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Building Your Story Arc

Lesson 10 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

Building Your Story Arc

Lesson 10 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

10. Building Your Story Arc

Take part in a specially designed exercise by Alex to understand better the things you love and build your own story arc as a creator.

Lessons

Class Trailer

Intro

1

Workshop Intro

03:18

Foundations

2

Gear

12:14
3

Gear - My Camera Bags

08:00
4

Mastering Camera Settings

07:41
5

Blue Hour, A How-To

10:45
6

Photos That Move Us

07:19
7

Visual Storytelling 101

07:51
8

Endurance In A World Of Sprinting

06:27
9

Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

08:31
10

Building Your Story Arc

06:44
11

Shooting More: Action Plan

02:01
12

Conveying Emotions

07:52

In the Field

13

The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro

12:08
14

In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot

20:29
15

The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro

10:25
16

In the Field: Canon USA Shoot

15:06

Editing

17

Keywords & Organizing Images

06:42
18

Commercial Grading

04:47
19

Masking & Radial Filters

12:33
20

Perspective Correction

05:39
21

HDR (Hand-Held)

03:37
22

Black & White Edits

07:00
23

Before & Afters

01:33
24

Moody Grading

13:15
25

IG Export Settings

04:00
26

Web Export Settings

02:44
27

Clone Stamping & Patch Tools

05:51
28

Grading in Lightroom

06:45
29

Hand-Held Panoramas

03:41
30

Radial Filters Pt 2

02:38
31

Delivering Files to Clients

12:33
32

Archiving & Organizing Images

10:15
33

My Favorite Software

03:44

Business

34

Let's Talk Business

01:03
35

Building A Desirable Portfolio

11:17
36

How to Contact Clients

12:00
37

Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You

04:16
38

Getting Clients To See Our Value

10:16
39

Paid to Travel the World

14:48
40

The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments

08:09
41

Keys To A Fulfilling Career

07:40
42

Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching

06:19
43

Finding Your Value Proposition

08:02
44

Media Kit: A Walk Through

08:06
45

How I Built My Audience

07:46
46

Social Media Landscape

07:32
47

Module Recap

03:08

Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters

48

Do You Need Lens Filters?

09:36
49

Filters in The Field

12:40

Bonus - Find Your Path

50

Find Your Path

07:44

Bonus - How To Print Your Work

51

Why Print or Sell Photos

23:21
52

Preparing Photos for Print

06:44
53

Reviewing Major U.S Printers

06:57

Lesson Info

Building Your Story Arc

(light music) Listen, I know that the purpose of being in adventure photography is to be out and tell stories about events, people, places we find interesting. And it may sound a bit counterintuitive to start looking at our own lives as a story arc, but it has become a requirement, I think. Why? Well, with the advent of social media and the democratization of camera phones, everybody can be a storyteller, and that's great. It has kinda leveled out the whole field because gear no longer makes a huge difference. That also means the space is pretty saturated, especially at the entryways. Near the top, I'm sure it's much more quiet, but there's talent rising every day, every minute. Look at the adventure photographers that you admire most. They're all broadcasting their own stories as part of the whole thing. They have to. When they endorse a brand, when they talk about a cause on social media. So, why wouldn't you do the same thing with your own existence? In the end it is what makes us...

different and unique. So how do we begin? Well, I have two little exercises that we're gonna do. And they're designed to get to know yourself better and to offload whatever's on your mind. Okay, so the first exercise, I call it finding what you value. So clear 30 minutes in your day, maybe now. Take a sheet of paper, simple, and a pen and start writing away all the things that you like and that you value. If you don't know how to start, use prompts such as, I value this. I like doing this or I like spending time with so and so. Just go with short sentences or even bullet points. Just get it all out. We can get to analyzing in the second step. (electronic music) Okay, let's move on to step two. (electronic music continues) The point here is that we have our list, and we wanna find common threads, connections between point and point, right? If you wrote that you like hiking and mountain biking, you can connect these two, because maybe it just means that you like being outside. Or if you wrote that you like having your own schedule and going on spontaneous trips, it probably means that you value freedom. Just keep going until you've narrowed down your list to five to eight big ideas. Step three, this one is a bit, takes a bit more time, but it's equally important. So I want you to ask your friends and family about yourself. We're often the worst to judge our own self. That's the reason why I created this exercise. The goal here is to learn about you from the people that know you most, your parents, your siblings, your best friends, and the peers you spend the most time with. What do they think you like? What do they think you value? And what do they think these trends are? If they're a bit confused about these questions, just explain to them that you're trying to understand yourself better with the goal of refining your own story arc. If they're keen, just offer to do it for them as well. When you have their answers, take them and go back to step one and see how well it matches. See how well you know yourself. Then with the results, you go ahead and craft your arc in simple bullet form or sentence form, however you prefer. Here's my story arc. Number one is self-development, becoming a better version of myself. I just think of it as the hero's journey. That, to me, is what drives my life. I just wanna become better at the things that I value. Now here's some of my themes. Alternative living, remote places, finding peace, and what is my experience, chasing those things. Being free. I just crave freedom. Doing what I love. What makes me excited? Another big one to me is living life in nature. That's one of the big ones for me. It's the foundation of most of the things I do. And it's tough to talk about these things 'cause they're so personal and intricate, but if you don't have that, it's gonna be hard for you to go out and make meaningful stories. Another thing that I value a lot is doing things differently that we talked about earlier and challenging the status quo. That's something that I'm really excited about. And lastly, which kind of holds it all together, is to live a life of adventure. So these points that I've just gone through, hopefully you found these for you as well through the exercise. I'd be really happy if you did. These are what drive my life. They're the reason I exist. And it's incredibly powerful having this in front of you in a place that you can see them daily. Like I said earlier, in front of your desk or whatever. Because I was clear about what I value and I had this list in front of me, it's probably one of the reasons why you started following me on Instagram. When you saw my feed, there was a clear path with a consistent storyline, and that made me stand out from all the other people. So I hope that you will pause right now, if you haven't already, and take the time to do this exercise. Because it will affect the trajectory of your career, I think. Let's get tactical. There's a few more story arc building techniques I'm gonna go over. Number one, travel. So finding yourself through travel is something I highly recommend. It's not a magic trick where you go on a trip to India and kinda come back with the truth, like in the movies. It is, however, super important to expose yourself to other cultures. I've used this a lot personally and I still do. Sometimes I hit a rut and going on a trip will help kinda soften things. I'll gain new perspectives and start shooting again. If you're the bold kind of person, just go as far and as wild as you can. Whatever will challenge you, just do that. If you, on the other hand, haven't traveled that much, try the next country over and just build on that. The point is to see new things and talk to people from different cultures. It's one of my favorite things to do on a trip is to ask taxi drivers, shopkeepers, guides about their daily lives. If you have a genuine interest, they will open up and you will learn much more about the place you're in than you learn reading the "Lonely Planet." If you've been jet-setting most of your adult life, here's something you can consider. I found that sometimes, the best trip can be in my own backyard, as simple as that. Going from smashing geography in a plane to riding my bike for a week through forgotten trails can be so much more fulfilling, so much of a deeper experience. So I hope you'll consider that. You don't have to be going to the other side of the world to get these kind of experiences. It can just be in your own backyard. (camera clicking)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workbook
A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews

Jon
 

Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond
 

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell
 

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

Student Work

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