The [Jasmine] Star of the show

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Anyway, moving on.

I’m a big fan of online training for photographers. I guess that’s mostly because I’m a work-from-homer, and I live in the back of beyond, so getting to training courses and seminars isn’t all that easy (nor is it cheap, though Calumet offer some fantastic seminars for very good prices). I’ve had a Kelby Training membership for some time now, which has allowed me access to training from people like Joe McNally and Jay Maisel, and is a fantastic resource. But I’ve been absolutely blow away by CreativeLIVE, not only in terms of what it has to offer, but also in terms of just how cool what they’re doing is.

If you’re not familiar with CreativeLIVE, here’s how it works: It’s the brainchild of Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson. The idea behind it (their tagline is “democratising the creative revolution”) is that all their courses are streamed live on the internet for free. You don’t have to pay to watch their events; they’re uStreamed to the entire world.

Of course, you can’t do that kind of thing without trying to make some money, and the way that the CreativeLIVE team make their money is to offer the courses for download, too. There’s a discount for purchases made before the end of the course, so for example Zack‘s studio lighting workshop was $79 if you bought it before it finished or $129 afterwards. You get HD and iPod-sized video files as part of your purchase, with no DRM. So far I’ve bought Zack’s course, as well as David duChemin‘s “Vision Driven Photography” course and the only-just started Jasmine Star wedding photography course.

Not only has the quality of the videos been amazing but the quality of the instructors blows me away. I’ve watched Zack’s course two or three times now (I’m watching David duChemin’s right now as I type this) and I’ve already learned tonnes from watching Jasmine’s first day of broadcasting.

For me, CreativeLIVE is edging it over Kelby Training for me at the moment for N reasons:

  1. The courses are big, multi-day events, that attract thousands of views from around the web. And of course, questions are asked in the CL chatroom and on twitter, and are answered brilliantly by the instructors.
  2. I can actually download these videos. I can have them on my hard drive or my phone and can watch them at leisure. Doing a shoot and want to try out something that Zack talked about? Call up the video on my phone to remind me of the details. No connection needed. And because they’re DRM-free, the videos feel like mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that Kelby Training is a fantastic resource – Jay Maisel’s walk through NYC with Scott Kelby is something I’ve watched several times – but I wish I could download the videos rather than just have them held on the server.