June 19, 2009

The value of a NAPP membership –

NAPP is “ The National Association of Photoshop Professionals ”

If you’ve been shooting digital for a while, then you have probably experimented with some sort of photo software by now. Every Digital Camera comes with some software to help you process the images after you capture them. Some of the better cameras have their own version of software that does more than enough for the average shooter.

I actually got into Digital Photography about 9 years ago. Back then Digital Cameras were pretty new to the general public and I found I liked playing around with my images after I shot them. I used to go online and check out anything and everything to do with Digital Photography and soon found out that when it came to editing your photos, the major player was a program called Photoshop. Unfortunately Photoshop was expensive and I didn’t want to pay full price so I shopped around online and found an unregistered copy on Ebay in my price range and I was off.

One day I was in a local bookstore and picked up a copy of a magazine called Photoshop User and started browsing through it. I had never even heard of it before and I instantly fell in love with it. The magazine was filled with tips and tricks, articles on learning Photoshop and tons of deals on photo gear and gadgets. But, the only way to get a subscription was to join NAPP for $99 per year. At the time, you got 8 issues of Photoshop User magazine which cost $10 apiece if you purchase them at a bookstore, so that meant your net cost of joining was really only $19. What do you actually get for $19 dollars these days? Here are just a few of the things you’ll find on their website. (Note: Starting in 2011 they now publish 10 issues a year at the same price)

The NAPP member website has a section for text and video tutorials written or taught by some of the top names in the Photoshop education including Scott Kelby, Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski, RC Conception, Corey Barker and a ton of others. As of the moment I am writing this blog post, there are almost 1200 tutorials.

H.E.L.P. - Quick Video Tips
HELP stands for How-To Educational Library for Photoshop. This is basically a help center to answer any questions you have regarding Photoshop by showing you a short video clip on the topic that you need help with. Just select the topic you need help with and a box will come up with associated topics to choose from with a short video tutorial. Nice huh?

Tips & Tricks
This section of the NAPP member website currently contains a total of about 90 tips and tricks for using various features within Photoshop.

Shortcuts, Brushes, and Styles
There is one page on Photoshop keyboard shortcuts, another with Patterns and Brushes and a third page with Actions and Styles. I use these resources all the time and they are always free to download and use.

Help Center
This is one of my favorite things about NAPP. Have you ever tried to do something in Photoshop or Lightroom that you just couldn’t get right? Ever had a question about camera gear or computer equipment that was driving you nuts? Just go to the NAPP Help Center and see if your question has already been answered before. If it hasn’t, then submit your question and they’ll email you with the answer!

Member Discounts
Let me just rattle off a few places that offer discounts to NAPP members… Dell, Drobo, Adorama, Mpix, Kelby Training, Hoodman, Corel Painter, onOne Software, MacMall, LensProToGo, Office Depot, B&H, and a horde of Photoshop software plug-in makers. I have used the one for B&H enough times to pay for my membership practically. At B&H they not only give you a discount but they include free shipping too! Nice huh?

NAPP Perks
There are additional perks that only members get. These perks include access to product reviews, the NAPP newswire, lots of freebies only available to members from various companies that make Photoshop plug-ins and other software. Plus you get access to the NAPP member forums. The forums are a massive resource that you can not only tap into but also contribute to on all topics relating to your Photoshop and photography passion. This is also a great medium to network with other members.

The NAPP Store
The NAPP store offers books, DVD’s, online training, and seminars at a reduced cost to members. In some cases we are talking about greater than a 50% discount! Once you become a NAPP member you will never buy another book at full cost again!

NAPP Portfolios
The NAPP member website has a section for uploading images that you have created into a nice online portfolio that can be viewed by other members. It’s a nice way to check out other member’s photography.

Photoshop User TV
This is definitely one of my favorite perks from membership to NAPP. Not only do you get to view Photoshop User TV weekly, but you can also download previous episodes and watch them on your Ipod or your PC anytime. I’ve been watching the show since episode #1 (Oct.24th 2005) and always look forward to the next weeks show. There are now over 250 episodes to view any time you'd like!

To sign up for a NAPP membership you are going to pay $99. Now factor in the discounts that you get for the seminars, online training, Photoshop World tickets, books, DVD’s, not to mention 10 issues of the magazine and access to all the Photoshop User TV episodes, plus all the other perks that I mentioned above and it is almost like NAPP is paying YOU to join!

So what’s stopping you? Click on one of the links on my site and join today!

© D. Gould Photography