Skip to main content

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Lesson 15 of 50

Keeping an Open Mind and Thinking on Your Feet

Chris Weston

Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

15. Keeping an Open Mind and Thinking on Your Feet


Class Trailer
1 Your 10,001st Photograph 03:24 2 Camera Gear 03:03 3 Piece of Gear We Always Forget 03:47 4 Be a Storyteller 03:09 5 Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject 06:59 6 Cae Study - Why Are Zebras Black and White Striped 01:30 7 Photograph What You Love 02:00 8 See the Extraordinary in Ordinary Things 01:31

Lesson Info

Keeping an Open Mind and Thinking on Your Feet

to pretend that the full visualization process I used to create the image of the lions that I described in less than two of this module is what I do for every picture I create would be disingenuous. Now it's true that for many of my images, it's my starting point. If I was to restrict myself to this technique alone, I'll be closing the door on spontaneity and creativity. And let's face it as photographers. That's not something we should do whenever I'm out with my camera, either for work or for fun. I'm always on the lookout for the candid moment, but here's the thing. What I found is probably because I've been doing this for many years. Even when I'm making snap decisions in photographing spontaneously, I go through exactly the same visual ization process. It's just that because I'm so familiar with it now I do it subconsciously. What I mean by that is before I press the shutter, I'm asking myself the question. What's the story? What is it I want to say here one of my feeling and what...

do I want to express? And it's from the answer to that question. I get the image. A simple way to practice visualization is when you're looking through the viewfinder on before you press the shutter, ask yourself the question. How would I caption this image if the only answer you can come up with is a common noun, a landscape, a beach, a seal, then stop. That's a record shot on. Let's be honest, the world doesn't really need any more of those. So let's play a quick game on the screen. I'm going to play a slide show. What I want you to do is come up with a caption for each of the images and take your time and pause a video if you need to. So how did you get on? You probably found with the 1st 4 images, it was pretty easy. The final image was probably a bit more of a struggle, but don't worry. It was meant to be because the last image was a snapshot, a record shot, and it was there to illustrate the point. Now, to show you how you can put this into practice in the next lesson, I'm gonna tell you about an amazing French woman I had dinner with or photographing orangutans in Borneo. No

Class Description



  • Compose a shot consistently and effectively
  • Create artistic, powerful images quickly
  • Gain confidence in building narrative
  • Identify what stories you’re drawn to photograph
  • Brainstorm and develop concepts for creative shots
  • Trust your instincts when approaching a subject


CreativeLive is partnering with Chris Weston to offer you his Complete Photography Master Course. This is the second class in the series.

Today, everybody has a camera, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s a photographer. Chris Weston will show you how to do all the other stuff – how to “see” an image, tap into your creativity, and compose a photograph that makes the subject look as good in print as it does in real life.

This class isn’t about cameras, it’s about you – the photographer. It will break free your creative mind, get you thinking about narrative rather than object, and show you how to apply simple artistic skills that turn that next click into a powerful photograph.

Learn how to approach photography like a pro and start creating great pictures straight away. With in-the-field lessons, case studies and powerful tips and techniques, you’ll quickly unleash your creativity and gain confidence in expressing yourself through your camera.


  • Beginner photographers
  • First time DSLR or mirrorless camera users
  • Any photographer who wants to hone their artistic skills


Named one of the world's most influential wildlife photographers, Chris Weston takes a contemporary approach to photography. After launching his career in 2001, the Fujifilm ambassador's images have graced the pages of top publications like BBC, The Times, Outdoor Photography, Practical Photography, and Digital Photography. As a photography educator, Chris has written over 20 photography books, along with leading photo tours and online workshops.


Edmund Cheung

Perhaps the style of presentation and simple, short, and direct messaging does not "jive" with some; but others may really love this. Yes the production of each episode is stylized and perhaps a bit formal (like a TV Show?), but there is something to be said about it. Perhaps this is not meant for professional photographers? I think of myself as decent amateur / high level photographer. I found lots of great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from this. Especially when I an in a rut for creativity. Yes I have heard all these concepts and ideas before. BUT it is always great to hear and see a different way of presentation and voice. Please do NOT take the naysayer reviews as the end all. You should judge for yourself and watch a few episodes. If the style and content click for you, I would highly recommend this course.

Kai Atherton

While I am perhaps more advanced in my photography then this course. It is always great to be able to go back to fundamentals and remind ourselves of the basic principles, and even camera function. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and Chris's other. It is a great motivational jumpstart when lacking fresh creative idea's.

Abdullah Alahmari

Thanks a lot to mr. Chris Weston This course is great and It is a 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 course for me. Beside the other course ( mastering the art of photography ) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.