Expert Advice: Photo Editing in MoodShare

- - Expert Advice

by Paul Stanek, Wonderful Machine

Some of you may recall Sean’s Oscar-worthy performance in a stop motion piece we did together: The Portfolio Edit: Sean Stone Style. Well, I’ve been working with a modification of Sean’s photo editing process utilizing a new online platform, currently in beta form, called MoodShare.

MoodShare was not developed with photo editing specifically in mind. In fact, their team was quite pleasantly surprised and intrigued when I first reached out to them about my success using their site in my photo consulting. Regardless, if the shoe fits….

You may be familiar with the term “mood board.” From Wikipedia:

A mood board is a type of collage that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team.

MoodShare set out to create an online, interactive space where anyone given access to the same “digital mood board” could log on (all at once if desired) and easily toss in whatever images, videos, text, etc., that they felt was useful to a project. Multiple boards can be created for the same project, which is a helpful bonus in many ways. The live element—where you can literally see an image moving or a word forming—is really where MoodShare is making the most out of some of the ever-evolving technological capabilities available to us. It’s a natural augmentation to brainstorming conference calls of creatives scattered across cities, or even countries.

Where does photo editing come into the picture? First, I have to give props to Austin-based WM photographer King Lawrence for emailing me my first invite to a MoodShare board when we were working on his photographic identity. I found myself in a moveable and scalable grid with several of King’s images grouped together, with notes added. Along the left and top were navigation and tools, and along the bottom was an augmentable pool of resources he’d uploaded. I immediately knew I’d found the perfect digital complement to Sean’s table of “tiiiiiny prints.” After some tests, I decided to try it out on my next editing project, Mark Weinberg‘s print portfolio.

As usual, I used Adobe Bridge to perform the initial trimming down from several hundred images to a smaller group of selects. At that point, instead of printing these selects, I started a MoodShare project and uploaded them to a fresh board. I could drag my uploads from a library along the bottom into the manipulatable grid space, and once they were there, I could easily size and arrange them however I pleased. I found the broad range of the space’s scalability to be a real plus: I could get up close & personal with a couple of images to see if they were the perfect pair, or zoom way out on a large body of imagery to get the big picture. I began experimenting with pairings and sequences, and eventually had laid out a clean presentation of an edit draft that I was ready to share with Mark. I had the choices of exporting the board as a PDF, sharing it as an un-editable link, or give him full access to the guts of the board. I went with option C, wanting to give the real-time interaction a whirl. He accepted the invitation, reviewed my work, and added a couple images and notes for consideration. What would follow was one of the most fruitful series of phone conversations I’d ever had, as we’d both logged into the board and navigated/manipulated it simultaneously while talking. Here’s a snippet of the final result:


And here’s a video of the finished portfolio:

I also used MoodShare while working on a print sequence for for Matthew Rakola. Here’s a brief time-lapse of the process:

As I’ve mentioned, MoodShare is currently in beta, and will be free as long as it remains so. So grab up an account and start checking it out while it’s on the house! Let me know if you have any questions regarding this process, or if you’re interested in working with myself or one of our other photo editors on a consulting project through a platform like this. I’m in continued talks with MoodShare about potential tweaks with editing in mind, and about a possible discount for Wonderful Machine members, so stay tuned!

There Are 4 Comments On This Article.

  1. Does anyone know why Firefox gives me a security warning (“This Connection is Untrusted”) when I hit the link to MoodShare? I don’t see that too often.

    • It might just be the link through this page. When I visit MoodShare through Google or through another direct link I don’t get that warning.

  2. I’ve been using moodshare in exactly the same way – also for putting together photographer cards. It’s particularly brilliant for the photographers we rep who aren’t based in London and you can send them a visual version of what you want – and they can see how you plan to make them sit in the book etc.