Storytelling and Album Design

Lesson 3/14 - How to Select Images for Storytelling in Lightroom CC


Storytelling and Album Design


Lesson Info

How to Select Images for Storytelling in Lightroom CC

This is an entire wedding right here is everything that we looked at and saw minus the rejects I got rid of the rejects so at this point the total number of photos if I sort by the original photos so we got seven hundred forty six photos that we kind of captain showed to the client so that's that's over the course of like, three, three days okay? So the little bit the day before a little bit the day after and then the full day there so seven hundred forty six images and you can see that there's you know, times where we hear is that here's that shot that we were just looking at in the book that's completely unedited we have it's the unadjusted version of that ongoing hears them playing around with on these white rocks below those cliffs. And so we did lots of other things, but what we're going to do is the first thing we do is as we're selecting the images on dh and if you want to learn more about image selection and stuff like that, you can go to my ultimate light room cc work flow of ...

course, because we talk a lot about image selection and how to do that were put things and things like that so that's not the purpose of this discussion, but in this process of going through our images we're going to start them so as I look at the images and as I decide I'm going to pick this one, I'm going to pick that one I'm gonna let the client see this one in that one I'm going to go through the process of starring those images and saying, I like this image, I like that image um and so when you do that, I'm going to use the one through five keys to give one through five stars, and I want to do it based on kind of a gut instinct or a got reaction to the images, and so as I scan through these images, I'm going to say, you know, I'll highlight a siri's of images like these, and I'll hit the n ki, which is the survey mode inside of light room, and that allows me to see these images nice, big, and I'm going to look at him and say, which ones give me the most impact, like the ones that really shine? And so those are the ones that I'm going to click on, and then I'm going to give them a star rating of some sort. So I just had the two key for start really like this image here, so I'm going to start that image and I'll just keep going through that process of starring images on go to the next set of images here um, and and look for those and star the ones that I think are you know, really magnificent images now the picks are the ones the clients get to see so I'm gonna let the client cia pick but this is not an image that I'm gonna put he's chipping away at the rock like any boy would do right? We just chip it rocks but we're not going to put that in a wedding album and so I'm not going to start that that's just going to be something for him to see but I might star something like this, you know, that might be something I would start and so as we go through our images will look for opportunities for really beautiful images and so, you know, like this for instance might be an image that you would say, ok, that's a you know, that's a willing candidate for some kind of a story and we're looking for two things when we're when we're searching our image is the first thing that we're looking for is beauty is there something beautiful doesn't have a great composition, you know, are we like in this case we're using the rule third so the lighthouse is over on the left hand side and it's down low and so you've got this nice little thirds plus you've got this beautiful skyline going on s oh that's a nice composition it also says calm beautiful but it also feels old so it kind of gives me that old feel like old england type of thing and so beautiful is the first thing I see so I'm looking for beauty and looking for good composition the second thing I'm looking for is a story so it's gotta have one or the other for sure and in order to make the album that kind of has to have both so the client gets to see anything that's beautiful or anything that's really historically important that has a story to it that's what they get to see the album has down both so I like this I think it has some kind of ah s story could move the story forward and so I'm going to give it to stars so that it can hit the album whether I'm going to keep it in the end that's a whole different story but I like it I think it will make the album and so I'm going to click on it all right? So I'm going to kind of keep scrolling through those images looking for I really like this one too because see how just gives that empty feeling I kind of I want it I want there to be like a girl laying down in there kind of like a crippled girl like going like this so that it looks like why if you know the anyway so when I was looking at this, I was totally like wishing that, like, I had, like, this girl and address, like, crawling towards the farmhouse, over, um, so but I like that, so I'll give it a one star because maybe it might be useful, I really like these flowers, I think they tell a great story because that was, um, the groom is really both the bridegroom and the bride in this case where veterinarians and so they're, you know, into animals, and they like plants, and they like the outdoors, and they're very, you know, adventurous and s o they would go along and pick flowers and look at things, and they're very interested in, you know, nature, and so as I would go through, I became them, and I kind of, and when you're telling a story, and when you're at a wedding, you kind of almost want to take on the feelings and the attitudes of your clients so that you can see what they're interested in and, like, really go after those things. So when I'm with someone who's, very earthy, I'm going to try and think about earthy concepts, but when I'm with someone who's very fashion oriented and, you know, a city girl, and then I'm going to take on those kind of of ideas in my head that doesn't mean I change who I am because I'm still a neutral observer, but I want to feel mohr on their side of the spectrum than I then just staying who I am because then I can really get what they're interested and tell their story in a way that kind of shows what they might be thinking during this day as well, and so I start, you know, when they're looking, I start looking at flowers, you know, they if they didn't look at flowers, I might not look at the flowers, I might look more at this ocean, and I might look more than you know, I still look at those things, but so I like that shot, so I'm in a I'm gonna flag that shot as well. So I'm I'm really scanning through these images looking for, you know, moments where you know, there's something, and you can see that the images that I've adjusted here are obviously the ones that I'm I've I've been looking for and I've liked, but you can see, you know, that there's two shots here. Well, the one where she's about to hang the dress doesn't tell us good of stories when she's connecting with the dress and so that is an example of a story within an image, so you could you could put that into the story but it doesn't tell the same story this image here tells the story and let me just make sure it looks the same so that we are talking about the same image so this story and this story tell two different stories this story tells the story of I'm hanging my dress but this tells the story of I like my dress I picked the stress I'm looking at you know still I'm hanging the dress but now we actually have I like this dress I picked this dress it's mine I'm touching it I'm looking at it I like this little thing on the front with the beating and so now there's a connection it's between me and the dress and so that's why we're gonna choose this image over you know its previous image because of this one just tells I'm hanging the dress now did I see that when I was photographing it absolutely not I saw a girl looking at address hanging your dress take lots of pictures of that any time I got a moment where I thought there is you know eyes open and you know decent composition take the picture but then when I come back and look at all of them that's when I start deciding what's the story which one further there's the story which one is just a boring picture of someone hanging address and so that's why we're going to choose that image another moment here is you know you khun you can look at all of these images here, but which one is the story it's this one right here that's the story now you have to have one or more of the other ones so you might have to have you know, say that one which is funny because it comes after it but but really you know that that's doesn't look all that good this one you know is but you need to know that she's giving it to her so you might want to do these two together because then it kind of tells that story as to and you could do just take this and, you know, put that in front and then that so you can sometimes tweak it and reverse it. So I've done that a lot I'll take a a shot that's at the end of the day and put it at the beginning of the day because it looks like it's the same is what was happening, so so that works too, but that's the story when you're looking at that kind of a moment. So as your as your as you're designing your album and as you're working through this story, you need to pay attention to you know every image and say which images because you're gonna have multiple options between images and so the question is which image really makes that moment, and sells that moment, and tells the story in itself, which one doesn't. And then shakespeare, one of his character's polonius, tells us that brevity is the soul of wit, right, he's, talking to his son and he's like, hey, which is funny because he's not being brief that's, why that's so funny, because he's long winded, and he just keeps talking and talking and talking. And then he tells the sun, remember, brevity is the soul of whip clearly did, noting that he is not witty and when he says that that can be applied everywhere, and really your wit or your ability to tell a story is your ability to tell stories to simply and get it done. And so when you're choosing your images instead of if you khun avoid choosing three images and just choose one that will tell the same story, then do it because you're going to be a have far more impactful set of images in your album if they can tell it quickly. Now, there are exceptions to that. For instance, you could probably tell the story of the wedding with fewer pictures, but if you want the wedding to feel like a lot of stuff happened, because maybe it was an hour long, then maybe you want to put a lot of pictures all together, of similar things happening but just too crowded up and then all of a sudden that page feels like lots of stuff happen or there's lots of motion happening because you see that like for instance in this wedding album I have a page where she's looking out the window then she goes down the stairs and out the door I could tell the same story if I just did this one and this one and not that one she's looking out the window time to go she's out the door but the idea of having the three together is like boom boom boom it's like now we see motion so we way see that motion going out the door and so then I go from standing still to the out the door so it's like it gets faster and faster and you can see that this one is still this one has a little bit emotion in it and this has a lot of motion in it so it kind of speeds up and so that's why we we design it that way so that's like there's lots of ocean and then the next page is getting in the car and driving away so it's like out the door drive away and that's a good way to tell a story so sometimes you break your rule of brevity and you use extra images to create motion or to create energy or tow create crowded you know, claustrophobia or something like that so you can certainly do that, all right? But the key is selecting the images based on knowing that you want to tell a story and how those that's going toe interact with the rest of the images to tell the story. So we have collected images, I'm and rather than going through and collecting a bunch of images with you, we're going to show you images that I have collected, and so we're going to go down, too are collected images that we've already collected, um here, so you can see that I've got a bunch of images collected, we're going to make a shorter book because we don't have time to, you know, really fuss over a very long book, this book has a lot more images in it. We're going to make a shorter book, but you can see that we've chosen some of the same stuff chosen, you know, some stuff inside of the wedding right before there, meeting with pastor there, you know, just stuff inside the chapel, and then we've got, you know, a nice shot of the cliffs, some surfers out there, we've got, you know, those peaceful images, and then we've also got them getting ready, and we've got pictures of them going out the door, we've got pictures of them going into the chapel you know we've got the whole story covered but this is this would be like the short version of this book but we've collected all of our images here the way we've collected those is when we're up here so if I were to collect images and I wanted to go to the jobs I'm going to go back up here to our job where is it right here? So I go to this job and ice and I say I want to collect an image so let's say I want to collect this image of her going down the stairs and I also wanted the image of her right at the kind of the top of the stairs here I would highlight both of those images and usually you would just do it by stars so you would say I want to focus on all of my one star two star images because he went through and already did your stars so rather than running through your image is looking for those you can simply go up to the top to the library filter and if you don't see that you hit the back slash key on the black backslash key well turn on and off that bar and so I'm going to go to the back slash k click on attributes and I'm going to say I only want to see images that air one star and above click on that and now I'm on leave seeing images that air one star and above so I'm going to highlight those images and then I'm going to grab them and either dragged them in there so I can grab him like this and I could drag them into that album designed folder and now instead of sixty six images I have sixty eight images in there so I can grab those and drag them or the other thing I can do is I can go in and I can right click any collection and I can set it as the target collection if I do that this little plus symbol comes up and once that plus symbol is there then anything that I want to collect so if I want to collect something I just go up to that image that I want to collect them and see if there's something I haven't collected yet and you can see if I've collected or not based on that little circle alone gray circle tells me that this is in the target collection so if I want tio includes, say um looking for something else to include uh didn't tio yeah this this one so if I want to include this one where the groom is looking over his bride I just simply click on that circle or hit the bee key for boy that's great and I click on b and now that o they're at the highlight the image, but once I had, they highlight the image and click on that or just click on the little circle and it will be added to that collection so that makes it really easy to just kind of zoom through all of your picked images all your selects and say, is there anything else that I want to add to this album? So if I want to add that one, uh, if I want to add a flower in there is a detail um if I want to add this little kid shot in there um, all of those kind of things I can add just by clicking I'm a circle yeah, for images that are not in the target collection or that are in the target. Yeah, if you wanted to let's say I have here is the album design folder and I decided, you know, I like all of these, but I think I'm missing a couple so I could highlight all of these there's two things that you could do the first thing you could do is you could make them all color, so if I labeled them all, uh yellow so you hit the seventy that makes them all yellow says five, six, seven, eight and nine are colors and so if I hit seven, that makes him all yellow and then all I would do is go back to the original folder where all of this stuff exists so I go back here to the original folder and now you can see all the yellow ones are selected and all the non yellow ones aren't so now I can look through the whole set and say is everything that I want selected and that's probably the easiest way to do it because then at least you know that you're actually getting all of the images because you can see him you scan through and go no, I didn't get you know the wine bottles or whatever if the wine bottles were important, I didn't get the wine bottles and so that's the first way that you can do that the other way that you could do it is to go down to your album design collection and highlight all of them and then if you go back to and then you would want to say you know, make him yellow or, you know give him some kind of a code like that and for me colors or are useful at the moment I don't ever like tag something yellow or green or red or whatever that it is going to stay that way I use it for the moment, so while I'm editing if I see something that's kind of often needs to be worked on, I'll hit it is red so then I consort by reds and then work on those because those are the ones that need like some noise reduction or they're a little out of focus or whatever it's all work on those but then once I'm done with that red could mean something completely different s o I just use those colors labels so that I you know randomly can use you know, red or green or whatever to say oh this is what the client wants to collect so I'm gonna do it green and then I'll pull him over and then I was clear mall and make them all back to normal once I've done whatever that color did so you can do that or so once you've done that then you can go back to the original job so once we're back in the original job then you can go up to the attributes and you can say that it is if you click on yellow it will just show you the yellow ones but if you were to say it doesn't have any colors so you can come over here and say this has no colors so now I'm just looking at the ones with no colors right? So you khun say I want you know anything that is not one star or higher but I want something that's no colors with no stars and now I've got all the things that I really have not done any collecting on so then I could say, oh, well, I kind of want the clock tower or you know, whatever maybe I want the pathway that leads to the church or something like that so I kind of scroll through there and see if there's anything that I have missed that I should have gotten so for instance maybe you know the hearings he gave her these earrings so maybe I want to include that in there. So if that's the case, I would go click and click and then I know that those air in there so a lot of different ways to do that same thing you could also, you know, make a smart collection that says, show me everything that's not in side of the collection or you could come up here to the top here on dh x say sort by none and then you could go to metadata and then inside of these appeared the drop down menu click on that, you could say, ok, let's, look for, uh, metadata status I think that's where we find it no call them somewhere in here we're going to find smart, create know that seed somewhere there's probably an option for if it's in the target collection maybe or maybe not well, but you definitely could go in and write and make a collection here and you could make a smart collection and inside the smart collection you could say show me everything that's not in the smart aaron the target collection and then it would it would show even just constantly change that so then if you clicked on it it would go in and it would go away from there because smart collection sales now on all now it's in the smart aleck are in the target collection so there's a lot of ways you could collect but the key is to collect so I generally will over collect by maybe ten or fifteen or twenty pictures so that I have enough stuff that if I you know need a variation on something because of the you know this one would fit better in this spot where this one to be better crops square than this one and it's all use that one that's really useful toe have those as an over collection so I'll get a cz much as I can in there as you know and then and then once I'm done, I'm going to go to the album design folder and that are this collection and that's my story and now I have to look at that story and decide if I if I'm telling the story of five got the images of flows going toe work at times I'll go in and say, well, does this really have anything to do with story this telephone booth? Yeah, sure, we talked about it, we saw it was funny we made some comments about it, but it's really going to tell the story? Is there anything I know? There isn't, so I'm going to get rid of it so I can go through and just kind of scan and make sure that everything in here really is validly pushing the story forward. I'm going to do that first, and then once I've done that, I'm ready to produce my album, and so at this point we will go into album production and well, once we've got the images collected, we're going to either go into creating a book inside of light room in the book module or we're going to create him an album and album can't be created in the book module in like room because the book bob dylan light room will on lee go either to blurb or it will print out pdf at the same size as what blurb is doing, and I don't know any album producers that literally aarp creating the exact same page size as blurb, so that means that if you printed out of j peg or if you printed out a pdf, you would have to send it somewhere that literally would cut it down to the exact size that you are producing and there are very few people that will do that I have there is a binder in my hometown in phoenix that will do it. If I wanted to print it out on my printer, bring it to them. They would cut it down pace. That put it all together. But that's? Not quite. You know what we want to do, because we want to be efficient as well as tell stories.

Class Description

Photographs are one of the ways we tell stories – assembled together they paint a picture of a time and a place. In Storytelling and Album Design, Jared Platt will teach you how to tell better stories using innovative, easy-to-apply design and compilation techniques.

In this class, you’ll learn how to create compelling photo books using Smart Albums and InDesign in conjunction with Lightroom. You’ll learn how to:

  • Apply the art of storytelling to an album
  • Design a workflow to make the process fast
  • Ensure the album looks great printed
Jared will cover the best methods for designing a wedding album, senior album, and documentary book. The techniques he’ll share will help reduce the time you spend on albums from hours to just minutes.

Don’t let albums overwhelm you or your time – learn fast, effective techniques in Storytelling and Album Design with Jared Platt.


Tanya Lillie

I'm pretty proficient with LR Develop module, but I have not delved into the other modules. This class was introducing those modules and teaching how they can add value to your photography. Jared is a proficient and effective instructor.