Storyboard is a workflow tool that lets you create magazine style layouts for your blog insanely fast. Like this snazzy one:
Sounds decent right? Let me tell you, this tiny piece of software is going to save you SO much time and SO much frustration.
See, if you are a blogging photographer, you’re going to need something. You’ve probably come across the problem as soon as you decided you wanted to blog a vertical image.
You slapped it into your post, and it ended up looking mega lame, like this:
Then you realized that if you put two verticals beside each other, it looks a gazillion times better, like this:
But manually doing that in Photoshop is the biggest waste of time in the world. And when you’re a busy photographer, you don’t have a second to spare.
First off, I’ll let you know that I was highly skeptical when I saw Storyboard. I have an obsession with InDesign, and I thought that was all I would need to do these layouts. You can create templates, drag and drop your photos in, save it down, and you’re done! Easy peasy!
Well, I had my mind truly blown when I tried it out. I’m not usually so impressed by plugins, but this one is easily a must-have for blogging photographers.
What It Does
I don’t know all the fancy magic that is going on behind the scenes, but what Storyboard does is pretty simple. It takes the photos you choose, and perfectly aligns them based on your preferences.
See, that’s one of the absolute best things about Storyboard. You can customize it like crazy. You can change the width to match your own blog, and the spacing for your own personal preference, and even the background colour in case you have a coloured text area! So no matter what your blog looks like, this will work.
And you can do tons of arrangements. You can create single storyboards:
Or use the awesome Compiler feature to put a bunch of storyboards together:
Now, like I said, before I tried it I wasn’t really sure that Storyboard was necessary, since you can do all of this in InDesign with some work. But that’s the thing: using InDesign takes some work. There are a few extra steps in there, and those steps take up time.
Storyboard automatically resizes, saves for web, and puts the image in your blogging folder, ready to go. The whole process takes literally seconds, and you’re done. It’s incredible. As soon as I used it once, I was absolutely hooked.
Other awesome things it can do?
- Run actions on the images automatically (like Sharpening for Web)
- Create perfect web sized files (small file size, and the proper sRGB colour space)
- Re-order the images so you have total control of the layout
- Loop so you can keep creating your boards without any extra keystrokes
- Archive the photos you’ve already used so you won’t have to try to remember
- One button launching with their free included actions
How It Will Help You
The biggest thing here is time. Storyboard saves you bazillions.
Blogging is critical for photographers these days. It’s how you put out your latest and greatest work, get your clients involved in your business, and constantly market yourself. It’s more important than ever to be a consistent blogger.
But it can take a while to get all your photos ready to go, and as soon as you start feeling that resistance to create a post, it’s going to be harder and harder to keep up with it.
Storyboard truly makes it fun to prep your images for blogging. I’m not exaggerating. You’ll create one Storyboard, say “Holy smokes, that was easy!” and then you’ll begin to look for other combos to throw up there.
It’s going to make your blog posts more engaging, with great pairings of images that tell a story together, and take you way less time to do it.
It will also give a more professional look to your blog. One of the most important principles of great graphic design is consistency. You want your spacing to be perfectly consistent to give that pro feel. Storyboard suddenly makes that automatic, and that is mega valuable.
So you’re going to spend less time blogging, so you’ll blog more. And your blog posts will look better. It’s win-win-win all the way around.
The instructions provided with Storyboard are thorough and easy-to-follow, so I don’t have a lot of tips to share! It’s dead simple!
However, here are a few I’ve thought of:
- Spend some time planning out your layout before hopping into Photoshop. Storyboard is going to let you tell stories, which are far more engaging than random sets of images.
- Think through your combinations carefully, and don’t be afraid to re-do them if you don’t like the result. Pairing images can be very powerful when you do it thoughtfully. Or it can be distracting if you just slap things together.
- When you’re choosing images for your Storyboard, change the file view to Thumbnail (on a Mac, it’s the little button at the top of the window with the four squares). That will enable you to see exactly which images you’re selecting from a large folder)
- Install the actions they include, and assign the keyboard shortcuts. That will make it even easier to use, and ensure that you will use it
- Take the time to read through all the instructions they provide, so you know all the powerful features that are included. I’m the kind of person who just jumps in without reading first, but when I went through the entire guide, I realized just how much I could do with the plugin
- Easy to install and use
- Incredibly fast creation of perfect layouts
- Highly customizable
- Creates perfect web quality files (small files sizes, and the correct colour space)
- Compiler is fantastic, and easy to use
- Includes actions so you can launch with single keystrokes
- Flexible, can combine verticals, horizontals, and squares
- Efficiently designed to speed up your workflow (Loop Mode and Archive Mode are brilliant)
- Works with Mac and Windows, and CS4 and ass=”caps”>CS5, so well supported
- Instructions are thorough, and easy to follow
- Actively developing and improving the plugin, based a lot on user feedback
- Creators are photographers, so they really understand the blogging process
- Super nice and helpful guys, who truly want to help photographers save time!
- Super affordable for the amount of time it will save you
- Can’t create super customized layouts, like two horizontals that span the height of one vertical
- Currently can’t create full resolution files (though it looks like this is in the works)
It was really hard for me to come up with any cons for Storyboard, which is surprising because I’m a super picky person. But honestly, it’s fantastic. The pros of saving time and creating perfect layouts far outweigh the one con of being slightly restricted in the types of layouts you can create.
You’re going to find yourself creating beautiful posts that are more engaging, and tell a story. And you’re going to save yourself so much time.
Storyboard is available for $79.99. For the amount of time this will save you, and the power of the plugin, we think that’s a very fair price.
Storyboard dropped us a line to see if we would review their plugin. I told them I was pretty skeptical, and loved InDesign, and wasn’t sure if Storyboard was really necessary. They did a fantastic job of showing me how their script totally destroys InDesign for this work. I was extremely impressed. They gave us a free copy to try out, with no strings attached. They are super nice guys, and we were happy to give the plugin a thorough testing. We don’t receive any compensation for giving a positive review.
I asked the guys if they would be up for giving away a copy to our super awesome readers, and, in their total niceness, they offered TWO copies! So leave a comment, and TWO lucky readers are going to have this amazing plugin freesies!
CONTEST IS NOW OVER! Congrats to our winners, Corissa and Jennie, who are going to be rockin’ their blogs with Storyboards!!