The full class is available over on Skillshare, but we want to give you a sneak peek from an outing in New York with Dan Rubin and his friend Laura. He breaks his day down into three easy steps. Take it away, Dan…


Make a Plan

Think about your current location or where you are heading. Take five minutes to think through the kind of shots you need to tell a story. An easy place to start is wrapping your head around these 4 types of shots:

1. Wide – Set context for the bigger picture.

2. Atmospheric – What images will live on in your mind about your location? Capture those to share your visual story through photographs.

3. Details — Get close to the substance that made up that moment.

4. Portraits — If a person or specific group of people played a big part in that day or few hours, be sure to spend time capturing them in their natural state.


Be Present While Photographing

If photography is getting in the way of the experience, you are approaching it wrong. It should sit alongside whatever it is that you are doing. If you are telling a smaller story – like I am in the Skillshare video at the cafe with a friend – you only need a handful of images. Be mindful of your timing. For example, while we were waiting in line at the cafe, I could snap a few photos to tell the story of atmosphere, but then tuck my camera away. Or integrate it into the day as part of the fun and don’t take it too seriously (cue mirror shot below).


Tell Your Story

There are a number of ways you can present your images digitally or through print, but the first step is to narrow down your images. Which ones compel you emotionally? Look at the tones and make sure different parts of the experience are represented. When it is a smaller occasion like my cafe experience with Laura, I try to select 10—25 images to either publish or print. VSCO Journal easily allows me to create a linear essay to live online. If you already have a VSCO account, you can upload your images online here and create a post with your mobile device.

For my story at the cafe, I chose to print them on Artifact Uprising’s Square Print Set. It aligns well for this mini project since I have 25 selects & there are 25 square prints. You can create them in minutes either on their website or iPhone app.