which can make many of the classes painful to watch.

The classes are often VERY slow moving and I find myself frequently reaching for the fast forward button.  However, if you are willing to be patient, this is one of the best resources on the web for learning photography.  For $24 per month, it’s a no-brainer.  Fantastic classes.

What I like about Kelby One

My opinion of Kelby Training is mostly positive.  I have learned many new tips and techniques from the videos that I haven’t seen anywhere else in other workshops or on  other websites.

The price is pretty reasonable for what you get.  $24 per month for unlimited views of photography instructional videos is a fantastic deal.

The videos are professionally filmed and edited.  It looks clean and easy to watch.

All of the videos are created by the absolute leaders on the specific topics.  Joe McNally teaches flash photography, Scott Kelby teaches Photoshop, Moose Peterson teaches wildlife photography, etc.

The website is fairly easy to use, though I did have a few gripes about it that I’ll mention later.

What I didn’t like about Kelby One

My main complaint with the site is that many of the instructors just spent the day photographing instead of teaching.  While watching the videos, I had a thousand different questions about what they were doing that were not answered.  On many of the videos, it seems that the instructor didn’t really plan what he or she would teach.

Maybe I’m A.D.D., but I wish the videos were half the length with twice the content.  I suppose the folks at Kelby Media decided to choose the best photographers in each area rather than the best photography instructors in each area.  It is helpful to watch the masters do their work, but it can be so slow that it’s tough to watch at certain points.

Also, I don’t like how they handle their cancellations.  Although you can cancel at any time, they force you to actually pick up the phone and call them.  Given that I run large websites as well, I know perfectly well that it is SIMPLE to create a way for this to be done by simply clicking a button in the “my account” setting of a website.  The fact that they annoy customers who want to cancel (presumably to keep you subscribed) irks me a bit.

Last, the real problem with learning on Kelby One is the lack of feedback.  You watch, but if you have a question… sorry. You’re on your own.  Video only.

There are benefits and drawbacks but most photographers will find it to be a good value.  If it matches your learning style, it is an AMAZING resource where I learn lots.

Comments from the I.P. Community

  1. says

    Potential purchasers should consider Lynda.com instead of the Kelby site. I subscribed to the Kelby site and have had a large number of logisitical problems. I have written customer service numerous times and not received any responses on the specific issues. I have tested Lynda.com and have had a most positive experience in regard to its operation and to its quality content.

  2. says

    I agree that Kelby Training courses would benefit from being 1/2 the length and twice the content.

    I also agree that Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski are the most skilled at doing the classes

  3. Colin says

    While I agree regarding th quality of SOME of the training it does not matter how good it is if you cannot use the site or have technical support. I have had nothing but problems with the kelbytraining site and have now sent over 12 emails in the last 8 days and not a single email has been replied to. For the money they charge I expect a reply within 24hrs. What is the point of all these instructors if not a single person replies to a query or technical issue. I have to say this is the 2nd time I have tried to use them as the 1st membership I cancelled due to numerous technical issues. I am now going to refund my membership and try lynda.com as I keep hearing nothing but praise. One thing is for sure is it cannot possibly be as bad as kelbytraining. They have had over $299 for 8 days and I still do not have access to a single video!

  4. Mihaela Hinayon says

    I love CreativeLIVE for its interactivity and I find the chat feature for audiences watching the live stream to be particularly helpful. I’ve gotten a few of my questions answered by others in the chat, if not by the photographer himself.

    If they had paid subscriptions it would be perfect!

  5. says

    Thanks for this review! I am considering which of the various training options to give my hard-earned money to, and its helpful to have your opinion with pros and cons. Thanks!

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