Better Photos—With Your iPhone | Khara Plicanic | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

32 Lessons (1h 59m)
    • 1. Intro + Welcome!

    • 2. Overview

    • 3. Making Choices

    • 4. Making Choices: Lighting

    • 5. Choices: Angle

    • 6. Choices: Filling the Frame

    • 7. Choices: Composition

    • 8. Choices: Timing

    • 9. Choices: Format

    • 10. Control

    • 11. Control: Flash

    • 12. Control: HDR

    • 13. Control: Live Photos, Timer, Filters

    • 14. Control: Settings

    • 15. Control: Format

    • 16. Control: Focus & Exposure

    • 17. Control: Tips

    • 18. Control: Bottom Line

    • 19. Editing

    • 20. Editing: Picking Favorites

    • 21. Editing: Basics

    • 22. Editing: Retouching

    • 23. Editing: Creative Black & White

    • 24. Editing: Exporting

    • 25. Output

    • 26. Output: Automating Photobooks

    • 27. Output: Backing Up

    • 28. Bonus 01: Inspiration

    • 29. Bonus 02: Materials

    • 30. Bonus 03: Live Demo

    • 31. Bonus 04: Flatlay Edit

    • 32. You Did It!

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About This Class

Sure, dSLRs are nice and all, but let’s be real—they’re not fun to carry around all the time.

Wouldn’t it be great to get consistently great photos with the camera that’s always in your pocket (er… or purse/diaper bag)? Learn to shoot like a pro—with your iPhone!

Better photos start HERE.

In this simple, beginner-friendly course, you’ll learn:

  • The actual things that make a photo “better” and how to implement them
  • How to access hidden settings and controls on your iPhone for waaaaay better photos
  • Three better ways to trigger your phone’s camera
  • How to access your camera faster (so you don’t miss the shot)
  • My favorite techniques for managing and editing photos
  • Ideas and recommendations for outputting images and avoiding digital hoarding
  • How to create eye-catching product photos and flat-lays with a few simple, readily available, and inexpensive items from around your house.
  • and so. much. more.

Meet Your Teacher

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Khara Plicanic

Inspiration & Know-How for Creatives


With a passion for simplicity, my courses are geared towards beginners. I take great pride in demystifying topics and concepts in a way that not only empowers new learners, but is also a whole lot of fun. Join me on a new learning adventure!

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1. Intro + Welcome!: Hey there, my name's care. Puttin it and I've been a professional portrait photographer for over 15 years. And as much as I love my big fancy pants DSLR, let's be real. It's big, it's bulky, and for a lot of things, it's overkill. Instead of dragging around your DSLR everywhere, wouldn't it be great if you could get consistently great photos with the camera that's in your pocket purse or your diaper bag? You can. And also you have to shoot like a pro with your iPhone. In this simple, beginner friendly course, you'll learn the actual things that make a photo better and how to implement them. How to access hidden setting for way better pictures, three better ways to trigger the camera and so much more. As a bonus. I'll show you how to create eye catching product photos, and Flatley's using a few cheap things from a room. You might be a beginner looking for easy, straightforward ways to get better photos, a struggling hobbyist asking, Why are my photos so dark or blurry? Or maybe just please boring for maybe you're a savvy cutter boat who's happy with most things, but there's still a few areas that you'd like some help with. Whether you are an Etsy store owner and aspiring instagram influencer or you just wanna up your social media game it. Time to level up your camera roll better photos. Start right here right now. 2. Overview: So we all know that DSL ours have a time in a place. And I love them too, when I need them. But it were being honest. Most of the time we're not dragging our DSL ours with us everywhere we go and I think that's okay because it turns out that the best camera is really just whichever one you have with you. And for most of us, that's gonna be our phones there in our pocket, there, in our bags, we've got them with us pretty much everywhere. So wouldn't it be great if we found a way that we could get great shots on a consistent basis with the phones that are in our pockets? That's what we're going to dio here. In this course, we're gonna be breaking it down into four sections. The first thing we're going to talk about is choices and the choices that we make and how they can influence our photos. Then we'll get into controlling the camera and learning how to actually get a little less automated, even with our phones, and take back some control to get the shots that we want. Next, I'm going to show you my process for going through and managing my images, deciding which ones I want to edit and exactly how I dio most edits. Finally, it will be talking about output and how we can get those photos off of our phone and into backup and storage, and hopefully into some sort of print or book or something that we can keep around forever so it doesn't end up on a hard drive in a closet. 3. Making Choices: So let's dig in and talk about choices. It might sound kind of funny when I tell you that we're going to start by just talking about choices. But it turns out that the choices we make about our photos and how we approach them can really make a big difference. In fact, the choices we make our way more important than the camera that were using. So some of the choices that we need to make every time we take a photo are things like, Where do you stand when you take the photo? And in fact, I already want to make a change. We shouldn't say, Where do you stand? Because that's assuming that standing is the best choice, and often times it's not. So let's be right that to say, Where do you shoot from next? We'll talk about what's in the frame that we're shooting and what isn't. Another question that will have to answer is how do we arrange the things that we chose to put in the frame? That's called composition? We'll talk about when to take the shot. How do you know when is the right time to capture that moment? Which format are you going to use? There's a lot of different choices, like square, vertical, horizontal and some others, and we will talk through those as well. So as we go through this stuff, I think you're going to see that the only difference between photo and a better photo is making better choices. So that's what I hope to help you do in this section. And it turns out that making better choices and actually really simple. But it's one of those things that a lot of people kind of don't do or aren't aware of. And that's because we tend to just fall back on our defaults, right? So, ah, lot of times if we're taking family photos on vacation or whatever, we're take your camera. We're putting it at eye level. We're standing and we're just putting, putting whatever. The subject is somewhere in front of the lens and we're just taking a shot, and that might be our default. And that's our starting point. So that's okay. We all start somewhere. But what we want to dio is get from an automatic default to a conscious choice. You see the difference. One is a default, just kind of happens without thinking about it, and the other is a conscious decision that includes, like weighing your different options and then making a choice. So how do we do that? It's actually pretty simple. We just raised our awareness. So we start paying attention to the things that are around us, and we experiment. So we we may be set up a shot and then we see like Oh, hey, there's a reflection in the way they're or there's some garbage in the background that really shouldn't be in the shot And we become aware of those things and then we can make conscious choices about what we do about them. 4. Making Choices: Lighting: Okay, so now that we know a little bit about the choices that we might make about where we shoot from, let's talk about lighting. Lighting is hugely important when it comes to taking great photos. And it's one of those things that when people are operating in that sort of default mode, they're just completely unaware of lighting so you can bring that awareness to lighting. Your photos are going to improve dramatically, so the first thing to notice and be aware of when it comes to lighting is where is it coming from? Lighting can come from all different directions. It can come from above, as in this picture here, it can come from the side, as in these images here, where we see the sand dune that has the highlight on one side and the shadow on the other. Which cream creates that really distinct line in at the top sort of the crest of the dune as well as it highlights the textures and the patterns at the the bottom of the frame. And that image just simply would have looked completely different if it hadn't been photographed with the light coming from the side. Here's another portrait image as well with sidelight. So that was actually from a session I did. It was actually a test shot where I was just testing for exposure and she was sitting just in her home and it looks like it was shot in the studio with dramatic lighting and all of that. But it was really just captured in the subjects home. And she was simply facing a window and I waas to the side. So the window was on my left and right in front of her. And that's what created that side lighting. Of course, light can come from below as well. Uh, not necessarily ideal unless you're going for the spooky ghost story kind of look. But it's a thing, and if you use it carefully and consciously with awareness, you could get some great shots. Lighting can also come from behind, so this is an example of where I had the sun just right behind them. In fact, their heads were blocking what otherwise would have been some pretty intensive lens flare coming into my camera. But I did that so that I could create the silhouette look, so these are all choices and you might be thinking, Well, how do I control that? Because these are all lit by the sun. This was not in the studio. This is all just natural light. So level playing field for everyone And you might be thinking like how doe I move the sun. I mean, I can't control where that light is coming from, but yes, you actually can. And it's simpler than you think. It's all about where you stand. So this young lady, I put her on the top of a hill and again to clear the background. And then I got down low. So I'm on the down side of the hill squatting, shooting sort of up at her. But I did this for a number of reasons. I chose where I was going to stand relative to where the Sun Waas and that's all it's really about is being aware of where you are, where subject is and where the sun is and how you're all positioned and the effect that that's gonna have on your image. So in this case, I put the sun behind me, so I chose toe have her at the top of the hill, facing directly toward the sun, which introduced some other challenges. Right? So when the sun is in your face, your subjects are gonna want to squint and close their eyes because they're being blinded by the sun. So that was one challenge I got around that by just having her laugh, making her I don't know what I did something entertaining, hopefully, and I got the last out of her, and that took care of the squinting issue. It also took care of a problem that can happen when you're shooting with light above like Hai Ning, son is that it tends to create like raccoon eyes so your eyes will be in shadow because the sun's up above and your eyes are recessed slightly, so it creates some shadows under your eyes. That's not really attractive, not what we want, necessarily for a portrait. So that's why I also had her looking up and that even out the lighting on her face and the other reason that I had her face the sun instead of maybe shooting from the other side of the hill where the sun would have been behind her is because she had this beautiful red hair and this bright orange 22 and this bright green top. So this photo for me was all about color, and I purposefully put the sun in her face because I knew that that would give me that blue sky behind her where, as if we compare that to the image of the couple with the sun behind them. So, in other words, the sun is shining in my face in the shot. Instead of a blue sky, we get basically a white sky. It just kind of whites out. So I'm sure you've seen images where the sky looks white. And then, of course, there are images where the sky is blue and that is entirely controlled by either putting the sun, the sun in your subject's eyes at your back or turning it around and shooting into the sun . Having the sun behind your subject, it changes the sky. Who knew, right? I think that's a pretty cool thing, and it's totally just managed by where you decide to shoot from. So keep that in mind. Next time you're out taking pictures, you really want to think about where you're putting the sun. So before I move on, let's address a very riel hands on practical everyday application that this next time that you're on Facebook and your scrolling through everyone's photos, just take a moment and practice, bringing that awareness to the situation. And look at the photos that people post and look for lighting and how it's influencing the picture. A lot of people are more concerned with what's in the background of their shots than what the light is doing to the whole picture, and especially to the subject. So, for example, if you're like a Disney world and you really want the castle in the backdrop, people tend to stand, you know, on Main Street, facing the entrance, there's the castle, and who cares where the sun is? Their face may be totally black. Maybe they're wearing hats, and it's just totally in a shadow. The castle might look good, but your subjects might not. In this picture here, the light is cutting a line across his face where we go from shadow to sunlight right there , and it creates kind of almost a violent slash across his face of lights. The six is really simple. In this case, he didn't even have to move I just moved myself, So I took, like, three steps to the side. Basically, I pivoted. He turned his head to follow me, and I was able to get this shot where it's not an award winning image. Of course, it's not gonna end up on the cover of Vogue. I get that. But it's a very simple way to to solve the problem. And now the photo looks better and we at least have even lighting across his face. And we essentially moved the fun by just moving ourselves and deciding with more awareness about where we're going to shoot from. So when you're thinking about where you're going to shoot from, here are the things to keep in mind. What is going to be the best angle for the story that you're trying to capture? Remember the little boy jumping between those two rocks where I was when I shot that image made a big difference, totally changed the story by either including the fire trucks or cutting them out completely. You also want to think about what's in the background, so you want to be aware that there's even fire trucks that are ending up in your frame. So again with the awareness, Keith, also think about how your position and your subjects position is going to affect the light and how the light might be affecting your choice about where you put your subject and where you put yourself. 5. Choices: Angle: Let's start by talking about where are we going to shoot from? So remember that doesn't always mean that we're standing where we shoot from, ends up changing everything. It can completely change whatever story you're capturing in your frame. For example, here is a shot of a young man that looks like he's on some amazing adventure doing some cliff jumping. He's leaping from one rock to another. He could be soaring through the air. We don't know that's what it looks like in the photo, but the reality is this photo was captured in downtown Miami just in what I guess could be called a park. But it was really more like a small green space crammed in between a bunch of parking lots . And on the day that we were there shooting this, there happened to be a safety fair going on. And there were fire trucks and police cars and kids of kind of ah festival type situation. And I was like How am I going to get a shot in this park that is surrounded by all of these eyesores? Then I realized the park had a hill and I found these rocks. So what I asked him to Dio was to jump from one rock to another and I changed where I shot from because if I had been standing and just shooting straight at my eye level, I would have seen him jump in front of me. But I also would have seen the parking lot and all the vehicles and clutter behind him. So instead I got down on the ground and shot upwards, and it completely solved the problem. So now when we look at the image, we see this amazing adventure shot and it looks like he could be on cliffs that are who knows how high. But the reality is he like two or three feet off the ground, and there's a bunch of rescuers right there behind us, I guess in case we needed them. But I completely changed that shot just by getting down on the ground. Here's another one from a portrait session where again I got down on the ground and shot up . So despite the fact that we were shooting in a newer development and you know, very young trees, not a lot of shade, not a lot of good lighting or background and backdrop kind of things. So I got down on the ground and the father was playing with his daughter, and I just kind of waited from a good perspective on Then when I saw the shot right in front of me, when he dipped her down like that, I took it and I was ready because I had thought about where I was going to shoot from. Here's another example. Same thing also down low. Maybe you're getting the picture that a lot of problems with what you're going to capture can be solved by changing your perspective and actually getting down low. So same thing here is beautiful pictures of flowers from the Garden Centre that was again surrounded by cars and people and power lines and ugly sort of utility stuff. And I got down low shot upwards and salt it. But you don't always have to shoot from down low. It turns out you can shoot from above to. Here's another example from a playground where I photographed the subject from up on top of the play structure, which gave me this really cool effect of actually photographing sort of through a tunnel, and it made a nice frame around her, and I am a big fan of how that turned out. Sometimes even when you are standing and shooting at sort of that default, I level position you still want to think about. Do I stand here or do is stand here? Or maybe you know, a few more feet in either direction. So here's an example from one of the Jews nearby, and I was shooting thes jellyfish in an aquarium. And obviously, when you're shooting through glass, you have to pay attention to reflections, and this place had a lot of them. But by simply bringing my awareness to where I was positioned, what I was looking at and what I was seeing, I spotted those reflections, and I solve them by just maneuvering ever so slightly to change the angle and totally got rid of the problem and ended up with what I think is a really cool shot. And finally, here's one more example of looking down. This was captured in downtown Chicago, and there happened to be a puddle on the ground. So if you're ever traveling and your plans get rained out a little bit, don't panic. You can still salvage the day and take advantage of the puddles and the reflections that you might be able to see. So I was shooting down here and capturing the famous Chicago skyline and the little leaves that air here help sort of ground the picture and let us know what we're looking at. But it's not just an upside down photo, but that there's water and this is the ground. And also in the top left corner, you can see a little piece of the edge, I guess, of the puddle, and so that helps sort of orient you as well. But I love this perspective, and it's sort of a dramatic look at the Chicago skyline, taken from a unique perspective of actually standing and shooting downwards. 6. Choices: Filling the Frame: When we talk about framing your subject, the first thing you want to be aware of is the need to fill the frame. Ah, lot of times people are again by default, more concerned about just making sure their subject is in the frame. But they're not thinking about what they're choosing to fill the frame with because that whole frame becomes your photo, not just your subject. So here's an example. This is a photo of my cat on the chair, and I shot that while I was crushing something. And if you are a crow Shay Oren dinner, then you know sometimes it's hard to get up when you've got hunkered down with all your stuff. So there was my cat being on cue, and I thought, Oh, I'm in the snap. A cute picture of her and the default choice would have just been point. Aim, click, right? But you can see that produces a very boring photo, and I'm not sure of the subject. Is my feet my re gold pants, my cat, or what is possibly a dead plant in the corner? Instead, you wanna be aware again. Bring that awareness and think about filling the frame. Here is a way better shot where I actually got up off the sofa and walked over and filled the whole image area with my subject. And it makes for a much more compelling, an interesting image. Let's take a look at another example. Here we have a snapshot of some tulips. I wonder what it would look like if instead of that default of just aiming firing at our subject. I wonder if we thought about filling the frame by being aware and making a conscious choice . The wonder what we'd get. Maybe something like this. You see the difference? Ah, pile of just some tulips and a tulip. Beautiful, simple difference. Big change. Here is another example of a completely default photo, right? So let's say you're playing with the kid that Saturday You're making cupcakes and they're so cute and you want to remember this moment. So you stand wherever you happen to be. When you get the idea, you pick up your camera and you just sort of put your subject in the frame and click. So we see this little girl. She's so cute. We also see the trash can in the back corner. We see Ah whole bunch of stuff all over the counter tops and I mean, it's a photo when she's in it, but it's not really telling a great story, or it's really nothing memorable that you, you know, wanna keep. Let's see what happens if we think about where we're going to shoot from, and we think about filling the frame. Now we have a much more powerful, potent portrait, and I think you'd agree. It's a pretty simple change, and really the only difference was coming down to her eye level, so changing where the image was shot from but also filling the frame with what it is we want to capture instead of just including that, along with everything else. Because remember, the things that are not in the frame are really just a Zim Porton as the things that are okay. So when we're feeling the frame we want to think about what is our subjects that we are trying to capture and is anything distracting from that? What is happening in the background on there could be all kinds of different distractions, and how might we solve that? Basically, the best way to fill the frame is to get closer. I feel like that's probably a $1,000,000 photo tip right there. It's probably one of the most neglected things. When people are operating in that default mode is just again sort of capturing the world from where we stand and the way that our eyes see it. And really, the difference between what makes a snapshot and what makes something that really gets our attention is that we're capturing it in a way that's not necessarily how we experience it or how we see it with our eyes. So when we are standing back and taking a picture of the whole room and all the subjects and just filling the frame with any old thing, we're really distracting from what we're trying to dio, which is photograph are subject. If you're like a lot of people, you you might feel like your photos get a lot better in post production when you can do what crop them right. So instead of relying on cropping things later, Teoh clean up a bad shot. You could just get closer to fill the frame and compose the shot. You would have otherwise had to crop it later, and pf bottles save you a ton of work too 7. Choices: Composition: All right, we're gonna keep moving with another choice to think about is how to arrange things. So once you fill your frame and cut out all the junk, how are you going to arrange it? Where are you gonna position those things within the frame? Did I lose you? What does that even mean? Lifeline anyone. So the way that we arrange things is called composition. And just like you can compose a symphony or you can compose a letter or memo, you can compose a photograph. Now, some of you may have seen this before. This is the grid pattern that sometimes my appear on your screen and I can show you how you can turn this on on your phone if it's not already there by default. But you may have bumped into it before. And maybe you've been like, Why do I have a grid on my screen? All this grid is representing something called the Rule of Thirds. And it's a very basic sort of foundation of all sort of photography composition, and it divides the frame in 2/3 both horizontally and vertically. And then the idea is that if you position your subject in one of the intersections where these lines meet, then your photograph will be more appealing and more interesting. Let's take a look at the rule of thirds in action. This is another one of those things that tends to be a default to just put that bull's eye right on your subject. And that feels good, I guess. Like it's kind of a natural move. But it doesn't make for a very interesting photo. So instead, shift the position of your camera so that you actually just move the subject into one of those four intersections. It makes things so much more dynamic with the subject here on the right. We have this nice open area on the left, and that could be beneficial for a lot of things. It's nice. Just when we look at images, it's nice toe. Have what we would call white space or negative space, which is just empty area, and it's good for our eyes and our brains like that when we look at images. But in this case it's also nice. Maybe you want to turn this into an advertisement or some sort of social media pease air marketing or something, and you need room for text? Well, how lovely that now the whole left side of this frame could be over laid with text. Here's another example of a portrait where he is positioned on the right third and again we have sort of that negative space on the left. This rule of third can apply to all kinds of things, not just portrait's or architecture, but also landscapes. Now this particular image is sort of got the rule of thirds squared. It sort of rule of thirds doubled. So, for example, this is a coastal village on the northern coast of Spain, and you can see that it's sort of nestled into the mountains, and I've got it positioned. So it's on the right third, right, so the villages sort of heavy on the right side of the frame, and then it swoops down and sort of sweeps off on the left. So that's one application of the rule of thirds. But when you are taking landscape photos, there's another subject that you have to think about, and that's the horizon. So in this case, you can see that I have the horizon coming in at the top third of the image. So a lot of times people forget about that horizon and it ends up in the dead center. Okay, on. We call it the Dead Center for a reason, because things tend to kind of be dead when you put him in. The center kind of just makes the photo look lifeless. In this case, I chose to put the horizon at the top third because the subject of my photo is the village that is low, the horizon in the frame. Here's another example where I did the opposite. So in this case, I wanted to showcase the tall buildings. So I bumped the horizon down to the bottom third. And that creates the upward eye movements to really showcase the height of the buildings. The rule of third can also, of course, be applied not just in horizontal images, but vertical to this little Q T is positioned in the upper right third of a vertical frame . Same with this flower right here. So these are just a couple more examples where we don't have the grid over laid on top of it. So the idea is that once you're aware of this because again, awareness is key. Once you're thinking about how you're arranging things in your frame, this can start to just feel automatic. So how do you decide which third that you want to put your subject? Then here I have her face over on the left. Third on. The reason that I did that is because she, like the rest of her body, is coming off towards the right so and her face is actually facing towards the right. So I know that the viewers eyes, when looking at that photo, are gonna tend to follow the line that I give them. So they're going to start with her eyes and then what direction is she looking? And they're going to kind of follow that right through the image. If I had composed the same shot with her face on the right, it would look kind of like she got cut off like what happened to the rest of her body and what is like, What is the significance of? I guess it would probably have just been sort of like a black hole on the left of the groom suit. So that's why she's on the left, appears another image where I put the subjects on the right and same kind of idea. So they're on the right. They happen to be gazing towards the left side of the frame. So that is why I did that. I wanted to give them room to gaze so they're sitting over here and there looking this way . And I wanted to include the path that their eyes are are gazing in the frame now. Ah, lot of this is responsive, right? So I wasn't actually interacting with these gentlemen. I was just doing some street photography. And if they had suddenly changed their gaze, maybe like someone ride by on a motorcycle and catches their attention, and now they're going to be looking the other way. Then I would change, too. So these choices that we make, they have to be flexible. And you want to be responsive to the scene that's in front of you and your subject. So if they had turned their heads, I would have recomposed the scene to then be putting them on the other third of the friends . So when you're thinking about how you're going to arrange all these things in composing your picture, you want to be thinking about where is the best place to position your subject? And how will the viewers eyes being moving through the image? And remember that where you put your subject is going to depend on your subject. But remember that that will help guide your viewers eyes. So you want to be creating nice path of movement through your image. Don't forget about that horizon and think about whether you're highlighting the sky or the ground and just remember that it's all about the rule of thirds. That's not to say that you can't break that rule. There are definitely times when you want your subject in the center of the frame, but those air probably more the exception than the rule, and you want to be choosing them consciously. So, for example, of your composing a scene that's very graphical and you're trying to highlight cemetery or something like that, then you would probably want your subject in the center. You know it's okay to break the rules as long as you're doing it by choice and not by default. 8. Choices: Timing: Let's talk about timing. How do you know when to take the shot With practice? You will get better at catching those moments. But the other thing is just being aware of what makes a good moment is another key. For example, here is a little guy who was not having it. His mom was trying to bribe him with cookies and all kinds of things, and he just did not care. And what I loved is that I recognized that this moment was the true moment, right? So there's a difference between the cheesy fake grins that people have a federally kids. When you say satay right, though, they're totally not really. Nobody loves those portrait's, but what makes an image riel a good riel moment worth capturing is when it's genuine, and in this case, he did not want to smile. And it I'm okay with that. Getting comfortable with capturing those sort of non moments are how you find the actual moment. So this ended up being my favorite shot from the whole session along those same lines. Here's another image from a studio session where the kids have been cooped up in the car for several hours before they arrived at my studio. At this point, the kids were just literally hanging on their parents. And I thought, Boy, if this doesn't sum up what life is like with toddlers than I don't know what does. And it ended up being the favorite image for all of us from that session. Here's another one to live. A honoree. Toddler, You seeing the theme of toddlers? I have a four year old right now, and you just have to roll with it. So I was doing a portrait session with this family, and their little guy, of course, was totally not cooperating. And he thought it was hilarious that every time we tried to get him to sit down, he would just run away. And so I caught that I mean, knowing when Teoh take the photo is just about capturing what's in front of you and the moments that are decisive defining. And what I love about this shot is that his parents rolled with it, too, and they are laughing and having a good time and just going with the flow. If his parents had had angry faces or were rolling, their eyes are gritting their teeth or whatever you might do in the frustration of trying to get toddlers to cooperate. This photo would not have worked. It just would have been throw away. But that is another one that captures what it feels like in their lives as a family at this time. Another thing I think about capturing those moments is being OK with not having your subject. Looking at the camera, I think we all sort of somehow got programmed to ask our kids to say cheese and look this way and look at me and those are very constructed moments and there's a very different feeling there between that and something that's just happening before you in this shot of this is actually my niece and she was spinning around on this fun playground thing and she was just in the moment playing. I wasn't asking her to pose wasn't saying, Oh, stop what you're doing and look here and turn this way and do that. Just let her play now. If we think back to some of the things we've already talked about, about lighting, for example, and where you're going to shoot from, I had already planned those things, so you might be thinking. OK, but how do you live in the moment and not direct your subject if you need them to move for lighting purposes are for your shot angle. But here's the thing. You take care of all of that first, and then you're in position T just wait and let the story unfold in front of you. So in this case, I'd already positioned the light behind her. That's why we see that nice white sky. I like to do that a lot because it creates kind of a dreamy image. So I'm I'm shooting this with the sun in front of me behind her, and I've got everything set the way I want it. And at this point, I'm free to just decide what moment I want to capture. And in this case, it's one where she's not looking at the camera. Here's another example. Just cuddles mom and kids playing and just capturing that, not worried about who's looking where and who's doing what again. The key to this is positioning yourself so that you're ready. When you see that moment in front of you, you can just snatch it. Sometimes the movement are completely not what you wanted at all. I was trying to take photos of my niece playing my grandmother's mandolin, and she just was not having it again. So, young kid, not having it go figure right. So instead, I just rolled with it and I caught this photo of her like literally fleeing the scene and running away from me with her mandolin, and I thought it was hilarious, and I think that speaks a lot more about who she is. Then some contrived situation would have. So when you're thinking about how to know the right moment to take the photo, think about what kind of moment you're after. Don't forget the in between moments where you might be trying to get a certain a certain kinds of shots, of course, but the in between moments are where the gold really is and be okay with subjects not looking at you and maybe not even smiling 9. Choices: Format: and finally, which format are you going to choose for your image? As you surely discovered? There's a lot of different choices, and each format really lends itself to a certain type of image. So, for example, a horizontal or landscape orientation really works great for architecture, real estate photos for landscape images. But you might also want to choose a vertical format, and you can shoot landscapes in a vertical format. Of course, it really depends on what your subject is and what you're trying to dio with the image that you're taking. So here's an example of a landscape scene that is vertical. Here's another one. So how did I choose these formats? Well, if we go back to the birdhouse image, it's a vertical birdhouse. I mean, the house is a vertical tall rectangle. It's on a tall, vertical post. And so I was repeating that same type of shape and line in the format of the image. So choosing to capture a vertical image echoed the shape of the subject itself, saying with this image from Venice, we have the canal, which is creating a vertical sort of vertical line through the frame, but also the gondola operator as well. His boat is echoing that same line and his stick. I don't know. There's probably a better word for that. But his stick is also echoing that same vertical line. So a vertical photo enhanced that here's a portrait again, Vertical. Now this image was shot vertical for two reasons. One because the lines of her form and her dress and all of that, but also because this was shot in a very, very crowded small hotel room. And quite honestly, there wasn't a lot of space. And if I had taken a horizontal image here, we would have seen Ah, lamp and some chords and probably some bags and junk from the floor from the bridesmaids, so it could be a strategic choice as well. And that's a great way to help you decide what format you want to go with. Of course, Square is a very popular format for things like Instagram and personally, I find myself shooting square probably a lot more than I should, just because I sort of think in instagram terms lately. But these were just some fun examples of how you might compose a scene with a square here is one where we sort of have the subject in the center. I mean, it's Ah, twisting staircase, so you could argue it's in the bottom, right third, but it's also kind of centered. So I think this is an example of sort of that cemetery and geometry that you know. It's okay to break the rules as long as you're doing it by choice and not by default. So when you're choosing a format, there's also some things you have to keep in mind that go beyond just your subject. And that is you want to think about how that image is going to be used. Here is a vertical portrait of my parents, and I think it's a great photo, and it's it's great for what it is now. You might have a situation where, for whatever reason, you need a horizontal image. So here's what happens if we take that vertical image and try to crop it into a horizontal . You see that it's just really too tight, and it I mean, it's awkward. My dad's head is being completely cut off. Not that I am not okay with tight shots that sometimes crop people's heads out I do that a lot, but in this case it's weird. And also because my mom is getting cut off right at the neck, which is always a no, no. And it's just too tight. It looks uncomfortable. It's strange, so this image would not work in horizontal format. So if you're in that kind of situation, maybe you're shooting images for something on your website or blogged, or a social media campaign or your family Christmas cards and you fallen in love with a certain card design that requires a horizontal image. Then you want to hedge your bets and shoot images that are both horizontal and vertical to give yourself a little flexibility afterwards. Some images do work either way, so here's an example of a horizontal image of my in laws, and I shot it horizontally. But if I needed to crop it vertically, maybe to make it match, for example, the orientation of the image of my parents, then this photo could do that. So it is possible on some images, but not all. It really just depends. So when in doubt, shoot a variety of formats, so you have some flexibility. Later, when you're trying to decide which format you are going to use. Here are some things to think about. How is your subject oriented? What's the best way to capture that subject? And how will the image be used? Is it going to be horizontal or square or vertical? Or maybe you don't even know yet, and you just need to keep your options open. So then it's important to ask yourself if flexibility is going to be required. So that's a look at all the different choices that go into making a great photo. And remember, the rial only difference between a photo and a better photo is making better choices. And that all starts by getting out of default and moving to a conscious choice making, and that comes down to awareness. The good news is, awareness is free and you get better at it with practice, so don't give up 10. Control: so now that we understand the importance of the choices we make and how they impact our images, let's talk about how we can control the phone and the camera on our phone to get great pictures on a more consistent basis. So what do we mean when we talk about taking control back over our phone or camera camera phone? What we're talking about is all the different settings and options that the phone has. What did he mean, and how do we want to use them? Or maybe not used them in the section we're going to talk about? Do you really need that flash? What is HDR in Life Photo and how would you, you, the timer and all those filters? How do we turn on that grid that we saw when we talked about composition? And this is one of my favorites. I think it's the most consequential out of all of these things in the section, and that is how you can control the cameras, focus and exposure. And I think it might just blow your mind. And of course, we'll talk about tips and tricks to help you get the most out of all the cool things that your iPhone has to offer. 11. Control: Flash: the first setting that we're going to take control back over is flash, and one of the questions that you have to ask yourself is, Do you really need that flash? And the answer sometimes, of course, is yes. So here's a photo of my husband A before and after one without flash and one with, and you can see that in this particular example, it was really helpful to have the flash. We would call this a fill flash, or sometimes I like to refer to it as forced flash because your camera may or may not think that it really needs it because it's reading all of the bright light coming from the area behind the subject. And in this case, I turned the flash on, and I got a much better photo. But I would argue that usually in most just typical situations, you're better off without a flash. And in some cases, the flash can actually make your photo appear darker than it would without this terrible photo that looks like I don't know. I call it the Blair Witch Photo. So this looks like I stormed into her room and accosted her in her sleep with my camera and she is lit. But of course, the background behind her is dark, and the reality is that that photo was shot around 10 or 11 a.m. and there was a pretty big window behind me. But the way that flash work, it lights up the subject that's just close to the front of your lens. But in doing so, it calculates the exposure for that flash lit subject, and they can render other parts of the scene dark. So here's another look at that same scene. Without a flash, it's much more evenly illuminated. So while the flash actually caused her to be bright, it actually caused the background to be under exposed because it created a huge difference between the light falling on her and the light in the background. In other words, it made her really bright, but it didn't affect the background. So much so the difference between her brightness and the backgrounds brightness is really exaggerated. And in this photo there is no flash. So the light is just the light, and her and the background have more or less the same exposure. And it's a much more pleasing photo. Another example where you would want to turn off your flash would be if you're in the theater. As you can see, the flash is not really lighting up. The stage is actually just lighting up the heads of the people in front of me. And actually, when you combine flash in a situation like this, it actually causes another problem, which is a color balance issue Stayed Lighting, of course, is theatrical and is full of lots of different colors, whereas the color of the light from your flash is balanced for daylight. When you mix daylight colored flash with theatrical colored stage lighting, you get a mess of color. And that's why, in this picture the heads look normally like the color is normally rendered, But the stage itself looks in a very yellow Let's see what happens if we turn off the flash and take another photo Here we see that the heads no longer show up. I promise. I did not cheat and have those people leave. They are still there. They're just not being illuminated by the flash, and now we can see that the stage lighting is the way that the lighting designer intended it to be, and the color is much more correct, much more properly balanced because we weren't mixing the color of the flashlight with the color of the stage lighting. Another fun thing you can do with Flash is turn it off and get a silhouette. Here is a picture of my husband lit with flash in in front of a fountain. It's not a very attractive picture. There's a lot that it's lacking. So what I did instead was I canceled the flash and I put the timer on and I set the camera down on a ledge. So not even a tripod, just a nearby ledge and kind of MMA Guy Verde, so that it would stand up. Then I jumped into the frame and I got this, which is pretty cool. So now the exposure is being set by the fountain in the illumination of the fountain, and everything else is just dark, and that creates a pretty cool silhouette. So now that we've seen, like one case where you might want flash and a whole bunch of examples where you really just don't need it, let's take a look at our phones and how and where we control our flash on iPhone. With the camera app open, you would be looking in that top left corner and you should see a little lightning bolt. So what I like to do is tap through that and you'll see that there are several different options. Just set it to know, Flash. That's way you won't have it firing by accident. And you can just turn it on if you are in a situation where you actually need it. But the rest of the time, you're really gonna have a better result. Your best bet is to just believe it off. 12. Control: HDR: HD Our first of all, What the heck does that even mean? HDR stands for high, dynamic range, and the reason that HDR is a thing is because our eyes are very. They have a very high dynamic range. So that means when we're looking out across a scene, we are able to see detail in areas that are shadowed as well as areas that are brightly lit or highlighted. So, for example, if you think about like sitting outside at a cafe, and maybe you're sitting underneath an awning in the shade, you are at the same time able to see everything that's on your plate in front of you in the shade. But at the same time that you can look out, maybe across the plaza across the street, where the sun is shining brightly and you can see out there as well. So our eyes are capable of this huge range from shadows toe highlights all at the same time . A camera, however, is different, and it is not as good as seeing all of that in one shot. So when you're taking photos especially and you're not using a flash, you sort of have to choose between an exposure that makes the highlights look good or an exposure that makes the shadows look good. HDR is a solution that attempts to blend properly exposed shadows with properly exposed highlights in a single image. And the way that it actually does this is that it takes two photos, one properly exposed for highlights and one properly exposed for shadows. And then it sandwiches them together and sort of blends them into one photo. Personally, I don't use HDR like once in a blue moon. Maybe so. I found these photos to just show you some examples of what that looks like. Here is the one example where you can see it's like super saturated, and there is a lot of information in the shadows and the highlight. This is what you get with HDR. Personally, I am not a fan of HDR. I just don't like that it tends to create hyper rial photos, and it tends to exaggerate the saturation, and it just kind of looks weird and super processed. However, that's just me. You might love it. Here's one that I think is very sharp, very bright, very saturated, and here it doesn't quite bother me as much, But this might have been a nice a nice way to use it so you can get some of that color in the sky that's very bright, but also maintain all the detail in the rest of the scene. Now here's an example of where I think it's most dramatically exaggerated. So this is, you know, a stylistic choice to some people really love the look of HDR. It's kind of edgy and funky, and I mean, that could be your whole style if you're into that more of a personal choice. But that's what the setting is going to do for you on your phone. So where do we find it? It's gonna be right up here in the top part of the camera app again. We saw the flash, and HDR is right next to it. And the tricky thing about HDR is even if you turn it off here, there's still one more place within the actual camera app settings where it might be sneaking in so tap through to turn it off CC that slash through it or leave it on if you choose, and then later I'll show you where we're going to dig into the camera settings where you can really turn it off because there's also something called smart HDR. And personally, I don't want any HDR happening so And if you are on that party wagon, I guess then you would want to turn this off in two places. So this is one place and we'll show you the other one in another lesson coming up. 13. Control: Live Photos, Timer, Filters: while we're here looking at the camera app, Let's talk through these other top three menu items. Live photo. So as you can see, the little icon is the circle and then the dotted circle. And then I like to turn that off, so we have a slash going through it. So what is Life photo? If you ever use it, either intentionally or perhaps by accident, you'll see that it's sort of like a really short video. So when you hit the shutter, it records some movement and then freezes, and some people like that, I guess it's kind of cool. It sort of shows like photo before it happened. Like the moments leading up to the photo Kind of cool. I don't know. Personally, I'm not a fan. So again, I shut it off. But maybe you love it. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa loved seeing pictures of the kids with life photo. That is your call. But if you want to turn it up, this is where you do it. And if you want to turn it on now you know what to look for. Next up, let's talk about the timer. When would you ever use a timer. Well, it turns out there's a lot of great examples of when it could be useful. For example, if you are taking a family photo and you want to be in the photo to, you can set up the timer and then you can run and jump in the photo. That's probably one in most common uses, and you have some different built in options for how much time you said it. For the ones they tap on the little timer icon, you'll get the sort of flied out menu of choices you can turn the timer off. You can set it to have a three second timer, and you can set it to have a 12th timer. 10 seconds would probably be a little more handy if you're going to run and try to jump in the photo. The three second one is great if you're just trying to avoid camera shake. So maybe you're taking a picture in a low light situation. And you know that if you wobble the camera when you trigger the shutter and you want to avoid that, you can set the three second timer and then you just I don't have to wait as long before the camera takes the picture. Finally, thes three overlapping circles in the far top right of the camera. APP represent filters. Filters make it possible so you can just apply filter and then take the photo, meaning that the photo will be captured with your chosen filter applied to it. And I don't generally recommend that because it's nice to have just a straight clean photo that you can then filter and edit after the fact. But if you capture an image with the filter on, then that's the way the images captured. So just keep that in mind when you are deciding what type of creative applications or creative effects you want to add to your image. So next up we will take a look at those camera settings and where to find them. 14. Control: Settings: remember when we talked about the grid for the rule of thirds? That is an example of one of the things that you can turn off or on in your camera settings . So to get there, you're gonna back out of your camera app and go to your iPhone settings on, then scroll down to the list of APS and choose camera. There, you'll find a screen that looks like this, and if you want to turn the grid on, you can swipe that to the right. Another thing that I talked about was that smart HD our option and how initially when I tried to cancel my HDR, I turned it off just at the top where I showed you before in the camera app. But I found that it was still sort of sneaking in because deep in the camera settings, it was still turned on. So here you can go into smart HDR and turn that off. If you would like Teoh, keep that from showing up unannounced. Another hidden little setting that I find pretty useful is to at least be aware of the formats that your iPhone is capturing images in so right above that each D r. Studying is something called formats, so go ahead and tap on that. So here you'll see two choices. High efficiency and something called most compatible. So by default, York phone is set to high efficiency. So this is a compressed format that is going to help your photos take less room and save you some storage on your phone. So if you like that, maybe leave it there personally, where I run into trouble with This is, for example, the other day I was trying to take a picture and post a review on Amazon, and I couldn't take the photo on my phone and then just uploaded to Amazon. Because this high efficiency setting is a completely different file format. So Amazon doesn't accept this proprietary high efficiency format. It only wanted J. Peg, for example. So I ended up switching my setting here to most compatible, which will then save the file as a JPEG and if you know anything about file formats, JPEG is also a compressed file format, so it's still small, I guess, sort of compared to other types of file formats. But it is bigger than this high efficiency format, so that is a personal choice. But for me I prefer compatibility and being able to snap a photo and then do anything with it without having to convert it from a high efficiency format into something more universal , like a J. Peg. And finally, one other thing I want to point out here. If you go back into the camera settings and at the very top above where we found the grid option, you'll see something called preserve settings. And if you click on that, that will bring you to where you can. Sorry, save the settings that you've already set for your camera mode. Any creative controls, like filters that you've set and you're live photo settings by default. This is turned off. So you may have noticed that if you select square and you take a photo and then you put your phone away and you come back to it later, you have to re select square format because it reverts back to the default of photo every time you take out your phone to take a picture than you would want to change this so that your square format would be preserved unless you change it again later. You can also choose to preserve creative controls like filters or the light setting if you're in shooting important mode and depth and all of that controls. So again, if you wanna use those types of things that can turn it on or off. But at least here, you know you have the option. And finally, of course, Life Photo. If you wanna turn it on and have it always beyond, you can do that, too. Otherwise, these things tend to reset every time you pick up your phone to take another photo. So that's it for settings. In the next video, we're gonna explore format. 15. Control: Format: let's talk about formats and the different options that are available. So here, within the native camera app down at the bottom, you will see by default. It's set to photo, so that's just a vertical. Or if you rotate your phone, then it becomes a horizontal or landscape image, and that's kind of standard straightforward. So I'm guessing you know how that one works. Let's swipe over, and the next choice that you'll see is something called portrait mode. So the idea behind portrait format is that it creates the illusion of a shallow depth of field by allowing you to create a blurred background behind your subject. And we call that blur Boca, and it's kind of delicious, So some might even call it Bo Kalish ISS. Now, what's kind of tricky about how it works is most of the magic happens after you've taken the photo. To give you an idea how to use it, you first just swipe over to portrait format, and then you take a picture of your subject, and it will tell you things like get closer or back up, or because I haven't X are it says things like it can't detect face. So it'll kind of direct you about how you get the great shot on what I'm going to show you . Here is what is happening after you take that photo when you goto edit to pull us up, I'm just gonna go into my camera roll and I'm going to select a portrait of my son that have already taken, and I can see that this is an image that was captured specifically in portrait format. So this Onley works on images captured in portrait format, and I can see that because in the top upper left, it says portrait. So now if I want to make changes to this, I can just click the edit button, and that brings me to a screen that looks like this up at the top. You can see we are working with an image captured in portrait format and then down below. Here it says depth. And then there's the slider, and this is the virtual aperture, or f stop. So right now it defaulted to a setting of F 2.8, and you can see the background behind him is, in fact blurred, which is pretty cool. It's a pretty cool effect to be able to get with an iPhone camera. So what we can do, though, is we can actually tweak that a little bit. So if we want it even more blurry, I can take the slider in, drag it over here, drag it towards the right, and we see that now we have a value of F 1.4, so the background is even blurrier. And if we decide we don't want a blurry, it all weaken, swipe over the other way to F 16 and then we can see that I took this photo of him on a coffee date at Starbucks. So you have some control there for how you edit that background after the fact. So this is an effect that's created in your phone, but after the photos taken. But it just has to be captured in portrait format. There's a couple of other things you can do while you're here. If we look above this depth aperture settling right here, you'll see that this is controlling some virtual light. So here is the image with just actual natural light. And then if I scroll over one, this is the iPhones attempt at virtual studio light effect. And then again, if I swipe one. Moreover, it's creating contour lighting. So whether you like it or not, that's what that means. Just keep in mind. This is all virtual, and it's just a digital effect. It's not actually an optical creation the way it would be on a DSLR, for example. So once you are happy with your settings, then you would just go ahead and tap done. It will save your photo, and you will have, hopefully a really nice portrait that you could be proud of. All right, let's go back to our native camera app. And of course, we see that square is an option. I am assuming that you're familiar with Square. You know what that means? So we'll just leave that one alone. And let's talk quickly about the Pano option. So this is actually pretty cool, and I end up using this in situations where I wish that I had a wide angle lens and I don't . So, for example, I took my son to go see Su at the Field Museum in Chicago, and it was this really cool display and ah, horizontal picture just wasn't going to be wide enough to fit all of that exhibit in the frame. So what I actually did was put the camera in Pano mode on. Then I panned the seen and the camera, or the app automatically will stitch it all together into one really long photo. So when you are shooting in Panama, owed a couple of things that you want to keep in mind our one that you are gonna hold the phone vertically for most examples that I can think of, you're gonna hold the phone vertically and you're gonna be basically scanning across your vision area. And the other thing is, a lot of people don't realize is that you don't want a pan around your body. So, like twisting like this, like holding your phone and twisting your body instead, the phone it needs to be at a fixed point in space, and then you're gonna pivot around that okay on. Then you're going to get better results. So that was a quick look at formats. And in the next video, we're going to talk about my favorite tip, which is controlling exposure and focus 16. Control: Focus & Exposure: Here we are. We've arrived at one of my favorite tips and techniques to help you really take back control over your exposure and focus. So here's a look at a couple of different photos where the one on the left was captured just aiming and firing. So if you've never controlled your focus, point or exposure before then you would get something like this. So I shot this from inside my house through the doorway at my son. He's outside, obviously, and the camera again doesn't know that he's my subject and that I wanna have him properly exposed. And instead it's choosing an exposure for the sky, which means he ends up looking dark. So the image on the right was not edited in post. That was simply the image that I got after I took control back from the camera and I chose what I wanted to focus on, and I chose what I wanted the exposure to be, and now we can see it's a much brighter photo, and ultimately I think it's a better one. So, of course, how do we do this? Well, the good news is it's super simple, so this is really handy. Let's that you're taking a picture of of a scene, and there is a plant may be close to you, and maybe you're shooting sort of through the plant at something in the background. Well, this choosing a focus point is how you communicate to your phone to your camera what the focus should be. Do you? Do you want the camera to focus on the plant that's in the foreground closer to you, or do you want to have the focus be back here on whatever is going on back here? So in this example, I want the focus to be my son. So I tap his face, and that puts a little yellow box around his face. And then you'll notice that there's a little sunshine icon to the right of the box. So this is a two step process. K tap set the focus point, and then you tweak the exposure by putting your finger on that little sunshine and dragging it up to make it brighter or dragging it down to make it darker. Isn't that amazing? Life changing? But here's the thing. You need to take it one step further. If you just tap and then drag a little sunshine up and down. That's great. That'll work as long as you take the picture immediately and your subject doesn't move or wiggle or any of that, which is pretty unlikely. So what you want to dio is take it all the way and lock the exposure and the focus point. So that means when you set your exposure point, you don't want to just tap, you want to tap and hold on. When you tap and hold, you will see this little label at the top of this yellow label that says E A F lock. So that means auto exposure, Auto focus, lock And with Locke turned on, your subject can move. They could even leave the frame, and nothing about the exposure is going to change. So you are set, and you can just wait for the right moment to take the photo. And what I have found is, if you don't lock it, if you just tap and then swipe, it will reset after just a couple of seconds. So you have to be really fast, and that's great sometimes if you're in a hurry and stuff, but if you really want to get the shot and not have it reset the exposure on you. Then you want to tap and hold, and then you can take the little sunshine and adjust the exposure. And then it will just stay that way until you take the photo. 17. Control: Tips: So now that you know some of my favorite techniques for controlling exposure and focus, let's talk about some tips and tricks to take your savviness to a whole new level. For example, did you know that you can access your camera very quickly, even if it's locked by either swiping left from the lock screen? Or if you press and hold on the little camera icon in the bottom right, that will take you straight to your camera, and it will save you a ton of time. So if you're trying to get your phone and take a quick shot and you don't want to fiddle with unlocking it and then backing out of whatever app you had open and finding the camera , that's the way to go. And realistically, if you have kids, especially if they're toddlers, they probably already figured that out, so you can always ask them if you need some help. Another really cool trick is that you can actually take photos using your volume of buttons . So right there on the left side of your phone, either the up volume or the down volume button will work. So this is really handy if you're shooting a selfie or something, and you're holding it out. And you know it's kind of hard to reach the shutter button with on the screen. But if you can reach the volume button right here with your thumb, you can snap that way. It's also great if you're shooting horizontal images like this. You can press the button right here, which kind of makes it more like a traditional camera that you might be more used to. So it just gives you a little bit better stability. And it's another great way to trigger the shutter. Another really neat way that you can trigger your shutter is actually by using your apple headphones. So I'm not talking about the airpods, although there's probably a way you could do that, too. But I don't have them, so I'm not sure. But the headphones that come with the phone that have the volume buttons like right on the court itself, you can use those volume buttons to trigger the shutter to that could be useful. You're doing some street photography, and you're just kind of trying to lay low. It's a great way to get a photo without distracting your subjects. and finally, when you are taking pictures of kids or pets or sports or something like maybe people jumping and you're trying to catch a very specific frame, you may have noticed that it's kind of hard if you're just tapping the shutter button over and over or tapping the volume button over and over. So if you want to take continuous shots, then you can just hold down that shutter button. And for as long as you hold it, it will just rapid fire, take a bunch of pictures and then you'll be able to choose just the right one to get the moment that you were looking for. 18. Control: Bottom Line: So when it comes to all of these control settings and options and all of these types of things, the main thing is to experiment and find what works best for you. So I've given you some of my preferences and told you how I like to do things. But you may find that you have a totally different tastes or you prefer things a very different way, and that is totally cool. The only way you're going to know for sure is if you play around and don't be afraid to try different settings and see which you like best. Don't go away because in the next section we are going to talk about editing. 19. Editing: So now that you know how to capture a great photo, let's talk about how you edit it. First things first. It's important to remember that you always want to start with a good, clean image. All the editing in the world is not going to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse as they say garbage in garbage out. So if you want to get great results, you need to start by capturing a great image. And all of the things that we've talked about thus far should help you in that department. Next, I want to talk a little bit about quality and quantity. So when it comes editing our photos, I don't just mean tweak and color or zapping. Is it or cropping or any of those types of things? But I'm also talking about editing, as in getting rid of photos that you don't need or want. So when you're deciding which images to keep, or which images to post and share or add to an album or add to instagram or any of that, generally speaking, less is more so. If you think about streams that you see like your friends post on Facebook, and maybe their kid had a birthday party over the weekend. But instead of just posting like maybe 3 to 5 truly great shots that tell the story of the day, they post like 35 photos of the kid blowing out the cake, and most of them end up being throwaway shots. So it's pretty easy to look through and decide which is the creme de la creme, and that is what you want to focus your attention on. That is what you want. Teoh. Pay for storage because remember all of these images that you keep that you take and don't elite. You have to pay for them in one way or another, whether that's hard, dry space or cloud space or space on your phone. So I'm going to talk to you a little bit about how we clean up our camera roll and get rid of some of that stuff. And finally, when it comes to APS, you've seen that so far, we've been talking about and messing around with the native camera app, and that is still what I use for capturing all my photos. There are a lot of acts that you can download that have built in cameras and they may be great. Maybe you have some that you like, but personally, I like just using my native camera app for a lot of reasons, but honestly, mainly because it integrates so well with everything else. And also that's what's available to me from my lock screen. When I swipe or press and hold the little camera icon in the bottom corner, that's what's available and what is easy to access the most. So I do all my shooting with my native camera app, and then the app that I use for my editing is called Snap Seed. Snap seed is made by the people at Google, and it's free, so there are links included here so that you can download it and give it a whirl yourself. So in the section on editing, here are things we're going to cover, picking your favorites and kind of the workflow of how you move an image from just having been taken through the editing process and output, and we're gonna talk about basic edits. So cleaning up things like contrast and color and brightness, those types of cropping things like that. I mean, a demonstrate for you some basic simple retouching that probably gonna blow your mind cause it's pretty simple and totally amazing on Lastly, I'll show you some examples of some creative edits. All right, here in snap, see? 20. Editing: Picking Favorites: So the first thing I want to talk to you a little bit about is your camera roll and how it's organized, how you confined things and how you can pick your favorites for editing. So if we take a look here in the camera roll, we'll see that I'm currently viewing albums. So down here at the bottom, we see that you can views view albums or just like straight up photos. So right now in viewing albums, and this is great because the albums are already sorted into different categories like there's just all photos. There are some favorites, and then you can see I've created different albums for different things, including some organized images specifically that I can show you in this course. But what's cool is the favorite album is already there by default. So what I tend to do is after I take a bunch of pictures, either right then if I'm gonna edit something quickly or usually at night when I'm laying in bed and I should be sleeping, that's when I'll squirrel through my camera roll and I'll just pick whatever favorites. So, for example, here are some pictures of me and my son in front of our house. And most of them are not great. I really like the food, though. So what I would dio is tap the little heart at the bottom to mark that as a favorite and I can just swipe through. Let's see, Maybe I like this one. So I picked to from here, maybe one more, This one. Okay, so I picked three favorites. Now what does that mean? Where have they gone? So if I back out of there and go back to favorites here, you can see I haven't, um, collection of every image that I've ever tapped as a favorite. So by simply tapping that little heart, you're marking it as a favorite and then it will show up in the favorites album. That doesn't mean it's moved out of your regular album of just all your photos. It just means that it will also appear in your favorites album, your favorites folder, which is great because it makes it easy to find it. When you're looking toe open, an image to edit and snap See? So let's go back for a moment to our camera roll, and I want to show you what I like to do when I'm trying to de clutter my phone and get rid of all the less than great images that are nowhere near favorites. So I'm gonna go back to out of favorites. I'll just go back. Teoh my albums. Okay, so I've marked three images as favorites. So what do I do if I want to delete everything else that's not a favorite from this screen you're going to tap, select in the top right corner, and then you can actually just tap and drag your finger over images over the whole rose, and it will mark them as being selected Now that they're selected, all I have to do to get rid of them is tapped the little trash can in the bottom right corner. So generally my workflow is I take some photos, I mark the ones that are my favorites. And then at some point when I have a moment or two, um, like a said lead at night, I'll go through and just swipe or drag through the ones that are not marked as favorites. And then I delete them. They'll actually move to a deleted album. The good news is that once you delete them, they go into sort of that holding trash can and they get deleted after 30 days. So if you make a mistake, you can always recover anything that you need, Teoh from that recently deleted folder. 21. Editing: Basics: So now that we know how we pick our favorite, let's talk about how we edit them. So I'm gonna open up the snap seed app and I can tap anywhere to open a photo. And what's nice is because we've already marked our favorites. I don't have to scroll through a big old camera roll. I can just go to my favorites folder. So here, where it says open from device and then attack and let's see, Let's edit this image here so I'll tap to select it and it'll pop up. So the way that this works is down at the bottom. We have looks, tools, and then we have export. So I usually start with tools. So I'm gonna tap tools, and that brings up all these different to off. So usually the first place that I start is with tune image up here in the top left. So I'm gonna tap that. And an image tuneup involved things like brightness, contrast, a little bit of color, temperature, things like that. So as I put my thumb on the image and I swipe up or down, I get the menu of things that I can control from here in the tuneup, So brightness, contrast, saturation, ambience highlights shadows and warmth. So I think this image could use some more brightness. So I'll drag till I get to brightness, and then I'll release on. Then I actually just adjust the brightness by now swiping left or right. So if I swipe left, it gets darker. And if I swipe right, it gets brighter. That actually looks really great. So if I want to adjust a different component of the tune up, then I can swipe again, up or down, to maybe contrast. Maybe I want to give it a little bit of a boost, so I'll drag to the right swipe up again. Ambience can pop some ambiance light in there, so I think that looks pretty good. We can check our work by coming up here in the upper right corner, and there's a little icon here kind of like a before and after. And when I top on that, you can see it toggles from what we started with Teoh what we ended up with so we can make sure that we're not over doing it, which, if I have to be honest when you are first learning how to edit photos and myself included. I know that I totally overdid a lot, so it's important to check yourself and make sure you didn't go overboard. Then when we're happy with that, we can go ahead and tap the check mark to commit. So that looks really great. And I would consider this image done and ready for export. So down there in the bottom, right corner is the export button. So you tap and then you can share it. You can open it in another app. You have three different options than for saving it. If you save with changes that can be undone in I O s. You can always until edit it. But personally, what I like to do is I don't want to maintain, like, bloated files of with all of my edits. So I have my original. I do my editing and then I export Ah, whole new separate edited file. And that way I keep my original have my edited one, and I don't have to worry about trying to get back to the original by undoing anything so personally, I choose the bottom option which is export. So it creates a copy with permanent changes. So I'm gonna click that, and it applies all of those things. So then if I go back to my photos, I'll find that exported image just right there in my camera roll next to all my other pictures. In the next video, I'm going to show you how to do some basic retouching. 22. Editing: Retouching: So in this video, I'm going to show you how to do some really simple, basic, everyday kind of retouching. I'm not talking about supermodel magazine cover airbrushing. I'm talking about just normal everyday stuff that cleans up your image. So we're gonna be working on this image here. This is a photo of my nephew wearing a costume that I made him for his birthday. And if I'd had a split second more time, I would have moved him or moved myself so that he was blocking those outlets. But they are the perfect subject for some retouching. So before we dig into that, we're going to take care of a couple other issues. For example, we can see down in the bottom of the frame that the floorboard is creeping into the bottom right section. So what, We're gonna tweak that, too? And we're going to start by clicking tools. I'm actually gonna to rotate. So when I click the rotate button, I can just tap on the screen and then drag so I can just spin it. I'm basically dragging left or right to spin the image on. I don't need to spend it a lot. I just wanna straighten it out so that that Linus straight and conveniently, it also ducks out of frame. So when I'm happy with that, I'll press the check mark, and now we have a nice clean edge around the bottom. Now we're ready to attack those wall outlets so we'll go back to tools, and this time we will tap healing. Now, the way that this works is your finger basically becomes the brush. So our fingers kind of big and the way that we control the size of our brush in the image is we zoom in or zoom out. So if we zoom in on the image, then I'll be editing a smaller area with my finger. So these outlets are not big. They're not super small, but the outlet that's closest to his pants, for example. I want to make sure that I'm not accidentally editing the edge of his pants because that's going to create a problem. So I'm gonna take my two fingers and, you know, pinch zoom to scroll air, zoom in here on this outlet, and then while I'm zoomed in, we can move around the image by dragging this blue rectangle so that's like a navigation window. So I'm just going to navigate so that this outlet is in my view, and then I'm just gonna take my finger and just basically paint over it. And when I let go, it's gone. Isn't that amazing? Now I'm going to grab that little Navigator blue rectangle and move over here to this other outlet that is closer to his body, and I'll do the same thing. Just make sure it's all painted and it's gone. I can tap the check mark to get out of there, so I think this image looks pretty great. We could do a quick tune up, going back to tools tune Image may be breaking it up just a little and hit that check mark , and this image is ready to export. 23. Editing: Creative Black & White: Let's take a look at some creative edits, for example, converting to black and white. So here we have an image of a public art installation in downtown Chicago, and I think this image would be really great as a black and white. So I'm going to tap tools, and if we scroll down a bit, we'll see that there is an option here for black and wait. Once we're in this space, we have several different sort of black and white presets that we can apply. So right now I've got it set too bright. But we could also pick neutral contrast, etcetera, so you can scroll through, see what you like. And then, just as we did when we were doing our image tuneup, weaken squirrel up or down to choose different things that we can also manipulate. So maybe I like the setting, but I want it brighter or darker. I can play with that also down here we have this option, which allows us to add a color filter. So if you're familiar with film photography, you could affect the different types of black and white conversions that you would get in film by putting different colored filters over the lens on your camera so we can do the same thing here and snap. See Paul digitally. So, for example, like a type read that creates a different look like a top orange yellow green, etcetera. So I'm thinking, kind of like maybe the orange one the best, so I'll tap on that. So these three settings at the bottom lettuce control the color filter here or back to the settings for brightness, contrast and green, or this little one over here brings us back to these little preset recipes. And again, when we're happy with it, we can hit that check mark and be ready to export. Well, I can't show you every nuance of snap seed. I just wanted to introduce you to some of the basics for that everyday image, tune up some really simple everyday retouching and then a more creative at it, like applying a black and white. So I would highly encourage you to poke around inside snap seed and try out all the different settings and tools and things that they have available to you because it's incredibly powerful. It's free, and I feel like the interface is really intuitive and nice toe work in 24. Editing: Exporting: in case you missed it earlier. Obviously, it's important to know how to save your image. So after you're done making all your edits, you just go ahead and top the export option in the bottom right, and then you can choose to share it. You can open it in another app, or there's three different options for saving it. You can save it in a format that allows you to go back and unedited or re edit it later. Or you can save it as a copy with changes made. But still you have the ability to undo them. Or my personal preference is I just like to export a copy and be done with it. So when I'm done, I like to have my unedited original and my fully exported no extra baggage file that's ready to post or share or put to work in another capacity so you would just tap export and then that's it. The photo will be saved in your camera roll right alongside all your other images 25. Output: photo output. It's so important these days, especially when we're so digital. What are we gonna have to show for the life that we've lived in? All these photos were taken except a bunch of hard drive in our closet unless we make an effort to print some things. So here are my recommendations for printing for photo prints. I like to use em picks dot com and what's great about em picks is that they are a professional lab that you don't have to be a professional to use. So I'm not talking about Walgreens or WalMart or, uh, Shutterfly or any of those kinds of places. I'm talking about a pro lab, but the cool thing is, the prices are pretty on par with what you would be used Teoh at a place like WalMart or Walgreens, except that the quality is night and day different so you can upload photos to their website from M picks dot com, or you can download their app and then you can actually just send photos straight from your phone. And one of the things that I would recommend is if you really want to try to just make sure that some of your prints are your images are living on is maybe, you know, once a week, maybe Sunday night when you're laying in bed, scroll through and pick 10 favorites or 20 favorites there, five or however many, and send them to be Maeda's prince. You can also order books and albums from them, too, so definitely check them out and download the app and see if they have something that can help you tackle the issue of longevity when it comes to photos. 26. Output: Automating Photobooks: one of my favorite features for ensuring this longevity because its automated is chat books . So these are examples of different chat books that I have, And what's cool about chat books is that it is a subscription service, but you only pay per completed book, so I have my TAP book set up to connect to my instagram. So every time that I post another 60 images on Instagram, those images get printed and bound into a little book like this. And what's cool is it includes the caption with it. So if I show you this here it has the image. It has the date, and it has the caption, which is basically a scrapbook that I didn't have to think about at all. So they come in different formats, different sizes. There's a soft cover, a smaller soft cover book. And then there's larger soft covers. And, of course, they also have hardcover options. So chat books is an app that you just download. Put it on your phone. They have a lot of different options. You don't have to subscribe. You can just order books. But personally, I love connecting it to my instagram and then I just know that everything I posted Instagram is gonna end up printed and bound with the caption here in this book, and I actually have a huge collection of chat bugs. I'm gonna actually need to figure out a new shelf or something, because I've been subscribing to them since, I think 2014. So it's been a number of years, and that has led Teoh a number of books, and it's essentially become my son's baby book. So I really recommend that service. And what's cool, too, if you can also set it up with hashtags. So like certain images get in or don't get in. And before every book goes to Prince, you get a notice so you can change the cover image or delete photos from it. Or, you know, there's a lot of different options. And if you use this code, you can actually get your first book for free, or at least up to $10 in value. So I think it's totally worth a try. And for someone like me who does not scrapbook and I dont journal and all of those things Instagram is my journal, then this is how my Journal becomes old school and printed another thing. That's kind of fun. I've only used it a couple times, but there's this app called ink cards and sometimes you know when we're thinking of people and we used to maybe send them a postcard or write them a letter, and now you can actually use this app or there's other acts like it, too, I'm sure, but you can use it to take one. Your photos have it made into a postcard. You can add a message and they'll actually print it and send it for you. So it's kind of a fun way to let somebody know that you're thinking of them. And, um, the few times that I have used it, it has been very well received. 27. Output: Backing Up: Another really important thing is backing up our photos. We have photos on hard drives on cell phones on memory cards, just kind of everywhere. So how do we manage all of that? You want to have a backup system that is automated? OK, there is no system that's gonna work if you have to manually do something to it. So here are some ideas for some APS and services that you can use to back up your photos. So obviously there's iCloud as a as an iPhone person, you can purchase space on iCloud and have all of your image is backed up there. Another option is Amazon Prime photos. If you are an Amazon prime member, you already have unlimited photo storage with Amazon, So download their Amazon photos app and start backing up your camera roll. Another option, of course, is Google photos. That is my current choice, and what I like about it is that it just runs automatically and it just backs up all my stuff. I don't have to think about it. I don't have to do anything, is just there. So that works really well for me. You might want to give it a try and left, but not leaves, of course, is Dropbox, and I'm a huge Dropbox fan. I use it for a lot of things, like every day, but for some reason, I just don't back my photos up to it because I don't know. I like having just Google, like, dedicated for photos and drop back have all my other digital life. So take your pick, but the therefore different options that are worth looking into. The main thing is you want to make it automatic, and so you don't have to lift a finger. And you just know you can sleep well knowing that those photos are backed up. 28. Bonus 01: Inspiration: Hey, it's bonus time. Let's talk about Flatley's So what really is a flatly? Essentially, it's when you lay stuff out flat on a flat surface and you take a picture of it from up above. So if you're on instagram, you know what I'm talking about. Here's some examples that I have shot using really simple things from around my house, so I'm going to show you what those things are and a little bit about how it works. But first, let's take a look at some examples. Here is a photo of some Cochet pieces that I made again is a gift. This image was actually shot on a gravel parking lot. This was captured just on a white foam core in open shade. And that's it. Pretty simple. Pretty simple stuff. Here's another example Now this image was captured on just some pink scrapbook paper, and you can see that there's a lot of pretty papers in here. So what's cool about these flat lays is that you don't need a lot of space usually if you're photographing tiny things. So I just used one of these papers as the backdrop and, you know, if you buy this book with a coupon at Michael's. You've got tons of different colors at your disposal, and you can create tons of cool effects and backgrounds, and it's all without breaking the bank. Here we are again on some white foam core. Here's a gray foam court, so I'll show you the phone court in a little bit. But the piece of foam core that I use most of time is double cited. So on one side it's white. And on the other side it's this nice gray color, which gives me a lot of flexibility for when I'm shooting my images. So this image is just a picture of another craft piece that I made for my husband for Father's Day, and I literally just took some of my son's toys from around the house and styled them around the frame and moved everything next to the window, and that's it. It's like super super easy, and it looks great experimenting with composition like we talked about and props to add life to your Flatley's can be really fun. Here's an example of some cup cozies, but I Chris Shade for a class I was teaching on Curuchet and I actually designed that little insert because I needed something to put it on That would look great and would be another fund download for people who take the class. And it just It looked really great on camera, and it made for a simple flat late without any additional props. Another thing that I like to dio is use that gray foam court. But maybe sometimes, instead of shooting straight down on it, you can actually stand it up. So in this photo, the phone core is actually vertical, and I use a simple wooden push stacker thumbtack that I just pressed into the phone core. And then I hung this little wall hanging piece that I made on the attack, and it looks great and it looks like it's on a wall. I love gray walls, but I don't have any in my house. And I don't have any white walls, either. All of our walls are very colorful, but not necessarily colors that I want for a sort of product image like this. So again, that's where that double sided foam core comes in really handy. Here's another example again, shot on white foam core again. It's all about composition. It's look released nicely styled here because I combined it with some Gord and the baths and things, so it just makes a nice shot. Here's the bats again, with some pine cones stocking again. Just white foam core. There's the gray foam core again. White foam core. Now this one. I actually did add some doodly Bob's in photo shop, so that part was not included. But you could take a piece of white foam core and then doodle on it, and you'd have the same effect. Here are some pictures of some hats, and each Islay actually made one of each hat in each color on. Then I photographed the hats and I built them into this triangle shape in photo shop. But the images were all just captured on white foam core next to a window just on the floor , while I just stood over it and shot down again. Flatley's don't necessarily have to be flat. You can also use those same materials like a white foam core again, vertically. So here is a vertical shot on, and I'm showcasing some bags. So I'm using the white foam core like a wall because Like I said, I don't have a white wall. So here we have another image that I shot with my cell phone just in a well lit area, and it looks like a big fancy studio shot or something. But all it really is is another piece of paper, and it's sweat like this, so you can see that. So instead of laying, laying it flat like this and shooting from up above, I taped piece a part of it to the wall or a chair or whatever aunt, I taped this part to the floor. You can put your subject right there, and it creates, like, kind of a studio backdrop effect. Now the subject was very small, so if you have a bigger subject than you might need a bigger piece of paper, you can also use wrapping paper. Just make sure it's not shiny, cause nobody wants that in their image. That will be a nightmare 29. Bonus 02: Materials: Okay, So when it comes to flat lay materials, number one recommendation is a piece of foam core so becoming different sizes. Um, I have some links to different ones like that have bought on Amazon that are pretty huge. And then this one I just bought at my local craft store. And what's great about this fund is it's white on one side and gray on the other. If I can get different looks with just one simple tools. So if I could only choose to materials for this, you like how to shoot Flatley's with only two things, it would be that piece of foam core and then this old school science fair trifles. So you know what I'm talking about. You can get this at your grocery store for the dollar store or whatever, but it's like what you made a science fair project on when you were a kid. So what you do is you set up your phone cord just flat on the ground and you bring it like , next to a window, okay? And then you put all your stuff on it and you open this up and you stand it on the ground opposite your light source, and what it's going to dio is it essentially acts as a reflector, and because of the tri fold, you don't have to hold it up. It will hold itself up. It will stand on its own, and you can just move it around to fill in the shadows wherever they might be. We also talked about this Martha Stewart scrapbook with all the paper great by get a coupon , and it's a great deal at your crest or so How does the set up where? Well, essentially, you find good light source like a window. So let's pretend the window is over here. So the lights coming in this way you put your phone core or your white background, or whatever you have that you want to shoot on your color. Full construction paper, and you put that down on the floor next to the window and you decide where you want to shoot from. But you take your reflector that three piece trifled, and you set it up opposite your light source, and you could move it a little if you need to. But you're basically using the reflector to bounce the light. Coming in from the windows going like this, and you're using the reflector to bounce some of that light back to even the light out across your flatly. And from there, it's really just about incorporating fund props and making a pretty little scene. Get creative, raid your junk drawers in your kitchen or look around and see what your kids have in their toy box. There's a lot of fun things he confined right around your house to create some really great images on a budget. 30. Bonus 03: Live Demo: Now that you know the materials that make it easy to get a great flatly. I just wanted to show you the set up of how easy a tive and literally where I shoot most of my flatly. So we're just in the living room. I've put the white foam core here. I've got a piece of the Martha Stewart scrap of paper, and as you can see, we are just alongside the window. So right now it's in the morning and this is a shaded area. So this is just the ambient shade light coming in. It's not direct sun, so you could do the same thing outside. You have a covered porch, or you could go out under a tree, any sort of open shade situation. And I just rated the my craft room downstairs, and I picked up a few random things, like a paintbrush and some watercolors, and I just made a little scene here so we could pretend like we're shooting an image for a block header or a website or a postcard or any type of thing like that. So I've got my my season set up here, and before I shoot, I want to make sure that I've turned off all the ambient lights in the room. So we have a couple of lamps that are just kind of on most of the time, and I've actually shut them all off because they will mess with the color balance. So the lamp that most of us have in our home tend to have a yellow glow and the light that coming in from the window out here is more blue. So we don't want to mix those two lights because you'll never get ah, clean, balanced image that way except kill the lamps, just the sunlight here. And I've got my scene set up. And then right here is that science trifle that I showed you earlier, and I'm just going to stand it up. This is where it gets a little crowded. I'm gonna stand it up and just bring it right in close. So this is especially important if you are photographing something that has a little more dimension to it because with light coming from the side like this, there is going to be some shadow areas opposite that light. So this is literally bouncing the light just back in to fill in. You're seen. Then you just take your phone. And I would just put this over here in place where I think looks pretty good, can shoot a test shot. And then, you know, if I want to adjust the exposure just like we learned, I would touch and lock the focus and the exposure, and I could brighten or darken it. If I need Teoh, you'll notice I'm not even using a dry bod. There we go. Maybe get a little closer. So if you want to use a tripod, that's really great. Honestly, um, I just don't have one that works well for this type of set up. So most the time. I'm just hand holding, and that keeps it really simple and inexpensive, so you can totally do this. 31. Bonus 04: Flatlay Edit: I thought we just take a quick moment to walk through the edits on the flat lay image that we just created, so you can get an idea of a real world before and after. So I've got the image here in snap seed on. I'll just go to tools tune, Image and light. Usual. Do a bit of a brightness tweak. Maybe some contrast little saturation Scroll down and let's see if we add some warmth or dial it back. Yeah, I think maybe we'll add some warmth. Maybe between like 15 and 20. That looks pretty good, nice and bright. I think you get the idea. You just kind of play with that tell you feel like you've got the kind of image that you're looking for will commit that. One other thing I do like to do is add a little bit of detail sharpening. So I'm gonna go back to tools and top details, and you'll notice that here you can adjust structure or sharpening. So I'm gonna take each of those and bump them up somewhere between maybe 10 and 20. So here's the structure and the sharpening that looks really great. Now we'll export it. And you can see the quick before and after. And you already know how easy it was to shoot. And now I've shown you how easy it is to edit. 32. You Did It!: congratulations on making it to the end of this course. You've learned how the choices you make can influence your photos even before you click the shutter. How to control and manipulate the iPhone camera as well as the settings themselves to help you get the shot. You want my favorite tools for editing and fine tuning photos and some of my favorite ways to bring images into the analog world and to deal with the digital avalanche that we all face. I hope you learned a ton and that most of all you had fun and feel inspired. Don't be shy about finding me on social media and sharing your work before you go. Please take a quick second to share your feedback on this course. Let me know what you loved or what you didn't. How it could be better and what other courses you'd like to see from me. Thanks again for showing up and happy photo making