A Day with Joe McNally By Joe McNally and Scott Kelby

2 hr 47 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Spend some time with Scott Kelby and crew as they share a day in the life of professional photographer Joe McNally (Time, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, etc.).
Start in Joe’s studio as they pack for the day’s shoot and travel with Joe and Scott to a photo shoot in NYC. You’ll get an up-close insight on commercial photography – the kind that a photographer reveals when having a conversation with a good friend – and learn not only the “how” of a job, but also the “why” from choice of subject to motivation. Plus, if you’ve ever seen Joe and Scott interact before, you know you’re going to enjoy yourself and laugh a little along the way.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Profile photo of Joe McNally

Meet your instructors

Joe McNally


Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New York, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and Men's Journal. He has been at various times in his career a contract photog...

Joe's Courses

Profile photo of Scott Kelby


Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom...

Scott's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of jeffrey jeffrey

    When I try to come up with a number in my head about what a person could possibly bring in as a photographer, I really begin to struggle with finding that capital. To pay the staff, and then have so much technical redundancy, he must have a constant stream of work.

  2. Profile photo of 894408 894408

    Thank you for creating this informative video.
    For some of the shots there’s the flash on the camera.
    Is the flash from the flash-on-camera factored into the overall lighting set up?
    How do you minimize the impact of the flash-on-camera’s output?

  3. Profile photo of dmsmithphotography@gmail.com dmsmithphotography@gmail.com

    Lesson 4 is kind of scary. 3 D3x’s ($9k each), the $2k lenses and everything else. Had me wondering how the heck anyone could break into the business. I was kinda relieved when in the end he was just using speedlites (which I know Joe loves) and fairly simple setups. Luckily, we dont need 6-8 SB910’s at $550 a pop. There are off brands that work quite well.

  4. Profile photo of oldmanwalking oldmanwalking

    The last two lessons of A Day with Joe McNally were worth more than the price of admission. And there is so much more. I am grateful. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of halvor.molland@hydro.com halvor.molland@hydro.com

    Great “behind the scene” sessions! Very inspirational to actually see the preparations for the shoots, and the way Joe McNally works his way towards great shots – step by step! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of darkvince7 darkvince7

    You can learn a lot about light and working with a model! Very interesting, great pictures! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of deaner deaner

    Wow! Joe McNally is a wealth of information. Im always learning something new. He takes a subject that for me would be nearly impossible, and makes it look so easy, so simple. And after watching his video, I think with practice, even I can do it. Thanks Joe! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of SergeAMH SergeAMH

    Great videos! It’s amazing how it feels like I’m just having fun and sometimes not even realize that I’m learning so much. Thanks a lot to Mr. McNally and everyone at Kelby Training! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Siva Senthuran Siva Senthuran

    Fantastic behind the scenes look into Joe’s work. How does he stay so accomplished and so humble ? What an inspiration to all of us. Thanks. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of vibrantshot vibrantshot

    This is quite possibly the most beneficial video on lighting and general photography that I’ve seen to date. To see a master like Joe at work is not only educational but also very inspiring.

    What I love about the video is that it’s incredibly clear but also light-hearted and funny making it a pleasure to watch. The interaction between Joe and Scott is helpful as Scott always asks the right questions that the viewer is thinking at that moment.

    Great job guys! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Vineet Potdar Vineet Potdar

    A Day with Joe McNally is truly a marvelous adventure of learning. There is so much information packed into a hearty light conversation, that it is simply amazing. Looking at Joe do his work I was literally wowing every photo; dazzled at how tiny changes in the scene completely change the look of the photo. I loved this class. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of dkolotyluk dkolotyluk

    I think that this was some of the best time I have spent on continuing education and the best dollars spent. Thank you both to Joe McNally and to Kelby Training for a job well done!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of ekernm ekernm

    I’ve read his books and now I’ve seen the video. I love the “A Day with…” series and Joe was inspirational and in the zone. The concept of balancing flash (aperture) with ambient lighting (shutter) finally makes sense to me after watching the video. The fact that Joe seems so approachable along with a good sense of humor fits well with Scott’s interview style. Well done! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of clemennl clemennl

    I positively loved this course. Although I don’t have large operation like Joe does (just me) I still leaned allot. I liked the way little details were discussed, from the type of AA chargers he used (this made me feel good since I use the same kind although only 2 not 8), Hoodman HoodLoupe, how to start a shoot and then add lights, etc. I liked Scott asking questions which he felt the audience might ask (I’m sure he knew the answer to). I also liked the photo sessions setups discussions, for example what was wrong with a shot and how to fix it. I love working with small speedlites, so this reenforced a bunch of stuff and introduced more. I have access to several models so I now just need to find an abandoned building in Dayton, Ohio.
    Thank you so much – really enjoyed it.
    P.S. – looking forward to getting my Joe McNally TriFlash and my Joe McNally 24-Inch Satin EzyboxHotshoe which I have ordered.

    Nancy – DayOneDigital
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of ARNOLD BOGDAN ARNOLD BOGDAN

    Joe is the man that made me open my eyes to light. He is articulate, informative and entertaining to watch due to his excellent sense of humour. This course is especially great because you get more of an insight into his thought process, not just watch him work. Joe, if you ever come to Toronto, let me buy you a pint! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of evil_bg evil_bg

    Love! I love the photographer. Thank you Kelby you are my hero. So discrete. We all know you are a god of all the techniques, but you asked all of the questions like a newbie so we can all learn. I admire you way —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    This one is so good, I just watched it a second time and it’s likely I’ll watch it again. I picked up so much the first time and learned even more the second time. Geo Joe rules.

  18. Profile photo of sbushong0923 sbushong0923

    Fun and instructional. Creatively great ideas. Simple and dramatic. Loved the mix of TTL and Quadra for different settings. Joe’s photography and instructinal materials have made me a better photographer. Highly recommended.

  19. Profile photo of tanyaaaron tanyaaaron

    Awesome! It was amazing to follow his day and get a glimpse inside his thought process of the set up. The pictures were amazing. Thanks!

  20. Profile photo of bmc2tnlp bmc2tnlp

    Outstanding day with Joe. Insights with an artist; in viewing, I was as caught up in the process as Joe, cast and crew.

Loading your account dashboard