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Decide the Future of Phlearn

Category: Business, Opinion, Video
Tagged with:
Sep 11

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We Need Your Help

Since the beginning Phlearn has always been completely transparent in everything we do, making you a part of our struggles, our successes, and our decisions. The time has come again for us to turn to you.

We have spent over a year making free tutorials daily for you, and have completed over 360 videos! We are very proud of what we have done together, and want it to continue in the best way possible.

The Problem

We have taught so much at Phlearn that we are starting to repeat content. It is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with completely new tutorial videos each and every day. As you have seen, we have added more 3rd party content to Phlearn to provide you with more resources.

We need a new way to present videos!

The Solution

We are looking to our amazing Phamily to help us decide which path to go on, after all Phlearn is all for you.

Help us by letting us know what new Genres of video we can produce and how we can make content that will continue to be fresh. We are open to any ideas, so start throwing them out there!

Watch the episode and give your input. You are the future of Phlearn.


Make sure to become part of the Phlearn Family on Facebook, conversate with us on Twitter, and #hashtag your Phlearn inspirations on Instagram. We want to know what the Phlearn community social chatter is about, and who is sharing it. You all keep us motivated to do our best.

  • Gsightfotos

    Cool down Sir. Take your time and rest for a while.
    Grtzz from the Netherlands.

  • Fredrik

    These are my opinions:

    1. Put the thirdparty-things on another page. This is NOT what I visit PHLEARN for and I was really disappointed when it came up on the first page. This is the number one thing for me and I think a lot of other people aswell.

    2. If an episode is to “large” or long, divide it into several small videos for more days perhaps.

    3. Have more photo-critique of other peoples work.

    4. Take some good pictures / magazines and try to recreate the picture with both the shoot, retusch and everything just for education. Let Phlearn Family send you pictures that you find good and try to recreate?

    5. More PROs?

    6. More interviews with famous photographers/retuschers?

  • Nadia

    I’d love to see some behind the scenes of photo shoots – everything from the hair/makeup to finding the location to the actual shooting. It could be something you span over the entire episode. I’m also interested in seeing more motivational videos – as a young photographer myself, I often find that most “photography business” articles are geared towards “adults.” Being in high school, it doesn’t always apply to me. Maybe you could bring in young photographers to talk about their experiences? Maybe also open up a weekly question/answer segment where Phlearn members just submit general questions? Hope these ideas helped!

  • Pingback: Thank You Phamily

  • Kevin D

    I still think it would be a great idea to give us a copy of the image you are editing so we are able to do the same thing you are doing.  For me its the best way to learn.  Watch you do it….push pause and try it myself.  And as others have all said….no third party stuff.

    I’d even enjoy photoshop basics as part of the video series.  One video on how to use the pen tool etc…  One video on what different layers  are for (empty layer, duplicate layer, ctrl+shift+alt+E)  Even if there is no “final product”, just understanding the hows and why’s are important.  

    Also….you’ve been awesome so far so I’m merely splitting hairs.

  • Gregory Go

    Hey Aaron! I love your stuff and would be interested in two particular episodes (forgive me and let me know if they’ve already been made). 
    1) I realize you’re sick of self-portraits, but a start-to-finish walkthrough would be awesome! Looking at your portraits is impressive – but at least when I started out, it’s also daunting to undertake a single self-portrait (much less 365). I would love for you to show a basic concept, setting up and taking the show solo, and then a quick edit/compile for an outstanding image :) (And, it would be great to see you use available/simple lighting to make the process accessible to everyone and to support that photography isn’t all about gear.)
    2) The business aspect is very interesting – I know one of the hardest hurdles for photography is going from hobby to “professional”, especially for creative souls who may be more introverted. When do you know you’re ready? How do you make the jump? Maybe you can recommend books/teachers in-depth who helped you make that change.

    Either way, thanks for the inspiration, the support, and the best lessons on photography!

  • Lauren O’Neal

    Hi Aaron & Phlearn - 
    I’ve never posted, but I’ve been a huge fan since before this site existed.  I’ve surfed the net for Photoshop tutorials and such, but honestly, nothing is as good as this because of how much you guys care.  I absolutely respect the connection you have with the people you’re making this for.

    That being said, I agree with almost all the comments that have already been posted about quality vs. quantity, you’ve already given so much, 3rd party content isn’t as awesome as your content, etc.  (Note on 3rd party content – you can have guest 3rd parties make video tutorials which would be slightly different, but that’s not where I want to go with my suggestion.)

    My recommendation is similar to many other people’s: themes.  I think you’ve flown through enough content, but we all stick around because we’re fascinated with your artistic vision, and completely and totally jealous of your talent.  In my idea of having themes, you can devote weeks to one idea that you are personally interested in.  You can attack it in many different ways, go beyond just one video or one image.  For example, let’s say you were still in your “pinup” phase.  You can have several different videos showing your inspiration, your research, your concept building, model choosing, the shoots, picking the the right images, post processing, etc.  They say the best way to learn is through reflection and integration. Not only would you be helping us, you would be deepening the connection you have with your work even more by showing us every step.  And I can assure you, we’d be hooked.

    Honestly, I don’t think you should concern yourself with repeated content.  As one person put it, you have an incredibly adaptable approach to some of your techniques – depending on the context, it changes.  We’d always be learning. I think what I want from Phlearn is more of your personal investment in things you’re creating.  I don’t think they should be separate tutorials from some of your real work (you could always skip the parts you don’t want to share).

  • Sethd

     One idea: Create a rotating peer board of review/critique. Every month you can select 3-5 people who WANT to help critique other peoples work. They provide a brief bio about themselves and their history with photography, maybe include their own creative tip or insight along with this bio.

    The reviewers can be chosen by employees of Phlearn, or by votes by
    the community. Maybe they can be given a Phlearn Pro of their choice for
    volunteering to critique another persons work?

    Then the Phlearners who want their work reviewed can post their own bio, identify which individual they want to review their work (maybe their style of work relates), reasons why they want a review, problems they want to overcome, etc.

    Each reviewer can then choose an individual of their choice who wanted a critique done by them, and then you can have a mini-critique/review once a week by a member of the Phlearn community for a member of the Phlearn community.

    Just an unorganized idea, it seems like a decent way to create content that will be unique each time.

  • Michael Nightmare

    To agree with most people and put my vote in so to speak I agree to either move or completely get rid of the 3rd party content once you started adding that to the site I have not really been coming to check out what is new as it seems your own content gets lost within all the 3rd party stuff. Make a separate page for it and keep it off the main page. 

    As far as videos go I also agree with most do a Monday, Wed, Friday that is a complete series from start to finish like the BEER one I think that wil be more interesting and you can teach more rather than rushing a lot into a few min everyday which seems to happen a lot. I also miss the frequency of pro tutorials. Maybe you can even do a pro based on that weeks set of videos that is longer, more in depth and includes reference files.

    Thanks for all the photoshop knowledge you give out both free and paid you have advanced my skill level far faster than I could have done on my own.

    Keep it up.

  • Osvaldo Rodríguez

    Well, I watch episodes once and again until I get it. And then I probably go back again searching older tips. So I think you souldn’t worry that much, and placing a video per week wouldnt hurt. You’re an extremily creative person so Im sure the future of phlearn will be positive. Thanks for sharing. Os.

  • Osvaldo Rodríguez

    Well, I watch episodes once and again until I get it. And then I probably go back again searching older tips. So I think you souldn’t worry that much, and placing a video per week wouldnt hurt. You’re an extremily creative person so Im sure the future of phlearn will be positive. Thanks for sharing. Os.

  • Daniel M.

    Hey Aaron,

    I am another one of your followers…since the very beginning.  I used to check Phlearn absolutely every day, and I now I do it every now and then.  I’m still checking the PRO section for new tutorials, and I think there’s nothing wrong with explaining the same techniques over and over again.  Practice is what everyone needs, if they want to get better!  I think you should look back, and start working on personal projects, such that make you happy and better in PS(just like when you started Phlearn)…and make videos out of them.  I also agree that two or three times a week would be plenty, and it will give you more time to provide better content, rather than rushing it, just to meet your deadlines(not that you are doing it right now, but it’s a matter of time).

    Whatever you decide to do, don’t even think about taking Phlearn down!!!

    Good luck!

  • Amelia Julie Dowd

    I’d love to see some videos on the basics of graphic design – I know this is a photography learning site – but I think it’s important to learn about many aspects imagery. I would love to see Phlearn tackle this subject in the Phlearn way!

  • Rich

    I didn’t read all the 100+ comments, only the first 3 orso pages…some great ideas are being posted here.
    I must say Mark Feliciano and Lauren Oneall hit the nail on the head….but I love these videos. Three a week would be awesome. More BTS would be great, as well as more technical vids.
    Thanks for all your work form the other side of the Pond

  • allymack

     First of all. This is the best place for photoshop tutorials, but you could do less, don’t go 3rd party, you’re great at explaining and I think that’s why the site is so popular… I’ve learned so much on here through the tutorials. My main interest is beauty/portraits and colour correction, so I personally would like to see a lot more of that.

    You have pretty much covered everything, but what if you done say a Curves Series tutorials(for example), but took them to the next level (proper advanced retouching)

    Another idea would be tutorials on how to replicate the look of famous shoots or magazine covers….

    Anyway, that’s my comment… Phlean rocks! ;D

  • Liat Aharoni

    Aaron you and the whole Phlearn team are all so awesome. Love you guys. That’s all :)  

  • Sarah Allegra

    It took me a little while to think of any ideas, but now that I have them, here are mine.

    One,for the photo battles, what if they were always two images from the same photographer?  It seems that,t hat way, there would be less cause for hurt feelings, since either way, the photographer wins!  It could be really useful for the photographer and everyone watching.

    Two, I would LOVE it if there were episodes about self promotion/marketing/building a following and the business side of things.  There don’t seem to be a whole lot of *good* resources for this kind of info (not that I’ve found, anyway) online, so I’d love to see Phlearn take it on!

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