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The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro

Lesson 15 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro

Lesson 15 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

15. The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro

Learn how to staff an entire shoot through social media. Introduce yourself to new people, get them stoked on your shoot, and build a team of people who will make you better.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info

The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro

(soft music) Okay, Canon 15-35 shoot pre-production. This episode is designed to show you how to tackle a commercial shoot but a commercial shoot where the object that is the object of the shoot. I know it's confusing, but just bear with me. That object is not photographed because it's a lens but the shoot is still about that object. So it's an interesting approach. The point is that you show the best things that that object can do, so the lens. Does that make any sense? In this series, I'll show you how we come up with a concept for the shoot how I staff that idea, how to put together the team to execute that concept, and how to scout the location because it's going to be pretty location-specific. It is interesting one, because for this Canon shoot I want to do just mostly one location. I want to be just in one place. I want to be have to move anything because there's beauty in spending your whole day in one place and then seeing the light change. And I want to talk about this in th...

is episode how to tackle one location, specifically, one idea. This is "the less is more" series. The hook of this series really is that I used social media to make most of it happen to scout and to staff it. So it's definitely a 20, 20 way to do things. And I want to show you how we did it. Whenever I do one of these more adventurous shoots, I'd like to come up with an idea, what's the hook, right? What's the hook for the viewers? And the essence of it is like how we got this wild mountain bike photo. So like I said, the shoot is for the new 15-35 lens that Canon has put that 15-35 R, how do they call it, R lenses? Yeah, it's for the 15-35 R that just kind of released and it's gonna be shot on the SR and I'm really excited to try this lens. I haven't tried it. It's gonna be in a first field review of it. So according to Canon, this lens is built for landscape and architecture photography. It seems like they're very proud of stabilization which can come in handy when you're shooting in difficult situations, for example, low light. It has a five-stop image stabilization, which means that you can shoot it handheld that, one fifth of a second if you're pretty steady, which is crazy. The goal of this shoot is to give fellow outdoor photographers a real understanding of what this lens can do, and for them to determine if this lens is for them or not through sort of my experience. So essentially it's a piece that I'm gonna shoot for Canon but I think I'm gonna pitch it to an outdoors magazine like Outside, for example because it's a cool story about the outdoors, and I want to show people how we use that lens to get that shot and tell a story. I think what's interesting about this shoot that I'm trying to do is that we're gonna go shoot this unseen location that nobody has really shown before and bring this ambitious idea using minimal equipment. So we can just really be in the moment and be refocused on what's going on there. So it's all about natural light and geographical features and good riding. In this series, I'm gonna work and show you how I work with the client's needs, which is to shoot this photo in a all-season location, meaning no snow or just no identifiable season, show what the lens can do in the best way possible and target an outdoors demographic. We'll talk about how I work with light down there. Hopefully it's sunny and we can really get creative with the Sun, how to compose from what I've seen. The places is pretty straightforward because there's a big feature there. But at the same time, these kind of places are tricky where there's only one feature because you end up showing the same thing the whole day. So it's a pretty challenging place and how to work with timing to, how to use the best light to shoot the key moment. So sort of matching the subject, the mountain bike rider with the light and the feature. These three things come together, the rider, the light and the feature to make this shot. And then lastly, like I said earlier, the hook is really how the sourcing of the talent of the rider and the scouting just happen all through social media. Because we want to go with an warm vibe for Canon, we had no choice, but to head south right to the desert. The whole north right now is covering snow. So that right from the get-go doesn't fulfill the client's needs which is to show all seasons. Usually after I pick a geographical location like let's go to the desert let's go to Utah, let's go to Arizona, for example, I'd like to pick an activity. So in this case, because I think this piece has potential for an outdoors publication I'm gonna pick mountain biking mostly because I love riding and I haven't ridden enough. So I'm gonna leave vicariously through the rider's day. And also because it really matches the area we're going which is desert rolling, sort of dirt. It's just made for amount of biking. When it comes to the scouting, I keep a list of the best photographers/knowledgeable people in the world on my phone, it's either on Instagram or on Evernote and or in my head. And before going to Utah, for example I'll just pull up my Utah contacts. And usually at the top is a guy called Luke. Instagram is Luke's sky watcher, which might be a pun of Star Wars, but I haven't really watched Star Wars. So I don't know, I think the guy's called Luke Skywalker. So usually Luke is at the top of the list because he's been all over the place. So generally when I have a shoot or I don't have a shoot, I just hit up Luke. The way I built the relationship with Luke is that I've always been really respectful of his time. So if I'm going for a shoot, I'm like, hey Luke, can I hire you to take us to a place so we can shoot these photos if you have time? We'll hire you, pay you a day rate. Whatever it is, we'll take care of that just because this kind of knowledge like geographical knowledge, like workplaces, has a high value to a photographer. Canon is gonna benefit from this location. I'm gonna benefit from this location. So Luke should also benefit from it, right? In this case, Luke was busy and he was moving houses. So he couldn't come down with us. And he said, it was all good, didn't needed any money. But Luke shared a few locations that he thought were prime. So you got to give these guys some vibes, what are you after. So I told Luke I need something desert something where there was a main color is a red or is it dirt, like yellow, no sort of weather events, no snow. We don't want snow because we don't want to show that. And the place that's pretty minimal and honestly very aggressive-looking. So he is like, okay, three spots. One of them is this one, this big spire in the desert. So I've had shot a year ago. I've shot there from a helicopter. This is some of the images I shot there. And I ended up shooting some dirt biking there. So I was like, this is great, actually because most people just shoot dirt biking there. But I haven't seen any mountain bike photos come out of there. So I'm like, hmm, there's something there. I'm challenging a perspective. So pick the location. I just went for that. You know it's good sometimes to commit. Pick the location, and then now I needed a rider. So the connections continue. I'm like looking at my list, like who's the riders. I know they're not from there, British Columbia mostly. So I hit up Joey Schussler who is a mountain bike filmmaker, adventure filmmaker from Colorado who I've actually who I met two summers ago here in Montana when he was filming something. So cultivating community is very important because you never know when it comes back when it's just the best thing in the world. So I was like, Joey, I'm gonna shoot there in this place called Spring Arm City. Do you know anybody who can ride for us there? We need somebody who's good and who can make it look good, because we're shooting this lens. He's like, yeah, I know this guy called Wiley. Okay, cool. This is his Instagram. So I hit up Wiley, all arranged. Luckily the timing was right. Everything was right. I put him in touch with the producer. I forget about everything. And then we just go. So that's how it, you can use social media to do that. So the key thing is that you're respectful of people time. If you're gonna ask for help, you got to give something back. That's how it is. You can't sort of want to collect the interest of a relationship that you haven't invested in. That doesn't work like that. So don't just go ask for things, give value. So you should not have any value to offer besides money. We'll offer money, and then the person might want to help you. And the way I built this list is through just years of active browsing. I look at Instagram, I look at websites every day for half an hour to an hour. And whenever I see something cool, I'm gonna save it somewhere. That's where my lists are built. And then these lists becomes super useful. So if you haven't started one of these with the best photographers from each geographical areas, even in the US or in your state, you should start right now because it's gonna be so useful. In terms of deliverables, it's pretty straightforward. The client just needs that one photo that's gonna be really good. So for that one photo, it's very difficult. I got to shoot many. So I'm gonna aim to have 20 selects like the other one. Usually for a day, that's where you can get is 20 really good selects if you're fast. And hopefully that one photo is, I can get it in this twenties that one iconic photo. It should be good if the weather's good. In terms of editing, this is more of a photo that I can make it more signature. So I'm gonna be making more of a moody edit that matches the way I edit for myself and that's gonna be in the third part of the episode, post production. So our plan is dialed. We have the rider aligned, we have the location picked, we have a hotel we're staying very close to the location, and we have a vehicle to drive down there. So we're just gonna pack up, leave and I will see you down there.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


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