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Are Moment Lessons Worth it?

You’ve been practicing mobile photography and rocking Instagram and TikTok, but you want to bring your phone photography to the next level. Once you’ve mastered the basics and are ready for advanced instruction, there’s no better tutor than Moment’s Brand Ambassadors. And, for the next few days, you can learn from these world-class photographers at a steep discount.

ARE MOMENT LESSONS WORTH IT?
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Everyone knows Moment is the premier shop for mobile photography and videography gear, but their lessons are top notch too. Here are the three that I have taken and my thoughts on each:

Our Favorite Moment Lessons

While Moment has plenty of other options to choose from in terms of mobile photography lessons (filmmaking too), these are the three that stuck out to me. With each purchase you’ll get lifetime access to your lesson in addition to some other lesson specific goodies – looking at you Andy To’s Custom LUTs. If you want to get to know Moment a little more, then give our Moment Lens Review a quick read.

How to Make Short Form Videos for the Internet by Jesse Driftwood

I’ll start this by saying that Jesse Driftwood makes the dopest social media videos that there are. I know that dopest isn’t the best adjective and that an overly declarative statement like that can be dangerous, but it’s kind of true. In this Level 2 lesson on making videos for the internet, Jesse will teach you what goes in to creating the Instagram Stories for which he’s so well known.

My absolute favorite thing about Jesse, aside from the in-camera transitions, is how engaging he makes his content. There is not a single second during a JDREW video where you aren’t glued to the edge of your seat – he’s just that good. If you want to create vertical video that stands out of Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, or TikTok, then this Moment Lesson is probably the one for you.

There are minor concerns with spacing during the editing section because the timeline is, at times, not fully visible. If you have video editing experience, then you should be able to still follow along. If, on the other hand, you’re new enough to need to pause the video every ten seconds in an effort to understand something, then the inability to see what he’s doing may limit the amount you learn about video editing in this lesson.

Regardless of your expertise, however, Jesse will teach you something new. His understanding of short form storytelling via all those Instagram Stories to his name, means he knows what the heck he’s talking about. His charismatic personality and technical know-how means the information is passed on to the viewer in a way that isn’t difficult to understand. Follow along with Jesse every step of the way – from conceptualization, to execution, to editing, to uploading. How to Make Short Form Videos for the Internet by Jesse Driftwood is absolutely worth the cost of the lesson – to be honest, it’s probably worth even more than Moment is charging for it.

Favorite Parts:

  • The 15s Vertical Video: Short and Concise – learn how to make your short form video shorter from the master himself. Oh yeah, story is still important. Personally, I love the challenge here. The idea of telling a full story in 15 seconds is tough, but undoubtedly a great way to improve your mobile filmmaking.
  • Editing: Applying the Finishing Touches to Get it Perfect – learn how to optimize your workflow to get the edit done. Part of the struggle of shooting Instagram Stories is the time crunch – learn how Jesse deals with it. I know that for myself, the idea of thinking up, shooting, editing, and uploading a Reel everyday is daunting. Thanks to Jesse, though, I’ve challenged myself to make and upload two of them a day.

Your Moment Lessons Purchase Includes:

  • 2.5 hours of lessons
  • 9 unique segments
  • Exclusive raw footage to edit alongside Jesse
  • 10% discount at the Moment Shop

Mobile Filmmaking: Learn to Shoot Cinematic Videos by Andy To

The first time I watched an Andy To movie – yes, movie – I was blown away. I remember showing my fiancee and saying, “he did this on a phone – how crazy is that! The level of immersion into his videos is unparalleled – McKinnon included ya’ll. In this Level 2 Moment lesson, Andy will go through his entire process to capturing cinematic videos on a phone. If you’re into mobile filmmaking, then this is the lesson for you.

Andy delivers his information in a very cordial manner and puts the viewer at ease even during the technical portions of the lessons. Andy’s style of teaching is different than Jesse’s as Andy learned the craft on a smartphone. As a result, his information is less technical and more focused on creating scenes for better story. To someone who is a bit more advanced, parts of the lesson may seem somewhat repetitive but this is to be expected in a lesson that caters to an intermediate level (Level 2). Regardless of your skill level, Andy will provide you some sort of value because there’s a near endless amount of good information packed into this 3 hours of learning.

My only knock on the lesson, and it isn’t even really that, is that Andy does use a decent amount of gear. If you don’t have all of his gear, the lesson may feel a little weird because you’ll feel like you need to get it too. At the same time, Andy’s basic principle of mobile story telling is creating scenes – specifically utilizing a basic three shot combination that captures a wide, tight, and detail shot. He does use the Moment lenses pretty sparingly but is seemingly always using the gimbal. There are a handful of shots that are captured handheld but if you’re looking to learn handheld mobile filmmaking then this is not the Moment Lesson for you.

Favorite Parts:

  • Shooting Hyperlapses and Transitions – Andy is known for transitions straight out of a time-warp into another dimension. Learn how he pre-plans these shots into a cohesive story. I’m not going to give away Andy’s secret sauce here, but he’s not using a timelapse feature to capture these.
  • Breaking Down the Edit – at times an Andy To edit can see chaotic but that’s part of the brilliance – the organized chaos immerses the viewer in the story. Being able to see the methods behind Andy’s editing madness was an invaluable tool and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. For real guys, learning the thought process behind his transitions was one of the most enlightening things I’ve seen when it comes to content.

Your Moment Lessons Purchase Includes:

  • 3 hours of lessons
  • 9 segments
  • Japan Shooting Guide
  • Customs LUTs
  • Andy’s 5 Gimbal Tips

iPhone Photography: Learn to Shoot like a Pro by Sam Elkins

Sam Elkin’s Level 2 iPhone Photography lesson is the only photo-specific lesson to make the list (sorry ya’ll – I’m really into video these days and this is what I chose.). That being said, Sam is a genius when it comes to capturing Instagram-worthy still photos. In this lesson, he’ll teach you how to replicate his process from start to finish. Regardless of where you are on your journey as a mobile photographer, this lesson is worth considering.

While Sam uses an iPhone this lesson is really pretty applicable regardless of which type of device you have. The main differences between iPhone and Android cameras is the native app user-face and RAW capture capability (though Apple’s new Pro-RAW fixes the latter) so the lesson shouldn’t be effected by the device you use. Do note though, that the iPhone Walkthrough section won’t be entirely relevant. But, finding a device specific walkthrough on Youtube sorts that issue in no time.

Can I just say, it’s refreshing to hear a creative of this magnitude say that a smartphone camera can be professional. We know, you know it, and Moment knows it – now let Sam teach you how to increase that production value. From landscapes to portraits and everything in between, Sam has curated a lesson that is thorough, entertaining, and super helpful to anyone (seriously, even I learned a bunch.).

This is a bit of a bummer but if you’re offended by language then it’s best to go with a different Moment Lesson. In all the other ones I’ve watched I haven’t heard a single unsavory word. In this lesson with Sam, however, I heard three in the first three sections. Personally, it wasn’t enough for me to click off, but if you’re purchasing this Moment Lesson for a kid, then you deserve to know.

Favorite Parts:

  • Essential Apps – what photo apps do you need? Let’s just say more than the iPhone’s native camera and less than Filmic Pro.
  • Mobile Editing – many of us don’t have an Adobe subscription for Photoshop and/or Lightroom. Sam understands this and teaches you how to do all your photo editing on mobile in an uncomplicated and easy-to-follow way.

Your Moment Lessons Purchase Includes:

  • 80 minutes of lessons
  • 10 segments
  • 3 Pre-sets
  • 10% discount at the Moment Shop
About the Author /

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Joe takes some pretty impressive photos and videos on his phone. He has a plethora of experience writing for large websites on a variety of topics and is able to deliver relatable mobile content that you'll surely enjoy. Joe majored in History at Christopher Newport University in VA. He currently resides in Denver, CO with his fiancee, Kathryn, and their dog, Jasmine.

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