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Think Like a Photo Editor

Lesson 5 of 7

Selecting the Right Images

Jared Platt

Think Like a Photo Editor

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

5. Selecting the Right Images

Lesson Info

Selecting the Right Images

And this where I'm gonna give you some rules for the way you look at your images. So, the first thing you have to do is look for a story. Now, in our case, this is a travel photograph, this is a landscape, so the story is the castle in fog. That's the story. So, I've found a story and I've looked at it. In the old days, we'd look at the contact sheet and we'd say, "Okay, I'm looking for a story. "Oh, there's people right there. "I'll look at that one." And if I'd shot... I'm looking for... Here. So, here, and you don't need to necessarily get close but you can see that there's just a bunch of photos and then there's people. So, I'm gonna zone in on these people and I say, "Okay, I'm photographing people here "that are looking at Saint Peters Cathedral." So I'm gonna look at these, I'm gonna bring my contact sheet a little closer and start looking at those and then I see that there's a guard sleeping right here. That's pretty funny so I marked that one and then I see these nuns taking p...

ictures of each other at the cathedral. So, I think that's kinda interesting so I circle. So, now I'm honing in on the ones that are most interesting in the grouping. So, what I've done here is I've looked at this is the story. I'd first found my story. That's the first thing you're looking for is in your grid you're looking for is there a story to be told. Once you hone in on that story, look at all of the images that tell the story and start looking for composition. Which one has a composition that's worthy of showing? Because you are a photographer after all. So, you've found a story, find a composition. You can do that on a global scale. I can look at all of these very easily and start honing in on the correct composition. Like, for instance, if I look at, say, you can see that mine are highlighted as I start highlighting these. So, if I look at just this set of images from here to here. So, I'm just gonna highlight those. So, you can see that there's a slight difference in all the compositions and I think that that one at the bottom has a little bit too much cloud covering the castle. It doesn't quite do it justice. I don't like being too close to the castle. I like to show that canyon a little bit and so, I'm really gravitating towards the one on the middle of the top and the one on the right simply because it gives me a little bit of space in the castle and it gives a little bit of the canyon so I can see it but I find that this one specifically, I don't like the river at the bottom because it kinda distracts from the castle. So, I'm more interested in that one. It was very easy to come to that conclusion because I was looking at multiple images at one time, the same way I would've done if I were looking at on a contact sheet. So, rule number one. Find a story within your contact sheet. Rule number two, look for a composition but look for it comparatively. Always look by comparison, one to another. Don't look at your photos this way. So, I don't want you looking at photos like this. (clicks) Because that doesn't give me a comparison between my options. I can't make good decisions this way. The best way for me to make decisions about photographs and heres another. This is looking at the castle from down below. But if I look at in comparison, I can see how is the fog treating the castle at all times. I can compare that and I can also compare my composition. You can see I was throwing it to the left. I was throwing it over to the right just to kinda get a good feel and I really am liking it when it's over on the right hand side and I like it when there's less of those trees in front of it. So, I'm really liking this one. The second one the best probably. So, I'm gonna look at that one and that's gonna be my selection. So, it's easy to find images if you're looking at them in comparison, one to another.

Class Description


  • Expertly edit a photograph
  • Enhance your photography portfolio
  • Think like a photo editor while capturing images


In this class, you’ll learn how to improve your photography portfolio. With just a few critical lessons, you will be on your way to making better decisions in your photography and post-production that will not only enhance the value of your portfolio of images but every photo story you tell, every job you shoot and every family vacation you share, all you need is a shift in your thinking.

The best photographers know the importance of great photo editing. In fact, the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer has less to do with camera skills and more to do with their selects (i.e. what they show). The very best show very little and the unimpressive photographer can’t wait to show you every image they took today. All of the greatest photographers either have a photo editor making the decisions or are great photo editors themselves. Learning how to think like a photo editor from the camera through the selection, editing and publishing process will change your photography forever.


  • All levels of photographers
  • Photographers who want to better their post-processing skills
  • Photographers looking to create a portfolio


Adobe Photoshop CC 2019, Adobe Lightroom CC 2019


Jared Platt is a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Jared holds a Masters of Fine Arts in the Photographic Studies and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University and has been a professional photographer and college educator for the past 12 years and has been a speaking, debating and lecturing for the past 17 years. His attention to detail and craft make him a demanding photography instructor. Jared has lectured at major trade shows and photo conferences as well as at universities around the world on the subject of photography as well as workflow. Currently, Jared is traveling the United States and Canada teaching and lecturing on photography and post production workflow.