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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 28 of 67

Build a Production Plan


The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 28 of 67

Build a Production Plan


Lesson Info

Build a Production Plan

producing a still shoot. As I say, up here is a lot of moving parts. Honestly, I think they're very straightforward when it compared to motion. Motion is is like, Ah, film director like, uh, almost like directing a train wreck. Very organized way. You have so many pieces, and a lot of them are going to go wrong, and it is very, very, very complicated to keep things moving, keep them on track. You know, it's it's There's just a lot of moving parts to a typical photography shoot. Include things like models, location permit, food, lodging, etcetera. You're probably looking at what dare to tops for a produced still shoot, maybe three. Never more 45 But what is a film gonna be? I mean, you're looking at months potentially. If you're doing a short film, you know, if you're doing a long one hour, you could be looking at a year for hour and 1/2 2 years, I had one project. It was a 44 minute television show, took me two years just to get into the field from the permit process. So it really does...

vary, but it doesn't have to be that dramatic either, but you're going to have a lot more pre planning. You need to go through the steps, and you need to go through all of these different processes and start to build a production plan. Questions you should answer right from the beginning is what is my genre? I figure if you're in the outdoor photography space, the 1st 1 is probably the most likely a lot of us who are interested in outdoor photography shifting from stills, emotional proclamation, documentaries. How was the story going to be told? This is very important because you can't just go into the field and start shooting. If you start shooting all willingly, you're going to come back with a bunch of footage like that and then have to figure out how does it all go together? How do I make a story out of it? That could work to some degree, but only if you've already planned everything out and you come back and you say, Okay, we're gonna film. All these penguins are gonna film penguins for a week or two and we have all kinds of different penguins. We're gonna look for a wayto maybe anthropomorphize their situation so Okay, Look at all these penguins there, couples. And they're always together. Baba Baba Baba. But that one penguin, it's always alone. Tell that penguin story right? You might think about that. That's something you can put together after the fact that you've already gone in with the idea that we're investing a lot of time and we're looking for that way to build a story. But if it's not being done that way, you need to know who is the voice. Is that voice coming through interviews, people on camera. Will you see them on camera? In the drone portion of this class, we see a film about Rob Krar, the Ultra Runner. You don't see him or his wife at all talking for the entire first and 80% of the film. That's intentional. You hear their voice, you see them on camera. We don't see them talking. You just see them sitting, walking, running, doing all the different things. But you hear them and then that reveal at the end. It's what it feels like is like a payoff. You see them sitting there and you feel like you're meeting these people that you've become familiar with that's a process to using interviews without having talking heads sitting there the entire time. That kind of stuff could be boring. So how do you move away from that? You can use. A narrator could have parts of it narrated, kept parts of it is talking heads. Maybe it's a mix of all three things. Is it gonna be scripted? You're doing a documentary? Probably not. You might have talking points. You might interview people with questions. You might even try to lead it in certain directions so that your theme is covered. But those are the things you figure out. And then, of course, location, dialogue, regular everyday thing. So if somebody's doing ah, you know, some sort of, ah, biology, biological working. They're having a conversation in the field, that kind of stuff. Does that carry the story along? It's certainly certainly can. Most television shows these days are based on that interactions between each other and conversations. This is probably the best way to do it if you can do it, but you have to have the right people in the right situation. That's where characters, character development, all those kinds of things, the things we call reality television. They really are coming out of location. Dialogue in many ways starts running into scripted dialogue. You'd be surprised. Stylistic considerations. Is it a period film? Do you wanna have a certain kind of look? Lens flares is their grain. We're gonna shoot on film if it's not digital. Probably not. I would recommend that to start as part of your transition. You want Take a look. Old lens flares. I've seen somebody used lens flares as a way to show character emotion. So every time, yeah, the guy gets little angry, you start to see red lens flare, sort of kind of creeping into the edge. You know, when they're happier, is a different color. You'd be surprised stylistically, what can be done? Think about, um, when a scene is very blue, feels like it's night. Or maybe in the past. Um, yeah, there's a movie I was watching recently where they wanted to make the business world look very austere and cold. And so all of the scenes were very, very blue and cold. A color, the color balance or white balance. All these things you would normally using your photos were trying to adjust now imagine entire scene. That's blue. Then when you get out to the countryside, this area they're trying to show appealing, it's all very, very warm evening. Why Very, very warm colors like the color balance is way on the other end of the spectrum and the Reds and most viewers probably don't know that. They don't even realize that they're being told to feel a certain way based on the use of color and the character development and ideas. But this all needs to be decided before anything else.

Class Description

Great outdoor photography starts with a love of adventure and exploration. Learn to maximize your skills and optimize your potential with this complete guide to capturing photos and video in the great outdoors. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive will go in-depth on how to create a story through stills and motion in any environment.

Throughout these lessons, Ian will cover scouting and planning, capturing photo and video, and understanding how to get an audience for your final project
Ian will cover:

  • Permit needs and location scouting essentials
  • Gear basics & prep
  • Introduction to using drones
  • Fundamentals of moving from still photography to capturing video
  • How to capture landscapes 
  • Composition and lighting techniques
  • How to handle low-light situations
  • How to capture for stock photography and video
  • Getting your work seen in print and publications
  • And more!

For four weeks, Ian will be your outdoor guide to capturing the beauty and greatness in nature. If you have a love for nature or adventure, join this class to learn how to turn your passion and social media posts into profit or exposure. 


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview
  3. Elements of a Well-told Story
  4. Storytelling in Motion
  5. Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project
  6. Gear for Drones
  7. Gear for Motion
  8. Inside Ian's Gear Bag
  9. General Advice for Preparation
  10. Virtual Scouting
  11. Weather
  12. Permits and Permission
  13. Model and Property Releases
  14. Health and Fitness
  15. Checklist
  16. Location Scouting Overview
  17. Location Scouting in the North Cascades
  18. Drone Introduction
  19. Drone Safety
  20. What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?
  21. FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare
  22. Telling a Story With a Drone
  23. Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements
  24. Selling Drone Footage
  25. Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?
  26. Establish the End User
  27. Identify Your Audience
  28. Build a Production Plan
  29. Create the Story Structure
  30. The Shooting Script
  31. Production Quality
  32. Composition for Stills
  33. Composition for Stills: Landscape
  34. Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens
  35. Composition for Stills: Macro Lens
  36. Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field
  37. Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography
  38. Capturing Landscapes - Part 1
  39. Capturing Landscapes - Part 2
  40. Capturing Movement in Stills
  41. Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama
  42. Understanding Stock
  43. Editorial vs Commerical
  44. Pricing Stock
  45. Producing Stock
  46. Shooting for Social Media vs Stock
  47. Choosing an Agency
  48. Assignments and Capturing Stock
  49. Stock Photography Market
  50. Create A Style Guide
  51. Stock Shoot Analysis
  52. Workflow for Selecting Final Stills
  53. Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge
  54. Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage
  55. Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas
  56. Script and Story Structure Evolution
  57. Editing to the Content
  58. Music as a Character
  59. Business Diversification
  60. Business Strategy
  61. Pillars of Revenue
  62. Branding
  63. Partnerships and Brand Strategy
  64. Galleries and Fine Art
  65. Budgeting
  66. The Future of Photography
  67. Q&A And Critique



Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.