Storyboards and stories

Creating a story

In Authentic Photo Stories we capture real life and make it look beautiful.

We also create a series of images that together tell a story.

Images are shot on the fly, yet when put together they also tell a coherent story.



The images you shoot can form a storyboard, which is a graphic organizer displaying images in a sequence.

You can think of the storyboard as a comic strip, collage, or even a composite image.

In film making the storyboard is used to pre-visualize a film’s story. Often images are sketched.

Below is an example to give you an idea of how a film storyboard might look to represent part of a scene.

Images: Tennessee Rick Elliott


Lifestyle photography

In lifestyle photography you create the story and eventual storyboard after the shoot because you are shooting spontaneously throughout an event.

So the trick in lifestyle photography is to shoot enough of the right kinds of images that can be put together to tell an interesting story.

You might then show two or more images in a composited storyboard created in Adobe Spark or other software.


Real life can look artistic

Experienced portrait photographer Tennessee Rick Elliott took part in the March Authentic Photo Stories class.

His lesson 2 assignment images (shown below with permission) are his answer to instructor Brit Hammer’s challenge to photograph hands (or feet).

Tennessee took her challenge onboard and went two steps further, reflecting his artistry. He shot low-key images and converted them to sepia in post.

His images convey both emotion and atmosphere.

Read below what he did to create each image.


Tennessee: “We set up a temporary workbench and a little work light. This shot was my establishing shot, including some of Jack’s wood gouges, the light, the piece he was working on, and naturally Jack. The lighting was provided only by the solitary work light.”



Tennessee: “This was my favorite shot of the three! If you would have told me last week that I would have enjoyed shooting hands, I’d have scoffed. I absolutely love this shot. It was still lit with only the solitary work light and I did push the contrast in post processing to give his hands a bit more weathered look. I always tend to like a sepia look and it just seemed to suit this shot so well that I did all three in sepia for a bit of consistency. I’m color-blind…and because of that, I seem to be naturally drawn to the sepia .”



Tennessee: “This third shot was taken away from the workbench and it was lit with a constant light in a small octabox placed just to camera left and feathered behind Jack. I tried to use the edge lighting to carve him out as he was examining the cutting edge of his gouge. I probably should have used a tripod for all these shots because it was shot in very low light, but I kept moving around to try different angles and heights so I just pushed the ISO and tried to hold the camera as steady as I could.”

Below is Tennessee’s narrative story shown as a 3-image composite.

See more of Tennessee’s work on his website.



Tennessee: “Brit really helped me to grow significantly as a photographer and as a person as well.”



Learn how to shoot your own compelling series of images in Authentic Photo Stories.




Finding Beauty

Authentic Photo Stories

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

** No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses **



Brit Hammer is a photographer, author, and artist whose work has aptly been called fresh and optimistic.

Visit her website at

Flora in Monochromatic (Best of student’s work)

Monochromatic images are very powerful, so it is not a surprise that monochromatic flower images look even more amazing!

How to take monochromatic flora pictures? There are two simple ways:

1) get closer and fill your frame only with that one particular flower or its petals only

2) work on your background and use the color matching your flower. And by matching we mean the same color or a very similar tone/hue/shade of that color

Simple right? 😉

If you are not sure what monochromatic means – here’s a short recap. Monochromatic comes from the Greek word monos meaning one, and khroma meaning color.

Student’s pictures explain the monochromatic topic the best. We are inviting you to see som examples in the gallery below, how our dear students from previous PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA classes created beautiful monochromatic images.  Such images are really impressive!


And what do our students say about Photographing Flora class?

I enjoyed experimenting with all these techniques! Wonderful class! Thank you!
Anna Blatterman 

Thanks Monika & Patrik. Great class! Learned quite a lot from your extensive workshop materials, and challenging assignments. My floral photography endeavors will continue to improve.
Jay Salzman

I find that watching video critiques of everyone’s photos is so valuable. You explain things very well, Patrik! This is a fantastic class and I’m learning so much from everyone in it.
Mika Geiger 


PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA class begins in May 1st, please join us here and learn how to photograph flora (and monochromatic) shots too.


We are looking forward to meeting you in class!

Patrik and Monika Banas

Vangie Killalea


Jan Cafaro


Francine Sreca


Patricia Daley


Holly Middagh


Julie Hammond


Doreen Weekley


Holly Middagh


Judith Roberson


Maureen Rogers


Jay Salzman


Ann Fitzsimmons


Pam Corckran




Sunny Marker


Sarah Herman


Leann Stella



Lynn Riding


Debbie Lieske




Judith Roberson




The Lightroom Range Mask

Revealing form and dimension in your images:

For most of the time its been around, the local adjustment tools in Adobe Lightroom have paled in comparison to the power and precision of the comparable masking and adjustment tools in Photoshop.  Lightroom’s attraction has always been its approachability and intuitive ease of use.  The gap between Lightroom and Photoshop noticeably narrowed with the introduction of the Range Mask feature added to the local adjustment tools.  It’s now much easier to quickly make very precise and refined selections for your local adjustments within Lightroom, and as is typical of Lightroom the process is simple and very intuitive.

In this video tutorial, we take a deep dive into using Range Masks with local adjustments in subtle ways to enhance three-dimensional form and texture in your images.

-BPSOP Instructor – Mark English

Mark Teaches:

After the Click: Refining Your Vision in Lightroom & Camera Raw

The Art of Printing & Selling Your Art

Develop your artistic voice

What do you find beautiful?

Is it nature?
Or something abstracted to the point of being unrecognizable?
Perhaps you find uniformity beautiful?

Whatever your answer, this is your personal style — your artistic voice — coming through.

Eliminate the unnecessary

Hans Hofmann (21 March 1880 – 17 February 1966) was one of the older abstract expressionist painters working in New York. As as an art teacher and writer he had strong influence on the younger American abstract artists after 1940.

Hofmann wrote, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

This is the central tenet of fine artist and photographer Brit Hammer’s newest course, Finding Beauty.

The art of minimalism

In photography we strive to declutter our images. Anything that distracts from the intended subject must be pushed out of frame.

How little can you have in your shot until it feels empty to you?

This is one of the questions you must ask yourself. By pushing more and more out of frame until you can’t go further, you arrive at the essence of a scene.

The process of arriving at a minimalist image can be applied to any genre of photography, including lifestyle and photography, architecture, and even outdoor sports.

Are you ready to develop your artistic voice?

The secret to developing your artistic style is to ask yourself the right questions, Brit explains in her tutorial “Find Your Artistic Voice”.

This same methodology of questioning has been applied to photography in Finding Beauty.

Below are some of the student images taken in just the first 3 weeks of the March Finding Beauty class. Images from the rest of this large class will be shared in subsequent posts.


Images: Curt Meinecke

“This is the best advanced class I have ever taken. Finding Beauty has been a true eye-opener me. Brit has helped me to develop a different style of photography that I am sure will help my overall photography. I highly recommend this class — especially to those who already have a basic understanding of photography — although that is not a requirement.” — Curt Meinecke


Images: Laura Russomano

“If you are looking to move more into fine art photography, then Finding Beauty is the course that will help you get there. While focused on minimalism, I found the concepts and techniques presented in this course to be easy to understand, while challenging me to expand my vision and shooting style. Brit’s critiques were extremely insightful and helped me to become more focused on developing my artistic voice.” — Laura Russomano


Images: Gisela Nily

“Less might be more! A beautiful image draws the eye and invites pondering what it actually is and what it might be. Warmth and calm can be achieved in an image. These are new ideas for me…I have been a person who likes riotous color and dramatic contrasts. This course has opened my eyes to so much more. Thank you!” — Gisela Nily


Images: Cristina Persico

Images: Cristina Persico

“I have always admired lifestyle images and the serenity they convey. Thanks to Brit’s teaching and suggestions in this beautiful course I learned how to tell a story in a different perspective. Thanks again for teaching me to seek beauty in simplicity!” — Cristina Persico



Finding Beauty

Authentic Photo Stories

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

** No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses **



Brit Hammer is an international award-winning photographer, bestselling author, and a celebrated artist whose work has aptly been called “fresh and optimistic”.

Her students love her “combination of extensive and well-organized photographic design principles…intuitive eye, patience, enthusiasm and holistic nurturing [because the results are] unbelievably incredible and inspiring student growth.”

Visit her website at

  • After struggling with Lightroom for years, I signed up for Jon's Apple Photo class looking for an easier alternative. The class did not disappoint. In fact with Jon's help I have converted all my pictures to Apple Photos. In the class I learned a much easier way to do minor edits without the cumbersomeness of Lightroom. And all adjustments are backed up to the cloud so my edited pictures are immediately viewable on all my Apple devices. Jon also introduced me to Luminar 4 which goes way beyond simple editing, but keeps everything within Apple Photos. I can't say enough good things about the class & Jon! Read More
    Jim Bobst Mastering Apple Photos
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