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Lesson 7 from: Creating the Moment Workshop

Forrest Mankins

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Lesson Info

7. Planning

It’s important to think about the point or the substance of a photo as your primary goal first, with the location being secondary. We don’t need everything to be perfect, just the elements we’re choosing to put in our frame.

Lesson Info


Planning a location. This is a little bit of an aside, but it's something I wanna to touch on really quickly. And it's, what is your idea? Do you need a big landscape or maybe something a little bit more intimate? Maybe you want something that feels like these crazy landscapes we see on social media, but you're not near the Tetons, or Rainier, or Iceland, or wherever. And it's important to think about the point or the substance of a photo as your primary goal first. And the location comes in secondary. Maybe you want an awesome summertime shot of someone jumping into a mountain lake, but like me, you probably don't have a lake with huge mountains in your background. You probably do have a lake nearby or a pool you could visit. So what if you got up on a box or a ladder and shot down into the water as someone jumped in? And by changing our position, we just removed the need for a specific backdrop. We also simplified our frame drastically. And we made the shot much more dependent upon t...

he original concept and more about nailing the right moment. So this is kind of how I choose locations. What am I shooting? What is the activity or the backdrop that I need? And what do I really need in the frame to convey my message? So where can I find a little chunk of background that fits in with my goal? We don't need everything to be perfect, but just the elements we're choosing to put in our frame. We're implying all of these things in photography. I think we can do the same with our locations. I'm often shooting with a 50 millimeter lens or even tighter specifically because I want to focus the action in my frame. Even when I am in a location that's super epic, is the location you're subject or is your concept? I don't think either is wrong, but it is an answer that we need to know. And narrowing down our ideas to allow the elements in our photos to coexist without competing with one another is essential.

Class Materials

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Ratings and Reviews

Mathieu Cladidier

A lot of philosophical insights but not much of practical tips to use! I love Forrest Mankins photos and youtube channel. I signed up for his workshop to get a bit more of an insider perception, which he delivered in his own style and which is great. However, at the end of the workshop, I have a hard time to really feel like it worth it. Maybe I was expecting too much of technical, really hands on tips. The whole thing is good overall, don't get me wrong but not as much useful as expected.

Matt Steindl

Creating a Moment Overall, this workshop had a ton of great insight into Forrest's process before and after creating an image. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the points he touched on with working with models and teams. I never had a workshop go into these sort of important details that forgotten at times. I wish the workshop had more "in the field" video content as it tended to get a bit cumbersome watching Forrest talk at the camera over and over again but regardless I definitely learned a lot and would purchase this workshop again in heartbeat.


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