Behind the Lens: In-Depth Portfolio Reviews, with Joe McNally and Scott Kelby, with Joe McNally and Scott Kelby

Join Joe McNally and Scott Kelby for an evening of no holds barred portfolio critiques, stories, and laughs.

Join Joe and Scott for an evening of no-holds-barred portfolio critiques, stories, and laughs. Joe graciously provides his expert, constructive insights to help beginners and experienced shooters alike improve their portfolio. More experienced photographers often get to a point where takeaways and suggestions are rare. Joe’s unique way of seeing into photographs, coupled with his years of experience, and absolutely entertaining delivery style, makes this live night at the Tampa Improv a must watch class for any photographer.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 06:12)

Scott introduces Joe to the stage and kicks off the evening with a discussion on the importance of having a good editor of your work.

Lesson 2: Embrace the Critique (Duration 14:27)

You will never be in the room to defend your photographs after you send them out into the world. Be open to the critique and learn how to internalize the voice of the editor.

Lesson 3: Brian L Portfolio Review (Duration 14:08)

A member of the audience comes on stage for the first live portfolio review followed by a set of blind critiques.

Lesson 4: Blind Critiques Continued (Duration 14:21)

Following a set of blind critiques Joe is joined by John V. for the next live portfolio review.

Lesson 5: John V Portfolio Review (Duration 08:47)

Joe finishes John's portfolio review with more stories and insight before taking a break.

Lesson 6: Blind Critiques Continued Again (Duration 11:07)

Fresh from the break Joe and Scott move through a new series of blind critiques punctuated more of Joe's fantastic perspective on photography.

Lesson 7: Nancy L Portfolio Review (Duration 09:43)

Joe has a way of looking into a photograph and seeing things that few people can. Each critique is an opportunity for learning for all.

Lesson 8: Tim S Portfolio Review (Duration 14:59)

Joe's ability to improvise as a photographer serves him well as a critical reviewer.

Lesson 9: Stephanie R and Eric W Portfolio Reviews (Duration 13:20)

In this segment Joe provides live critiques to two photographers, Stephanie R. and Eric W., and shares more insight into his way of looking at photographs.

Lesson 10: Eric W Portfolio Continued (Duration 13:57)

Joe wraps up Eric's portfolio review and then moves into a new set of blind critiques.

Lesson 11: Brian D and Jen T Portfolio Review (Duration 13:50)

With each portfolio reviewed we gain a deeper appreciation for how to approach our own photographic journey.

Lesson 12: Kathy P Portfolio Review (Duration 13:57)

Joe wraps up the critiques and the evening with a final live portfolio review.

Lesson 13: Wrap Up (Duration 14:23)

Joe answers questions from the audience about his personal style.

Meet Your Instructor: 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…

Meet Your Instructor: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President and CEO of KelbyOne, is also the original “Photoshop Guy”, is the Cofounder and CEO of Kelby Media Group, the editor and publisher of Photoshop User…


  1. This was a great presentation, it actually kept my interest for the entire time. Joe is fantastic and the critiques provided a host of valuable information. Everyone that tunes into and/or participates in "The Grid" Blind Critiques would benefit from this class. The only thing that surprised me was the abrupt ending, other than that it was time worth spent.

  2. I watched the interview with Joe McNally. I was very disappointed in many of the photos that were chosen for the portfolio review. I am not a professional photographer but even I know many of those photos were no good. Here you had a chance to really "pick his brain" but not with bad photos. You should have used good or great photos and seen how Joe would have made them even better. That would have been interesting for all of us. Very disappointed in the 2 hours I spent watching the interview. Some of Joe's comments were a little off key but his insight and advice was very good.

  3. Wow! I almost deleted the email about this Behind the Lens episode. I just did not think I had the time to view it. I learned so much. Thank you! I appreciated Joe's honesty and how he has made plenty of mistakes and learned from them. I learned how to improve my own photography by watching the critiques. I feel energized and motivated to look at my images as a whole to find my path/ my passion. And, to remember to slow down and become a part of the situation to find the story. Thank you!

  4. Very interesting, informative, and educational. My only fault with the course is that I could barely hear some of the conversations even with my internal and external sound boosted to the max.

  5. Joe McNally is the most engaging photographer I have every listened to!!!! This was a pleasure to watch, he was interesting, charming, funny and very informative.

  6. When I signed up fot Kelby One this it exactly what I was looking for. Once I Heard that his course was coming I kept bugging asking when it would be avail able to watch. Most courses here and on other websites like this you watch a couple of the 10+ videos then move on. i sat through the entirty of this course. More please more.

  7. A wonderful new class. You can get so much out of this reviews. I would love to see more of this kind, like a whole "Behind the lens" series. And if I may make a wish: Something like this, dedicated just to composites would be awesome, with Glyn Dewis or Joel Grimes making the review.

  8. Any time with Joe is quality Time and well spent. To hear his insight on what makes a photo work is valuable for anyone. It is an opportunity to gain from experience and expertise that many do not have. Time well spent.

  9. From a content perspective, this course was outstanding. Joe's experience is beyond vast, his insight is brilliant and his ability to tell a story is outstanding. The course excelled in both its ability to inform and entertain. I could at a bar with a few beers and listen to Joe tell stories for hours on end. But I was a little disappointed with the quality of the production overall. I've watched a bunch of the courses and I've always been impressed with how polished and well produced they all are. This course fell well short of that in my opinion. Several chapters ended in the middle of a critique. Though they did pick up where they left off in the following chapter, I thought it was rather clumsy edited. Several of the chapters are named for the person being critiqued but their critique started in the previous chapter. I also watch The Grid religiously and was very excited to watch this series, especially since Scott kept talking about how the crowd gave Joe a standing ovation at the end of the night. Unfortunately the final chapter ends with him finishing a critique. No closing statements, no thanks, no standing ovation. So much like Joe describes the difference between impactful images and bad shots, this course provides a wealth of information but unfortunately left me a bit disappointed due to the lack of attention to details in the editing.

  10. Watching this video brought back many memories of the atmosphere associated with sitting in coffee houses and listening to singers, poets and other. I would have loved to have been one of the attendees at this brilliant session with Joe. I concur with most of the comments submitted with the exception of the one expressing concern about quality of images. Joe dealt with these images amazingly well driving home the difference between snapshot and photograph. It was a terrific video but might have benefited from avoidance of the abrupt ending. Hopefully KelbOne will continue with this series having, as previously suggested, others such as Joel Grimes offering insights. Thank you Joe...

  11. after weeks of hearing this hyped on The Grid I was keen to see this. I felt at times like Joe was critiquing my work directly! loved his rhythm and voices and stories etc etc, Finally my hats off to the photographers who submitted their work for both blind and live critiques, they are very courageous.

  12. Wonderful presentation even with all of the drawbacks other people have mentioned. Joe McNally's critiques were insightful, his stories delightful and his personality terrific. I was left wanting more!

  13. Hi gang....First off many thanks to the Kelby crew for pulling off the evening. It was amazing to walk in to this really comfortable place and it felt a lot like I was sitting down with a bunch of friends in a living room. I did try to be direct and honest, but also tried to offer a lifeline, or a path, where someone could build on a certain aspect of a photo that was successful or approaching success. It was fun, and Scott always keeps the ship sailing in the right direction with his questions and stewardship. I tend to get a little scatter brained and riff in all sorts of ways. Many thanks for the comments above, and as always I take them to heart and try for the next round to be better.....

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