Episode #100: how i edit a conservation photo story, set against a backdrop of lush green foliage.

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Episode #100

How I Edit a Conservation Photo Story


UPDATED: May 15, 2024


There’s no one single (or right) way to select images and lay out a conservation photo story. But in the 10+ years I’ve been working on online stories, I’ve found one workflow that works best for me. Whether you’re creating your own articles on your photography website, or image-driven articles and pages for other organizations, take what tips are helpful and run with them. 


Strategies for streamlined editing of a photo story or essay

Today I want to walk you through my own personal process for editing an online photo story.

I’ve been a photography editor in different capacities for over a decade now, and over the years I’ve developed one simple workflow that works best for me.

I use it for all online conservation photo stories I’m developing, whether I’m working on an article on my own website, or I’m working on a story that’s been crafted by another photographer for a digital publication.

Now, emphasis on online/digital

My workflow as Senior Photo Editor over at Ranger Rick magazine is entirely different than this.

But odds are you have your own blog, website, or perhaps help out at an organization with a website.

So, I wanted to walk you through the steps I use for online stories because there may be parts of it that you’ll want to pull into your own workflow.

I give WAY more detail in the podcast episode, so be sure to press play for the in-depth stuff. But if you’re a skimmer, here’s a look at the process.


1. Start With the Narrative

Every good story begins with a script. For me, it starts with the text—be it a nearly finished draft from another writer or a piece I’m crafting myself.

The narrative guides the entire editing process, influencing which photos make the cut and how they are arranged.

2. The Initial Photo Selection

With the story as my backbone, I dive into a wide pool of images. This could be a stock photo agency or a specific portfolio.

The goal here is to get acquainted with the potential visuals at full screen, absorbing every detail, understanding the story they tell, and noting any gaps that might need more coverage.

3. Narrowing Down Choices

After the initial familiarization, I sift through these images at thumbnail size—this helps in quickly identifying which shots pack the biggest punch in terms of composition and content relevance.

From here, I begin to distill the collection, setting aside images that might not align as strongly with our narrative or are technically weaker.

4. Aligning Images With Text

Next comes one of my favorite parts: aligning these chosen images with the story’s text. This is where the rubber meets the road.

I lay out the images next to the draft, adjusting placements to ensure the flow of visuals complements the narrative effectively.

This is a delicate dance of matching images to the mood and pace of the text, adding depth or providing a visual break where necessary.

5. The Fine-Tuning Phase

Now, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty—selecting the final images. This involves making tough choices, often having to let go of ‘darlings’—those images I might personally love but may not serve the story as they should.

It’s about striking a balance, ensuring each photo supports and enhances the narrative, without overshadowing it.

6. Bringing the Story to Life

The culmination of this process is when I bring everything into a layout, usually on a webpage since my work is primarily digital.

This is where I see if the images, as arranged, truly embody the story we want to tell.

Sometimes, what worked in theory needs adjustment in practice.

This step often requires swapping out images for ones that better fit the final narrative flow.

Why This Matters

Editing a photo story isn’t just about selecting pretty pictures. It’s about crafting a journey for the viewer, using visuals to amplify the text and convey deeper meanings.

Each image is chosen for its power to engage, inform, and inspire—moving beyond mere decoration to become pivotal storytelling tools.

So there you have it—a peek into the process that helps me turn a collection of images into a compelling conservation photo story.

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting, understanding and refining your editing workflow can profoundly impact how your stories are received and remembered.

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Episode 100: How I Edit a Conservation Photo Story

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/100

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Hey there and welcome to today's episode where I want to walk you through my own personal workflow for editing a photo story. Now I've been a photography editor in different capacities for over a decade now, and whether I'm working on an article on my own website, something that I know I want to drive traffic and open up doors for licensing opportunities.

[00:00:22] Jaymi: Or I'm working on a story that's been crafted by another photographer. My work flow really looks the same. And so I wanted to walk you through this because there might be parts of it that you want to pull into your own workflow, or maybe you haven't really established a workflow for photo editing stories, and you're looking for where to start.

[00:00:42] Jaymi: So I thought this could be a really helpful way to kind of go through and say, Hey, this is what it looks like for me. And you can pull what's most useful for you into your own workflow. Now, whether you are wanting to build more. Blog posts for your website. Like, let's say you really want to start practicing that [00:01:00] art and craft of photo stories by telling the stories of your own photography adventures or issues that you care about through articles on your own website, or maybe you are a volunteer with a nonprofit and you get that joyful task of building out web pages.

[00:01:15] Jaymi: Delve into the nonprofits story or events that they've done or issues that they're working on, or maybe you are a photographer. Who's really wanting to step away from single shots and into photo storytelling. And you're wondering, well, what does it look like to really figure out how to match images with text as you're making these photo stories with text alongside it, whatever may be the case.

[00:01:41] Jaymi: I think that there is something in this episode for you. Even if it is just to see how someone else runs through the whole process and pretty darn certain that there are nuggets that you will find helpful to add into your own workflow, or that might help you establish a workflow if you don't already have one.

[00:01:58] Jaymi: So I hope that you [00:02:00] enjoy this episode and without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in.

[00:02:07] Jaymi: welcome to impact the conservation photography podcast. I'm your host, Jamie. And if you are a visual storyteller with a love for all things wild, then you're in the right place from conservation to creativity, from business to marketing and everything in between this podcast is for you. The conservation visual storyteller, who is ready to make an impact.

[00:02:30] Jaymi: Let's dive in.

[00:02:38] Jaymi: Uh, photograph is such a powerful thing, right? I mean, that's a huge part of why we pick up our cameras in the first place as conservation photographers is we know that what we create with our camera, those photographs, those final images, they can bring so much awareness about an issue. They can crack open new [00:03:00] conversations.

[00:03:00] Jaymi: They can make people stop in their tracks and ask questions or, you know, start to change their behavior. But the thing about a single image, a single photograph is that it's an amazing starting point. It's like the icebreaker question at a party, you know, it's the perfect way to introduce yourself, or, in this case, in conservation photography, the perfect way to introduce an issue, but conservation impact requires ongoing conversation, an in depth conversation, , these issues are complex to understand and to explain, and it's something that a single image just isn't capable of photo story.

[00:03:41] Jaymi: Are the powerful, next step photo stories are how you keep people engaged, motivated, involved, inspired. And this is why I love, love, love to edit photo stories. You get to shape artwork and narrative and information. All at once, you make really hard [00:04:00] choices about what to include or what to leave out, and then those choices, they can be wildly different depending on the story that you want to tell and the kind of impact and impression that you want to make on viewers or the kind of mood that you want to have inside of the story.

[00:04:15] Jaymi: So you can have the same set of a hundred. And end up with two or even three completely different visual stories with different final selects,

[00:04:24] Jaymi: depending on the angle of the story that you're sharing. And this actually happened to me, not that long ago, I was photo editing, a story that started out with this certain narrative and I made selects and did a layout for. And then the writer and the editor ended up making some pretty major changes to the piece.

[00:04:41] Jaymi: It's the same overall story, the same main message, but how it was approached and how it unfolded was really quite different in the second version. So when they handed it back to me for photo editing, I thought, okay, cool. Yeah. It'll probably be roughly the same selects and I'll just swap up the layout based on.

[00:04:59] Jaymi: The [00:05:00] narrative based on the text? Uh, no, I really quickly realized reading the text that this wasn't gonna be a really easy swap out a few shots, move some things around, like what I had thought. It was actually a situation where I had to go back to the drawing board. So even though this was the same essential story, the way that it was shaped required me to go back into the original.

[00:05:25] Jaymi: Folder of images that wide edit and pull out different images for the most part. Some still stayed in the story, but then got moved around. I ended up changing out more than half of the final selects from the first layout and then revamped the entire layout itself.

[00:05:43] Jaymi: So the, the story itself had a visual flow that now matched that new narrative, the tone and the storyline that was inside that taxed. Now, recently I was a speaker at an event and an attendee asked me, so [00:06:00] how do photo editors choose. Well, of course that depends entirely on the photo editor. Every . Person, every individual has their own way of doing things, even if they're in the same job, but I thought it could be useful for you to hear how I personally approach selecting and ordering images for a story, whether it's a story on my own website or a story for a publication, just in case it helps you in your own editing process.

[00:06:26] Jaymi: So the first thing that I have in front of me is the text. Now, when I'm editing for the publication where I do freelance work, I get the near final draft of copy. So the article. Darn near done. So when I do the layout, we know that there are not going to be these significant changes in taxed, which means there won't be significant changes in layout.

[00:06:48] Jaymi: Like I just explained what can really happen. If there are big changes in the text, it can mean a whole different mood and flow of images. So for the most part, what I have in front of me is that near finished. [00:07:00] But even when I'm working on my own articles, I write my text first. And unless the narrative is about the images themselves, I focus simply on writing a good article that flows on its own as text.

[00:07:14] Jaymi: And then the imagery will support that in the end. So either way, whether it's for myself or for a publication, I start with a near final draft of the text and a portfolio of images. Now sometimes my quote-unquote portfolio is really a stock photo agency because I might have to hunt for images to license to be able to illustrate an article. But in this episode, I'm just focusing on when I have a portfolio from a photographer or my own portfolio to work with. So typically when you have that.

[00:07:48] Jaymi: Big portfolio of images, it's the wide edit. So if you're wondering about some of the workflow for actually editing a portfolio of images, how you go from like the thousands of [00:08:00] photos that you have when you come back from a trip or an outing and narrowing that down into just the photos that you know you're going to want to use.

[00:08:08] Jaymi: Uh, I have an episode that walks you through a five-step portfolio editing process. That is episode number three. So you can actually just go to Jamie h.com forward slash three. So it's J a Y M I h.com forward slash three, just the number three. And you can find that episode and that'll help you go from that big pile of images to just the selects that you will want to use. Uh, photo story.

[00:08:39] Jaymi: So when I have that wide edit, I go through all the images at full screen size to get oriented with them all. And this is especially true if I'm working with another photographer's work because I really have to see, okay, well, what's in here. What all did they photograph?

[00:08:54] Jaymi: What else might we need to get? So sometimes I will look through all of the [00:09:00] material and realize that there's elements of the text that I think we really should illustrate with an image, but I don't see an image that we would use in that folder. So I might go back to the photographer and ask for specific things.

[00:09:12] Jaymi: And of course when it's my own work, sometimes there's been some time between when I've really edited that portfolio of images. And when I've completed an article or I'm going to start to pull select, so I might need to go back through and think, okay, well, do I have everything here that works for the texts?

[00:09:27] Jaymi: Are there other things that I might want to pull in? What do we have? So I go through all those images at full screen size and just familiarize myself with them. Kind of think of it like a really fun slideshow that you get to sink into. Then I go through the whole thing again at thumbnail size or decision-making.

[00:09:48] Jaymi: Look, if an image doesn't look good at a thumbnail size, it's not going to look any better at full size, more than likely. So it's really easy to go through the folder itself at thumbnail size and pull [00:10:00] any of the images that I think are strong in composition in content, and could play a role in the story.

[00:10:06] Jaymi: And I start to pull those into a folder. So giant folder of images. I start to already pull the ones that I think are really going to work into a separate folder and basically tightening down that. So then what I do is look at everything in this folder that I've pulled in. And I look at anything that's obviously weaker than the others. So any image that isn't as strong in composition or storytelling, or maybe there are technical issues with them, those get pulled out.

[00:10:36] Jaymi: So I'm continuing to type. Tighten tighten the number of selects. The next thing I do is look at all those images and look at similars. So any images that are near frames. So sometimes I will pull into that folder images that are really similar. Like they may were taken moments apart or. Or they're of the same scene and [00:11:00] I wasn't sure which I would want to go with.

[00:11:02] Jaymi: So I've pulled both of them in there. So I'll go through and start to make that difficult decision, which of these is the stronger, which seems to go better with the other images that are pulled in. And whichever one does not get selected, gets pulled out of there. So tighten, tighten, tighten

[00:11:18] Jaymi: so the, the whole point of this process is to basically take a really big number of images. So whether that's a hundred or 200 images and start to make these decisions that narrow down the pool of images that you're ultimately going to select from. Again, a lot of this is dependent on that text. That's why you need that text in front of you, because you could have two different versions of text and be making two different versions of final select portfolios right here.

[00:11:48] Jaymi: So you're really leaning on that text and you might want to refer back to it a few times to know, okay. Well between these two similar. This one is the one that works better with the tax or this one has more storytelling [00:12:00] or this one really fits in a lot better than this other one. You got to have that taxed with you to really help make these difficult decisions.

[00:12:08] Jaymi: So that is my wide edit down to a tighter edit. It's not the tight edit quite yet, but it's the tighter. So the next step is side-by-side. I have the text and those thumbnails on my screen, on my monitor. So the document is open on the left side of the screen. And the right side of the screen is my folder of images.

[00:12:29] Jaymi: Now I know some people use Lightroom collections or some things similar, some other software that can really help you pull images into a folder and move them around and see them. I just like having them in a folder and moving them around as if they are four by sixes on a table. And a lot of that is because I want to play with the way that I can group or cluster certain images.

[00:12:52] Jaymi: Or though I kind of mimic the layout of if I'm going to do a big image here and two or three smaller images here, I like to [00:13:00] act as if that folder is sort of like. A refrigerator door and I moving four by sixes with magnets around and literally shaping the layout right there as I read through the text.

[00:13:13] Jaymi: So that's really helpful for me, but that is definitely not the only way to do this. A lot of other people are happy just to kind of pull everything into a Lightroom collection and put them in a certain order. I just love that sort of physical way of moving them around. It, it works really well for me, so anyway, I start to move thumbnails around to be kind of near where I envisioned them working with the text. So sometimes certain images work really well in a certain place among the text because of subject matter. Sometimes it's based on the pace or the mood of the text. And I really want images that compliment that mood.

[00:13:54] Jaymi: Pay sometimes a story is moving really quickly or there's a lot of energy or excitement in the [00:14:00] text. So I want an image that reflects that energy or that excitement, or sometimes it's a moment of contemplation or you're really reflecting back on what's going on. And so you want an image that starts true.

[00:14:12] Jaymi: Maybe help a reader reflect back or settle into that more contemplate of space as they're absorbing all this information.

[00:14:21] Jaymi: Sometimes I'm looking for images that don't necessarily have anything to do with the text that it's immediately next to, but having that image there builds more depth of understanding or depth of meaning. Uh, maybe it adds another layer of information that compliments what's going on with the text. And, you know, sometimes I go the opposite of that, you know, where sometimes you're selecting images that reflect or mirror or coincide with the text. Sometimes you really want images that help to shake things up. Maybe you want to provide a little bit of emotional relief or cognitive dissonance or something that really stirs something in the [00:15:00] room.

[00:15:00] Jaymi: We're in the viewer. It completely, it depends on what you want to accomplish with how you want a reader to go through this article and absorb information with these images and what you want there. Basically visual experience to be when going through this, but long story short, I am moving thumbnails around to mirror the basically super rough flow of images with the text.

[00:15:28] Jaymi: So I know that I need to have visual variety. It always annoys me when a photo story is just a bunch of different versions of the same image. It happens more often than we like to think. And it's always kind of annoying when a photo story is just. Basically a whole bunch of portraits or a whole bunch of images that have a green color palette or a blue color palette or whatever it may be like that isn't really a photo story.

[00:15:55] Jaymi: It's just a collection of images that have been thrown up with some text to kind of [00:16:00] illustrate it. A photo story really needs to have visual variety.

[00:16:05] Jaymi: And this is something that I'm teaching constantly inside of conservation photography, 1 0 1, is there a different types of shots that a story needs because they build on each other, they add more depth of information. They move people closer or farther away from the subject matter so that you really get this experience in understanding and being engaged with the story.

[00:16:30] Jaymi: And, you know, I actually go in depth with this in a targeted training called the six must have shots for a photo story. So if you'd like to get your hands on that training, it's something that you can go through and really an afternoon, and it will dramatically change the way that you think about your photos for a photo story.

[00:16:49] Jaymi: And if you want to get your hands on that, you can go to conservation, visual. Dot com forward slash six, just the number six conservation [00:17:00] visuals.com forward slash six, the number six. And you can grab that targeted training, but this is what I teach all the time is photo stories are not the same as photo essays.

[00:17:11] Jaymi: Photo essays are a collection of images based around a theme. And you have all this flexibility to, you know, be a little bit redundant or have different versions of images that. Both really cool and beautiful, but also say the same thing. Whereas with photo stories, you really want to be pulling in images that don't mimic what another, but they build on each other.

[00:17:34] Jaymi: So as I'm doing this layout and I'm going through the text and I'm pulling from these thumbnails that I've selected to be like, okay, this one seems like it goes here. And this one over here, I'm really thinking about that. Visual variety is someone looking at this and if they didn't have the text next to them, they see.

[00:17:53] Jaymi: I feel like they're experiencing the story in a similar way. Like they still feel like they are gathering a ton of [00:18:00] information and understanding and emotional connection to something based solely on those visuals. It's more difficult to accomplish that if you don't have visual variety. So that's why that really matters as you're really thinking about your layout for a photo story as you're editing.

[00:18:17] Jaymi: So next up. Thinning things out to the near final select. So, so far what we've done is we've taken a huge portfolio of images, maybe a hundred or 200 images, and we've pulled what we think will work. What really stands out to us as the strongest compositions. We've weeded out anything that is. Weaker compositions are not quite as storytelling or they're similars or near frames.

[00:18:42] Jaymi: We've chosen the strongest of the similars or strongest of the images with the same subject matter and really started to pair down into a tighter edit. And then we've started to see. Move them around to rough out where some of these may go. And even in that process, I might have two or three options in there where I'm like, [00:19:00] Hm.

[00:19:00] Jaymi: Some of these might work here. Some of these might work here. I'm not making a final decision yet, but now we're getting to the step where we're going to make those decisions to have those near final select. So this is the stage where the hard choices are made. You have to really consider which of these are the strongest images, and what's the experience that I want the viewer to have.

[00:19:22] Jaymi: Or what? I want them to walk away understanding when they've completed looking through this photo story, because remember people look at images a lot more than they read the text. So you better be aware of the power that you have in framing. Someone's understanding their beliefs, their feelings about something.

[00:19:40] Jaymi: Just with the layout of images. It's kind of amazing to think about, right? Like how many times do you pick up a magazine that you're really excited about? And the first thing you do is flip through and look at all the photos in a story, thinking I'm going to go back and read the text in a minute or later, and then you'll go back and really absorb the story.

[00:19:58] Jaymi: That probably happens a [00:20:00] lot. Right. I do this all the time with magazines. The first thing I do is flip through, look at all the photos, and I'm already starting to form an understanding of a story or an impression of a story or an issue before I've read that text. So really think about like the power that you have when you are editing a photo story and the way that you're laying it out to frame someone's mind, even before they've read that.

[00:20:26] Jaymi: It's kind of crazy to think about, but really, really absorbed that right now. That's important.

[00:20:30] Jaymi: So I'm thinking a lot about what's going on in the text, what the writer is trying to get across, and what's the flow and the takeaway. And I want to really honor that in the layout, but I'm also looking at, are there images that have content that goes beyond what's in the text that's important, so that there's even more information that a viewer can get yet.

[00:20:52] Jaymi: It still stays aligned with the story as a whole. So granted not all stories are these in-depth features or have a ton of content to go on. [00:21:00] Sometimes this is a really straightforward part of the process. Sometimes it's a very quick thing to make these decisions, but even when it is a pretty straightforward story or a straightforward article that you are working with, it can still be tough to make these decisions, right.

[00:21:19] Jaymi: So when you're doing this, there's two things that I want you to keep in mind. As you got to kill your darlings. I mean, this is one of the hardest parts of photo editing is knowing that there are so many strong images that all equally deserve to be in the story and would do so well in the story and are important to the story.

[00:21:40] Jaymi: But by being tempted to add in. Too many photos, you actually could weaken the power of each individual image on a viewer.

[00:21:51] Jaymi: And that's because those images are now not necessarily building upon or leaning on one another, but they start to actually compete with each other for [00:22:00] attention or for weight inside of the story. So you have to start making these really tough decisions of how, like how much text do you have and how many images really go with that taxed and illustrate it well and thoroughly, but without.

[00:22:15] Jaymi: Becoming just a long scroll of images. And again, this is something that you really have to decide based on the tax that you're working with. So whether this is your own photo story that you are creating for your blog, or maybe you're volunteering with a nonprofit and you're in charge of creating a page on their website that tells the story of the nonprofit or the story of a project they're working on, you really have to start to think about like, okay, how much space do I have?

[00:22:43] Jaymi: How much tax do I have and how many images. Really makes sense to illustrate this without going overboard. And at that point, when, you know, roughly how many images you want to use. You got to make decisions on which ones aren't going to make the cut, even if [00:23:00] they are amazing images. Now it's not as if you're deleting those images, they might find a role somewhere else.

[00:23:06] Jaymi: So know that they can still have a life somewhere else, but maybe they aren't perfect for this particular. Moment in time. So you have to be willing to make these really tough choices and say, you know what I have, like, let's say you have 2000 words and you're going to use 15 images with that on a webpage, like on a blog post.

[00:23:27] Jaymi: If you're starting to be like, okay, well, yeah, but maybe I could fit in 20 well, 20, 22. I'm going to go ahead and allow these other two. Well, but then there's this other one, you know, that is when you start to get to the point where these images are now competing with each other, not making a really interesting, beautiful visual point alongside tax.

[00:23:44] Jaymi: So you got to stick with that 15 or whatever you've set for yourself and make these tough decisions. Now, the second thing to keep in mind is. What are the images that actually empower the story and don't just make you happy. Right? [00:24:00] So when you're the photographer, like let's say, this is for your website.

[00:24:03] Jaymi: This is a blog that you're creating. Like I said, maybe you're a volunteer for a nonprofit and you're in charge of really telling the story and doing the layout on the website. And you're all excited about these images. It's really tempting to be like, yeah, but that one, that was such a great moment in the field or, oh, but that image is just, it's just so cute.

[00:24:22] Jaymi: Like I just love what's going on in it. Yes, I know. But does that image really impact. The story, like we have to go back to that text and really honor what the text is trying to accomplish. What is it trying to do for the reader? Is it trying to inform or to illustrate an issue or to have a certain effect?

[00:24:44] Jaymi: Like we have to go back to that text and say, okay, well, this is the intention of the text. So what of these images really empowers that? Cause remember. It's not really about you or the photos that you like, or the photos that you've created, that you have an emotional [00:25:00] attachment to. It's really about that story right now.

[00:25:03] Jaymi: This isn't always true. Of course. Sometimes you get to have artistic license to make the statements that you really want to make, but usually in conservation photo stories, Typically it's about the story or it's about the issue, not necessarily about you as the photographer and your favorite moments from the field.

[00:25:20] Jaymi: So we really have to keep in mind as we're doing these really tough choices for the final selects, that one, we have to go forward and make the difficult decisions of clearing out images. Even if we love them. And two, we have to really make decisions around what empowers that story. So even though you might be emotionally attached to something or just like it, it just makes you happy.

[00:25:45] Jaymi: Does it really need to be there for the story. Now, once you've done that, you've made those really hard decisions. You have basically your final selects done, or what you think are probably going to be the final selects. Now it's layout time. Now, [00:26:00] this is the most fun part for me. I mean, the whole process is a blast for me, but this is where it all comes together into the magical, whole complete story. All of that tax, all of the visuals, all of the work that you've really done and figuring out how to make this the most. Uh, visually compelling and interesting and powerful, complete peace.

[00:26:24] Jaymi: It all starts to come together where you can really, we see it and it takes shape. So from here, I'm taking that rough layout that I did kind of inside of a folder on my monitor. And I'm applying that into a web page. Now I've always worked in the online sphere, not print.

[00:26:41] Jaymi: So layout for me means building a webpage. And typically that's in WordPress, not is where that visual story really comes to life. Now here's where I sometimes find that what seemed to work in my roughly. Does not work at all on the [00:27:00] screen. So here's where sometimes an image that just seemed like it was the perfect select is utterly wrong. And this was the case for a story that I worked on recently, it was about rhinos.

[00:27:10] Jaymi: And I really wanted to end the story with a rhino walking away into the tall, tall grass, just disappearing into it. And it was a really lovely image that I had found, and it was going to be this awesome metaphor for rhino conservation. And while I was weighing this image, I was like, well, you know, part of me says, this is a great metaphor.

[00:27:31] Jaymi: And part of me was like, yeah, but this is also. Right. Do you really want to end a photo story with a but, and I thought I'm going for it metaphor for the win. And then I started to build out the layout and plugged it into the page as the last image that people see at the bottom of the scroll. And, well, it was just a giant rhino.

[00:27:52] Jaymi: It did nothing for the story. The metaphor that seemed to work when it was a thumbnail in a, in a tiny layout was a huge note [00:28:00] on the page. But thankfully you have a folder of those almost made it shots. So you can go back in and swap stuff out if you need to. And I very much needed to in that moment. And that's it from there, you've got your layout and your webpage, you can make those last minute swaps, but ultimately that is the way that I go through and do layout for a photo story. So I start with that near final version of the tax, whether I've written it, whether it's from my own website or I'm working with someone else and I'm working with their texts, I have that text that is nearly completed.

[00:28:34] Jaymi: Maybe it's just a couple minor tweaks that will be made before publishing. And I have a big folder of. From that folder I'm pulling in anything that may work. And I'm really working at thumbnail size of pulling the strongest composition. Uh, anything that I think might work as building extra depth and information and visual variety.

[00:28:53] Jaymi: And I start to weed out from that wider edit anything that is weaker in [00:29:00] composition. It's the weaker of two similars are some near frames. It is duplicative content, anything that looks like, Hey, I have something similar that will work better. So this one's got to go from there. I start to rough out that layout.

[00:29:15] Jaymi: And again, I just do that with the text on the left side of the screen, a folder of images on the right side of the screen. And I'm literally dragging those little thumbnails around in the folder to be a really rough layout of how I might want to place these images alongside the text. From there, you make those difficult decisions of anything that were. Trying to figure out which of two or three options might work faster.

[00:29:39] Jaymi: You're really making those tough decisions to go ahead and just pick the strongest of the images. You're thinking about that maximum number of photos that you want to, or can use for this story and really trying to make the best possible selects for what empowers that taxed, what adds to it, what builds on it, what really [00:30:00] helps this, the story or the purpose of the text shine right through these images. And from there you take your rough layout, translate it onto the web page and make those final final decisions based on how everything looks as you go through it. That's it. That's my workflow for when I'm doing photo editing on a story.

[00:30:19] Jaymi: Now it's always a little bit different every time. Sometimes I have to go hunting for images from other photographers, because maybe there's a hole in the visual story that really needs to be filled. And there's nothing in the existing portfolio that's going to work. Sometimes I have. Fewer images then I would really love to use because there's only so many images from a portfolio that work together as a cohesive whole, you know, this happens a lot, especially for beginner storytellers.

[00:30:48] Jaymi: So when you're moving from standalone photography, into storytelling photography, you might have a huge collection of images. You might have a hundred images, but when you really look at the visual content and the [00:31:00] story, there's only. A handful of those that you can really use. And then all of a sudden you're seeing a bunch of similars pop up, right.

[00:31:08] Jaymi: It's just ends up starting to be a, that what I talked about earlier, where it's more of a collection of similar images rather than a photo story. So sometimes, you know, you have to say, okay, well, yeah, there's really only, you know, maybe 10 images in here that are gonna work at all and keep that visual variety and, and make sure that each of them.

[00:31:28] Jaymi: Are powerful and important and have a role in the story on their own. So I thought I was going to use 15, but I'm only going to use 10 because that's what I have, you know, sometimes the bulk of my time is actually spent in agonizing, which images I'm going to cut because they're all so good and so different and work so well in their own way.

[00:31:47] Jaymi: Editing a photo story is always a different experience for each individual story, but the basic workflow is pretty much the same. Start with the text, pull the best potential images, fin them down to the [00:32:00] strongest. Do your rough layout that helps you whittle down the very best for that particular story.

[00:32:06] Jaymi: Make those near final selects. Do the layout and finalize your slacks. And I guess I did leave out one last step, which is to celebrate what you have created. Always take a moment to sit back, really enjoy what just happened. A story was. Uh, photo story, it was born. You actually created a beautiful visual thing that helps other people understand and connect with like really emotionally connect with an issue or a topic or a story because images, these photo stories, they do more than just show people what's happening or what's going on.

[00:32:45] Jaymi: These phones. Emotionally connect us to something. When we can see something, we can truly like viscerally, understand it and emotionally connect to it. That's a big, big deal. So take a moment to [00:33:00] celebrate that. You just created something that ultimately helps other people understand and connect to an issue, and maybe then ultimately helps that issue.

[00:33:08] Jaymi: It's really, really cool. Now remember if you want help, really digging into an understanding the different types of images that help to craft a complete photo story. You can grab the six must have shots for a photo story training.

[00:33:23] Jaymi: That's on my website at conservation visual. Dot com forward slash six, the number six. So conservation visuals.com forward slash six. You can grab that training again. It's a short training. You can finish it in probably one afternoon, but it will absolutely give you aha moments that empower your storytelling.

[00:33:45] Jaymi: And this is true, no matter where you are in experience level, whether you've been photographing for four years or 40 years. Really understanding that there are different types of images that can powerfully tell the stories that you want to tell, and that you want [00:34:00] to make sure that you're gathering all of them.

[00:34:01] Jaymi: It can truly change the way that you think about photographing the stories that you're eager to photograph. So again, you can grab this at conservation visit. Dot com forward slash six. And finally one last thing is if you loved this episode and you know, someone who would benefit from learning what I've talked about today, or, you know, someone who would really enjoy what I've talked about today, could you do me a favor and share this episode with them? Just grab the link and text it to them or email them.

[00:34:32] Jaymi: Let's help out as many photographers as possible because the more photographers we have who are skilled at telling visual stories, the more impact we're all going to have for conservation and for these issues that we really care about for people, for places, for species around the globe.

[00:34:51] Jaymi: It seems like a tiny thing, but honestly it makes a big difference. So if you have a moment, just copy the link to this episode and send it off to a friend. [00:35:00] Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. And thank you so much for being someone who wants to make a difference in the world, through your creativity and your talents as a photographer.

[00:35:12] Jaymi: I think that you are amazing. I'll talk to you soon.


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