Instagram-Worthy Photography: Shoot, Edit & Share with Brandon Woelfel | Brandon Woelfel | Skillshare

Instagram-Worthy Photography: Shoot, Edit & Share with Brandon Woelfel

Brandon Woelfel, Photographer

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15 Lessons (1h 9m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:24
    • 2. Unlocking Your Creativity

      2:34
    • 3. Planning Your Shoot

      2:26
    • 4. Equipment and Settings

      4:37
    • 5. Shooting at Golden Hour

      9:46
    • 6. Shooting at Night

      5:11
    • 7. Making Selects

      5:32
    • 8. Editing in Camera Raw

      6:26
    • 9. Retouching in Photoshop

      6:33
    • 10. Finishing Touches

      4:38
    • 11. Editing Nighttime Photos

      13:47
    • 12. Exporting to Share

      1:30
    • 13. Sharing on Instagram

      3:05
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      0:40
    • 15. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare

      0:36
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About This Class

Want to create magical, shareable photos? Join Instagram and YouTube star Brandon Woelfel for an exclusive look into the shooting and editing secrets behind his signature style!

From first inspiration to final polish, go behind the scenes as Brandon shares his full process for capturing one-of-a-kind portraits and action shots. You’ll hit the streets for a photoshoot, and then head back to the studio to make selects, edit daytime and nighttime shots, and prepare a post for Instagram. Every step is packed with helpful tips and unexpected hacks developed over Brandon’s journey from teaching himself photography in his childhood bedroom to inspiring over three million followers on Instagram!

Through in-depth lessons on location and in the studio, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Dream up creative concepts that take advantage of your surroundings
  • Shoot intuitively, chasing light and incorporating props for extraordinary results
  • Combine Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop to tease out vibrant colors
  • Build your following by sharing photos and captions that tell a story 

This 70-minute class breaks down Brandon’s step-by-step approach, while also sharing photography and Photoshop techniques you’ll return to again and again. 

Whether you’re a first-time photographer with an iPhone or an experienced DSLR shooter looking to add a unique style to your portfolio, Brandon’s approach will open the door to a whole new world of creation. Follow along and in just an hour you’ll unlock your imagination, expand your skillset and learn how to make magic in every image!

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: What I really love about photography is being able to just create with friends. It's really fun to just come up with a concept and see it from start to finish. Hey, what's up? My name is Brandon Woelfel. I'm a freelance portrait photographer based out of New York. In my photos, I like to play a lot with editing to create a magical, whimsical final effect. I'm super excited for today's class to share exactly how I go about my process. I've never done something so in depth before. Go. Nice. So why I love showing my work across social media is just the impact it can create on someone. When I was first starting out, I didn't have a ton of different connections whether that be places to shoot or people to shoot. So I would shoot a lot in my room or my backyard and use my friends as models, and I still do that to this day but I kind of put a little twist on it, little things I've learned. So in today's class we'll be going over how I prepare for a shoot, the actual shooting portion, and then coming back and editing those photos and showing those in social media. You can totally follow along by grabbing your own camera and that could be even in just your iPhone or anything you have that takes picture. What I hope you take away from this class is just never be discouraged. Whether that be the gear you're using or the circumstances you're under, just get out there and go create. 2. Unlocking Your Creativity: In today's class we will be covering all the basics and how I lock my own creativity in what you see throughout my work. I got my start in the art world when I was younger. I was always into the drawing and painting aspect but never touched photography until I was a little bit older. I did decide to pursue art in college. I went to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for computer art. While in school, I was learning more 2D, 3D animation along the lines of design and more based around drawing. So when I did decide to pick up photography it felt more like a hobby instead of something I had to turn in for class. As I was starting out as a freelance photographer, Instagram definitely helped with getting connections and showing my work to a larger audience but also growing my work because it was something I was really consistent with. Getting feedback from people that followed and then also connecting with people that I met through the Internet. While having a background in computer art, I feel like today especially you can see it throughout my work. I like to view an image as a painting and starting from scratch, really diving into those editing techniques and pulling everything we can out of just a one single image. A lot of the principles we'll be covering in today's class you can apply whether you have a DSLR camera or just your iPhone. So we'll be starting off with preparing for a shoot and what gear I like to bring along with me. We'll be communicating with a model, talking about the outfits, and how we plan the actual shoot. On-location, we'll be choosing the light and incorporate some of those props for nighttime and we will be coming back to the studio to make some selects and edit the photos. Then we'll prepare the images to be shared to social media because that is something that is super big influence in my work and I will give you some tips and tricks on how I go about that. I would totally recommend this class to anyone that is starting out. But also anyone that kind of wants to up their game on the technical side of things or also just getting out there and being as creative as possible. I totally hope you follow along in today's little photography journey and apply these into your own photo and editing skills. If you do, make sure to share them in the project gallery so I can take a look. I'm super excited that you decided to join along with me today. So in the next lesson, we will be covering how I prepare for a shoot and go over the exact equipment I like to bring. 3. Planning Your Shoot: In preparation for shooting, of course you need to come up with some kind of concepts and a lot of factors that come into play whether that be the location model or the outfits. That's why I like to be flexible with the concept and work with what I run into. For today issue we'll be shooting around Brooklyn, New York and I've actually shot around here a bunch of times, but what's fun is that the images always look different in the end. I'm always taking a different route whether that be a different turn or maybe the line is a little bit different. So for this shoot specifically, we'll be starting around 6:00 PM, and for me that's a good time of day to start because we get some of that golden hour, and while the sun sets around 8:30 we can go into that blue hour time of day and then of course nighttime. Another thing that comes into planning, of course when I'm shooting something at night is the props I bring along. So normally, I'll just bring a bag with me and pull out whatever props I feel necessary, but it also helps to use whatever you see in your surroundings whether that be a car's light, or some lighting fixture or neon sign. The options are endless. Leading up to a shoot, I like to be a super collaborative with the model I'm shooting. So we'll plan out the time of day, location that both works for us, but we'll also go into outfits and the look we want for the shoot. A lot of the people you see throughout my images are just friends. But I also connect with a lot of people across social media. So in today's shoot, we'll be shooting with my friend, Isabella, who's actually a ballet dancer. So it makes for some crazy images. With Isabella, we texts back and forth about the outfit. So she'll send me a bunch of different options and I'll go along and have my favorites, and that's really it, it's super easy but we do like to change a lot of times throughout the shoot, so it makes it look like we have more variety and shot more than we did because who doesn't like that? I typically go for an outfit that contrasts and will work well with the lighting that will come into play. So for a darker lit image we have an outfit that really pops, that you can see the modeling. Also choosing patterns that won't be too busy and distract from the overall image helps a lot. So if you are planning your own shoot, I totally recommend grabbing whatever camera you have, a friend, and heading outside when the light is right, and just getting creative. 4. Equipment and Settings: Because we will be walking around from location to location, I do like to keep my camera bag pretty light but I definitely do need to bring the necessities. So let's start going over what gear I bring with me on my shoots. So first is the camera itself. So with me today I have my Nikon Z7. We have the adapter because this is a mirror-less camera and then my 35-millimeter F/1.4. The 35-millimeter is perfect for an up close portrait. But today we will be taking some more fuller body shots of Isabella. So we're going to aim for some more telephoto lenses I have with me today. We have my 58-millimeter F/1.4. So this is just a little bit of a closer lens also perfect for portraits. Moving on, we have my 85-millimeter F/1.4 getting a little closer, and then my closest lens being the 105-millimeter F/1.4. For me personally, I love investing in lenses other than camera bodies itself because they offer so much of a different look and feel. The 35 and the 50-millimeter honestly are just a personal preference for me and the focal length makes for great portraits. Next thing in my camera bag we have just these two cases, one holds only memory cards and another is just a backup for batteries. I like to bring it in this little Vlog camera with me on some sheets just to record some behind the scenes. This is the Lumix LX10. So if you do have an extra thing you want to bring along, recording behind the scenes is definitely worth it. That way when you share these images across social media people can see how it was made. I also like to bring these props with me because they're super easy to carry but they can also do crazy stuff with light while holding them in front of your lens. Both of these can manipulate the lighting in frame and create some nice reflections and rainbows. For me incorporating a new prop into my images allows me to get some variety in there and even using things you have around your house just like a plane old CD can change the image and make it that much more interesting. Because a lot of my shoots are on the go, I do like to pack light. So some things I don't normally bring with me are tripods, flashes, or anything that can weigh me down. If I am taking an image that needs a tripod like a long exposure, that's something I'll do in my room or something that's a little bit closer to home. When shooting night-time images, I'm not always near some source of light so I like to bring my own. First thing I'd like to bring with me on my night-time shoots is this LED Video Light. It's perfect for having a foreground or background light to use with a subject and it also doesn't need to be in a frame all the time. You can link it onto your camera. Next prop is super similar to what we just saw and said, it's a Light Stick. So it does the same thing. It has an RGB function and it's super nice for lighting someone. I would use this to light a model from behind camera when there's nothing around us to do that. So this can definitely come in handy. Last thing we have is this Light Up Moon which is perfect for more conceptual photos at night because of how it actually looks like a moon. So this is super fun. I've also noticed when working with a model that doesn't have a ton of experience, giving them a prop to use in image feels supernatural for them so they can hold it closer to them or even out above and that will nicely light their face. Today we'll be shooting in manual settings and then our image size will be setting to JPEG and RAW. I do like having both as a backup and JPEG allows me to preview an image before we actually go into the edit. A RAW file has an unprocessed image you get from your camera so it's a larger image and therefore easier for us to apply our final edit on. As for settings, I do like to keep my ISO as low as possible. But of course, when movement is coming into play as well as night-time I like to have my shutter to keep up with that. So if I do have to move my ISO up for that, we can take the green back down when we're editing later on and post. I like to keep my aperture around 1.4 to allow that depth of field to come into play. I like a nice, creamy, blurry background behind a model and an aperture of 1.4 allows us to do that. So I'll be sharing my settings with each image I capture on today's shoot. If you'd like a little more in-depth look on camera basics, feel free to check the in-class resources. So now that we've covered all of the camera gear and the props I bring along with me, let's get to the location and start shooting. 5. Shooting at Golden Hour: So we made it on location. We're here in Brooklyn, New York. It's about 06:00 PM. So the light is getting really golden-y and nice. We're about to wander the streets around here and find some nice streets to shoot on. But before that, let's intro our model. So this is our model for today, come on over here. Hey everyone. This is Isabella. We're both based out of New York so we shoot a lot around here. We know the area. But we're going to look through the outfits she brought today and figure out what looks we're going to go for. I brought a few looks that I think you would like. All right. Let's see what you got. Let's go through this. I think if we're going to shoot in day time right now, we should save the lighter clothes for like maybe night times stuff. Do anything a bit darker. I have this. Yes. I like this black and red look, so maybe let's go for that. Totally. I can start on this one. Okay, sweet. Sounds good. Then, you'll throw on your pointed shoes of course. Yeah. Sweet. So we made it to the first location I had in mind. I actually walked past here when I was meeting Isabella. I like this because of the two sides of the trees intertwining. It can make for a really nice perspective shot. I have my Nikon Z7 with me, but we're going to switch to my 85 to make it a little bit more telephoto especially because we were shooting Isabella full body. Something I like to do before shooting the model in place is just getting my settings correctly. So I'll probably just stand right here and see what we're working with. I always have settings from the shoot before hand. So let's just take a test shot right now. So right now, I have my shutter to 1/1000th and then my ISO, I'm going to boost up to just 160. We're setting our shutter a little bit higher because of the motion we're about to shoot. Then, I'm just going to go in and change my white balance to whatever looks the best to me personally. So we're going to move from auto to cloudy just so it gives a little bit of a nice glow. I think that looks pretty accurate to real life. So right now, it's a nice soft light or getting back here, and that way it won't distract too much from the model because of Isabella's posing. It's a little bit more complex than we're used to. So we can have the background just be a nice little painting behind us. Let's do a jump. Can we do a jump? So I'm going to go to continuous shutter just so I can click as fast as possible and get the movement at the right time. All right. Let's try this out. First test shot. Let's go for it. Go. Nice. I have this CD I just bring as a prop. It's super easy to throw in my bag. It creates a lens rainbow refraction right in front of your lens. So you don't have to do anything in post. I just experimented with how close or far I'm holding it from my lens and that way it'll give you a different type of look whichever way you're holding it. What's nice also about using the CD is once you get a shot that looks like you have the rainbow in-frame. In the edit, duplicate that and post it to a photo that actually didn't have the rainbow and then it looks like you did it, but you actually didn't in person. Go for it. Nice. Go. Nice. Got it. I move really fast when I'm shooting especially when I'm shooting with a high continuous shutter. I think I got what I needed at this spot. So we're going to keep moving. As we were walking around trying to find some nice light with this golden era happening behind us, we found the nice back lighting through these trees right here. So I'm going to have Isabella stand right in front of that and do like a nice slow hair flip and keep my settings around how they were. We need to capture that motion pretty still. So we have our shutter at one and 640th and then our ISO is at 250 because we want to keep that low. But it's not that hard with the nice light we have right now to keep that ISO as low as possible. For this shot, we're not going to do for body just because there's a lot of people coming in and out. So we're going to shoot waist up and I'm going to have her focused before she goes into the motion, just to make sure I know where she's about to land, that hair flip. Come up just real quick to focus, and then you're good to go whenever. The light right now is a really harsh behind you. So you're like silhouetted, but it looks nice. Come a little closer if you can. More like right here. Yeah. Go for it. Nice. That's pretty. We got it. I also quickly just switched my 85 to my 35 just because we're getting a little bit closer in on her, but I also wanted to capture some of those sun rays we're about to see with the back light coming through. So the 35 will be perfect for that. Okay. Let's actually move down just a bit because of this trash. So we saw some golden hour happening. We walked a block down to this little railing. We're going to have Isabella use this to her advantage with posing. That's something I like to look for a lot when I'm shooting with someone especially when they're a dancer. So we're going to get again some nice back light shots, but instead more full body because we got a waist up shot. Because she's just doing one single motion, I'm just going to do single shutter so I don't get too many photos. Just a few. Shake your hair a little bit if you can in that pose. Just like wave it. For one final shot at this location, I'm just switching my lens from my 35 to my 58 1.4. Just because they think that this shot I'm getting will look a little bit better with the background slightly more blurred and since the 58 is a closer prime, it'll give us that effect. So let's go for it. Same thing, before the light is completely gone. Nice. Perfect. So as we're making our way down to the skyline where the golden era is happening, I stumbled upon this little pathway. This is something I really like because it doesn't look like New York. So it adds some variety in the shots were getting. So we're going to have Isabella right in the middle of this. I have my 85 on so we can get that depth-y look with our telephoto, semi-telephoto lens. My settings are pretty much the same as earlier. So let's get you right in the middle over there. Go for it. That was good. Let's do one with both hands up. Yeah. Go. Nice. That was a good one. All right. Let's walk to this little skyline. One caption on that. So we made our way down to the water with the skyline behind us. The sun has basically set, so we're getting a lot of nice soft colors behind us, and we're going to have Isabella pose against this railing. I also have my 105 millimeter on. So we can get rid of that busyness behind her and get it a little bit more flatter. I will have to compensate my settings just for how dark it's getting, but we should be good on a pretty low ISO right now. You want to come right against this and just look out. You might actually want to be on point just to get a little taller, but move to the right a little bit just so you're nice and even. That looks really nice there. So I briefly just hook a test shot with the 105 and I actually didn't love it. You couldn't even see really the skyline because it was super up-close and telephoto. So I might switch back to my 35 or 58 and see how that looks. Because we're having Isabella stand in a still position, we can have our shutter a bit lower, one and 250th of a second. Then, our ISO is around 500. So it's not too high. Nothing we can't fix when we're editing. I like that. I also don't need to be in continuous crazy just because we're getting some single frames here. Yeah, perfect. Keep moving. I like that a lot. Maybe off to the side. Do that again that hair flip. That was cool. Nice. Relating back to my shutter, I don't like to have it anywhere below 250 just in case I capture some blurry movement. Because I do like to have my model move when she's posing in a slow authentic way. So I want to make sure I'm capturing all those little shots. One and 250th right now is perfect just for that. But you could always change it if you want to play around with more movement. I just like to make sure that we're getting some crisp clear shots and nothing is out of focus or blurry. So we just finished up taking our daytime portraits. It's definitely getting a little bit darker. So we're going to take a break. Isabella is also going to change and we're going to take some nighttime shots and incorporate in some fun props. So stay tuned. 6. Shooting at Night: So now we're going to dive into some nighttime portraits. We made it to this little beach here in Brooklyn, New York, and some key differences between daytime and nighttime is obviously the lighting. So to counter that, we have this little prop here we're going to use. So this lights up. It's a little moon. I don't like using flash in my photos. So instead, I'd like to incorporate these little guys that will light our subjects when there's no available light. Okay. Let's have you over here. I'm going to use this log as leverage to get a little higher than you. But if you want to come, let's see, let's go right over here. Can you actually sit up and just, like that? Yeah. Cool. I might get a little lower for different angle, but I'm really liking this above shot right now. Hold it to you. I also switched my white balance just because it was a little too warm from the golden hour shots. We have our shutter at 1/200th and then our ISO is pretty high at 3,200 but it's not anything too crazy that we can't fix later. I'm also shooting with my 35 millimeter 1.4 to get a little bit of a wider shot here. I'm actually liking this lower shot. Cool. Could you actually bring it up to you again? Bring it a little in front of you with one hand maybe. You can keep your, yeah, and then just bring it a little forward. I think for shooting with a prop, it's best to have it light the model's face and making sure it's at an even angle, and not too low, too high, but just right. I like your body just behind you from my angle. So let's have it here and then your just straight body that way. So this way? Yeah. There you go. You can bring maybe your feet a little bit. Yeah. Maybe you're like picking it up. Nice. Okay, cool. Let's do a standing one with you just over here holding it up to you. That way, it's less harsh on your face. Hold it up to you and maybe away, a little bit away like this guy. That's like a baby. So we finished at that last location and now we're headed to our next one. I'm having a little trouble finding out where I want to shoot next because things at night get a little bit tricky with lighting. It's a little bit funky here so we're going to keep looking. So we kept walking on the pier. We came about this little light fixture that's in front of the skyline. I think it would be perfect for lighting Isabella, just because that back light will come into play in the background. But we need some kind of light in the foreground as well. Because I think I want a wider shot here, I'm going to infer my 85, if I can get it out here. I have my 35 on from that last shoot on the beach. The 35 right now is a little bit too wide for me, so I think the 85 will be perfect for this image I have constructed in my head. Go. Because these lights are a little bit lower, can you actually get low too? I like this because it's lighting her from the back, but also the front. Bring your arm in a little more and then look up at your leg. You're going to straighten your arm. This looks really cool. Go. Nice. Try again. So I'm changing my shutter to one and 100th of a second just so we can capture the movement she is giving to us, but make sure it's in-focus and super clear. Go. Cool. My shutter is now at 320 just because she's not moving too much and I can put my eyes a little bit lower. I know a lot of people get intimidated by shooting at nighttime, but something I always do and suggest is applying those daytime tips I'd let you guys know earlier, but get a little more creative with the lighting. So using a lighting prop or a fixture around, you could use some car lights or lamps, anything to avoid that grain will help you get a final clear and crisp photo. For me, shooting at night is definitely worth the extra effort you have to put in, whether that will be a prop you're bringing into play, just because it's more fun. You get more creative. You get some crazy kind of backdrops and light that are coming through, that are a little bit challenging. But at the end of the day, that's what makes it fun. So now that we've finished up the night shoot, we're going to head back to the studio, wrap it up, and go through some of these selects and start editing. 7. Making Selects: So we're back from the shoot, I hope you guys enjoyed all the behind the scenes footage of getting creative during golden hour and night time, but now that we're back, we can go through the selects and start narrowing down which exact photos we want to edit. Narrowing down selects doesn't get super technical for me, I just do a lot of comparing and contrasting. There are definitely times when looking through my selects that certain images just don't work out. I always want to save them because we really worked hard on getting that image on-location, but sometimes you just got to let it go and you won't be editing that photo, and that's totally fine. So while on my shoot I always have a few favorites in mind but obviously, when you get back from your shoot and you blow those up some things may be out of focus or blurred. So it helps, for me personally to have those JPEGs to keep previewing because they are in a smaller megapixel, then there are files which will be going in editing. So I went ahead and opened up my JPEG previews on my laptop right here, and I've already narrowed down some of my favorites, but I also wanted to show you why certain ones wouldn't work and why I wouldn't edit them. So this shot we got during golden hour of Isabella is super perfect because of how the light is shining right through her waist and her hair, but I wanted to show you guys this one which we got right afterwards that I would not select, I've toss this to this side. As you tell, the light is coming at her from a different angle. The composition overall just isn't as sharp as this one. When narrowing down selects, I like to pick one or two per location, but I'll make sure if she is changing poses, we take that into account and treat that as a different entire image. Moving along, we have this image, and I also have this other image we took exactly right after once again. For me personally, I would go with the first one as an image to edit just because of the angle. You can tell I got down on the ground and got a more straighter image with the composition being nicely framed and you can see this depth going off to the side, which I feel like it acts as a nice focal point to Isabella and her point feet. Of course when shooting for body, you're not always going to get the entire person in the shot because of how they may be stretching or elongating themselves, there are times where I will crop the person out or not get them into focus. In this instance, I guess I was shooting a little too fast, I didn't realize that her feet were cropped out, but we made sure to take another one where she was nicely framed. This one here is another instance where the crop is something that I wasn't entirely focused on but we went back and fixed it and got more of that skyline. I like the composition of this a lot because it doesn't totally crop out some of the cityscapes behind her. When shooting, I like to keep in mind a lot of how I'm playing with angles, so I like to get really high up or really down low. For this shot, I really liked getting the above-ground. If you compare these two images with this one being more of a straight on angle, you see more of the background, but I feel like it gets rid of the total mysterious vibe that was giving off in the first one which I like. For the nighttime shooting, we were trying to play with different light fixtures that we're in our surroundings. With this shot, with the light fixture being lower on the ground, you could tell that Isabella's face wasn't completely lit, so I had her do a different pose on the ground, and in this image you can totally tell her face is lit and it's an overall, just a better image. With this shot of Isabella in the park doing a jump, I did this shot a few different times because of course, when you're taking another image, the angle of you and the person you're shooting isn't always going to be the exact same. So taking that same pose you just did and doing it a few more times, helps a lot because as you can see these compositions do vary. In this one, you can tell she's a little more straight on and the image is just more pleasing to the eye versus this one, where she's a little off centered and the focal plane is a little off for me, so I totally go with this one right here. With this shot right here, we implemented the CD effect, so it gave us a nice settle rainbow on the bottom, but as you can see Isabella pose wasn't completely full. In posts, I'd love to apply the rainbow to this image where Isabella is in her complete dancer form, and in that way we can just take the rainbow as a transparent and move it on to the image where it's composited better. The number of selects I choose from shoot to shoot definitely vary on the amount of locations and outfits we got, but normally it takes me about a half hour to an hour to steff through those images. So the goal for this class is to have one final daytime and nighttime portrait, so we can go in and edit it further. As for my day time selects, I'm going to choose this image right here. I really like how sharp it is but also the leading lines give it a nice effects, but we're just going to throw this rainbow on here and copy it over to the final image I'm going to select. As for the nighttime images, my final selection is going to be one with the moon lamp lighting Isabella's face. At first glance, this image looks super dark but we intentionally did that because she wasn't moving too much, we were able to keep our shutter pretty low. We'll really see when we open this photo up if the grain is too much to save but I think we're okay. So next up we're going to go in and edit the daytime photo. 8. Editing in Camera Raw: So in this lesson we're going to be editing the day time select, I just chose. So I have my folder open right here. We have my Jpeg and my raw file next to each other. I have my way-com tablet that I edit with hooked up to my Mac. For me I find it really hard to use a mouse while editing because things get really technical. I like to almost paint over my images and feel like I'm really kind of in it. So this tablet acts as a connect to that without using a mouse. So we're just going to open this file and it'll open in camera raw on Photo-shop. So let's just double-click. So now that we're in camera raw, the file has opened as a non process photo. So I like to think of camera raw as editing the image before it's exported out of the camera. So within camera raw you can change things like temperature, tend white balance, exposure and so on. It won't mess up too much with your image as long as you don't go crazy with it. So right now we're in the Basic panel and we're going to just play around with everything here. I really like to go through each panel and play with everything that's why I take so long to edit, but for me it's definitely worth it. I also like just playing with auto and seeing what it can give us. So you can tell that it's evening out the highlights and the shadows which I totally like to do. So I'm going to leave that in auto and play a little bit more. We're going to boost the shadows up a bit and then along with shadows I always like to use a little bit of contrasts. Will also be playing with the white balance a little bit because I like to have it really custom and on my camera it only really gives you, certain presets if you don't really go in there. So I just use the white balance presets and then I come in camera raw and I play with them even more. So as you can see I'm kind of particular with dragging these notches I'm going super slowly and making sure everything is aligned with how I like it. Something I always do is boost my clarity. So we're just going to do that a little bit to make sure she's nice and in-focus. All right. Let's move on to the next panel but we may come back to this one. Now we're in the hue saturation and luminance adjustments. So this is something I like to play a lot with each slider you see in the hue selection will change the color that it presents. So the reds will change the reds to a more pink or more orangey tone and we're just going to keep going and play with each one. Right now I'm just looking at it if each color is changing and to what color I like it. As you can see her skin tone is blending in with the background color, which may be a problem later on, but we're going to get to that. Let's go to saturation now and play some more with these. There's a lot of yellow in this image. So we're going to keep the saturation at just as is. Luminance will boost that colors vibrancy. So as you can see the yellows boosting that while keeping the same tone. We're going back and forth as you can see because other things will adjust themselves. I always zoom out as well just to see how it looks, get a better eye. Okay, we're going to move on to split toning. So this section is separated into highlights and shadows. The Hugh will place the color that it shows within the highlights of the image. So if we up the saturation you can see that on the highlights it's making it a little more red. It comes in handy if you know complimentary colors because of how they're interacting with each other. So I don't tune too much here just a little bit visually, I feel like the shadows don't need an emphasis in any color. So we're just going to keep going. Moving on to the effects panel. We can play a lot with grain and vignetting. I don't really touch the grain because I like to have my images without grain. But I will play a little bit with vignetting and have a little better focus on Isabella. I like how that one is. I'm really particular with it, I don't move it too much, as you can see. This is one of my favorite panels as the calibration panel and this just plays with the colors in a more dramatic way. We're just going to go through each of these sliders and see what it comes up with, it's all about experimenting through and seeing what you like. The green slider is giving us a lot of different information because of how the colors are on the image. There's a lot of green going on, so we're getting a lot of dramatic changes with this one. Let's move on to the blue. The blue is doing the same, but not as much. I'm going to go back to basics and just kind of see if everything's looking how I like. Because it's a day time image it doesn't need too much correction, sometimes with the darker lit images they require more steps and camera raw. So this one's looking pretty nice. So under the image there's actually some more options right here and this one is specific cycles between the before and after. So it gives you a nice side by side of the unprocessed image versus the one I just edited. From this point you can play with the options even more because I find when viewing the before and after it gives you a nice kind of scale of where you're at with the image. So I feel like my saturation is a little bit bright right now. So we're just going to come down here and put the vibrance down just a bit. I totally feel like when I first see a few images. At first glance I get a kind of idea of how I want to edit it but it definitely comes about when I'm doing the actual editing itself. Also what mood I'm in if I want to go really hard with the edit or I want to keep it soft and subtle. At this point in the process we can actually save this preset because I'm pretty happy with it. So this preset will save all of these adjustments that we just made. To note that this doesn't always work great when applying these corrections to a whole different image, but more of an image from the same shoot and location if that makes sense. So we're just going to go ahead and save this and call it Isabella trees. All right and let's go ahead and open that image. 9. Retouching in Photoshop: All right. So my initial talk or this image was to implementing that rainbow from our other shot. So let's go ahead and do that. At this point in the process, we're going to unlock our base layer and duplicate it. Just in case we do anything funky with the original one, we have a copy to go back to. So we just opened our raw file with the rainbow reflection in it, and all we're going to do is go over here and press previous conversion. That way, it'll give us the same edit we applied to on our previous one. So we're just going to go ahead and open that. Now, within the image that has the rainbow in it, we're going to head over to our Lasso Tool and go in, and select all around that rainbow, and then we're going to go to edit, copy, and then come over to our original photo, and paste that selection. We're going to play around with transforming it, so Command T, and then we're going to head over to our blending modes above our layer and sort through. I think lightened will be perfect for this, and then we're just going to drag over and see how that is looking. We're going to head over to our Eraser tool. We're going to put the Hardness down to zero, and boost the size up even more, and then go around those hard edges and get rid of those. We're also going to head over to the Opacity and play around with that because 100 seeming just a little bit too intense for me. So we're going to continue playing with his rainbow effects, and minimizing it, but also making sure you can see it. We're just going to play a little bit with this Transform Tool once more. Command and holding some of these corners will also skew it. I like doing that a lot. Then, yeah, I'm into that. We're just going to zoom in here and get a little specific with the graphs that you can see. For me, it feels a little distracting, so we're just going to use the Patch Tool and go in, and drag over to a selection that we want over the texture of the grass. So we're just going in here. Very subtly. Now that we feel pretty confident with the rainbow and how it's looking, we're going to create a Color Selective Mask, so we can play a little bit more with the colors that came from camera. So on our bottom right layer panel, we're going to head over here and go to Selective Color. Now that things are getting a little bit more busy, we're going to start naming our layers right here. Our base layer, Base Copy, Rainbow, and Selective Color is opened up right there. So we're going to make sure that this Selective Color Mask is above everything else because it will change whatever hues we're selecting for whatever is underneath it. I play a lot with Selective Color, but I don't always know exactly what my goal is, but I find that going through every color will give you a different effect. So for me, it's all about just experimenting. So we're going to start playing around with the reds. We're heading over to the greens because there is a lot of green in this photo as well as the yellow. I tend to make greens a little bit more on the bluer side. I just fake it to add some fun. Then our neutrals will give a nice base overlay color with whatever you start to select. So we're going to go in with cyan, magenta, and then we have the yellow and the black, and we're just going to keep playing around with that. I'm also noticing that this feels a little bit off. I'm just going to straighten it. We're going to go over to our Crop Tool and just do a little bit of straightening Nothing crazy. Cool. While I edit, I do like to switch around. So I'm going to go back to this rainbow. It's bugging me. We're just going to make it a little bit less on her point right here on the foot. The longer I stare at an image, the more things I see. Next thing I'm noticing about this image is the light, is hitting her from above, and the light in her stomach a little bit more saturated. So we're just go to go in there and literally just unsaturate it on this copy layer. So we just headed to our Desaturation Tool which is the sponge tool, and we're just going to zoom in on here and desaturate her stomach just slightly. In that same selection where the sponge tool was, we're going to head over to our Dodge Tool, make that a little bit brighter and just make her stomach also a little bit brighter. So the Dodge Tool makes highlights midtones and shadows brighter, while the Burn Tool makes those same ranges darker. So if I zoom out, you can see the before and after, it's a slight, just matched to her skin tone. What I do a lot as I go back to this original frame, and we can see what we've done so far. So just a lot of selecting and unselecting, making sure we're liking it. With these different layers, of course, we can go back in and play around with anything without being too destructive. So we're just going to go back into this Selective Color panel and play a little bit more with that. Another thing I like to do sometimes is bring over the original JPEG image, and layer it over what we're creating. This way, you can see what you've done, and sometimes you may go back some steps until you've gone too far. So this is perfect for just a nice original frame, because remember this base layers still has are Camera Raw settings on it. So these are the steps so far. We have our original frame, our Camera Raw frame, our frame with the Dodge and Burn and Desaturation tools on it, our Rainbow, Lens Flare, and our Selective Color. 10. Finishing Touches: So now that we've done all of that, the final two steps I want to go over are a subtle radial blur effect and the curve layer. With radial blur you can actually pick the center of where you want the blur to happen. So it'll do exactly what it says. It'll radial blur the entire image, and from there I'll just go in and erase what I want to focus. So for the radial blur effect, I'm actually going to select all the layers that we have done already and duplicate them. Then from there, we're going to combine them with Command E. So that is every layer we just created in one single layer. Now that we have this one layer, we're going to head over to filter blur and then radial blur. Down on the right side, it'll give you a nice range of where the blur center will be. So we want that right in the middle, and we want our amount to actually just be one because it can get really intense. So as you can see, we're going to switch off from this layer to our original ones. It's very subtle but I like it for just blurring the background just a bit and it works perfectly with these leading lines. But to be sure that Isabella is incomplete focus, we're going to zoom in on here and see that the radial blur effect is affecting her as well. We're going to go in with our eraser tool and with a big size brush, go in and just erase anything that we want in focus, but keep it light. Because we don't want to see an complete shift from the radial blur to what's in focus, so lets do a light touch. Right here you can see the difference between what's in focus and what is having the radial blur effect. So what we're going to do is make that eraser brush size a little bigger. Zoom out and make sure it's nice and blended. Of course you can play with the opacity if it's too strong, which I do here. But like a strong lens image. Its very subtle but it adds a nice little touch and people notice it too. Last thing we're going to do on this image is our curves. So this will play a lot with the tones of the image and I have a little trick I like to do with this to make the shadows a little bit more moody. I guess you could say. So we're going to head over to our same mask that we did selective color in, but do curves. So with this curve mask, it'll give us a more fine tuned look into our exposure. So on this right side you can see we have our highlights and then we have our shadows. I'm going to bring our shadows a little bit inwards so it's a more contrasted. But bringing that point above this set line. It's definitely a subtle look like we've been doing this whole time but altogether they come out to be one final look. But if we zoom in here on the right side, you can see that it gave the shadows a little bit more of a tone instead of that hard black, which I just like the look of a lot. We can of course keep going in and tweaking that. One final thing I'm going to do really quickly is vignette her a little bit more. So I'm just going to create a layer right here. With our brush tool, we're going to head over and make a giant-sized brush with no hardness, and go around the edges really quickly, then head over to our blending Modes and head over to soft light and then decrease that a ton. But it gives a little bit more of a focus on Isabella. So for me, I feel like we've finished this image. We have everything I look for in something, a nice set subject along with some nice effects to go along with it. I really like how the radial blur is complementing Isabella and the colors we got from selective color. I think everyone develops their own editing style as they come to edit more, and for me I found a lot of help with just fine tuning a lot of different things and those different things add up into one final image that we see here. Now that you've seen how I would edit a daytime image, let's move to the nighttime photo. 11. Editing Nighttime Photos: Now these would be my process on how I go about editing a daytime photo. We're going to switch on over to our nighttime select and start editing that. There are some differences when I go about editing a daytime photo verses a nighttime one, first off being that there is some grain we have to uncover because of how low light we shot in. So let's just go on and open this image and see what we're dealing with. So we opened our raw image and this is the same interface we were dealing with on our daytime image. So we're going to come on over here and press auto just to see what it will give us, and it actually does a pretty good job at that. So I'm going to actually stick with that and tweak it from here. As you can see, the moon is blown out, just because we couldn't shoot any lower than we already did. So we're going to just go in and decrease that so you can see some of the detail on the moon right here and then come on over here to our whites and just increase that, so it's a little bit more contrasted. Then we're going to come in and boost our shadows. There is a slight vignette on here which we might not want but will save it for later. Come on over here to contrast and play with that. Again, we're just going through and tweaking some of these colors, temperatures, and contrasts. For this, I'm imagining a little bit more of a blue tint. So we're going to go over to our temperature and decrease that a little bit. I like that. Our shadows are going to go up a little bit more. As you can see, there's some grain but when we will be sharing these images across social media, you won't really see. Also, we have some techniques to get rid of that. Noise reduction is a great place for grain and getting rid of that. So we have some luminance sliders right here but they're all looking fine to me. So we're just going to keep moving on to our hue saturation and luminance layer. I'm going through and tweaking these hues right now. Her skin tone is a little bit orange right now. I think we can get rid of that within saturation and decrease that just a tad bit and then in luminance just increase that. I like that a lot. As you can see, she's nicely in focus. There is a lot of blue happening behind her. So we're going to keep tweaking those. I like a little bit of a turquoise look in my blue. We're going to play with our blues in the luminance layer and just increase that a bit. You can see there's some nice bokeh happening back here from the lights behind her. We're back in our calibration layer and we're just tweaking this one just slightly. I'm liking how her skin is looking with that kind of hue right here. I think I do want to increase the orange luminance just a bit and then go back here and increase the whites just a bit. Then our shadows, we'll just boost to 95. I like that. Moving on to split toning, I think the highlights here will give us a nice effect because of how red her skin is against this blue. So we're going to head over to a nice green blue hue and complement that red skin. As you can see, it's evening it out back into the background of her. I'm really liking that. So I think we're ready to open it into Photoshop. So let's go for it. So now that we've opened up the image in Photoshop, just like the daytime photo, we're going to unlock this layer and duplicate it just so we can come back to that one as before but also if we mess up anything. So at first glance, something that's throwing me off is the top right of it. I really like how the water is looking and these nice reflections but it just cuts off on the left side. So my first thought for solving this little black side on the left is to try Content Aware because that's just the fast version of what I would do instead which is just duplicate this information. So let's go on to the lasso tool and select this side. We're going to head over to edit, fill, and then Content-Aware and see how it looks. I'm not mad about it. So we're going to just fix up this side with Content-Aware once again. So what Content-Aware does is it takes all the information that it sees in the image and takes the selection that you're making and tries to make a best bet of what you're trying to do. So a lot of the time, it doesn't work out. But when it does, it's really a quick way to get a fix you need. As you can see, it didn't totally do what I wanted it to do. So we're going to go ahead and do it manually but I do like how it got rid of that black. So we're just going to go in and select this part of the image. We're going to go to edit, copy and then edit, paste. Then we're going to Command T, transform that over to this side. I think we only need about one and a half like that. So we're just going to go in and erase this side and make it a nice soft eraser, we have at about 1,700 just because I want a soft transition. Then we're going to zoom in on here and get rid of this hard layer with a smaller eraser brush. You can always look underneath what your editing so I can see how this line is pulling up so I can follow that. You can also do this by throwing the opacity a bit down. Cool. All right. Let's back up from this image and see how it looks. I'm definitely liking that. Let's see what it did. What I do notice though is that the sides are definitely vignetting. We're going take our burn tool on the mid tones, take our brush a little bit higher and just make that a little bit darker, not so crazy, just so it transitions a little bit nicer. Nice. That's just like a perfectionist thing but I think that it makes the image a lot more eye-catching and less distracting because your eye goes to that black spot in the upper left. Cool. Now what we're going to do is combine this layer into our other base layers because I know that I want it to stay. I'm really confident with it. First, I'm going to go in here and combine these layers, of course name this while we're at it. All right. Let's zoom in here and just see what we're working with. Next thing my eye goes to is this little white stuff on the bottom left which is probably just some kind of trash. So we're just going to patch tool it out. So we're going to select it and move it over to a texture that we want right here. There you go. Next thing we're going to do is dodge and burn this whole image, so making mid tones, highlights, and shadows a bit darker or brighter. So what I like to do to make it as non-destructive as possible is create a whole another layer where we will be doing the dodging and burning. So we're going to create a new layer. Go to edit, fill, and 50 percent gray. Then we're going to go over to the blending mode and go over to overlay. So as you can see when clicking off and on this layer, it doesn't do anything. But if we apply dodging and burning, it will do it without affecting the layer itself. It's kind of doing it non-destructively and we can always delete this if needed. So while dodging and burning, I like to get any unnecessary shadows out of frame. So as you can see on this side, there's some weird darkness happening. So if we click on our dodge shadows, we can bring those up. Now we're going to head to burn and just darken the mid tones up here because it's a little bit too bright for me. I almost like the focus actually on Isabella. So I actually may go in here and darken some of the sand that I was just making light but I think it's just a different look that I'm into right now. Again, this is just a layer that we can start over or get rid of if needed. We can look how it's doing. So it's just making the image more even and more focused on Isabella instead of this textured sand around her. This spot in particular is a little bit bright for some reason. So we're just going to go in here with the highlights on our Burn tool and get rid of that. So you can see these weird highlights that were happening probably from the spotlight near us. So we're just going to try and get those as even as possible. Even things like this giant black part of sand, we can patch tool out as we come across it just quickly as we move along. Definitely like to zoom in just to see if we're missing anything. I'm going to head back to our dodge and burn layer which I'm going to name as well. Also, if we bring in our image of Isabella from the JPEG version, we can see how much information we brought back and it really shows you how powerful our rough file was. Now at this point in the process, I feel pretty confident with what we've done so far with our camera and dodge and burn effects. So now we're going to go ahead and do selective color and curves like we did in our daytime image. So go to our layer mass and hit selective color and making sure that all of our other layers are below this. Moving forward with the reds, we can play around with her skin tone because you can clearly see the contrasts from her skin to the water. I also like the color contrast that's happening between the blue and the red. So with selective color, we're going to now emphasize that because I'm really liking it. We're going to play a lot with the red panels switches right now, just what is looking best to my eye. Then we're going to head over to the blue. It's not picking up as well I think because this blue is maybe registering as cyan. So let's switch to that. So it's working a little bit better. We're going to boost up a little bit of the information here in the blacks. Awesome. Now for the final adjustment, we're going to go and head over to our curves layer. So we're going to make a curve mask really quick and do what we did in our daytime image and make those blacks a little bit more muddier and give them some more tonal range. Also, adding a curves layer onto this specific image balances it out. I feel like maybe the lighting on her was a little bit uneven. So this gives it an overall nice tone. Cool. Let's just see how that looks. Cool. We can drag that above our selective color and then just lower it a bit or higher if we need it. We're going to zoom in as well and just see if everything is looking good. Actually, we might sharpen her face just a bit and we can also even just dodge and burn parts of her hair right here. I like to take the highlights that are throughout the image and just make them a little bit more dramatic, even if they're on the person. So just taking these highlights in her hair that are catching onto her and making those a bit more emphasized. Even on her face, we can use a little bit more mid tones right here. As you can see, the light from the moon is casting onto her face directly but it's fading away down below by her feet. So we're just going to make that a little bit more bright in the shadows really quick. I like how you can see this sand texture near her feet, sharpen that a bit. Choosing a lighter and brighter colored outfit for this look really came in handy because she doesn't fade too much into the background. So the outfit is really helping us here. You can go on and on with this but you also have to know when you're done. That's coming up. We're going to zoom into the moon real quick and burn down these little textures you see here to make it look like a really realistic moon. Cool. I like that a lot. I'm done. 12. Exporting to Share: So I'm really loving all the adjustments we made on this particular image. Now, we're just going to go and save it. So we're going to head on over to File Save as, I like to save my files as a PSD and a.jpeg just in case we want to go back into it later, we can with the PSD. We're just going to name our file Isabella Moon and save that real quick. Make sure the layers are selected within the saving format. Then we're going to save it again as a.jpeg. So we're going to go on over here to format jpeg and make sure that it saves with maximum quality so you get this option right here. This is a little bit big. It's 34 megabytes because it's a rough file. So if you do want to make it a little bit less, you still have the maximum quality of 10 and that is at 13 megabytes. Just because I have a lot of storage, we're going to go with the largest one and save that. So I developed this way of editing just by trial and error and a lot of experimenting but I would love to see you guys take what I kind of went over but also apply into your own photos, in your own way. Feel free to go more in-depth into whatever program you're editing and play around with all the tools it gives you because I definitely didn't touch on all of them. So next up we're going to send these final photos to my phone, make some tweaks, and share them to social media. Let's go. 13. Sharing on Instagram: Now that we've explored our images in high-quality, we have dropped it on over to our phone, so now we can see them. Sometimes for me personally, what you see on your monitor isn't always what you see on your phone, and because we'll be sharing these across social media, we want them to look as great as possible. When I'm on a shoot and I'm capturing high-quality images, I definitely like to opt for a program like Photoshop, but for iPhone images or photos on the go, I really love VSCO, and also some collage apps I like are, Collageable and Image Blender. So within the photo itself in my camera roll, I'm actually going to just make a few tweaks here. We're just going to click on a photo, go to edit. We're going to head over to our brightness and play around with things here. We have brilliance, exposure, highlight, shadows, brightness, contrast. So we have it all and we can go in here and really tweak some fine adjustments that we really wanted to capture within Photoshop. This is also a chance to get a nice crop in, because the iPhone allows a bunch of different aspects. So I like to go for a four by three ratio for Instagram. That's just a personal thing. It's also a little bit smaller on the phone, so you can get a little bit of a better understanding of it, without some big wide photo. Especially, when you've been staring at it for awhile. So now that we love how the final photos looking and we've saved it, we can go on over and post it to Instagram. I like throwing a little border on there just so my feed it looks pretty cohesive but that's definitely optional. At this point in the process, we can go through with finding a caption and making sure we're tagging whoever was involved. Whether that be a stylist, the model involved or makeup artist, and also location tagging is a lot of fun too, especially if you're traveling somewhere new. I know when I'm traveling to a new city, I look at a location tag, trying to find new models around the area. Another thing you may want to think when going to post your photos to social media, is the caption. For me I know a caption can play a huge role in the photo itself and I connect back personally my captions to song lyrics or quotes that go along with the photo. Captioning a photo along with some kind of quote or something personal is definitely something that you can use to connect with your audience, and it's almost viewed as like a shared narrative between guys. Also sharing content to Instagram Stories is something I find super helpful. I love sharing before and after of my images along with the behind the scenes look into the shoot. So I totally encourage even if you're starting out to explore Instagram and other social media and what they have to offer. With that being said, I definitely don't think you should limit yourself just to Instagram or social media in general. There are a ton of other platforms and ways to share your work. So now I'm going to go and post this photo of Isabella and I hope you guys enjoy it, and if you've been following along, make sure to post your own. 14. Final Thoughts: Congrats. You made it to the end of the class. I hope you really enjoyed getting a little better insight on how I shoot, edit my photos. From my creative process, it's always ever changing and evolving. I hope to keep growing and learning as I go, and I hope you do, too. If you're curious about any of the technical side of things that we covered today, but didn't go into depth we have those linked down below for you in the class resources. I hope you're able to take some of the tips and techniques we went over today and apply them into your own work, and your own style. Don't forget to share your work in the private gallery down below. I can't wait to see it. I hope you guys enjoyed this class so much. I'll see you later. 15. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: [MUSIC]