Smartphone Photography for Instagram Success: Capturing Stunning Lifestyle Photos With Your Phone | Sean Dalton | Skillshare

Smartphone Photography for Instagram Success: Capturing Stunning Lifestyle Photos With Your Phone

Sean Dalton, Travel & Lifestyle Photographer

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11 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:59
    • 2. Intro to Lifestyle Photography

      2:09
    • 3. Class Project

      0:46
    • 4. Basic Photography Tips

      4:02
    • 5. Essential Shooting Apps

      3:16
    • 6. Shooting Fashion

      9:06
    • 7. Shooting Food

      7:12
    • 8. Shooting Ambiance

      5:36
    • 9. Best Editing Apps

      10:43
    • 10. Instagram Posting Tips and Tricks

      5:12
    • 11. Closing Words

      2:12
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About This Class

Join popular Instagram lifestyle photographer Sean Dalton (@seandalt) as he shows you exactly how to use your smartphone to capture stunning lifestyle photos for Instagram.

Before he became a professional photographer and popular lifestyle Instagrammer, Sean used his iPhone to capture stunning photos throughout his travels across the world. This allowed him to learn the ins and outs of smartphone photography, and helped him establish himself as popular lifestyle photographer. Even though Sean shoots professionally with a DSLR, he still uses his camera phone quite often.

In this 53 minute course, Sean teaches you everything you need to know about capturing amazing photos with your smartphone, providing you with detailed steps on to shoot, edit, and post different types of lifestyle photos. Sean share's all of his smartphone photography tips and tricks, including:

  • How to tell visual stories through lifestyle photos
  • How to shoot food with your smartphone
  • How to shoot fashion with your smartphone
  • How to capture the moods and emotions of your scene
  • Photo editing made easy
  • How to post on Instagram for maximum engagement
  • And more.

Whether you're someone that doesn't own a DSLR and want to learn how to take better photos with their smartphone, or a seasoned photographer that just wants to watch one of their peers shoot, there is something to learn in this course for everyone. This course covers everything you need to know about smartphone lifestyle photography, and can help you set yourself apart on platforms like Instagram.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: You know, lifestyle photography is undoubtedly one of the easiest forms of photography to relate to. I think that's why it's so popular on platforms like Instagram today. Lifestyle photography is about depicting these seemingly simple and everyday activities in a beautiful way and in a way that tells a story. I think that's a really, really powerful thing. On top of that, capturing stunning lifestyle photos is all possible using only your phone. My name is Sean Dalton and I'm a travel and lifestyle photographer based in Asia, originally from San Francisco, California. When I first started out as a photographer, I was not very good. I wasn't the best photographer in the world. But over the years, I kept trying, I kept improving, I kept honing in on my style. Today I have over 30,000 followers on Instagram and my post of lifestyle photos, I post every single day, and I really, really love what I do. I credit my success to a few different things. Number 1 is improvements in smartphone technology, and the second thing is the style of lifestyle photography, which is something that anybody can relate to. When it comes life style photography I think that there's no better place to display your work than on Instagram. The reason for that is because Instagram allows you to create a cohesive theme. When you first visit someone's page, you see 9-12 photos right there in front of you. All of those photos worked together to tell a cohesive story about that person I wrote whatever kind of content they're posting. While each individual picture is beautiful and nice, collectively those pictures together really create this mood in that emotion that the photographer's trying to get across. In this course, we're going to explore the limits of smartphone photography in accordance to lifestyle photography, we're going to cover a variety of different types of lifestyle shots, including fashion photography, food photography, and what I like to call ambient shots, or basically any photo that helps get that mood and that emotion across. I'm also going to teach you a few basic photography techniques. I'll show you some really useful apps for editing and shooting your photos. I'm actually going to show you screen recordings of my smart phone so you can see exactly what I'm shooting, exactly how engaging with whatever I'm shooting, and I think that's a really good way for you to learn smartphone photographer. Lastly, I'm going to leave you with a few crucial Instagram tips to help you become more successful on Instagram. Who's this class for? This class is basically for anybody that wants to become better at smartphone photography or anybody that just wants to step up their Instagram game. Maybe you're somebody that just doesn't have a big DSLR, and all you have is your phone and you want to learn how to take good photos on your phone. Well this course is certainly for you. If you're an advanced photographer and you have a big DSLR, but you just want to see another photographer shoe. You want to see how they engage with lifestyle photography well this course is also for you. At the end of the day we're going to be covering a ton of different topics, and there's something here to learn for everybody. With that said guys, I really hope you take the time to enroll in this course and if you do, then I will certainly see you in the course dashboard. 2. Intro to Lifestyle Photography: All right, guys, so you've enrolled in the course and now, it's time to get started. Before we move into things, I want to take a second to define what lifestyle photography actually is, because I think there's a lot of misconceptions around what lifestyle photography is. Essentially, at its most basic form, lifestyle photography is any type of photo that attempts to capture a real-life situation or a moment in time in an artistic way. With that said, the primary goal of lifestyle photography is to tell a story. I think that's a really popular notion right now, is this idea of storytelling. I think a lot of people are tossing that term around and for a good reason because lifestyle photography is a kind of an accumulation of all these different photos that tell this cohesive story, and they paint this really meaningful picture. I think this notion of storytelling is really powerful here because I think that photos that speak to you beyond their aesthetic characteristics are really, really powerful. I think that they really attract a lot more than just the eye, they make you think, they make you wonder. Those are much more popular than just photos that look nice. Lifestyle photography can be many different things and it comes in a lot of different forms. For the purposes of this course, I'm going to focus on three of the more popular forms of lifestyle photography, so food photography, fashion photography, and what I like to call, ambient shots, or basically photos that just help you express this mood or help you create that emotion that you're trying to get across in your photos. I mean, these ambient shots can be anything, it can be a picture of a bike; it can be a picture of your clothes; it can be a picture of pretty much anything that helps you get that mood across. At the end of the day, you have food photography and fashion photography and these ambient shots and when they're alone, as an individual, they're beautiful photos, but when you combine them into a cohesive feed on a platform like Instagram, it creates this really strong lifestyle. It just attracts people and people want to see that. It creates moods and emotions and it just elicits something more than just a pretty looking photo. I think, that's what we're trying to express in this course and that's what I'm going to be showing you how to do today. 3. Class Project: For the course project, I want you to capture a three lifestyle photos with your smartphone and post them in the project below and this is really important and I really want you guys to take the time to do this because not only are you getting direct feedback for me and I'll, you know, I'll look at your photos, I'll critique them and do all that. But you're going to be receiving feedback from everybody else in the course too. So it's really good for you do the project and I really love seeing what you guys come up with. So I know you have photos on your phone, just go on your phone, download the sculpture app and just post on right there. Super easy, nice and fast. I want to see more by you guys lives. I want to see who you are. I want to know who you are. I want to see the photos that you're taking and I want to critique them, so please take the time to do that and with that said, let's move on to the next section. 4. Basic Photography Tips: Before we get started, I want to cover a few basic photography tips because I'm going to be talking about these concepts as I'm shooting and I want you to be able to follow me. Essentially there's three factors that make up a shot. This is relevant for not only smart phone photography but for all types of photography. The camera is just a tool to capture these three things. The first thing you've got to think about is lighting. The second thing is styling, and the third thing is composition. Lighting, styling, and composition. Those are the three most important factors for every single photo that you take. They all play into each other as well, so it's important to think about all three of them as a whole and not just different parts. When a lot of new photographers are starting out, they might only focus on one of those factors. Maybe they're only focusing on the styling or the composition, but they're not focusing on all three. In order to get a good photo, you really have to think about all three of those factors and they have to work as a whole in one piece. In this course, I'm going to be showing you how I do that in the shooting phase, but I want you to have a good understanding of these topics before we get going. When it comes to lighting, that's the first thing you should always look at. When you're setting up your scene, the first thing you should think is, where's my light source? Is it the sun? If it's the sun, where is it coming from? Are there lights inside this room that I'm shooting in? Are they having an effect on my photo? The better the light, the better your photo is going to be. If I had to recommend a better time to shoot, I would say usually in the evenings, or right before late afternoons is a really good time, or early mornings. That's because the sun is at a 45-degree angle in the sky and it just creates this really beautiful golden light onto your scene and it's just beautiful. Some of the best photos taken are taken during this time. After that, after you've identified the light source, you can move on to step number two, and that's styling. So what is styling? Styling is essentially the content in your photo. If it's food, then it's the way you style the food to make it look good for the camera. If you have a sandwich, you don't want inelegantly sandwich, you want to make that sandwich look pretty for the camera. If you're shooting fashion, it's making sure that your model, the way that their clothes are folding on their body looks really nice or the way that they're posing. It's essentially the way you organize the content in your frame to make it beautiful. You've completed step number one, you've identified your light source and you've completed this step number two. You've styled your content so it looks nice. The third step, and possibly one of the most important is setting your composition. What does that mean? That essentially means the way you lay your things out in the frame of your camera. A really good tip I can give you when setting your composition is just to move around and try new things. It's really important to move and try because a lot of the shots, the composition is just not going to be good. But composition is important because when you take a photo, when somebody looks that photo, their eye is going to move around the frame and it's going to look at everything in the frame. If the composition is not set up in a beautiful way, then your eyes are going to get stuck in certain parts of the frame. It's just not going to flow, it's just not going to look aesthetic to the human eye. Composition is very, very important and there's really no specific way to do it. There's a lot of different techniques you can use for composition and a quick Google search would yield a ton of different articles on compositional techniques for photography. I can create a three hour course on composition, or lighting, and styling, but for the purposes of this course, I'm going to make it simple. I just want you to be thinking about what composition is. When I'm shooting, I want you to take a look at how I'm laying things out in the frame and how they're presenting themselves in accordance to everything else in the frame. I think that's the most important thing when it comes to composition. But I do want you to note that lighting and styling both have a very strong effect on composition. If you're shooting in the middle of the day, for example, and the sun is very bright and it's creating a really harsh shadow through the middle of your frame, that's going to impact your composition. That's definitely something to think about. 5. Essential Shooting Apps: So when it comes to smartphones, I really don't think it matters. I mean, if you have an iPhone that's great. If you have a Samsung, that's great too. This is a Samsung S eight. This is an iPhone seven plus. They're both amazing. They take really good photos. I have an iPhone eight plus and that's I'm using right now, but you don't really need a specific type of phone. If you have an older phone, that's fine. It just gives it a more vintage look, just roll with that. When it comes to applications, there's a ton of applications that you can download and use on your smartphones for better photos. I can't start to talk about all of them, but there are a few that I really like to use. Just a quick tip, if you are using an iPhone, I think you can do this on Android as well. Enable the grid on your camera so you can see the grid lines, and that's really helpful for composing your shot. In the next section I'm going to talk to you about composition and why that's important, but that's a really good tip. I think you should probably enable those grid lines. That's really a great thing to do. Then when it comes to applications, I personally like to use just the normal built-in camera. I think it's great. There's really nothing else that you need. For certain things like if you have an iPhone and you want to use the portrait mode, there's a really cool app called focus, but this is only relevant if you have the iPhone 10 or the iPhone eight plus the iPhone seven plus. That's because you need that 50 millimeter camera to do that, but that's a really good app and it allows you to blur everything around. It's really cool, but I really like this app called Huji cam. An Huji cam is basically an app that goes in your phone that makes your photos look vintage. Like you take a picture and it automatically, and it's the photo into a venture to look based on the Huji film, or Huji analogue film. So that's a really cool app. I'm going to be using it today in the fashion segment because I think it just gives your photos instantly an artistic look. If you're shooting all of your photos with Huji cam, they're all going to look super cohesive. The style is going to be the same. The other one I recommend is Kodak camera pro. Kodak camera Pro is really cool, you basically have 36 photos that you take in a row and you have to wait three days for them to develop. But once they develop, it's like you had a film camera. I mean, they look vintage, they look really cool. It's just like the old film days where you had to send your film in, and it had to get developed so it's the process, it's not only the end result, but the process that matters there. Huji cam and Kodak camera Pro are really good apps. If you do have a iPhone 8 plus, 7 plus or iPhone 10, I highly recommend the focus up. I'm going to be showing you guys how I use that in the food photography segment, but with that said, that's pretty much all the apps that I use for the shooting phase. Now, there's a lot of apps that I use in the editing phase. We're going to talk about those later on in this course. Like I said, really, the only camera that you really need is the camera built into the phone because you can adjust lighting and exposure now on the iPhone and the Samsung. I'm going to show you exactly how I do that during the shooting phase, but these cameras are super dynamic and you don't really need any extra apps unless you want that vintage look out of the camera. With that said, let's move on to the next section. 6. Shooting Fashion: Okay, guys. We've talked about some of the tips and tricks you could follow, and now it's time to start shooting. We're going to start with the fashion segment. I'm here with my good friend Ploy. Her Instagram is ploychatt, P-L-O-Y-C-H-A-T-T. She's an awesome model and photographer. You guys should follow her. But we're going to do some fashion photography here using the iPhone. I have the iPhone 8 plus, but I'm not going to be using the portrait mode because the wide-angle lens is perfect for fashion photography, and actually any smartphone is perfect for fashion photography because that wide-angle lens allows you to bring in some of the surrounding environment of your model, and it just looks really good. It's great for fashion photography and some of the best. Some of those smaller fashion brands, they only use their iPhone for their brand, which is amazing. We've come here. I position Ploy on this awesome staircase and it totally matches with what she's wearing. So perfect. She already puts one of her leg up. It creates a dynamic scene. I really like how there's like this stuff growing here. It looks really cool. In terms of lighting, obviously, our light source is fully natural. The sun is letting us see and the sun is creating shadows in the back but right here it's perfect. The light is soft and it's really nice that even there's no crazy shadows under Ploy's eyes or anything like that. It's a really good scene. I'm going to start out. I'm going to stand back here and get some shots of her just chilling. Perfect. I love that. That's really good, Ploy is a natural. She makes it really easy. Yeah, just like that. Perfect. I love this. In terms of composition, she's laying throughout this scene here. You can see on my phone, it just looks really, really good. Styling wise, it's totally on point and in what she's wearing and you see, she just looks really great. You can see here I'm moving around and I want to highlight that, zooming with my feet. I'm trying different things. I'm getting far away shots from capturing a lot of the scene and I'm moving in closer and capturing some accessory or some detail shots. She has this really cool watch. I'm going to zoom in on that and take a picture of that. You don't always have to show the face either. You can try new things. Awesome. It looks really good. I do want to highlight this really awesome app I talked about earlier. It's called Fuji Cam, and it automatically edits your photo after you take it into this really vintage loo. It's super, super cool. I'm going to pop that out and take some pictures so you guys can see what that looks like. Awesome. Put that foot back down. I like that right there. Yeah, awesome. You can go ahead and look over there. Nice. Really, really like this one. I'm moving close here and get some details shots once again. Nice. I'm moving Ploy around, I'm having her look out of the frame that I'm having her looking at the camera and I'm moving around. I think the most important thing is just to try different things, possibly. Really, I like this so much. Do you want to stand up and move down here? Perfect. Right there. Really cool. I'm still using the Fuji Cam. It's a really cool app. That's pretty much it. I think we should change it up. We're going to head to a different location and get some variety in these shots. This is a good location, but I think it's time to try something different. Let's go check out that second location. All right guys. Now, we've moved around the Cafe hand I found this bench, which is really cool. I like this greenery. It's a little more simple than the last background which was, there's a lot going on, but this is nice because it's very, very simple. It just lets us focus on her, which is great. I'm going to do the same type of thing. I'm going to stand back here and I'm going to get a photo like this. Actually, this is kind of distracting up here. What I'm doing is, I'm bringing down the camera and focusing the composition on her and on this plant here, and then on these bricks on the ground. Perfect. Ploy, look that way. Perfect. I'm having her look into the frame. I don't want her looking in the left. My left, her, right, because that's going to be looking to the short side of the frame. That just looks kind of weird. I'm using the rule of third to position her on the third of the camera over here on the left side. Perfect. Look at me. Perfect. I Iove that. It helps when you have a really stylish model like Ploy. She's very great. Another tip, if you want to have a simpler background, say, if I have Ploy over here, you can just move down and then you're shooting up at her and it really simplifies the background. That's really a good thing to do if you're in a location where you don't have a nice clean background like this. That's really helpful. Get lower and make the background much more simple. I really love this backdrop. There's no need to do that. We'll take a few more. I'm going to stand back and I'm going to get everything else here. Nice. Perfect, Ploy. Awesome. You can take landscape and portrait. I've now been taking mostly portrait, but that's perfect. I love this. You go ahead and look that way, and big smile. These are great. This is really presenting a lifestyle. It's not only highlighting the clothes or highlighting Ploy as a person, but it's highlighting this whole idea, this green theme, and the clothes that she's wearing. It's all kind of getting this idea across, this kind of this lifestyle and that's really cool. We're going to move over here because there's this really cool bike. Let's go over here, Ploy. I like this is really cool, old bike slash turned into a plants box or something. I'm going to have Ploy stand here just like that and I'm going to stand back here. Nice. I'm moving around trying to find the best angle here. We have some plants here. It's going to be cool. There we go. There's the good angle. Perfect I like that, and then look this way. Yeah, good. Fix the hat again. Nice. I love it. Good. Then I'm going to get closer because I'm moving around trying different things. Yes, that's my favorite one. This vessel sounds a little bit distracting, but it's not too bad. But that's basically. Guys' fashion photography with the iPhone is easy and it's really amazing what you can do with it. Thank you so much Ploy for helping. I'm really excited to open these photos up in APP and edit them, and then come up with some really, really cool stuff. I'm going to show you which apps I use to edit. With that said, let's get on to shooting some of the other scenes and then move on to the editing phase. Thanks, guys. 7. Shooting Food: Now it's time to shoot food. A lot of people think that food photography is not possible with an iPhone or a Samsung. That's not true. You can create some stunning food photography photos using only your phone. Some of the best food Instagrammers out there only use their phone. I don't know how they do it, but they do it. The reason why the iPhone 8 plus or the 7 plus or the iPhone 10 is really good is because it has that dual lens camera. It's a 50 millimeter camera, which is awesome for food. Zoom lenses are really good for food. I ordered a bunch of food here. We have like some pasta, we have this toast and we have this little piece of cake, and then this Matcha Latte everything looks really good. I've laid it out on the table in no specific way. But the reason I chose this table was because it's perfect, perfect light. The sun is up there, but there's clouds in the front of it. So it's creating this really nice soft light, and guys that's the most important thing here, the lighting, when it comes to food photography, you really don't want to shoot in the harsh light. It just doesn't look good. You don't want to shoot in the dark either because that doesn't look good. When you have nice soft light like this, we're still getting some really nice shadows here on the sides of the plates and on the opposite side of the food. But it's dynamic. It's not flat, it's dynamic. It's beautiful, it's soft, it's perfect. So also the setting here. There's this cool wall and the table is beautiful, everything looks good and the food looks good as well. One of the first things I'm going to do is I'm going to set things up here so it looks descent and I'm going to shoot this piece of cake first. I'm going to push this in the middle here and then I'm going to have these things around it. I'm shooting in the portrait mode. Because the portrait mode gives me this really cool zoom function here and you can see boom. Wow that's amazing. In terms of composition, you can see here I have picked these plates , so it's adding a little bit more depth to the photo. It's not just the cake in the middle of the table. You can see that there's a plate. You can tell that it's a table. You understand what the scene is. I'm going to shoot this beautiful piece of toast. Same thing here. Wow. I'm going to move this drink in a little bit, so I'm setting the composition here and just making sure everything looks really good. The food is already styled very nicely. They did a good job of doing that, so I don't have to worry too much about that. I forgot to say there's pretty much two angles you can use when it comes to food photography. The first one is 45 degrees. So the 45 degree angle is a classic, a lot of professional photographer shoot at that angle. It always looks good. The second one is a flat lay, so I'll get to that in a second. But it keeps shooting at this 45 degree angle. It looks really good. Once again, remember when we were shooting the fashion, I was moving around and and trying different things so I'm doing that again, with the food photography. I move it around. I'm trying different angles. I'm just experimenting. I think that's a winner. If you don't have portrait mode, that's okay. You can get up close and get a 45 degree angle like this. The photo is still going to be really good. The portrait mode, just take it to the next level. You can see here, I'm not shooting in portrait mode, and it still looks really cool. After you shot the 45 degree angle, that's all fun and games. You can add more to the scene and turn it into a flat lay. I'm here with my friends and we have a lot of just random stuff. I have my wallet. I could add my glasses on the table for this and essentially the flat lay is you're taking a shot down on top of the scene and you're capturing everything on the table. The flat lay is a really good shot, but it's really important to make sure everything is balanced. You don't want to just have it all laid out. You want to make sure that it looks somewhat balanced and the frame is even in all different ways. So there's another piece of food over here that I'm going to bring in. It's not the prettiest, but I want to have a balanced frame so I'm going to bring this in. I'll put it right here. There's a lot of food on this table. I swear my friends are here. I'm not going to eat it all by myself. Cool we can put this there. So everything here is contributing to this idea that we're hanging out in a café on the weekend, we've got a bunch of food and its cool. People want to look at this stuff. The important thing here is you want to get up tall. Don't hurt yourself. You want to be able to get all the food here. I'm right on top and getting the food. That's a nice shot. That's really cool. You can also get your feet in there. Why not right? That adds to the theme, especially if your shoes are cool not mine. The flat lay is super easy. I really love doing that. There is one more type of shot that I do want to highlight and you do need a friend for this. You can do it yourself if you have long arms, but this thing, it's just really simple. It's just the hand holding the drink in front of a wall or something like that. This wall is really cool and all this wash and everything just looks really good. I'm going to stand here and shoot a normal mode. Bring down the exposure a little bit boom. Once you hold it out a little bit closer to me [inaudible]. Yeah, right there. Perfect nice and simple. If you do have portrait mode, you can use portrait mode. It looks even better because it adds depth to the photo. I'm going to do that, portrait mode. Boom. Awesome. That's pretty much it guys. Food photography is pretty simple if you just follow these basic techniques, 45 degrees, flat lay and then this really interesting hand, holding the drink or holding the food wherever photo that's always a classic one. With that said, food photography is a really great way to connect with your followers and it's just a classic form of lifestyle photography. I hope you guys can implement these techniques and I can't wait to see the photos that you come up with. Let's move on to the next section. 8. Shooting Ambiance: Hi guys. We've shot fashion, we've shot food and now we're going to shoot what I like to call ambience photos. I just made that up. I don't know if that's the right word for it. Essentially, these shots are photos that are anything other than coffee and food that still contribute to that mood or that emotion that you're trying to express in your lifestyle feed on Instagram. Right now it's perfect. It's about 04:30 PM. The sun is starting to set, the light is really long. We have these beautiful shadows of light cast throughout this place here. You can see over here this old Vespa with this cool door and the light is just hitting it perfectly. I'm just enamored by this. I'm going to just take some shots of this, and we'll bring the exposure down and make it a little bit moody so you can really get those highlights there. I'm just going to experiment and just take different types of photos. There's no right or wrong here. Basically, your photo can be of anything as long as, as I said, contributes to that mood or that emotion that you're trying to get across on your feet. Get a little bit closer. God, I love this thing, so cool. Awesome. We're going to keep walking around here and let's see if we can find some other cool stuff to shoot. I was walking around and I found this cool little restaurant thing over there. I think it'll be cool if we shoot the front of it. So let's walk over there and check it out. Yeah, like this because it's symmetrical and have these cool plants in the front, and these tables. It just looks really nice. I'm just going to look around and see. I'm not shooting in portrait mode right now, I'm just shooting in regular wide-angle mode and that is just because I know a lot of you guys don't have the portrait mode. I really love this old house, this architecture, super cool. I'm really liking this light here. It's so interesting. I'm just playing around and trying to take different photos with this. I love this window. You can also try just taking pictures of your shoes. If you're in a cool location, if there's some kind of mirror on the floor or something, you can take one of these. A lot of people have done it and it's been overdone, but it's a good picture. It's good to just post and mix things up a little bit. This place is so cool. I can't get over how cool this place is. I really like this. There's a lot of declarations in here and it's just really good for these type of ambience photos. This just looks really good especially once I've popped these into editing and I add all these pictures. Between the fashions, food and now this, I think they're going to look really good next to each other. Alright guys, but that's pretty much it. I think we've got some really cool ambience photos today. I want you to really think about the lighting when you're going to shoot these things. That's what I was looking for. Most of the time. I was really focusing on lighting first and then I was looking at styling and then I was moving my body around to make sure that I had really good composition. Once again, whether it's food photography, fashion photography, or ambience photography, those three factors are the most important thing when you're taking photos on your smartphone. But now I'm really excited because we're going to start editing soon. I'm going to take photos from all three sections, the food photography, the fashion photography, and this ambience section. I'm going to pop them into some of these really useful apps that I'm going to show you later and I'm going to edit them and I think you guys are going to be amazed at some of the stuff that we've taken today. I'm really, really excited to show you some of the stuff we've got. With that said, let's hop into editing and I will see you guys in the editing room. 9. Best Editing Apps: Guys, have you taken the photos? Everything went well, and now, it's finally time to edit. This is a really important stage of the process. In fact, this is the stage that lets you set yourself apart from other people, and it really lets your photos be unique. I always recommend that everyone uses the same filter on all of their photos. This is because that allows you to create a really consistent theme on your Instagram page. I have four apps here for you. The first one is VSCO, the next one is MuseCam, Photoshop Fix, and Lightroom CC. They all serve different purposes, but these are the ones that I use to pretty much edit all of my photos. The VSCO and MuseCam are great because they have some really awesome filters, Photoshop Fix is good for portraits and touching things up a little bit, and Lightroom CC is awesome just because you can have a tone curve, you have more control over the colors, and things like that. So you can make some fine-tune edits with Lightroom CC and Photoshop Fix. But what we're going to do first is start in VSCO. I've already got some photos imported here, just from our shoot, and I'm going to teach you how to edit like me. VSCO basically has a bunch of awesome filters, and it's probably one of the most popular editing apps for iPhone and Android. That's just because it has really awesome film-looking filters. You can see here, just applying them has some really cool effects here. They all just two different things. Some of them are good for different lighting scenarios. See, this one's really soft. That's really nice. Soft is really popular right now. But I like to use A6: it has some good contrast, has really good white balance. I think it's just an awesome filter, so I use that on a lot of my photos. You can see, here is another one. We'll just go through again. I love that vintage look with these filters here. There's A6, the one that I really like. Yeah, you can just try it out. I really like this one too, HB2. You can actually do more adjustments here. You can adjust contrast and exposure and straighten and crop, but I think these are limited when it comes to the editing capabilities in Instagram or on Lightroom CC. I don't usually use those too much, but I do like to use the filters. You can also buy more filters. There's a shop, and you can check out some of the ones that are in there. But there's some really good ones. But that's basically it with the VSCO. What I like to do is add the filter, and then, I'll export it into a different editing app to do something else if I need to. There is A6. We'll just add these all in A6 for now, because that's the one I like to use, and we'll save this one to the camera. But that's pretty much it for VSCO. That's an app I really like. I cannot highlight it enough. Another one that I really like is MuseCam. I use this a lot because I have my own presets on here. You can actually buy them for $5. All you got to do is open MuseCam, go to "Shop", go to "Search", and just type in "Sean". Boom. They're right there. You can buy them for 4.99, which is totally cheap, good price. These are some of the edits that I've done with these filters. You can see here a mix of cafe and lifestyle. I'm going to show you some of the ones that I forgot. I'm going to close this; I'm going to go to "Edited" because I already have these pretty much edited; open this one; I'll go over to Sean Dalton, and I'm just going to show you what these are about. They're basically mimicking my filters that you can buy on the website for Lightroom, Lightroom on your laptop or your computer. So this is just for a phone editing. This one's really cool. You can see the before and after. I really like that one, so we'll go ahead and stick with that. Oops. Cool. Then, there's also some really advanced editing features here too. So you can edit in this app, and it does a really good job. You can see that just by lowering the contrast, it makes it so much flatter. You can lower the vibrance or increase the vibrance, saturation, you can sharpen the image. So it's pretty good. It's really not bad at all. If I want to go back here, I'll show you one of the food ones. This is a shot that I took, and this is edited with the same thing. I think I used three. This one mimics my Chris Modern filter that you can buy, my cafe Lightroom preset pack. This one's really popular. I think a lot of people like this one for food. It's sharp, has some good contrast. Yeah, and there's also a tone curve, so if you guys want to play with it a little bit more, you can totally do that. Just experiment around with what you're going to get from that. There's also a color size, which is really cool. So the editing in MuseCam is super-advanced. I really like it. It's a great app. Like I said, you guys can go and buy my filters and get the same look that I have in my photos. Let's just do one more here. Just experimenting around. By the way, guys, a lot of my editing is not final. I'm going to do one final edit, and I'll show you in Lightroom. But right now, I'm just trying to highlight these apps because I think these are great apps for editing and stuff like that. After I apply a filter in either VSCO or in MuseCam, what I'll do is I'll open it up in Photoshop Fix, if it's a portrait. Photoshop Fix is amazing for editing some of the blemishes and just changing some things. I did that on this photo already, so I'm not going to do this one. I was messing with my friends here. I made their faces look funny. I wonder if I can reset this photo. I'm not sure. I messed it up here because I was experimenting around. But basically, with Photoshop Fix, you can totally adjust their faces, their blemishes, and things like that. It's really, really cool. You can add this "Liquify" function, and it'll automatically track that person's face, and then, you can just like make their chin smaller or bigger; you can do there jawline. I mean, it's amazing. I'm not going to do anything to Ploy because she's beautiful already. I don't need to do anything. But if she did have some blemishes; I think I already did take them out a little bit, you can go to the healing brush here, and you can just simply paint over that part of their face that you want to adjust. I've already done that a little bit on hers. You can see, it just instantly finds another part of her face, and it pulls information from that part of her face to clean it up. So it's a really, really awesome tool just for cleaning up faces and stuff like that. Taking a little bit more time, I'm just messing around with it now. But you can see, it does a lot of really cool stuff. If there's red eyes, you can do red-eye fix. There's no red eyes now, so I won't do it. But it'll fix the red eyes. Then, you also have this Clone Stamp, which is really cool. You can select one part of the image, and then, paint over another part. It's like a clone stamp. I mean, you're just going to take a lot more time to do it, but I just want to highlight the app. You can do stuff like that. So that's a really cool app. I love this app for making small changes to skin and stuff like that. The last one I will highlight is the most advanced one, so if you're a photographer, and you use Lightroom on your laptop or your desktop, this is definitely a good app. You have full control over all of your photos, and it syncs with Lightroom as well, Lightroom desktop version, which is really cool. I'm going to open up this image from Ploy here. I think I used one of my filters for MuseCam on this image, and I want to finalize it. Often times, I'll use this app to finalize it. Out of the camera or out of the app, MuseCam or VSCO, often times the highlights or the contrast is too strong. So I'll open it up in here, and I'll go ahead and lower the highlights. But then, I'm looking at her skin tones, and I don't know. They just seem a little bit orange to me, so we go to the color slider, and of course, you can adjust the temperature. If you wanted to, you can make it warm, you can make it cold. I'm going to leave it, maybe, just a little bit there, just a little bit to the left. Let's see if it will work. Something like that. Then, this color mix is really awesome. You can tap this little arrow thing on the top, and then, you can adjust hue, saturation, and luminance just by pressing and holding on the area of that image. The background here is green, so I'm going to press and hold on the background there, and then, I can slide up and down, and it adjusts the colors that I'm touching. I guess it isn't green. I guess it's orange and yellow because I touched a leaf or something. There's a lot of blues in there. So you can see what this is doing, which is super-cool. You can also adjust the saturation. So if I wanted to bring this down, I can go and bring that green down a little bit. I can bring it up, make it saturated. The luminance is good for skin tones, so I can go in here, and if I want to make her skin brighter, hold on her face, and you see, it's affecting the reds and yellows. It's pretty cool. So this is a really cool tool. I like to use this app to finalize my photos before I export and let it go and upload it. I'm getting some DMs there on Instagram from a model I'm going to be shooting with later today. But yeah, guys, those are the apps that I use to edit, and I think that they're really good for pretty much any situation. No matter what you're doing, these apps will work. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Please, share your photos with me. I'd love to see them; I'd love to see what you guys make, and I hope this was helpful for you. With that said, let's move on to the next section. 10. Instagram Posting Tips and Tricks: I guess you've captured these beautiful, stunning lifestyle photos, you've edited them, and now you want to share them with the world, and as I said before, there's no better platform to do that than on Instagram. I think it goes without saying that a lot of us want to be popular on Instagram, it's just nice to get some love from the world and if you are running a business, like for photographers, it's good to get more publicity on Instagram, it helps with business and things like that. Maybe you just want to be popular in Instagram because it just feels good to get a few likes here and there, I totally understand that. In this video, I'm going to teach you basically how to post your photo so you can get a few more likes when you do post it. Traditionally, Instagram was pretty simple, you just posted a photo and all your photos get ranked depending on when you posted them. But today, it's a lot more complicated than that, it's not ranked by time. Instagram ranks your posts based on how much engagement you're getting, and actually within that, it's how much engagement you're getting in the first few minutes of when you post. There's a few tricks you can do to maximize your engagement in the first few minutes. But before we do that, I wanted to teach you a little bit more about engagement and what that is. Essentially Instagram ranks your posts based on a few different factors, how much time somebody spending on your post, how many likes you are getting on your post, how many comments are getting on your post, and how many times people are saving and sharing that post in DMs. In simple terms, it's essentially how much people are interacting with your posts. If you're not getting good engagement in the first few minutes of when you post, a few things are going to happen. You're not going to show up on your friends feeds, the people that are following you, you won't show up at the top of their feed, that's number one. Number two, is, you won't rank and hashtags, and now that you can follow hashtags on Instagram, it's really, really important to rank on hashtags. There are a few tips and tricks you can do to maximize your engagement in the first few minutes and also in the long run. Number one is the time that you post, so you really need to figure out when your followers are most active because if you post when they're all sleeping, you're not going to get those first immediate likes and then Instagram won't rank your posts at all and this is probably one of the most crucial factors is, the time that you posted your photo. I noticed that when I post my photo in the middle of the night, I get like hardly any likes, but when I post it at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM when everyone's getting off work, boom, I get a tone of likes. It's important to know who your followers are, and when they're waking up, and when they're working and things like that. Number two is hashtags, so hashtags are crucial and now there are even more crucial because Instagram recently allows you to follow hashtags. When you follow a hashtag, the top nine photos of that hashtag will actually display in your feed, so it's really important to use all 30 hashtags. You're allowed 30 hashtags on Instagram, choose 30 of them that are relevant to the content that you're posting, and if you're posting a photo of food, don't use hashtag food porn. The reason for that is because there's over a 145 million posts on hashtag food porn, so when you post your photo, you're instantly going to get buried, and if you don't have a really popular feed, the chance of you trending on hashtag food porn are very, very slim. Use what we like to call targeted hashtag or hashtags are very specific, focusing on very specific content/. What is the desert that you're posting? If you're posting desert, is it a brownie? We'll do hashtag brownie, or hashtag desert time, or something a little bit more specific where less people are posting, but it's very targeted, so you can trend on those hashtags, and you're much more likely to get your photo seen on people that are following that hashtag. Number three is engaging captions, so this is really important now because Instagram actually ranks your photo based on how much time people are spending on it. They actually count how much time you are looking at somebody's photo and zooming in on it and stuff like that. Having a caption that keeps people there, and keeps them reading it, and feeds into this photo is really, really crucial because it allows people to stay on your photo for a longer period of time and engage with your post longer, allowing your photo to rank better in the long run. Number four is Instagram pods, so Instagram pods are basically a group of people that are in a group together, and when you post a photo, you share that photo with the group, and then all those people comment on it, and that gives you good engagement because it's more people commenting on your post, more people engaging with your post, especially in the first few minutes. It's good if you're all in the same time zone or you have similar posting schedules because then you can make sure that you are all posting at the same time and all really engaging with each other's photos. Otherwise, if somebody is across the world, you might post your photo and they might be asleep so you're not going to get that benefit of that engagement. But Instagram pods are a really good way to step your Instagram came up, and I think it's a crucial tool for a lot of people that are wanting to become more popular on Instagram. When it comes to Instagram, there's so many different things that we could talk about, and I just can't get to it in this course. I do have another Skillshare course, it's about 50 minutes long and it covers everything you need to know about Instagram including targeted hashtags, Instagram pods, and even monetizing your account, so if you guys do want to learn more about Instagram, I highly recommend you check that out. 11. Closing Words: We've covered a lot of content in this course and I really hope it was helpful for you in some way. But before we go, I do want to say something really quickly and that is at the end of the day, lifestyle photography is very, very subjective and there's no right or wrong. That's why when I was talking about the basic photography techniques, I didn't want to hammer you with these textbook techniques that are going to limit you and your creativity because at the end of the day, creativity is the most important thing about lifestyle photography. The reason why the smartphone is so good for lifestyle photography is because it pretty much takes care of everything for you. It takes care of the lighting, it takes care of all of that and it allows you to really focus on the scene and really engage with the scene and capture something beautiful through your eyes, through your lens. I think that's why lifestyle photography, especially on a smartphone, is so profound. When you're shooting with a DSLR, you have much more to worry about. You have to worry about your exposure, you have to worry about the focus. It's much more complicated. But with a smart phone, everything is taken care of for you so you can really focus on the content at hand and capture beautiful images that way. I really urge you guys to go out there and experiment and try new things. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with and I can't wait to see your photos in the class project. That's a really good way for you to interact with me and it's a really good way to interact with other people in this course as well. But with that said guys, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to take this course. I have many other courses on Skillshare and I hope you take the time to check those out as well. They're all really useful and I would love to hear what you think about this course and about those courses as well. Please leave a review in this course if you liked it. It's really, really helpful for me in ranking on Skillshare. I really appreciate if you guys leave me a quick review, and I also just want to thank you again for being here. If you guys have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @seandalt, shoot me an e-mail in [inaudible] https://seandalt.com. I'm always available for questions. I love chatting with you guys. With that said, thank you guys so much once again and I will see you in the next course.