iPhone Portrait Photography: Build a Photo Series for Social | Jeremy Cohen | Skillshare

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iPhone Portrait Photography: Build a Photo Series for Social

teacher avatar Jeremy Cohen, Portrait Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Building Intention

    • 3. Jeremy’s Archives

    • 4. Brainstorming a Concept

    • 5. Preparing Your Phone

    • 6. Capturing Joy

    • 7. Making Selections

    • 8. Editing Your Photos

    • 9. Creating a Video for Social

    • 10. Uploading

    • 11. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

With just an iPhone and an idea you can build a captivating photo series - learn how with portrait photographer and viral sensation, Jeremy Cohen! 

One photo can capture a moment, but a series tells a story. Just ask Jeremy, with 1.2 Million followers on TikTok and several hit portrait series, he knows a thing or two about using photographs to tell beautiful and cohesive stories. In this hands-on class, Jeremy demystifies the formula to creating your own share-worthy photo series, from building your idea to making selections and editing. If you’re stuck on trying to get that one perfect shot that encompasses your entire day or mood, use Jeremy’s approach to break out of that box, find inspiration in simplicity, and tell stronger, more intentional stories.

Join along as Jeremy showcases:

  • Setting up your iPhone for more control when you edit 
  • Using natural light to shape your photographs
  • Building trust to get the most out of your portrait subjects
  • Turning your series into a video for TikTok, Reels, or Stories

Plus, Jeremy gives a peek into his archives to show you how he pieced together his most popular series and he shares how he makes his viral video TikTok series, step by step! Whether you're an avid selfie enthusiast, aspiring TikToker, or just looking for a fun creative outlet, you’ll walk away with actionable steps to propel your photographic prowess to the next level.

Jeremy’s class applies to iPhone photographers at all levels, whether you’re shooting for the first time or a total pro. Wherever you find yourself in your creative journey, this class will help you build technical and storytelling skills. No iPhone? Follow along using your smartphone or camera of choice.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Cohen

Portrait Photographer


Jeremy Cohen is a photographer who lives and works in Brooklyn. Photo and video editing are one of his creative passions aside from chess, ping pong, and traveling. His portfolio includes shooting for music festivals where he has shot artists like Post Malone, Lizzo, and Childish Gambino. Jeremy's ongoing portrait series 'Today I photographed' tells raw stories of everyday people. His recent project ‘Rooftop Culture During Quarantine’ landed him his first-ever magazine cover for New York Magazine. 

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1. Introduction: I love photography because I love people. I have a strong belief that everyone has a story that's held no matter where we're from or what we're interested in. I love connecting with people and using my camera as a tool to help tell their stories. Hello everyone, my name is Jeremy Cohen and I am a photographer based here in Brooklyn, New York. You might know my work from my rooftop series that I did over quarantine where I photographed people on their rooftops. Building a photo series has really helped my process and helped me become a stronger photographer. I'm going to go over some of my photo series today and show you my process. What I've learned in portrait photography over the years, more important than better lighting or good quality image is really knowing how to connect with your subjects. I'm also going to show you high spin any given photo series into a video, so it's more easily shareable on different platforms like TikTok. All you need today is just the desire to take strong photographs that tells a story and an iPhone or any smartphone with a camera. If you're a little nervous about taking photos, that's okay. That's what this class is all about. Just like with anything the more you do it, the better you get, the more you take photos, the better you get. If there's one thing that you can walk away with, I like to think that would be confidence in your photography, especially confidence in approaching strangers and asking to photograph them. I hope you leave this class with two things actually. Let's get started. 2. Building Intention: Thanks for tuning in to my class. I'm super excited that you're joining me today. I started taking photos when I was 15 years old in Yellowstone National Park. My first photos were of wildlife and nature. Today, I don't take much photos of that anymore. I'm more of a portrait photographer. I started taking photos of strangers on the street because I realized that portrait photography was my passion. I would see these people on the street in New York and I want to photograph them, but I often wouldn't build up the courage to go up and ask them. That's when I came up with the idea for my personal project called Today I Photographed. Where I would take one photo of a stranger every day and tell a story about them. This was the first time I really was intentional about what I wanted to do with my work and just by holding myself accountable to take that one photo every day. That's what helped me really grow as an artist and really grew this project. There's no right or wrong way to make a photo series, some take a day and some I plan over the span of a couple of years. One example is a long-term series that I'm currently shooting where I'm going up to my roof every day and photographing the Empire State Building. I'm intentional by going up to my roof as many sunsets as I can and taking the same exact photo and understanding that this is a longer process. Other times when I'm shooting a series such as my Valentine Day series, it's something that I saw in the moment and I knew I only had a certain window of time to photograph the series, and I wanted to be very intentional with how I'm shooting it once I got the idea. My approach to photography is, I'm a people person, when I meet a person and want to photograph them, I go in with intention, want to learn more about them. Then once we're comfortable with each other, I like to take their portraits and show the truest version of themselves. Your approach might be different than my approach, and that's okay. We all work and create in different ways. I just want to show you how I create and maybe you'll be inspired or see something, how I do one certain thing and you can take one thing from here, one thing from there, and allow it to spark your creativity. Next up, we'll do a deep dive of a few of my series. 3. Jeremy’s Archives: Now I'm going to show you two series that I've shot, and show you how I got to the final selects, editing them down to the best photos from the series. First up my series is this quarantine rooftop series that I shot. My intention for this project is to show resiliency in New Yorkers and to show people just making the most of the situation that we're all going through. There's about 24 total photos and I'm going to try to chop that into half to make the body of work more concise and tell the story with less images, because less is more. I just edited down a series and took out about half the photos. Something that really hurt is to take out. But if it doesn't tell the story that I want to tell, I just got to chop them. Now I'm going to go through them and explain why they didn't make the cut. This is actually one of my favorite images, it's just the overall image, the mood that the subject evokes. It's a feeling that we've all felt during quarantine, I like to think. I'm really drawn to this image, it's one of my favorite images I took of the series, but it still didn't make the cut because the story that I want to tell with the series, as I was saying, is showing resiliency of New Yorkers and making the most of it. I wanted to convey the feeling of just making the best of the situation and doing something that you love on the roof. As you can see here, all these photos evoke more of a somber feeling, which is the opposite of what my intention was for the series. Now let's go through the images that did make the cut. First up, we have this image of this couple on a roof dancing with their dog, just seeing it from afar, it brought me a lot of joy and I like to think this photo will make other viewers feel the same way. Next up is this image of this man playing tennis on his roof. I saw this guy go up to his roof, and he started hitting the tennis ball about a 100 times or in a row or something against the wall, just like this, and then he started practicing his serve. I like to think of it as since he couldn't go to the tennis court at this time, he still wanted to practice his love for tennis and just went up to his roof and made it work. This image is a wholesome family moment. I saw what I assume is this father and his daughter and their cute little pup just went up to the roof. I like to think of it instead of going to the park because we weren't supposed to go outside at all, they went up to the roof and did their park game on the roof instead. This photo from my series is probably the most important photo because this is the image that landed me my first cover on a magazine, which has been one of my goals as a photographer since I started photography over 10 years ago. At first, I was just so grateful that they're running it as a series in the magazine. Then, last second, they told me that they're running the image as the cover, and this was the image that they chose. A man playing on his roof during the pandemic, which was an image that spoke to a lot of people. It just gives you a feeling of hope. As you can see here, the main underlying theme of this series is resiliency and New Yorkers making the best of whatever situation they're in. These people went up to their roofs and they did the things that they loved, and I noticed this, so I took out my camera and I captured it. Now I'd love to share with you another one of my series, and this one is all about people buying flowers on Valentine's Day. I was in San Francisco and as I was walking around, I saw this flower stand. That day, just so happened to be Valentine's Day. There was a line of about 20 or 25 people constantly at the flower stand. They were all buying different flowers, and it was all last second. I just thought it was a really interesting moment that I wanted to document. Right then and there I got my camera out since I already had my camera gear on me and I started shooting. What I would do is after someone bought flowers, I approached them and talked to them for a second, introduced myself and asked him if I could take their portrait, just them with their flowers. They were all really quick portraits, I took about 10-30 seconds of their time maybe, snapped a couple portraits and they were on their way. Sometimes leaning into simplicity is the most beautiful way to tell a story. First thing we're going to do is some of these photographs are multiples or very close to similar images. It was hard for me to choose one moment for each person. So I'm going to go through some of these very similar images and edit down to just one of each moment. As you can see here, all these images are very similar. They're all the same subjects, with same objects in hand, and just slightly different moments. They all tell the same story. I just want to edit it down to just one image that is the strongest. Looking through it, I just do a quick look through skim images back and forth. I can already tell these aren't as strong as the first and third ones, so I'm going to take them out. Now between these two, I just really like the way the subject is looking down on the flowers, thinking about who the flowers are for, looking through the other images in the series, I don't have another image like this where someone's really looking at the flowers, so I'm going to choose this one. Now we have two images of this guy holding flowers; one, he has a huge smile and looking up, and the other one, he has more of a smiles. This is just a matter of preference. I can go back and forth on these two, but overall I chose this left image because just the eye contacts looking into camera and just the way he's trying to hold back his smile and really not trying to show his joy, but he can't help himself, I just really love this image, so this one makes the cut. Now I'm going to go through the rest of the series and take out the images that don't make the cut for the final edit. There's various reasons why they didn't make the cut. For example, these two I'm not including in the series strictly because of composition. They're too tightly framed, compared to the other images. Because, part of the series is I like how I stay consistent with how the subjects are filling the frame. If there's like one or two out of the whole series that are very differently composed, then I'm just going to take them out. That's the case with these two. My intention for this series is to show real genuine moments of people with their flowers and the mystery of not knowing who they're giving it to. In these two images specifically, it fills more stage. It feels like I just said, "Hey smile," and I took their photo. That's what these images feel like to me. That's why they didn't make the cut. Now I'm going to show you the images that made the final cut. Just looking through the series now, I like how there's a variety of emotions, similar but different. Everyone is in a pretty optimistic mood. There's a couple of more serious ones, but I feel like even in the serious ones, for example, this one, you still see there's something there that he's really excited for. He's just not showing it. That's what it feels like to me. This photo, it's like a moment of relief. I like to think of it as almost like he had a crazy day at work, and he needed to get these three different bouquets of flowers for maybe, his partner, and his kids, and maybe his dog. He got the flowers in time, he's going to make it home. Life is good, today is a successful day. This one, just the way the subject is leaning on the pole gives a little bit of swagger. He just has the slightest smile. He's excited to bring these flowers to whoever he's bringing them to. Just looking over all these images, I just love seeing the variety of expressions, how there's this common denominator of just a person in the same frame holding flowers. But then there's these variables which make it interesting. Just one photo alone of someone holding flowers for someone, I don't think that's that interesting. Once you see multiple photos, I'm paying more attention to how big the flowers are, what type of flowers they are, the different facial expressions. Next up, we'll start building ideas for a new series that we'll shoot together. 4. Brainstorming a Concept: The project I'm assigning today is to shoot your own series. It could be of whatever inspires you, and it could be really simple. Whether it's your family, or your dog, or anything that you want to tell a story with in a series of photos. Coming up with ideas, sometimes leaning into simplicity is the best route, and not to over-complicate things. A good practice to have is just to have a notebook, whether it's in your phone in the notes app, or an actual, physical, tangible notebook that you could write down ideas. But even if it's a batter, outlandish, or unrealistic ideas, still write it down because there's a whole spectrum ideas and who knows, maybe you'll someday do that crazy idea and you'll have it written down to reference at any point. Let's talk about chasing trends versus following instincts. Because chasing trends can be very useful and helpful for creating, having something to work within to create your own story. Following your instinct is more important because it's what makes your work unique and your own. No one else can tell the story that you're going to tell and the way you're going to tell it. Everyday I like to write down 10 ideas, no matter how crazy they are or how simple they are, that's a good practice and habit to get into, to keep those creative juices flowing. Before I got to set today, I wrote down a bunch of ideas. We're just going to go through now and choose which idea we're going to go out and photograph today. The first one is chess pieces. I've been playing a lot of chess lately and I've noticed when I'm playing people, there's these decisive moments and I notice the people on playing are in this moment of contemplation and just really thinking what their next move is. I just want to capture this moment of them thinking. The next series is delis. There's a lot of delis in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, almost on every corner, and there's this whole deli culture, and it would be interesting to maybe capture or select five delis in my neighborhood. Or maybe even just focus on one deli and just capture what goes on in there like a 24 hour span. Next one is bikers of Brooklyn. Over the past year, a lot of people have changed how they commute, and I think a lot of people have switched to getting a bicycle and learning how to bike in the city. It's something that I love to do. How I can get around the city via bike. I would like to photograph maybe a clue 20-30 people who ride bikes, who are specifically new to bikes and interview them what being a cyclist means to them. I don't really do food photography, but I just wanted to do a project about sandwiches. I might have been hungry when I wrote down this idea, I probably was, and just photograph the top 10 sandwiches in New York. Then we have boats. I realized recently that there's a decent amount of people that have boats or yachts in Brooklyn. Apparently, some of them even live on these boats. So it'd be cool to meet whoever lives on these boats in Brooklyn and tell a story about them. Then we have joy, which is capturing people doing what they love in a park. I was thinking maybe Prospect Park and just photograph people doing things that they love to do in the park. Next idea is photograph clowns, make a whole photo series on clowns because I was talking to someone recently about how they had a friend who recently making a clown. When I think of clowns, all I think of is clowns. I don't think about the human behind the clown, and that's what I would like to know. I would love to explore with my camera, how this person got to being a clown and what their life is like behind all the makeup and the clown outfit. Next idea is documenting old athletes, specifically athletes that are over 90 years old. I was on the phone with my grandma and she was telling me how she is still staying active, doing yoga, can even do a handstand and she is almost 90 years old. I think is really interesting and should be celebrated. I love to meet, select 10 people doing different activities and photograph them doing what they love and staying active. Then my last idea I wrote down is exotic pets of New York City. In my neighborhood specifically, there's someone who walks around sometimes with a pet peacock. I'm not even joking. That's just part of it. In all of New York, there's so many people have these exotic pets. This is something I'm interested in and want to learn more about, and I can do that with my camera. Looking through all these ideas now, I want to lean more into simplicity since we only have a day to shoot this. I think I want to go with this series of capturing joy. We should go to Prospect Park and shoot the series of joy, photograph people doing what they love in the park. It's totally okay if you want to start on a very small idea that seems very simple, starting with two, maybe three photos because you could always build it up from there and it could always grow. 5. Preparing Your Phone: Now that we picked our idea, before we go outside and shoot it, let's grab our cameras, which today will be our phones. I want to just go through the settings and make sure everything's set to get what I want to shoot today. The first thing I'm going to do is go into my settings and make sure that I'm shooting RAW. I want the most quality image possible that this phone can shoot. By doing that, I'm going to go into Settings. Click the "Camera" right there, Formats. Yes, this feature right here, I'm going to make sure under Photo Capture that Apple ProRAW is selected. We want to shoot RAWs over JPEGs because there is more information in these files. That means we could pull more out of the edit, play with the curves tone more and just get the most out of the image when it comes to post-processing. Everything else I already have said, you most likely already do too. I think the most important thing to make sure, that you're in shooting RAW. Just going into the field now, I'm thinking about how I'm going to shoot. There's two features within portrait mode that I can shoot at, 1X and 2x. I'm going to be toggling between the two of them. But I'm not going to stick just to portrait mode, I like to have some versatility. Sometimes I'll just shoot in the standard photo mode if I want to get a more environmental portrait and have more things in focus as opposed to shooting in portrait mode where I will be really honing in on the subject and blurring out the background. The other feature I'll be playing with in the standard photo mode is wide angle because that can make portraits a lot of fun. Traditionally, you're not supposed to take portraits at 0.5, aka wide-angle, because they can really distort the image. Specifically when photographing a person, you don't want to distort any limb or part of their face or anything in their body because it just doesn't come off as realistic. But if you frame the subject in the center of the frame, it won't get distorted that much compared to the edges of the frame. If you can keep that in mind while taking portraits at 0.5, even though traditionally it's a big no-no, I think it's important to sometimes break the rules and do your own thing. I got my phone ready, I know what I'm going to shoot, let's head to the park. 6. Capturing Joy: We just touched down here in Prospect Park and we're going to photograph people doing their thing, whether it's fishing or on a jog or maybe playing some volleyball or something along these lines. Anything that brings people joy, I want to interview them and talk to them about why and photograph them and tell their story. Let's get to it. There's this guy over there taking some videos on a Super 8 camera, and I want to ask him more about it. I'm going to ask to take this portrait. Hey, how's it going? Hey how's it going? Good. Can I take a photo of you for a project I'm doing? Oh, yeah, sure. What's it for? This is what I normally do is meet people in the park and photograph them. That's awesome. That's great. How long it will take? Probably 10 minutes, maybe less, maybe little bit more. Thanks for being so kind and open to this. Of course. Here we go. Let me know when. I'm going to come back here to get a different perspective. Can I get you leaning over, shooting this one? Sure. Let me just move this a little bit. Awesome. Then could I have one of you just wild, just looking up slightly from your camera and just looking into camera for one? Yeah. Maybe one, just lower the camera a little bit more so I can see your face a little more. Amazing. Then let me just get one more just in the Shade just to have. Let me get you standing right over here. Then I also want to get one detail shot. Maybe just up-close of your hands. Cool. This is great. Then looking off to the side this way for the last shot. Great. Cool. I think that's it. Something I do when I photograph people is I love to send them the photos. I'd love to get your info so I can send you these. Of course. I just took a couple of portraits and I want to take some more portraits. Let's keep going. There's this guy over here taking photos on a classic Polaroid camera. I'm going to ask him about it. Hey, how's the going? I'm doing a project where I photograph people in the park with things that bring them joy. I just saw you taking photos and feel like it might bring you joy. I wanted to ask you about it and maybe take your portrait. I'm a singer and I'm just actually working on a video here for one of my songs. Awesome. I just have this camera, trying to capture nature, capture movement. Can I see the photo> Yeah. That's awesome. I think it's going to be the single cover. I think it's a great cover for your single. I would love to take your portrait. Maybe it could be your next single cover. No pressure. If you like it, you could use it in your next single cover. I really like this bridge, tunnel thing over here. It make for interesting background. Let's just walk down here. Cool. Awesome let's do some looking off camera this way. Then, a close up of the Polaroid. That's awesome. I'm going to frame you right in the opening of the end of the tunnel. This is a way better angle. Sometimes I just got to experiment a little bit. Switched to panel mode on accident. Now for the last couple ones, I'm just going to switch the wide-angle. This is actually way cooler, Let's do starting here and just a little run that way, and then walk back, and then we'll be done. Then look back at me. Amazing. Cool. Now you can come towards me. Now let's just do walk towards me, with a little bit of pop in your step. Amazing. I love it. Now look to the side. Oh, that's incredible. More of that. I think we got it in there. Thanks so much. Hey, how's it going? What's up? I was wondering if I could take your photograph for a project I'm doing? Oh, why not? Sure. Cool. I'm Jeremy,. Rio. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. Cool. I'm just going to do a portrait. I like this one to be simple. Should I take this? I like that as part of the whole fit. Oh, that's great. Hold that. Oh, Rio, crushing it right now. Then I'm just going to take a photo of this pose right here. This pose is great. Now we got it. Thank you man. Cool. We photographed seven people so far. I just tried to photograph the eighth person, which was this guy working out in the park. I walked up to him and asked him if I could photograph him and he politely declined. That's a part of the process. It's all good. Let's get our next portrait. There's this person over here, chilling under this gigantic beautiful tree having a nice little picnic. I'm going to ask to photograph her. Let's see if she says yes. Hopefully Yes. I was wondering if I could photograph you. I'm photographing people doing things in the park that bring them joy. I saw you at a moment when before you're chilling and I was wondering if I could take a portrait of you. It's all good if you're not interested. Yes, I am Cool. Now I'm just looking back into camera. Amazing. Are you familiar with portrait mode? Yeah This ones will be in portrait mode. Let's set this up a little bit differently. Maybe your legs facing out this way. Cool. I like seeing the Frisbee to the side too. I'm going to switch back to wide angle, really get this tree in the shot. Let's try an action shot, throwing a Frisbee. Let's do a little bit forward, maybe in the sun a little bit. This is great, this is the frame. Whenever you're ready, throw that Frisbee. Let's just wrap it up. I just want to do just a still portrait with you holding the Frisbee just like that. Maybe look in off this way a little bit. Amazing. Awesome. Then I think the lighting is pretty harsh right now, so let's just do one of that in the shade over here. Right here is nice. This is great. Let's just do slightly looking off camera. Amazing. Maybe I'll just photograph you while you tinker with it. Just roll it around, whatever feels natural. Oh, that was cool. Wait, I got to get that. Let's just toss it up like that a couple times. Then while you toss it, look into camera if you could do that. Then just hold it like that. In that position right there, hold that. Maybe look slightly off camera as if you were throwing it right over here. That's great. I think we got it. Thank you so much appreciate it. [inaudible]. It's been a scorching hot day. We just got finished shooting. I'm really excited about how the photos came out. We tried to photograph about 11 people and I think we photographed 9 or 10 total. Let's go back to the studio and start editing. 7. Making Selections: Now I'm going to take you through my whole process of how I pick the best photos. I'm going to open up my camera roll app and start with the first photos. This one is of Wilde who is shooting on a Super 8 camera today. I will usually start with doing a first pass so I'll just go through all the images and see which ones stick to me the most. I'm going to use the heart down here to favorite the best ones. Let's see, I'm going to pick one where he's doing his craft and then another one where he is looking in the camera, maybe that one. I got a little candid moment right here. Out of these candid moments, I think I like this one the best. I'm going to favorite that. Here's just a couple of portraits of him holding the Super 8 camera. That lamp is a little distracting, so I think I like this one better. I'm going to favorite that one. Then I just got some of up close shots of him with his camera. I think that one is the strongest. I'm going to favorite that. This is just the first pass. I'll edit down more in a little bit. Onto our next subject. I'll do another quick pass. I took a lot more photos of him, so a lots of work with there. I'm not sure if I love this composition, so I might actually pass. But then I got the up close of the object, which is the Polaroid. I'm going to favorite that. The lighting is really nice here because I got the subject towards the beginning of the bridge where the light really falls in nice, and then in the background, it gets darker, so it really makes the subject pop out. I'm going to favorite this one right here. Here, I switched to wide-angle lens. I like this in motion shot. I really like how his leg comes out a lot there, so I'll pick that one. But I also really like this one, so I'm going to favorite both of them for now. Then we're on to our next subjects. This tree just frame the subjects so nicely on her blanket. I'm going to pick one of these. On first glance, I really like this a lot because of the sun glare at the top of the image. This one's nice too, so I'm going to favorite that. Now we're going through some portraits. I like her eyes closed in this one because she's just really enjoying the day. Then I switched the wide-angle here. As I mentioned before, if you have any part of the subject in the corners or the edge of the frame, it could get distorted. As you see here, her legs look way longer than they should be, which isn't that flattering in that opinion. I switched to not wide-angle in this frame and her legs look more realistic. I'm going to pick that one. These action shots of throwing the Frisbee aren't good because you can't really tell she's in the moment of throwing the Frisbee. She was just too fast, honestly. She was too good in it, and I couldn't capture it. In this photo, she has the Frisbee, but you can't even really tell it's a Frisbee. Then this photo, it's just gone and it's like, oh, what is she doing? Is she even playing Frisbee? No. None of those photos really makes sense. Now moving on, I just took some portraits of her holding the Frisbee and I moved her into the shade for more flattering light. That's why these photos look a little bit better in my opinion. Look through some of these. I like this one, I'm going to favorite that. I like this moment where she's holding up the Frisbee here. I'm going to favorite this one too. Then I asked her to just toss up the Frisbee a couple of times because I didn't get that action shot at first. This might be my favorite so far, even though she was holding still for this photo, it looks like there could be some motion. We faked it on this one a little bit. Now I'm going to go through all my other selects and I'm going to come back when I have all my finals. I just narrowed down my favorite selects from each person, and now I'm going to go back through them, and make even a tighter edit because my goal is to have only two photos of each subject. First thing is I go through my favorites and I'm going to select them all and create a new folder. Now I'm going to go through my photos of each person and narrow down to select to only two images. First one, let's see, what are the two strongest images here? Already off the bat, I just really love this shot almost sticks out to me the most even though it's the product shot. I just love how it really shows the tool that brought him to the park and you can still see his face in the background. I'm going to leave that one up there. Since the first photo I picked doesn't really show his face, the other photo I picked, I really want his face to be present. I'm leaning towards this one, but technically, this image isn't great. Ultimately, I'm going to go with the standalone portrait right here. I'm going to make another folder, select those two, and I'm going to add it to an album. First one, done. This one I think is the strongest portrait, but it doesn't really show his camera, which is the whole reason why I photographed him, but the lighting is so good though. Do I want to use that one? I think I'll actually select this one and then my other photo would be of him just holding his camera. Then just these two next to each other, I feel like will be strong enough together to tell the story. Everyone I photograph today was really nice and I like them all, but Rio is probably the most fun to photograph just because he was the most outgoing and have the most energy. Being excited to have his photo taken, made me excited to take his photo. It was just all around and enjoyable experience. Because we connected on that level, we had some pretty cool portraits I think. I've got this one and this one. Moving on, off the bat, I think this is the strongest, so I'm definitely going to work with this as one of my selects. Now I'm going to look through the other photos to see which image compliments it the best. This is tough. You know what? Even though they're very similar, in this case, I might just pick these two because one, this shot is more of a candid shot and this shot is more of an action shot. Even though they're visually similar photos, they tell slightly different stories, so I'm going to select these two. Next up, let's edit these babies. 8. Editing Your Photos: I'm going to show you how I edit, and how I think we should edit these photos together. I want to keep it as realistic as possible, but enhance it in editing a little bit by keeping the photos consistent. If the lighting is an ideal or something, I'd just like to level it up in the edit. Editing can really help you identify or define your intention for whatever series you're shooting. Some people can look at an image and know it's a certain photographer's photo, specifically because of the editing style. Let's start out in. My editing tool of choice is Snapseed. I'm going to open that up right now. Select the photo that I want to work with. When I'm editing on my phone compared to when I'm editing on my computer, it's usually a quick or a light edit. I'm going to go into my tools and curves. It has all these presets. I'll either just use one of these presets, or I'll use one of these presets as a starting point, and then fine tune it a little bit. The image in itself, it's a little soft. I can use a little bit more contrast. I'm going to start here with just the soft contrast preset, and then I'm going to go into the curves and maybe put a point on the mid-tone right here. Just play around with it a little bit. See where it lands. Very subtle edits; that's what it's all about. I really like where the image is at, but his skin tone just feels a little off, maybe a little bit too orange. What I'm going to do is specifically go into the curves layer for the red. I'm going to mess around with this, and I don't want to change the colors of his glasses and shirt, but I do want to change the color of his skin tone. Very subtle adjustments. Bring that down a little bit. Now it looks like there's a little bit too much green or teal in skin tone, so I'm going to go back into curves and specifically click on the blue curves layer. I brought the mid-tones of the blue curves up a little bit, and it feels a little bit more accurate. I haven't tinkered with the green at all, so I'm just going to go and see what it does. End of that just a touch. I'm going to go into the final tuning of the image, and I'm just going to go into the Tune Image feature where I can adjust anything from the brightness to the contrast to the saturation, ambience, highlight, shadows, warmth. Brightness, I'm just going to bring up a couple. Contrast, I'm going to lower it to touch because I'd put in a lot of contrast with the curve's layer. The highlights seem good too, so I'm not going to mess with that on this image. Then the warmth or coldness, don't need to do anything there. I think the biggest advantage of shooting on an iPhone is it has a feature where you could actually pick the aperture that you want to shoot at after taking the image, which is unlike anything I've shot with before. I'm going to go into this feature now by clicking on the image, go on the top clicking "Edit". Then in the top left corner, it has the default aperture of 4.5, so I'm going to click on that. At the bottom of the screen, there's a scale that pops up, and the default is set at 4.5. But if I scroll to the left, if you go all the way down to 1.4 and give you a really shallow depth of field, really focusing in on the subject and everything else blurry in the background. Editing on my phone like this, it's a little bit more difficult compared to the computer, but it gets the job done if I'm on the go and just want to put something out there. But I prefer to use my computer if I have the time and resources. Let me show you how I edit a couple of other photos from the series on my computer. I just put all my photos on my laptop, and I want to show you how I edit. The first thing I'm going to do is import them into my editing app of choice, which is Lightroom. Let's pick this one first. On the image, I click the tab to "Develop", and we're getting right into it. The first thing I'm going to do is go to the tone curve, and I'm going to click a dot on the mid-tones. I'm going to click a dot in darks there and the lights there. Right now, I'm just focusing specifically on the darks of this image, the blacks of her shirt. I want them to be true blacks, so I'm bringing it right to there. I'm focusing on the light, so the weight of her Frisbee, and I bring it right there because I'm really focusing in on contrast here, the contrast of the image. I'm doing the mid-tones. Everything in between, focusing on her skin tone a little bit more. I'm just toggling between the line here, seeing what feels as a good starting point, and that feels right. After I'm done with that, I like to go into the color feature where I can specifically mess around with different colors in the images. The first one I'm going to mess around with is the most difficult color to edit in my opinion, which is green because it's so easy to get it wrong, and I knew sometimes in my images. What I like to do is at first, I'll just literally take it all the way to zero, and then all the way way to 100 to see how much whatever effects the image. As you see here, there's a lot of yellows in this image. I'm just going to bring it down a touch there. Yeah, that feels right. Then maybe bring the hue over a little bit to the right to make it more green. While I'm editing throughout the whole process, I like to do the quick key, which is the backslash, and that shows me the before and after of the edit. I feel like I made the image look a lot better everywhere except in her skin tone. It looks like I edited her skin a little bit too much to a color that's not true in real life. There looks like there's too much of reds in it. I'm going to go to the Reds tab, and let's round the hue a little bit, bring the hue to their right and the left. Seems like we're skewing a little bit to the right, and now bring the saturation down a little bit, just a touch. Just a smidgen. All these edits are very minor, and then they just add up in the end to make the image totally different. Cool. That looks great. Now, I like to go back up to the top and fine tune it. I'm going to go into exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, texture, clarity, dehaze, vibrance, saturation. Let's start with exposure. Exposure seems about right. I'm not going to mess with that. A little quick key tip that I didn't learn into a couple years into editing is in Lightrooms, specifically, if you bring it all the way down or all the way up, if you use want to get it back to zero really quickly, just double-click it. Double-click, boom, back to zero. I'm going into contrast. I'm just going to bring the contrast down a touch. Highlights, let's see. While I'm looking at highlights, I'm specifically looking at the Frisbee and where I want it at, and the highlights in her skin tone actually too. I'm just going to bring it up a little bit to plus four in highlights. Shadows, I'm going to pop up the shadows just a touch, plus two. Whites, I usually don't mess with them. I just go for contrast mostly, but I do like going into this tab. Let's see. Bringing up the blacks a tad, and that feels right, right there. These bottom tabs, texture, clarity, dehaze, vibrance, saturation, I usually don't play with too much. Sometimes I like to bring down the clarity a little bit because there's details that look better, a little softer, but I'm going to keep clarity zero too. Here's the before, and here's the after of the image. I really like how it came out. All in all, I just made the image more contrasty and brought out the colors a little bit to make the image feel more true to what my style is. One of my strategies when editing is I just want to be as effective as possible with my time and resources. Lightroom has this feature where I could copy the edits and paste them on other photos. This works really well in this case because all these photos I took with these people are in a very similar environment. The lighting is very similar and the colors. The background is also very similar. I'm going to copy and paste this preset on the rest of my images as a starting point and then do fine tuning of each image from there. I am done editing my photos now, and now I want to show you how I put all these photos together to make it into a video. 9. Creating a Video for Social: Now that all the photos are edited, I want to share with you how I go from creating that photo series to reformatting it into a video. In this format, it's really fun to share with your family, friends, or it's a really good look to show a client as well as it's a great way to market your series to get as many eyeballs on it as possible and have people see your work in just a different format that's easily digestible. Let's just jump into it. The first thing I'm going to do is put all the files that I'm going to use in this video in one folder. I'm going to export all my edited photos from Lightroom and put it in a folder that's easy to access that I'll drag into Premiere, which is where I'm going to edit the video. Just for now, I'm going to put it on my desktop. I'm going to name the folder JOY_Video. Then I'll make a subfolder for it because these are just going to be the photo assets. Photos going to export as, these are my standard export settings. I'm just going to leave it at that, which is the long edge of 3,000 pixels, the resolution 96 PPI. I export as a JPEG and sRGB. Quality a 100, of course, come on. That's it. Export that. While we're shooting this whole photo series, in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted an establishing shot, just a quick video to set the scene of where we're taking these photos specifically for this video we're about to make. I'm going to put them in this folder as well because we're going to use it as the opening shot. The last thing I like to put in the folder is a camera shutter sound effects because the way I envision this videos, I'm going to show the scene and then go right into the photo, and right when I take the first photo, the series, I'm just going to add that sound effect to make the video that much more exciting. I haven't saved on my computer already, but you can easily download it online. There's a variety of camera shutter sound effects. Now, I think I have everything ready to go. I'm going to open Adobe Premiere Pro 2021. I'm going to click "New Project" and let's just title it Joy. Everything looks good. Now that I've put everything into one folder, I'm just going to simply drag that folder into my timeline on Premiere Pro. The next thing I'm going to do is drag all the photos into the timeline. Now that I dragged the photos in the timeline, it's actually not the right aspect ratio on a work with them because I'm going to be posting this video on Tiktok and Reels, which is full resolution of a phone which equates to nine by 16. Let's type in 1080 for wide and 1920 for vertical. As you can see, that equates to nine by 16. Enter it in, perfect. After doing that, as you can see here, the photos take up way too much of the frame. They're cropped in. It's not good. I want the photos to feel like you're looking at them hanging on a gallery wall. I want to zoom out so you can see the whole image. I'm going to go to scale on this first image and drag it out to where it feels right. I want it to feel like it has borders around it. At about, let's see 38, feels good. Once I have it there, as you can see, all the other images are still zoomed in. To make it faster and more effective, I'm just going to simply right-click on it, copy, and then select all of these other frames and then right-click, and click "Paste" attributes. Now, as you can see here, all the photos are perfectly lined up like that. I want them to feel like they're on a gallery wall. I'm going to change the background color by going down to new item, clicking "Color Matte", press "Okay", and then selecting "White". Then I'm going to take that layer and drag it. I'm just going to select these and put it on the upper layer, and then expand it. It's over the whole timeline so far. Just like that as you can see, all the photos have a white, clean backgrounds. Next up, we're going to go to the video folder and pick the video for the establishing shot. I'm going to drag this video into the timeline and put it right at the beginning, and then find those portraits of Rio and then place them right afterwards as the first photos. Cool. I'm also going to take the sound out because I don't think we need the sounds of the park. Now, I'm going to try to match up the end of the video clip with the first photo. This photo of Rio matches a little better than the other ones, so I'm going to place that one first. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to keyframe it so that it matches to that photo because in this video right here, Rio is a little bit further away from frame and then when it goes to the photo it's tight and more cropped in. I click here and then this is probably my favorite feature in Premiere, is to mess around with keyframes. I'm going to click the keyframes here, position and scale, and then go to the end of the clip right here and zoom in a little bit. Then put it a little bit to the right. Let's leave it at that for now. Let's play it, boom. Then to enhance that whole transition, I want to add in the shutter clicks sound effects. I'm going to drag that in from the sounds folder right to here and let's see, I only need one shutter sound. That's it, except we only want one click. I'm going to zoom in a little bit so I can take out that second click and now I'm going to match it up to the moment where the video transitions into the first photo. Right there. That's got to be it. Boom, that was it. Cool. The next step is I need to pick a song to really set the mood for this whole video. There's a bunch of different sites you can use online that have a great selection of music. But to make it as quick and easy as possible for this video now, I'm just going to head to YouTube and look up royalty-free, copyright-free music and pick a tune from there. You know what, I'm going to go with this song because I could already envision how the photos are going to change when the beat bumps. It goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and each photo is going to switch each time. I can already see it. Now that I downloaded that song, I put it into my sounds folder and now I'm dragging it right on the timeline. I'm going to fast forward to where the beat drops, which is about at the 22 second mark and then bring it to the beginning of the video. Now I'm going to try to match the beat dropping with the first photo. I'm just going to tinker with it a little bit, match it up perfectly. Cool. Now that I have the time maps for the first photo, I'm going to go into all the other photos and match up that time. All the other photos will match up to the beat. I'm just going to do this one-by-one. I'm going to drag it right on top and match it up. This is a little bit of a meticulous process, but I promise it doesn't take all that long. Let's see how that looks. Cool. Everything looks great now. Now that I know the time of the video, I'm going to cut off the rest of that song since we won't need the rest of that. It looks like the total video is going to be about 15 seconds long. Perfect. I usually aim somewhere between 10-20 seconds and if it lands at 15, perfect. Also, that whole video will play in your IG story because 15 seconds is the limit. The video is nearly done. There's just a couple more audio components I want to add. The first one is, I want to add a little voiceover explaining what I'm doing, what I'm shooting in a very concise manner. I'm going to open up the voiceovers app right on my computer and I'm just going to record myself. I photographed joyful people in Prospect Park. Done. I'm going to save that and add it to my sounds folder in Premiere. I photographed people in Prospect Park and I'm going to line it up so when I say the end of my sentence, Park, it goes straight into the zoom, into the shutter click and the beat drops. It all happens at once, it's just like a nice flow. There we go. That feels right. I want the viewer to feel like they're in the park. I'm going to look up park sound effects on the Internet and if you don't want to do this, you could also just while you're in the park or wherever you are shooting your series, you can just do an audio recording on your phone or whatever setting it is. That would actually be the best option. It's most true to your project. After downloading it, I just put it in my sounds folder in Premiere and I'm going to drag this right into my video file and I think this is the last step. Now let's see how it all sounds together. Let's just play it. I photographed joyful people in Prospect Park. Just like that, the video is done. The next step is, let's upload it and share. 10. Uploading: Now we have the fun part which is sharing this beautiful thing that we made together. Let's export it from Premiere. I do that by selecting my whole clip on the timeline and then I'm going to name it. Let's just keep it consistent and name it Joy video. Save it to the desktop for now, I always export in the format of H264. Then I like to click "Match Source" and everything looks good. Everything's pretty standard export and now it's already on my desktop. Now I'm going to click on that file and AirDrop it right to my phone. I got it on my phone now let's share it on Tiktok. Click "Upload" and then just click on my most recent video. Looks good. I'm going to click "Next" and Next, something I like to do is to make it more accessible to more viewers is I like to add subtitles so people that are hard of hearing can also enjoy the content. I'm just going to type out the first line. I say there're seven words. I'm going to go in the text tool and say, I photographed joyful people. I'm going to put this up here and then set the duration for the amount of time I say it, so it probably be one second. Let's see. Cool. Now I'm just going to add in Prospect Park. My second line I'm just going to have it start right when the other text end so I'm going frame by frame and we'll start it right there and then end it right there, right before the photo series starts, so let's see how it looks. Now I'm going to click "Next", and I'm going to select the cover. What I like to do for these is the cover is a moving image. It's a gift. I like to have the cover be the transition from the video into the photos. Let's try and line it up. Perfect. Then let's slap some text on top of it. The title of our series, which is, let's just say photographing joy. Cool. That'll be our cover. I'll just say for the caption the same thing that we said in the voice over. I'm going to add a little emoji, a joyful emoji. Lately my go-to has been the smiley face with the little teardrop, tears of joy, or one single tear of joy. Now let's add a couple of hashtags. I like to keep it minimal. Maybe let's do NYC people love that one. Portrait photography and the last one is shot on iPhone. Cool. That all feels great and I'm feeling really good about the video. Now it's time to share. All right, here we go and just like that, it's out in the world. 11. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You made it to the end of the class and we did it only using this phone in your pocket and that goes for shooting, editing, posting. We can do it all on this device that we all have. Yeah, we can level up eventually and get into more expensive gear, but we don't need the gear to create cool stuff. All you need is your phone and a spark of intention and inspiration to make something beautiful. We came up with an idea, we executed the project, we turned it into a photo series, and then we turn that photo series into a video. Don't feel like you have to do everything in the exact same way I did it. This was just a source of inspiration, to get you where you want to go. I cannot wait to see what you came up with and be sure to share it in the project gallery down below. Thanks for tuning in. Peace.