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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 46 of 70

Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 46 of 70

Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds


Lesson Info

Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds

in order to take a look at the second image, we really need to go in and look at these blank shots that I took and figure out if we're going to be able to use them or not. And I think that we will. So the blank shots look like this. Uh huh. Really, really simple. So let's use it. Why not? I think that we should just take these two pictures in and we're going to create this room effect, which I think is going to be really fun, and we'll see how the subject fits in. And hopefully it all works out flawlessly. We'll see. So we're going to first put the room together, make sure nothing needs to happen here, in my opinion, in camera raw. So I'm just taking it straight in and we're going to build a room first. That's gonna be our plate. Our base shot and everything is going to go into that. We're going to build it out by just tilting up a little bit. We might not even need to, though it might actually go up too high because I can see that this is really the ceiling line, right? through here, ...

So let's assume that we don't need to build it out. And instead we're going to use the crop tool just to choose a frame like that. Okay, I think that looks good. We'll say Okay. And like I mentioned, there's this clear wall happening here. So if you want to make it look like a real room, well, you can do that. The first thing that I'll dio is take a copy of the background and I'm going to go into edit transform and let's see, let's dio skew when you do skew, you could just kind of move the pixels around. And I'm just I'm getting rid of this line where you can see that the wall curves just gonna get rid of that by moving it out just to there. So now it looks like the room really does extend toward us, doesn't it? Looks much more like that. So let's use the rectangular marquee tool and select half of the room roughly. Doesn't have to be perfect, okay? And copy it and paste it. And once we have this piece pasted, we can then go into edit, transform, flip horizontal, and this is going to allow us to move this piece to the other side of the room. It creates cemetery, which is very pleasing. I really like how this looks. Let me make sure that it's a square. Hopefully, yeah, we're still good. Okay. Frame hasn't changed, so now we can plop the subject in. So let's go ahead and do that. We're going to get rid of that image on. We're going to find our subject back into bridge, go all the way up, and here's where it begins. So I was flipping my hair all over the place, hadn't decided on where my arm was going to be and then finally decided my arm would be out to give some visual interest. I really like this picture. Um, I think that it's pretty dynamic with the position of the arms and I'm gonna go with it, I think Yes. So let's bring that in first, we're gonna bring this image in because it's going to be our base shot. We have the plate, right, And then we have the main shot of the image, which is this one. We're going to see if we can fit it into the room. So Let's go ahead. And I'm actually going to take the whole image. Just moving it, dropping it. Okay? And I shot my subject myself. Ah, lot closer than I did the wall. So we're gonna have to shrink me down to fit in here. Do you see how I'm matching up the line where it meets the baseboard? That's gonna make life much easier. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm gonna actually shrink a little bit more so that we have room for the hair to Faneuil around. Okay. Good. And that lined up really well. I'm going to use the floor of the room and the baseboard of the room. So keeping that in mind, I'm going to create my layer mask, and we are gonna have to cut the feet out, But it's not a big deal. We're gonna go in with a fairly big brush and not worry about too much yet. I'm just getting rid of what I can get rid of without worrying about too much of anything. Just progressively make my brush smaller to be able to get in and erase Good. You know, I kind of I'm debating now because I see that the there's this line where the backdrop hits the floor and maybe we'll just move that up, tow line up with the baseboard at the top instead of the floor at the bottom so we can use that natural shadow, and I think that might work out quite well. So let's go ahead and see. All right, we're going to erase around the feet. That's gonna be step one, and I'm going to do that by taking the hardness of my brush up, going to take the size down wonderful and make sure that we are erasing good, good, good. So we can go in and just get around the feet, making my brush smaller as needed to get into those crevices and just erasing. So if you're not so confident at erasing around things like this, there are a few things that might help you. One of them is to invest in a stylist of some kind. Uh, that might be a welcome tablet. In my case, it's a Microsoft surface computer, which allows me to edit directly on the screen, which I find very helpful for editing and precision. Uh, it could be that you practice with different tools. So instead of Freehand editing like this, you might use the pen tool, which is not personally my favorite way of working, so I don't use it, but it can be very helpful for precision. Uh, the other thing that you might dio is to try to lasso off the area that you're going to erase against, which can also be very helpful in terms of getting something isolated so you can't go over a line that you have created. And as I do this, just thinking about the shadows that I'm getting rid of, I know that I'm getting rid of the shadows and my feet look super weird without the shadows. So don't worry about that right now, because we're going to add it back in. And we can always bring my feet back if I have a raise too much. So again. Not a thing toe to really worry about right now, I'm going to just hope and assume, even though I'm positive, it's not going to happen that the baseboard is perfectly straight, and if it is and you're using your brush tool, you can click, hold, shift and click somewhere else and it creates a straight line from one point to another point, So I'll do that again. Click hold, shift click again. Straight line cuts it straight across. And that's a good way. Thio, Uh, just kind of go in and get your baseline. Just really erase in a straight line and not have to worry about anything else. Your race, part of my legs. So I'm just getting that back, all right. Going in and erasing the excess. Now then we have to look at the other side of the wall and do the same thing, especially in here, which is going to be a little bit of a tricky area because it's going to cut off, Uh, my leg just a little bit, but that's okay. We can get it back. It can always we can always get it back. You know, that's the philosophy. It's pretty good philosophy and editing. If you're editing non destructively, you can always get it back. Here we go. Okay. Now we're gonna do the same thing over here. Click Hold hoops on the wrong one. We don't wanna add. We wanna delete click and shift And there you go. So we've got that straight line. Great. And the reason why we're going for precision here is that this backdrop is going to be the wall. So I'm making sure to keep the backdrop. And even though it doesn't reach the edges, we're going to deal with that later. Just getting rid of this last little excess Good, then fixing up the leg from where we absolutely ruined it. I say we like you have anything to do with this, but maybe you're struggling to who knows? Okay, so you can see how that's going to become the wall. And that means that the room that she's in has to be a lot darker to match. So that's something that we will work on as we go. But for now, let's continue to get the wall essentially wallpaper. That's what we're doing here is we are creating, like, this dark textured wallpaper look. And I think that's cool. So I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna go into bridge, and I'm gonna find more images here. And as I look at the images, I'm thinking about what I could have done to make this easier for myself. And I really should have taken an image of the backdrop without me in it, which I don't believe that I did ever. So I'm just there blocking everything like a real nuisance. But it's okay, so I'm gonna just work with what I can. For example, I noticed that I have moved aside here just a little bit. I'm gonna use it. I'm gonna get what I can from this backdrop. So let's open that up and use this bigger portion that I have and see if we can drop that in. And essentially, what we're doing is just filling in all of these portions that are not filled. Right now we know that we took that down. So this is just gonna allow me to fill right up to the edge there so we'll match that up. And this kind of blending should not take quite a long because we're not cutting a person out from this. We're just going to go through and get rid of Ah, the excess that we don't need. Okay, The only part where we have to practice precision is at the baseboard yet again. So we'll go down, make sure that our hardness is up, and in order to erase, click shift across. Okay. Very, very good

Class Description


  • Beat “creator's block” by practicing exercises to help you overcome it
  • Conceptualize a series that nails story, emotion, and connection
  • Execute a low-budget, high-impact photoshoot for your series
  • Edit your images for series cohesion and seamless compositing
  • Brand yourself and your art into a story that others can connect with


Creating a fine art body of work can be daunting when you consider that a great series has innovative ideas, cohesive editing, and an undeniable connection to an audience. During this class, Brooke will walk through the entire process of creating a fine art series, from conceptualization, shooting, and editing to branding and pricing. The success of a body of work comes from the artist’s ability to go beyond the connection to an audience; it must land in the heart of the viewer and then instill a call to action within them. Brooke will lead you through not only how to make your work relatable, but how to take that extra step to become unforgettable, and ultimately, sellable.


  • Intermediate creators who want to focus on personal work and find a deeper level of creating.
  • Creators who not only want to tighten the cohesion of their work but ensure that the full depth of meaning is communicated.
  • Artists who want to learn simple yet effective ways of creating a body of personal work.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (v21.2.4) and Adobe Bridge CC 2020 (v10.1.1)


Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

*This course contains artistic nudity.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Overview of Brooke’s Journey

    How Brooke went from creating only for herself to building a multi-faceted career in fine art photography.

  3. Your Timeline is Nonlinear

    How to incorporate the idea of wealth into your journey as an artist.

  4. Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career

    Too many people rely heavily on either intuition or goal setting as a means of propelling their career forward. Brooke believes that there is a blend between the two that sets most professionals apart.

  5. What Factors Dictate Growth

    A look at how improvement in the categories of technique, conceptualization, clarity of voice and vision, and impact all work together to create growth.

  6. Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth

    The most successful artists are able to use inspiration strategically to create innovative works that regularly impress their audience.

  7. Niche Branding

    If you brand yourself into a story, you will be less likely to fall victim to boredom within your branded niche.

  8. Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline

    Watch as Brooke shares every important event in the past eleven years as an artist to see which were the most helpful in propelling her career forward.

  9. How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?

    When you learn to celebrate small successes like they are big successes, you will rewire your brain to find optimism in the journey rather than pessimism.

  10. Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art

    Walk through several categories of meaning to figure out how you create and how others perceive your creations. You will learn how to layer the concepts of your art, create controversy in your ideas, how to make viewers feel something, and figure out where you land on the scale of fixation.

  11. Idea Fluency

    Learn abou how your ability to generate many good ideas in a short time is directly influenced by brain science, and then learn how to control your own idea fluency through exercises.

  12. How to Represent an Idea

    Ideas are represented by four elements: visual, symbolic, experiences, and emotions. Learn how to control those elements in your work by figuring them out in your work.

  13. How to Innovate an Idea

    By examining your sense of style, sense of idea, and sense of innovation, we will walk through exercises to not only create what is in your mind, but to take it further to stir yourself and your audience.

  14. Creating a Dialogue With Your Art

    Dialogue comes from provocation and response. Take a look at how to provoke an audience through visual and thematic clues, and then how to issue a definitive call to action.

  15. Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image

    Find out the differences between coming up with ideas for a single image vs. a series and see examples of series Brooke has created to deconstruct how they work.

  16. Transforming a Single Image Into a Series

    A look at how to take a single idea and transform it into a cohesive series by focusing on visuals, theme, and through-line.

  17. How to Tell a Story in a Series

    Storytelling can unfold thematically, abstractly, linearly, and/or concretely. Here you will look at how story structure can help create a more impactful series.

  18. How to Create Costumes From Fabric

    Look at which fabrics work best for costuming, how color plays a role in costume selection, and how to tea dye or coffee stain costumes.

  19. Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes

    See which costumes Brooke uses again and again and how to build a costume wardrobe with a few essentials that won’t break your budget.

  20. Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image

    Brooke will demonstrate how creating texture on both skin and costumes can create a more dynamic look in the final image.

  21. Create Physical Elements in an Image

    Brooke will share ideas of how to create sculptural elements in your images, like using wire, paper mache, and more.

  22. Shooting for a Fine Art Series

    How you can create cohesion and conceptual flow across images in a series.

  23. Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  24. Wardrobe and Texture

    How to choose wardrobe based on the concept of the image, and how to add texture to make the image more visually appealing.

  25. Posing for the Story

    Brooke will photograph three different poses, each one changing the story of the image, to demonstrate how pose can alter the viewer’s perception of the series.

  26. Choosing an Image

    Brooke will explain why she chose one image over another to demonstrate the need for angles and dynamic movement within an image.

  27. Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  28. Posing for the Story

    Brooke walks through poses that become more and more complex, from posing the model behind a Plexiglas sheet, then adding water, then adding syrup.

  29. Creating Backlight

    Using a portable LED light, Brooke moves the light from the side to the back to create a more abstract image.

  30. Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite
  31. Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite
  32. Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite
  33. Shooting the Background Images
  34. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds
  35. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject
  36. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading
  37. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture
  38. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments
  39. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds
  40. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments
  41. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning
  42. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models
  43. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms
  44. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color
  45. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure
  46. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds
  47. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop
  48. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair
  49. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments
  50. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements
  51. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing
  52. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup
  53. Materials for Alternative Processes

    Brooke shows some materials she uses for alternative processes, or applying texture to an image after it is printed. She shows oil paints, wax, and more.

  54. Oil Painting on Prints

    A look at applying oil paints to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  55. Encaustic Wax on Prints

    A look at applying encaustic wax to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  56. Failure vs. Sell Out

    Brooke shares how the most successful artists straddle a line between personal work and consideration of audience.

  57. Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You

    When you identify areas of your process and craft that are non-negotiable vs. negotiable, you begin to identify how you can work best with clients and what you need to keep sacred.

  58. Branding Yourself Into a Story

    When you consider that branding is a mixture of personality, art, storytelling, and business, you can feel more at ease with your brand not just being one single thing.

  59. The Artistic Narrative

    Defining what stories you want to tell about yourself directly influences how you tell the story of your brand through your business.

  60. Get People to Care About Your Story

    Your brand must inherently bring interest and value to the people who are viewing it. Take a look at how you can begin down that journey.

  61. Get People to Buy Your Story

    From identifying your clientele to figuring out how you can meet their needs, shifting someone from an admirer of your art to a patron of your business is important in becoming a full time artist.

  62. Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice

    Steps we can take to get representatives to pay attention, like the importance of regular interaction and becoming a resource.

  63. Pricing For Commissions
  64. Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints

    Brooke goes through the benefits of selling original prints and how they can be done simply to add to your arsenal as an artist.

  65. Class Outro
  66. Live Premiere
  67. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1
  68. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2
  69. Live Premiere: Q&A
  70. Live Premiere: Photo Critique


a Creativelive Student

Brooke never fails to deliver. I found this course superb from start to finish. From exercising your creative 'muscle', demystifying taking self portraits, and showing that they don't have to be perfect before you begin editing, to walking you through her editing process and how to price your work. Brooke's enthusiastic personality and excitement about the work shines through it all. Definitely recommended!

Søren Nielsen

Thank for fantastic motivating an very inspiring. The story telling and selling module was very helpful - thanks from Denmark

Rebecca Potter

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brooke for this amazing class. Inspired and so full of practical knowledge, this is the best class I've ever watched. You have given me the confidence to pursue what I've always been afraid to do. Watch this space!