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Story Structure

Lesson 4 from: Shoot and Sell Compelling Photo Albums

Andrew Funderburg

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Lesson Info

4. Story Structure

Lesson Info

Story Structure

So let's take a look at story structure, and this is where we get a little bit into the meat of the technical side of what we're doing, right? So one of things they talk about in Muse, storytelling with heart, this story structure, right? Basic story structure, the beginning, middle and the end, right? It's been around since Aristotle laid it out, right? The beginning is Act one. That's the exposition, and the key thing to remember in the beginning is that it's gonna take up about 25% of your album. But you must introduce everything important to the story in that 1st 25% All right, who's important? Where are we? What's going on? You know all of the important key elements. So if the bride says my grandma super important because she has cancer and might die, you want to make sure that she has introduced in that 1st 25% right? That crying shot halfway at the end of the ceremony isn't gonna be enough. You're going to bring her in much sooner to the story. So here's some wonderful images fr...

om charm. Tarmy Penna All right, The beginning right? Who who's there. What's going on? Where are we? Who's important in the story? What's the location? Is the perfect location shot. Look at this. We know where we are, the wedding. And we also know where we are at in the world. All right, The middle act to it's rising action. We're going towards something right. We might be going towards the kiss. We might be going towards the crazy dance floor. It might be if you shoot a lot of Jewish weddings, that might be the hora. We're going towards a peak moment in action. If you're shooting boudoir, your that's the sexiest shot you're moving towards quite the moments getting more and more relaxed. And then she really liked lets her guard down and And you get that one emotional shot, right? If you're shooting families, it's that one moment where they all just let their guards down there all you know, really showing their love for each other. We're moving towards something. So here we have some beautiful album spreads. Only that that don't make you cry. I don't know. And in the end we have the climax in the resolution, right? It doesn't matter if you're shooting a wedding or you're watching, uh, one of the greatest movies of all time. Diehard, right? It never. It never ends on the explosion. Right? The building didn't explode, and they ended the movie. The building exploded. And then there's a quiet scene s the ambulance where he's making amends with his wife. Or if there's a big you know, shoot em up action show it never ends there it ends there, sitting around drinking coffee, talking. All that was really cool when he blew everything up, wasn't it? Well, yes, it was right. Or if the love romance coming, it doesn't end. When they finally get together and kiss, it ends with them walking off into the sunset. All right, so we need to create that moment of action, and then we need to bring the viewer down. So we're building the action. Yes. Yes. All right. And then we always end on a quiet moment. Right? The horse riding off into the sunset. Right. So we always need to make sure So sometimes the wedding will end and the bride and groom disappear in the limo. Right? So we need to make sure we that take that time to take the bride and groom away from the action and get those quiet moments shots, Maybe in the middle of the reception. You know, there's always those moments we could pull them out in a way, right? And then, you know, if you're shooting high school seniors, that peak moment is when they're most proud of themselves. And then you can always get that pullback shot of, you know, maybe the cities in the background or whatever were there that quiet moment of confident reflection upon themselves. So, uh, you seen pieces of this album? So now I'd like you to watch this album by charming Kenya Photography and just let me know what resonates with you. All right, let's give a big hand. Thank you. Thank you. So, what resonated you with that album? Um how expressive and, um, playful. The couple were together, and then even their family members and friends. You could see it in the photos Kind of resonated that energy with either excitement or three tiers in some of the ceremony photos like everyone was just overflowing with emotion throughout the whole day. So, as a photographer, she was able to bring everyone that story and give that to you as a viewer, right? Anyone else, Anything. It was so much pride. Yeah, um, not just from the parents, but from the crowd. Yeah, like a lot, like hit me. How much How much pride they want is one which, of course, as photographers for weddings. We want to show the love, but she, like, showed the love And she, um, pulled me in. I didn't photograph it when I photograph that I feel very connected to the weddings that I photographed, But I didn't photograph that wedding. And yet I almost felt like I was there. Yeah, that's amazing. That's so every everyone I've showed this light show two. There's always some of the group that says just that they're like, I felt like I was right there. Yeah, right. It's amazing. And that really shows how great Charmy is. A telling a story, right? We were There was awesome. I was there. I feel like I know the couple. I feel like you could, like, walk up to them and start talking to them. I have never met them. So right, So as as homework right down the three act structure, right, This is just something. There's only three things to remember. You stick it in the back of your head and that's what we can think about while we're shooting. Alright, right down the percentage of the acting. U got 50 25 all right? And then what's included in each act, right? You've got your everything that's important in the beginning. The middle is about the rising action. And then the end is about pulling that action down, you know, hitting that climax shot and then pulling the action down and then closing it out with that that nice pullback shot so that the album has an ending. This story, every story has an ending, right? And as we close the album, the viewer wants to feel like I'm closing the album. But I know that the future is gonna be OK, right? I can see the story continuing with with whether it's a high school senior or family. A wedding, it doesn't matter. Story is gonna continue

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Storyteller Workflow
Image Brander License

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Blog Collage License
Storyteller Worksheet
4 Pillars of Story
Booking Checklist
5 Tips For Maximum Album Profits
Ice Society Video HD
Fundy Designer Software Demo (HD - 1.47GB)

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

In the digital age, selling albums to clients have changed dramatically. I want to change that viewpoint back to where it was before. Andrew Funderburg teaches how much a tangible print is valued more than any other form. This class is great for anyone who is looking to build albums to share your clients' story because it puts an entirely new perspective on the entire process from the day you meet your client to the delivery. There are so many tips that you can use to create the perfect album for your client, efficiently, and effectively. There are so many tips and tricks that Fundy teaches and I'm so ecstatic to put these tips to use. Thank you Fundy!

Linda Allen

I loved this class! I love Andrew's philosophy of storytelling through print and I see the importance of conveying this message to our photography clients. Thanks Andrew and Creative Live for a wonderful class!


I loved this. I loved hearing his philosophy about what he does, and he's quietly passionate about his work. This was a great class, and I'll be able to have those ideas in mind when I shoot, and (hopefully) have a better/quicker/smoother outcome in the end.

Student Work