Earlier this month I had a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles as a guest of Adobe to attend their incredible Adobe Max conference. It was an incredible few days filled with creativity, technology, new friends, and mind blowing new updates to the Adobe programs!

The trip all started with what I actually thought was a joke email, inviting me to attend the conference on behalf of Adobe. It sounded too good to be true that I almost didn’t believe it but suddenly I was on my 4th trans-Atlantic flight of the year and on my way to sunny California! My first few days were spent with my favourite adopted family and one of the most talented photographers I know, Carolyn Hampton. Spending time with them is like filling up emotional batteries, we laugh..we seek out instagrammable walls…we just enjoy the day as it is and I love that. We were lucky to visit the new Broad museum and find a graffiti wall by one of our faves, Dallas Clayton.


After a weekend of friends and laughter it was timed to get Adobe-fied. I had no idea what to expect from the conference as I’d only really ever been to photography specific conferences but the Adobe Max event was truly incredible. I was invited as a social insider along with 4 other talented new friends. Karen: an inspiring You-Tuber, Jad: a friendly and talented web and graphic designer,  Naomi: a wonderfully lovely brand designer and Mike (beeple): a hilarious and talented graphic designer.


The conference is a massive creative playground centered around the Adobe Creative Suite. The first keynote presentation showed us the new updates to the programs that so many of us use, to be able to see how much has changed over the few years that I’ve been using programs like Photoshop  is truly incredible and to be able to sit in a room of 7000 other creatives was exciting!  You can view that and the other Keynote speeches here ( I recommend it!) http://max.adobe.com/sessions/max-online/


The second day we attended another keynote by a group of creatives and inspiring leaders in the field. This was absolutely one of the highlights for me as one of my photography role models, Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York fame was one of the speakers. His story, his passion for telling stories, his dreams of just making enough to do what he loves and not to focus on the money was inspiring and I’ll remember his wise and inspiring words for a long time.


Aside from the keynotes we attended classes of our choosing, I signed up for a few on creativity and how to stay creative as well as one on creating and editing videos in Photoshop (!?) and a composting class with Aaron Nace. The classes are great opportunity to try something totally new without pressure.  I only wish I had time for more!

I’d have to say that one of my favourite parts of the experience was the Community Pavilion, a space for brands and creatives to play around and use the Adobe programs as creatively as possible. It was a playground for anyone with a creative side and in a matter of a few hours I’d played with a 3D printing pen, had a drawing made into a wooden stamp, made an image of mine transferred onto a piece of metal, played with the very first version of Photoshop and filled my bag with all sorts of goodies.

Our last two events were amazing in two very different ways, our first was the ‘sneak preview’ of all the new functions, tools, and programs that Adobe developers are creating. I think everyone in the theatre was truly amazed at some of the new features that on the way, some of them are truly the work of wizards!!

And what better way to wrap up an amazing feast for the creative mind than a party with a sugar feast! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a street party that had so much going on at the same time, music echoing through downtown L.A. by Fitz and the Tantrums and Cage the Elephant, and a spread of treats that would have made Willy Wonka proud. We had liquid nitrogen popcorn, iced coffee shots with cotton candy inside, shaved ice with gummy bears and the much talked about Doughnut Wall! Talk about a send off!

It goes without saying that the entire experience was a whirlwind, but in the absolute best way possible. Earlier this year I hadn’t really planned on traveling overseas at all and this trip was my 4th and it happened right when I needed a little burst of magic. To be able to be surrounded by 7000 other creative people was such a huge surge of happiness and I felt at times it was a bit like being at Disneyland for the creative mind. If you get the chance to attend next year, I definitely recommend it and hopefully I’ll see you there!

Many huge thanks to Adobe, Lindsay, the Hamptons, and all the wonderful people that popped in over the course of those quick days 🙂