Lifestyle Photography: Immersive Storytelling with Photo Albums | Sean Dalton | Skillshare

Lifestyle Photography: Immersive Storytelling with Photo Albums

Sean Dalton, Travel & Lifestyle Photographer

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9 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

      2:37
    • 2. Course Project

      1:11
    • 3. Photography and Storytelling

      7:15
    • 4. Capturing a Cohesive Album

      6:57
    • 5. Gear

      4:11
    • 6. Shooting

      5:21
    • 7. Editing for Consistency

      10:54
    • 8. Crafting your Album

      14:08
    • 9. Summing Things Up

      1:40
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About This Class

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Everyone has a story to tell. Use your camera to tell it.

Join travel & lifestyle photographer Sean Dalton as he breaks down his process for capturing immersive stories in the form of photographic albums.

You'll follow Sean to a local cafe for a photoshoot before heading back to the studio where you'll edit and arrange your photos into a cohesive album. Every step is packed with helpful tips Sean has learned over the years as a lifestyle photographer, and you'll walk away with the confidence and inspiration to capture your own visual story. 

Through in-depth lessons on visual storytelling, you'll learn how to:

  • Capture emotion with every shot you take
  • Convey stories through a series of images
  • Craft your album into a cohesive story

Whether you're a seasoned photographer, or a newbie with a smartphone, there is something in this course for everyone! This course covers everything you need to know about capturing beautiful stories with your camera.

RESOURCES:

Follow Sean on Instagram! (@seandalt)

Transcripts

1. Course Introduction: I've always been drawn to photography for its storytelling potential. I'm the first person to admit that I am not a very good verbal storyteller. I've always found that I've been better suited to telling stories through images, specifically a series of images. My name is Sean Dalton and I am a professional travel and lifestyle photographer from San Francisco, California and today I'm going to walk you through the process of capturing a beautiful story through a series of images. When shooting an album that tells a visual story, there's three things that I like to focus on; variety, consistency, and emotion. I think these are the three building blocks to shooting an album that tells an immersive story and these are three of the concepts that we're going to be focusing on in this course. We're also going to talk about the steps that you can take to capturing a beautiful and emotional album. Then I'm going to go through some of the gear that you might use to get that job done. Then we're going to leave the studio and I'm going to take you guys with me to a beautiful cafe here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I'm going to photograph this space, and I'm going to show you my creative process for capturing this beautiful space in a series of images that tell a story about my day there and what I experienced when I was in the space. After that, we're going to come back to the studio and I'm going to show you how to edit those photos in a way that is visually consistent so we have a consistent style among all of the different images. Then I'm going to show you guys how I would arrange those photos into an album, both digital and physical in a way that would enhance the story that I'm trying to tell. Stories come in many different shapes and sizes and I think that no matter what that story is, it can be told through a series of beautiful images. This course is for anybody that's like me, anybody that's drawn to photography for its storytelling potential. Maybe you're somebody with an extensive background of photography, but you want to capture more meaningful stories in your images and you want to dive into lifestyle photography and try something a little bit new. Or maybe you're completely new to photography and you just want to learn more about the creative process and learn more about how you can capture beautiful images that tell a story. No matter who you are, I think we can all agree that albums are a fantastic way to share special moments in your life. That's exactly why I created this course and I think that there is something here for everybody. I really hope you take the time to enroll in this course and join me in the process of creating an album that you can look back on in 20 years and remember it like it happened yesterday. 2. Course Project: This course, of course has a student project because I love to see what you guys creates and I know other students like to see what you create as well. The course project for this course is to go out and capture something in your everyday life. Maybe it's a day out with your friend or a local dog park or a cafe near your house. Whatever that might be, it can be a person, it could be a place, it can be an event, whatever that is, capture that scene in an album, and share it to the group. I think you can aim for 5-10 images. Then when you go to share it in the course project area of this course, you can just upload the photos directly to Skillshare, or you can try one of the techniques we're going to talk about in this course, such as creating your own photo book in Canva. We're going to get to talking about that, but there's multiple ways to arrange your album after you've captured your images and your going to find out later on, in this course why that is actually a very important part of creating an album that tells an immersive story. Just to recap, you're going to capture a 5-10 images and then you're either going to upload them directly to the course projects or use one of the other mediums. Then you're going to share that in the course project area of this course. 3. Photography and Storytelling: In this lesson I want to talk about photography and story telling in a little bit more depth. We're going to talk about the different types of stories that you can tell through albums. Then we're going to talk about some of the things that you can do with each image to enhance the emotion of that emission. Basically talk about all the different things that are affecting the emotion of that image. Of course, photographs are stories, is there a frozen moment in time that depicts something that actually happened. They tell a story of the subject matter in your photo without the use of words or sounds. The great thing about photography and storytelling is that the more photos you have typically, the more in depth of a story you can tell. Albums allow you to take the emotion and the story that one photo could give you and multiply and enhance it and turn it into a much more immersive experience for the viewer. And what I love about albums is that you can take normal everyday events such as hanging out with your friends, or our trip to the pool, or a dinner out with your family and turn it into a story that can last a really long time. For this course, there's two different types of stories that I really want to focus on. Those two are linear and nonlinear stories. Linear story is basically a narrative that follows a specific timeline. It has a beginning, it has a middle, and it has an end. A good example of this is if you spend a day with your friend, maybe the first image is of the sunrise, so things are beginning and then the images in the middle of the album are of the days you spent together in chronological order. Then the last image is the sun's setting. Things are finalizing and the album is coming to an end.. It's in a timeline, a chronological order based on when those events happened. Linear stories are great because it allows the viewer to really feel like they followed your day or your adventure from start to finish, they can really get a feel for what your day was like and what you did. They're just very easy to understand as humans. On the flip side of that, a nonlinear album is one that doesn't necessarily follow a timeline. In fact, you can arrange the images in any way that you'd like in order to tell the story that you want to tell. For me, this is often how my albums are structured. I like to follow a nonlinear story because I'm often focused on the physical side of things. I like to capture a series of beautiful images and ensure that everything is exactly where it needs to be. You can do that with the linear album. But I find that with a non-linear album because you're not confined to order things in specific time. You can really just organize things based on the aesthetic beauty and where you think it should fit best. Both of these narratives, linear and nonlinear, are awesome for albums and no matter which one you choose, you'll be able to create a really meaningful story through series of images. Now when it comes to the actual photographs in your story, whether that story is linear or non-linear. There's a few different concepts that I want to talk about that play a major role in the emotion that that photo is giving off. Of course, the first thing is the subject matter in your photo. The subject matter in your photo is going to play the biggest role in the emotion that that photo gives off, and the story that that image is telling. Whether that be a person or a cup of coffee, or basically anything that is in the frame of your camera that you're photographing, even if it's a subject that's off to the side of your main subjects,so for it's a portraits, if there is a plant next to that person, that is also considered subject matter and that is also playing a large role in the emotion of the image is giving off. Every object that we see on a daily basis we have some sort of preconceived notion of what that is. If we see a warm cup of coffee, it might make us feel warm and cozy inside whereas if we see a knife, well that, that makes us feel a lot different. If we see a bloody knife or the hat tells a completely different story even still. I want you to think about the objects in your frame because they play the biggest role and the overall story that you're telling. The next thing I want to talk about, I think this is the second most important thing with emotional images, is lighting. This is a topic that I discussed in pretty much all of my photography courses because it is so important for expressing a mood or an emotion in your image. A lot of my work, I consider it moody. I like to have a strong dark to light gradient and my images, I like to have one large light source and then have one side of the image being lit and the other side being dark. I think that not only makes my subjects look 3D, but also just add so much mood and emotion to the image that I wouldn't get if I had a different lighting setup. A good way to understand lighting is to look at the two different sides, right? You have a darker image, which of course, a darker image we might see as more mysterious, more moody, more intense, more dramatic. Then we have a bright and airy photo or a light photo we might consider to be more happy, more soft, subtle, gentle rental. They give off different vibes. Also the strength of the light plays a very big role. If you have really high contrast in the image, that's going to be really dramatic, really intense. Whereas if you have a low contrast image, well, that is going to be much more relaxed and much more gentle. Lighting is a very important role in the overall mood and emotion of image. While you're out shooting your album, I really want you to think about whether the light is entering your frame is it from the sun, is it from a light inside of the building that you're shooting in? Then how is it hitting your subject? Is hitting it from the front? Is it hitting it from the back? Is it hitting from the side? Experiment was shooting at different angles of where that light source is, because that is going to have a profound effect on the overall mood and emotion of your image. The next concept that's going to have a massive effect on the emotion of the image is color. Now everyone knows that color and emotion are very highly correlated. If we see maybe cooler tones like blue or purple, they might make us feel more relaxed, more chilled out. Whereas if we see red or an orange, it's more of an intense color. It's a little bit more in your face, a little bit more bold. Every color has some sort of emotion attached to it. I think it's definitely worth considering while you're shooting is to really consider the colors that you have in your image. Are they adding to your story? Are they subtracting from your story? Does it even really matter that much in your story? It really just depends on the story that you're trying to tell and the concepts that we're talking about here, not all of them are going to relate to everything. I just want to introduce them because I think that they are important and they do affect the overall emotion that your image is giving off. 4. Capturing a Cohesive Album: In this lesson, I want to talk about some of the things that you can do to ensure that you're shooting not only a beautiful album, but an album that tells a really unique story as well, and the first thing is to have an idea of what the story is you want to tell. Do you want to tell a linear story? Do you want to tell a nonlinear story? Do you want to tell of a moody story or a happy story, or just depict a space, in a beautiful way that will allow somebody to feel like they're there and give off some really positive emotions to that person, if you feel inspired right now and you have something in your mind that you want to shoot, whether it be your friends or like I said, a local cafe or maybe a trip that you're going to go on. Really sit down and sit on that for a while and think about it and think about how you want to pick that story and think about some of the emotions that you want to give of. I think its good that just have a general idea of the story that you want to capture before you actually go out and shoot. But with that said, if you don't know, that's totally fine. Oftentimes a lot of our inspiration comes to us when we're actually out shooting and we can't really know what we want to capture before we go and that's totally okay. A lot of my albums just develop naturally. I'll go out and I'll shoot all day long with no intention of creating an album, but when I sit down, I start editing, I realize that all these images go together perfectly into a really nice narrative, I can craft an album out of it. If you don't have any idea of what kind of story you want to tell. Don't worry about it, just go shoot and I promise that story will curve develop on it's own. Now let's talk about actually shooting the album and in the introduction of this course, I said that there's three things that you should be focusing on when you shoot an album and those two things are variety, consistency, and emotion. Let's break each of these concepts down and let me explain to you why they're so important. Variety; when I say variety, I'm talking about having a variety of different shots in your image. That basically means you are not just photographing the same thing 5-10 times, but photographing 10 different things and bringing them together into an album. A really good way to capture a variety in your albums is to use different types of shots, wide shots, medium shots, and tight or close-up shots. What I like to do when I get to a space, for example, I like to take some wide shots of the space showing a lot of different subject matter, taking an interior photo of a lot of different things and then I'll go around and take photos of more specific things. Like maybe a table in the corner or a plant or a picture on the wall and then after that, I'll go in and I'll really capture some of the details and I get really close to things and I'll focus on things that you might not usually notice, if you weren't looking to get these detailed shots. This is one of the reasons why I love shooting albums so much, is because it makes me pay attention to things that I really wouldn't usually shoot. In the past I would just go out and maybe I would just only capture a landscape and I would get like one photo from the journey. But now when I go out, yeah, I'll capture the landscape, but then I'll capture some leaves nearby or a tree that's really interesting or maybe just my friend taking a photo of in the side of his camera, on the side of his face, and it just adds so much when it stands next to that landscape because it allows the viewer to see so much more of the scene. It really lets your viewer just feel the atmosphere of the photo and it just, it shows them so much more of that moment. Really try to focus on the details, shooting different things and just getting a large variety of shots. One of the things I recommend for shooting a variety of shots is to use different focal lengths. We're going to talk about this more in the gear section of this video. But I like to carry with me typically three different lenses so I can capture really wide angle shots, mid angle shots, and then a really close-up shots as well. If you don't have that don't worry, but we're going to talk about that later on in the gear section. The next topic I want to talk about is consistency and when I say consistency, I'm specifically talking about stylistic consistency. Essentially just having a consistent visual look between all of your different images, so you don't have to follow this guideline. I like to have consistency in my images and keep the emotions similar throughout the entire album. But part of this might be because I've been a photographer for a long time and I have a more developed style now. I'd like to have my images be dark and moody. I just like having a series of images that looks similar to each other. There's three things that really play into keeping a stylistically consistent look among all of the images in your album. The three things that are going to play the biggest role in keeping your images looking consistent are; lighting, colors, and overall tone, which often comes in the editing phase. In terms of lighting, it's just having consistent lighting scenarios in all of your images. Whether they're really bright, images or really dark images, or really high contrast images, or low contrast images, just trying to keep things similar because that is going to play a major role in the overall look of your image. The next thing is color, so having consistent colors in your image can be a really good way for allowing the album to look consistent as a whole. This is a really good example. This is an album I made of just images with green in them and you can see the visual consistency between all of the photos simply because the colors are so similar and the last thing that's really going to affect the consistency of your album is the tone and this really comes in the editing phase. I'm going to talk about that more later on in this course, but I want to mention it now because essentially the tone is basically how hard or how soft the images. If your blacks are really soft or your whites are really soft that might be a really soft low contrast image, whereas if you have a really high contrast image with a lot of really deep dark black swan. That's going to be much more of bolder image, and the tone is going to be much different. The overall tone, the overall colors, and the overall lighting is really going to have a profound effect on keeping things consistent. Of course the last concept is emotions. As we said it earlier in this course emotions play a huge role in the overall story of your image, of your album and while you're out shooting, I want you to think about some of the concepts that we discussed earlier about emotion and all the different factors that can affect emotion in your photo, I want you to think about those things with every shot that you take. Just to recap those things that are going to have a big effect on the emotion of the image are of course going to be subject matter, lighting and color. 5. Gear: Before we head out to go capture this album, I want to take a second to talk about gears, some of the gear that I'm going to be using, some of the gear that I think can be really beneficial for shooting different albums. The first thing I want to say is any gear is absolutely fine. Anything will work as long as you have a camera with a lens or even a smartphone, you're good to go and you don't need to think about anything more than that. I think smartphones, especially are pretty amazing nowadays. This is an iPhone 8 plus. It's old now, but I can tell you it's awesome. I do have another smartphone coming that has multiple different lenses. That's amazing because then you can get some really wide shots, you can get some medium shots, and then you can get some really tight shots as well. But most of the time I am shooting with my Sony a73. I'm actually filming on it now, and I love this camera because it's full-frame and allows me to capture pretty much anything I want to capture as long as I have the proper lens on it. Any cameras is going to work, but when it comes to lenses, I think you should either have a zoom lens which is a 24-70, or multiple different prime lenses. A prime lens is basically a fixed lens, so it does not zoom, but it typically has a higher maximum aperture, which gives you more of an artistic look. Usually, when I'm out shooting, I'm shooting with a 35 1.4, this is a 35 1.4, a 55 1.8. This camera is actually shooting on a 55 1.8 right now. My 55 is over there and I also have an 85 millimeter F1.4, and that will really allow me to get those super close detailed shots. A zoom lens like that is fantastic for getting really closer things, capturing some of the details, whereas a 35 millimeter lens is nice because it's pretty wide, you can actually capture a lot of different things in your scene. If I do want to go wider than that, sometimes, I'll use my 16-35 F4 lens, which gets really wider angle, I can capture a lot of information in the scene. Then of course, the 55 millimeter lens is right in the middle and it allows me to get some mid-level shots, mid-level detailed shots. Now, I do want to take a second to talk about film cameras as well. I think film cameras present a really unique opportunity for shooting albums. First and foremost, when you're shooting with film cameras, everything is slowed down. You really have to think about all the shots that you're taking, and it really lets you be in the moment more than you would with a digital camera. I love film cameras. They give such an interesting look to your images. They look so cool and they're also just a joy to use, and I always recommend using a film camera. One of the other cool things about the film camera is, you don't have to worry about switching the lens too much. Usually, you only have one lens and that's totally fine. You don't need to have different focal lengths. One focal length is okay, and that will also help add to the consistency of your album. The other thing that's going to really add to the consistency in your album is if you're shooting on one type of film. If you're shooting with portrait 400, well, all of your images are going to have a similar color, a similar tone, and a similar look. That's the other benefit of shooting with film. I love shooting films so if you have a film camera, go ahead and try the course project using a phone camera. Film is awesome and I think, we should get back to our photograph recruits and shoot more film. But that's really all I wanted to talk about with gear. It's not the most important thing, but it does really help you get the job done. That's why I always carry a wide-angle lens, a medium level lens, and then a zoom lens as well. So 35, 55 and 85. Those cover all of my bases. I think that for me that's the most effective way to shoot an album that has a lot of variety in details and subject matter. But now that we've talked about gear, we've gotten out of the way. It's time to go shooting guys, I'm super excited. Let's head out of the studio. We're going to go meet my friend at this cafe, and we're going to go capture some beautiful images and arrange them into a beautiful album. Let's go. 6. Shooting: All right guys we made it to the cafe and let me tell you it is beautiful. We got hear about 10 minutes ago, we just checking things out, getting a few different shots. But now I want to take you guys with me to show you some of the shots that I would take for this album, and really focus in on some of the details that the designer of this cafe has done a fantastic job. There's so many little things in here that really add to the environment, really add to the atmosphere, and I really want to capture those today. So the first lens I'm going to be shooting with his deep 35-millimeter. I'm going to get some wide-angle shots, some shots that set the tempo for the album, that give us a general overview of the vibe of the cafe, of the space. The energy that you feel when you're in there. Wide shots are really good. Because they give you an overview of what the places are like. After we shoot some wide shots, I'm going to move on to shooting some mid-level shots with the 50 millimeter. Then, of course, turn on the 85 millimeter and getting some really nice detailed shops that look really cool. But with that said guys, let's go check this place out and let's go get some cool shots. Now it's time to shoot with the 50 millimeter lens. This is more of a mid-range lands. The 35 is good for getting wide shots, but this is good for getting mid-level shots. This lens would be equivalent to the telephoto lens on the newer iPhones and the newer Samsung phones. Those are amazing. If you're using portrait mode, you can get some really cool images that look a lot like this. All right guys, I just switched to the 85 millimeter now. This is my favorite lens for capturing these cool detailed shots. I'm going to be using my good friend Ken here. He's been helping me film this course up to this point. I'm going to be using him and his hands to really capture this really cool lifestyle shots of him drinking coffee or going in for a piece of cake. I think these shots are really cool because they look really good when their contrasts are next to a more wide angle shot that you would get in other parts of the cafe with a 35-millimeter. These are really cool shots and I think it'll be really good images to add to the story of mankind hanging out at this cafe today. I think it'll be really cool. So let's try that out. All right guys, we finished shooting. We've got some really cool shots with all of the different focal lengths. We've got some really nice wide shots, some mid-level shots, and some really good detailed shots as well, even though it started to get a little bit dark towards the end of the shooting session here. We still got some really cool stuff, a lot of variety, a lot of detail, and a lot of emotion. We're going to head back to the studio now, edit the photos, arrange them into an album, and I'm going to walk you through that process. But before we do that, me and my friend are going to hang out, finish this cake, finish this coffee, and just have a little chat before we go home. But thank you guys for watching and I will see you in the next lesson. 7. Editing for Consistency: All right. We are back in the studio and it is time to get down to editing these photos to get a nice consistent look. We've got a lot of different shots, a lot of variety in our shots, some really nice close-up detailed shots, some good wide shots, and some good mid-level shots as well. I think they're all going to come together to look really good. But now it's time to edit those photos and edit them in a way that's stylistically consistent. We're going to make sure that all of the colors, the tones, everything just count matches up to give us a really nice consistent look. First things first, for those of you that are going to be editing on a smartphone, that is absolutely fine, smartphones are great and you can get amazing edit using apps like VSCO, Snapseed, and Lightroom Mobile. When it comes to mobile editing, there's one thing that you want to do to make sure that all your photos look consistent, and that is just to use the same filter on all of your photos. For the longest time I use the VSCO app and I use this filter called A6, and I would apply it to every single one of my images, and then I would go in and adjust the strength of the filter, and then I would move on to adjusting some of the things like Highlights, Shadows, Exposure, White balance, just some of the basic things that we're about to discuss. But I think those apps are awesome Snapseed, VSCO, and then if you're more advanced, Adobe Lightroom is the best app you can use on your smartphone and highly recommend it. I actually have a super detailed course on mobile editing, so if you want to learn more about that, check that out. But for the rest of this editing video, I'm going to be editing on my computer using Adobe Lightroom. All of the things I'm going to talk about are relevant to smartphone editors as well, so all of the sliders that are in Adobe Lightroom on my computer, a lot of those same sliders are on the mobile version as well. Whether you're editing on your phone or on your computer, the topics I'm about to discuss are going to be relevant to you no matter what. But jumping onto the computer here, I have probably one of my favorite images I took of the day, and I've actually selected seven images. Some of them I really love, and others that are just a thought were good to add to the selection here. I have a lot more images that I took on this day and there's some really good ones. But I'm going to show you guys how would edit these in a consistent way. I'm so typically I edit with presets, I'll slap on a preset and then a will sync it over to the other ones. But for this course, I don't want to go over presets, I want to show you guys how I would do it from scratch. If you are interested in presets, you can check those out on my website. But the first thing I always like to do is crop the photo. I'm going to crop it here. I'm going to keep it at a vertical aspect ratio. I'm going to crop it here, hit Enter and that's a good starting point. I'm going to come over here to the basic adjustments, and these are the things that you're going to see in most editing softwares, whether it's Adobe Lightroom or luminor or even VSCO has this a lot of the mobile apps have this. I'm just going to go in here, and what I'm going to do first is drop the highlights just to 35. What that's going to do? Is just to make sure we have a lot of good detail in these bright areas, once we do increase the exposure. Do the same thing with the shadows. I'm going to go up about 30-35 around there. I'm going to go down with the whites to keep things a little bit soft and then I'm going to go down with the blocks, because I like that nice, dark, moody look. After that, coming down to presence, texture, clarity, and dehaze, depending on what app you're using, there might be a similar function. Most apps have some sort of a clarity, a slider, and what that's going to do is basically increase the contrast on the minuit level, that's what I like to say. I like to bring this up 25 for my interior photos. It just makes everything pop a little bit more, looks really good. Now we're getting into the tone curve here, so we edited our lighting here and now we're going to get into the tone, and then remember I said the tone is super important for keeping a consistent look in all your images. The tone curve is essentially dictating all of the tones in your image. You're going to have a massive effect on the way your image looks, the exposure, the lighting, the contrast, all of that, and it's really, really important here. This is the tool that I use to make my photos nice and soft. I'm going to create a basic S curve here. I'm going to put a point there, I'm going to put point here, keep it in the middle and then another one up there. Now, it looks really high in contrast, but what we can do is take this bottom point and drag it up, and that's really going to soft and things out. Maybe a little bit too much so I'm going to back off those, bringing their shadows down little bit and just make it a little bit easier. I think that looks pretty cool. There's before, there's the after, before, after. You can see how moody It makes it, and then you can just play around this and find a combo that you like. Now, you can mess with the individual red, green, and blue color channels. I don't usually touch the greener blue but I liked to touch the red because I can add some really cool blue tones into the shadow areas of the image by making this one small adjustment. I'm going to add three points here, and I'm holding option on my keyboard to make sure that the line doesn't move when I add that point, and then I'm going to add another point down here, and I'm just going to sit very subtly, drag it down. It's very, very shuttle, I don't know if you can see that. But essentially there's the before and then there's what that blue adjustment made again, so it's very, very subtle. What is doing is it's adding blue into some of the shadow areas, and I think it just adds a lot of really interesting color depth that I like. After I got my tone set, I might come back up here to the white balance, make things a little bit warmer. I always, I'm coming back to the basic adjustments and their white balance and making sure everything looks good. Moving on to the HSL sliders, this is recan adjust the hue, which is basically you actual color itself. You can change the hue of the color, you can change the saturation for each color, and then the luminance, which is essentially the brightness of each color. I always like to start with saturation and with these images, I like them nice and Moody's so I like to really desaturate specific colors, always starting with green and then also desaturating the blues and then sometimes coming in here and desaturating the orange is a little bit in the reds and just getting a much more of a neutral, moody look that I personally love. I think that looks pretty good. There's the before and there's the after, nice kind of a sophisticated dark moody look that I personally really like. From there, that's most of the editing that I would do for an image like this. I don't really worry about the detail too much, I don't worry about the lens correction, I don't worry about that. Sometimes I'll go in and I'll add vignetting, and once again, most mobile editing apps also have this feature. What that's going to do is basically darken the edges of the photo. I'd like to maybe drag that down by six or 10 or around there and not too much,and then sometimes I'll come back here and just brighten things and make it look I want it. That's essentially how would edit one photo on my album. I might make a few more changes, but for the most part, that's how I would do it. After that, the rest is pretty simple. We have seven photos here and they were all take on the same day. What I can do is make sure I'm selected on that first photo, hold shift on my keyboard and click all the way to the last photo and then I can click this button here called Sync. What that's going to do is basically take all the edits that I did on the first photo and apply them to all of the other images as well. Which is pretty awesome, because it saves you a ton of time. One of the things I like to do is uncheck white balance, because the white balance for every photo is going to be different. I uncheck the local adjustments so that is like if you were doing a local adjustment on one part of the image, you don't want that to transfer over to another image because it will be very different, and I'll undo the crop as well. Everything else I'll usually leave unless I want to make a specific change later on. I'll hit Synchronize and that will apply that same edit to all these images, so we have a really consistent tone with all of these images that I just applied that edit to. Then what I'll do is I'll just go through, makes sure that the exposures right where I want it. If I think one colors is dominating I'll go in and all, slightly adjust that and then maybe just make a few small adjustments to all of them here. But I don't have to do much because we already did most of the editing work with that first image, which is great. We've already set our colors, we've already set the tones that we want, we don't really have to do a whole lot to make our image look good, just some cropping and white balance adjustments, and things like that. You can see how fast I'm just going through these and editing them. I really love this image here. I do you want to bring some color back into that pastry. Awesome. This image looks a little bit warm, so I'll bring that down, straight knew a little bit, that looks good, and for this last image, a bit dark so we'll increase the exposure here. Now, it looks too bright, so we'll lower the highlights. We can even make this one a little bit softer, because there's a lot of dark areas. Then maybe we'll also just straighten it and give it a bit of a crop. Boom, that looks pretty good, and you can actually do this with all of your images. You can take all of the photos that you took, edit the first one and apply that edit to all of the other images that you took on that same day. You can also create a preset and then use that preset for that shoot and then future chutes as well. Not only does this single album look consistent, but your whole body of work looks consistent, and that's one of the reasons why I like to use presets is because it keeps my look consistent throughout all of the photos that I take over the course of a year or two years, and I like having that consistent look. That is my basic editing overview. Just to recap, if you are editing on your smart phone, your mobile phone, choose one filter and use that for all of your different images and then make adjustments after that and then if you're editing on your computer, on a program such as Lightroom, I recommend copy and pasting this headings or just selecting one preset and just using one preset on all of your photos so you can have that really nice consistent look. But now that we've got our edits done, it's time for the best part of this entire process and that is actually creating an arranging our album in a beautiful way. This is my favorite part because you can get super creative with it, and you can do all cool things with image placement, image size, and all of those. We're going to get into that, talk about some of the absolute you can use, and then even talk about print as well and how you can arrange your photo in a physical print. But let's get to that now. 8. Crafting your Album: Up to this point, we have talked about photography and emotion. We've talked about shooting the album. We've actually shot an album and edited an album, and now it's time to put it all together. This is really the part where the story comes to life. This is where we finalize everything, bring all the images together, and create our narrative. Before I get into talking about digital albums, online albums versus physical print albums, I want to talk about the actual act of arranging the album itself. When I say arranging your album, I don't necessarily mean which photo comes first and which photo comes second and third, and so on. Yes, that is certainly part of it. But what I'm actually referring to is just the way the whole album is formatted as a whole, so how big are the images? Are they big images? Are they small images? Are they in accordance to the page and in accordance to other images? All of these factors are going to really affect the experience that the viewer has when they see your album. When we're talking about a photograph, honestly, it's no different than a sculpture or a painting where those artists really made an effort to make sure that their work was viewed in a very specific way, and not simply because the way in which it's viewed strongly affects the experience of the viewer. The photographer by the name of Wolfgang Tillman, I think is a fantastic example of this. Every single one of his exhibits is meticulously designed by him. He creates a scale model of each exhibit beforehand and carefully plans where each image will be placed. He puts tiny images next to large images and magazine spreads that feature his work, and his goal with all of this is to remove hierarchy and make everything equal. He places high-level commercial shoots next to personal projects and puts them all on a level playing field, allowing you to formulate your own story based on how you experienced the exhibit. I think his exhibits are just a great example of how the way you arrange your album can affect the overall story, the overall mood, and the overall experience of your album. I'm not here to tell you how you should arrange your album because at the end of the day that's up to you and you should arrange it based on how you want people to experience your work. But I just want you to think about this going forward because this does play a big role in the story. When we go to actually building our albums and arranging our albums, well, you have two different options. You can do an online digital album or you could do a physical print album, and I think both are fantastic ways to present your story. When I'm talking about digital albums, a lot of us share our work on Instagram. Instagram was one of the things that drew me to creating albums in the first place when they released the album function on the platform a few years ago. I do share a lot of my albums on Instagram because of this feature, and I like being able to share behind the scenes shots of an adventure that I had. I'm not just showing the landscape like I said, but I'm sharing a bunch of photos that really adds to the overall story and the mood of the image. But the problem with Instagram albums is you work very limited artistically in the sense of how you can arrange the album. You only really have one option and that is, one photo goes in front of the other and you can swipe to see the others. They are all the same size, and you really can't deviate from that too much unless you make a separate collage and then upload it to the album. But I just think that ruins the experience a little bit. Instagram is great for sharing albums, but in terms of really customizing your album, I don't think it's the best thing out there. But I have found another app that is amazing for creating super customized albums that maybe they're not great for sharing. You can't share it as easy on Instagram, but you can create an album for yourself and for people that you're close to, and you can really customize it and create it how you want to create it, and that app is Canva. So you might have heard of Canva, it's an awesome app where you can create any kind of design. You can create posters, presentations, flyers, posts, whatever, I have all kinds of posts on here. If you got to canva.com, you create an account. You click here, create a design. Now, you have all kinds of things like I said, posters, business cards. But if you scroll down here to personal, they have photo collage and photo books, and I think these are really cool for creating your online album. If you click here, you will see multiple different collage templates that you can use and they're all super cool. This one here, you can see it has multiple different pages, so you can choose which page you want. All you have to do is drag and drop it over, and then you can change the image out very easily. You can see this one's pretty cool as well. You click this and you can change each image, change the text, whatever you want to do. Here, I use one of these templates and I just created this quick album called California really quick, to change the images and added some of my own, and just formulated it however I wanted. You can drag and drop images. You can make them bigger or smaller, and really just have it how you want it to be. I think that looks really cool with the overlapping colors right there. Here we have a full length page. Here's some food, some coffee. If you wanted to share some of your experiences where you're traveling, or your food experiences, here's just some cool imagery here. A lot of whitespace on this page. I'm scrolling down. I love Canvas because you can totally customize it however you want and you can easily delete things, drag things, make them bigger, make them bold. You can change the overall size of the page as well, which is great. If you want to have more of a vertical look, you can do that, and you just have such creative control of things that you can't do on Instagram. This is the album that I created with the images from the course. I used a template for the first page, and then after that, I went on and did my own thing. Let's break this down. I have two detailed images here in the front that I think set the tempo. We have cafe adventures, just random title there and a cool fonts, and then down here, we have Chiang Mai, Thailand. For the second page, I have some of our wider shots showing the name of the cafe, some of the interiors, and then we get into these mid-level shots, which I think are super cool, really moody, and fully the motion, and these probably are two of my favorite photos. You can see I fill up the entire page here on both of them with just a sliver of white in the middle. I found that, it looks better than just having them touch in the middle there. Next page I focused on some of the food, the food, and the coffee of the cafe. Some detail shots here that really show some of the details and looks really cool, and you can see all these images are very consistent in terms of lighting, color, and tone. Everything is because the way we edited the images, we made sure that everything was going to be consistent by using the same edit on all the photos. So scrolling down we have another page formatted like above with filling out everything and just really focusing on the size and getting it in front of the viewer. I didn't want to have small images that were hard to see. I wanted them to be big and bold and in your face and that's how I wanted the viewer of this album to experience it. Now this was a really cool shot here and this was the kind of detail shot of the light hitting the wall. Super, super cool shots. And then what I did was I had another one, this image and I just dragged it over to the side and let it kind of hang out a little bit. And then these lines kind of come in and intersect and almost looks like they line up. Which I think adds this cool dynamic where your eyes kind of just guide across the page and then you have this whitespace here, which just make sure our focus is on this main part here. So I really like that, that section there. For this page, I just wanted to have something kind of big and bold and just really focus on the tone. So this is much more of a minimal composition and very simple, very smooth, not a lot of detail, but I love it. I think it goes to show that even just having an image with not a lot of subject matter, but similar tones and dramatic lighting can really add so much to the mood of the album and really add to the story and the experience. Coming down just some random shots of some of the things in the cafe, some of the products, little detailed shots and then here I did three shots of the interiors. None of these photos were particularly special to me, so I thought I would okay if we brought multiple to one slide and brought them together. Then this was honestly probably my favorite shot of the day and I wanted to give it its own slide because it's so simple, but I love it. I love the light, I love the composition. It's really modern, but it's really soft and gentle and I just really like this image. So I made it the last image as kind of a way to say goodbye and I want you to remember the album from this image and then I signed it down here and I put the date. So it's very simple. I mean, you can spend so much time coming up with your own creative album and really customizing it and that's why I love Canvas so much as you can really create something in a unique way and come up with something awesome. And then you can download it and save it as a PDF and then that is really easy to share with others. It's a really small file size and actually I think this is a great way to share the course projects, so if you guys want to create an album like this, you can just create a PDF or even just share the link straight from Canvas. If you go up here and click share, you can scroll down here. Click share a link to view and then it'll just automatically create and copy a link and then boom, you can just post that in the student project and we can check that out. Or you can create a PDF and then share the link to that PDF, to the group project as well. I think that's a great way to share your work to the course project. Now let's switch gears and talk about physical albums and honestly, I physical albums to me nothing beats a physical album and that's simply because, you know, when you're consuming media on your phone or your computer, you are limited to the dimensions of the screen and the pixels and everything like that. But when you're consuming content physically in your hand and you're holding a photo book or a photo collage or postcards with images on them. The experience is much different. You can feel it, you can see it and it changes in the light and it's just, I think, a better overall experience to viewing albums. So there are so many different sites online where you can print your own photo. First off, you can print from Canvas, which is really cool. So you can, even if you just save a PDF and print it yourself or send it to a print company nearby your house. You can print that and have it for yourself. You can print it on photo paper and able look really good. But there are some really awesome dedicated services where you can basically go online, create your own album, upload your photos, organize everything, and customize it how you want it, and then have it printed out and shipped directly to your house for super affordable price. I don't want to get into creating the actual album because I talked about already with Canvas, but I do want to showcase just three of the really awesome print on-demand companies that you can use to print out your own albums. So the first one is AdoramaPix photobook. I mean, it's awesome. You can create some super cool designs. You have so much control over customizing it. The software is flexible and I did play around with this a little bit and created my own album. I did use the service a lot when I lived back home in America. Now, I'm really mobile, so I don't really have space for a physical album. I do keep other forms of physical imagery, but in terms of a photo album, I really think this is a great company to go with. You can compose some really awesome photo books, and they're just shipped directly to your house. The other two are Mixbook photo books. This is another good company, very similar to Adorama. It's easy to use, It's flexible. It's created that you can add colors, you can add text and you can really create something that means something to you. The last one I really like Shutterfly photo book. It's the cheapest of the three. And I wouldn't say it's quite as nice as Adorama, but it is still really good. You have a lot of customization. You can move things around and make it how you want to make it. At the end of the day, that's the most important feature is being able to customize it. Any company you go with is going to be fine. There so many online. Do a little bit of research or you can use one of these three. I'll add links in the description of this course. They are all pretty great and having a physical album in your hand, whether it would be a photo book, a small eight by ten or anything for that matter, really does add to the experience of viewing an album. My girlfriend actually recently picked up a Polaroid camera and she's been shooting some of our adventures and I love having these. I love having these simple images that. There's nothing special about them except for this one. I really love this one. I mean, there's nothing really special about them. The quality isn't amazing, but having them in my hand and laying them out and being able to style them with other things and even take photos of these. It looks really cool. So I think having a camera like a polaroid, we instantly have a physical copy of your image is really, really cool. And if you don't have a Polaroid or even some of the new polaroids that have come out where you can instantly print out a photo. I highly recommend getting one. I think they're awesome and they're fun to play around with. But in terms of creating and arranging your albums, that's pretty much all I have to say. I just want you to think about the way you arrange it. And you don't fall into the trap of just putting one photo after another, you know, think about it. How do you want your photos to be viewed? Do you want big photo, small photos, a lot of whitespace. It's all up to you. But that is definitely something that affects the overall story. I think having that in your mind will really set you off on the right foot when you go to create your album. 9. Summing Things Up: All right, guys. Well, we had made it to the end of the course and all I have to say is thank you so much for sticking around and make it to the end. When it comes to crafting your own stories through albums, there is a lot you can talk about. I think I did cover all the most important things that you should consider when you go out and shoot these stories. But I also want to hammer in the fact that at the end of the day, this is totally a creative process and this is just my process. This is just just the way I do things. You can really take my creative process and put your own spin on it and do whatever you want and come up with your own story, your own process, and your own artistic signature. But once again, I really hope that you did find the course useful in some way. If you did, please leave a review and let me know what you thought of the course. I love reading the reviews and checking out what you guys think. I also love seeing your projects, so please create a course project and post that here in the course and do it however you want to do it as long as you're sharing five to ten images, you can push them in whatever format you want. I like Canva. If you just want to upload your photos directly to Skillshare, you can do that as well. That's totally fine. At the end of the day, as long as you're putting something out there, I can't wait to see it. If you guys want to check out more of my courses, I have a ton of courses here on Skillshare, everything related to photography, social media, Instagram storytelling, a lot of different content related to the stuff we discussed in this course. Some of the things I went over in this course like editing in the actual photography aspect, I have much longer dedicated courses focusing specifically on those things. I highly recommend you check those out. But thanks again guys, it's time for me to get going and I really hope to see you in one of my other courses. Catch you later.