The Mobile Editing Workflow of World-Renowned Photojournalist Ed Kashi.

Ed Kashi's Mobile Editing Workflow
Portrait by Casey Cosley

Ed Kashi is a photojournalist dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. His sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. In addition to editorial assignments, filmmaking and personal projects, Kashi is an educator who instructs and mentors students of photography, participates in forums and lectures on photojournalism, documentary photography and multimedia storytelling.

In Ed’s class, Storytelling with Mobile Photography he covers the power of your mobile phone to create powerful visual stories. Watching this you’ll learn,

– How to develop a story, approach people, and get the best images
– How to develop observational skills, and apply them to your pre-planned story
– How to make money selling your smartphone images

We sat down with Ed and asked him to share a sneak peak into what his mobile editing workflow is like.

A photo posted by Ed Kashi (@edkashi) on

Ed Kashi: I shoot on the Procamera app or the iPhone camera and then I usually put it into Snapseed. Then I’ll do, you know, basic burning and dodging, clarity, saturation, and sometimes turn it to black and white. Then to post it goes to instagram and link that to my twitter and Facebook feeds.
Sometimes I’ll also work on it in snapseed knowing I’m going to do one last move in instagram because I love the clarity button in instagram. I don’t want to use a lot of tools though. You know there are so many other apps, but I want one or two tools in my toolkit and work with those and master those. I just don’t have the time. I want to spend the time getting stories, on getting access, on learning my subjects, and figuring out the narrative. 

CreativeLive: Do you feel like your style is conveyed more through how you shoot rather than the way you edit?

Ed: Yes and no. I mean if you look at my images on Instagram compared my images elsewhere, they’re a bit more processed for Instagram. So there is a look there because I realize on Instagram it’s being seen on a relatively small canvas and doesn’t get a long shelf life so it needs to pop a little more. 

CL: With platforms like Instagram primarily being viewed on your phone, are you able a little more loose to push editing without loss of image quality?

Ed: You know, I don’t really think about it because I’m always trying to get great image quality. I don’t work and create for the phone as a platform itself. I mean, half of what I do now is shooting film or video for broadcast or theatre, even though a lot of the time it’s going to end up in a digital format on someone’s mobile device or tablet.

A photo posted by Ed Kashi (@edkashi) on

CL: For people who want to learn mobile photography and use it as a storytelling device, what kind of thing should they be looking for? Emotion? Action?

Ed: That really depends. It really comes down to what interests you. You can’t go looking for “emotion” or “action”. If love shooting skateboarders for instance, you’re probably going to be looking for action. If you were shooting cancer patients, it would be drama and emotion.

In that way it’s often the subject that dictates what I’m looking for. For me, I love intimacy and especially candid intimacy.

A photo posted by Ed Kashi (@edkashi) on

VII Photographer and videographer, Jessica Dimmock, joins us May 9th-10th for Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

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Casey Cosley

As a Seattle-based photographer, I incorporate the culture and style of the city into the sense and attitude of my work. I deliver a stunning and vibrant body of work for my clients, and am available for commercial & editorial travel and/or location photo assignments worldwide. Check out my work on Instagram.