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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 31 of 70

Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

31. Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 07:25 2 Overview of Brooke’s Journey 20:13 3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear 05:37 4 Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career 03:26 5 What Factors Dictate Growth 08:24 6 Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth 05:18 7 Niche Branding 04:57 8 Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline 24:27
9 How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind? 10:02 10 Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art 05:54 11 Idea Fluency 10:33 12 How to Represent an Idea 07:01 13 How to Innovate an Idea 07:07 14 Creating a Dialogue With Your Art 05:48 15 Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image 03:43 16 Transforming a Single Image Into a Series 03:12 17 How to Tell a Story in a Series 03:28 18 How to Create Costumes From Fabric 07:20 19 Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes 02:19 20 Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image 02:56 21 Create Physical Elements in an Image 10:22 22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series 05:45 23 Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert 04:08 24 Wardrobe and Texture 04:54 25 Posing for the Story 05:32 26 Choosing an Image 01:23 27 Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass 11:34 28 Posing for the Story 04:17 29 Creating Backlight 02:37 30 Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite 17:51 31 Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite 06:31 32 Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite 07:40 33 Shooting the Background Images 06:14 34 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds 24:35 35 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject 04:20 36 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading 02:45 37 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture 15:24 38 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments 03:21 39 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds 05:25 40 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments 03:55 41 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning 03:21 42 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models 06:58 43 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms 02:17 44 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color 02:47 45 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure 04:04 46 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds 10:45 47 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop 06:11 48 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair 05:07 49 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments 04:49 50 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements 05:00 51 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing 08:46 52 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup 03:34 53 Materials for Alternative Processes 06:20 54 Oil Painting on Prints 05:41 55 Encaustic Wax on Prints 03:09 56 Failure vs. Sell Out 05:14 57 Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You 03:35 58 Branding Yourself Into a Story 05:40 59 The Artistic Narrative 05:26 60 Get People to Care About Your Story 03:36 61 Get People to Buy Your Story 11:36 62 Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice 03:41 63 Pricing For Commissions 06:43 64 Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints 02:11 65 Class Outro 01:00 66 Live Premiere 16:14 67 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1 04:41 68 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2 07:12 69 Live Premiere: Q&A 16:10 70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique 47:33

Lesson Info

Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite

Okay, so I feel really good about that set of images. That was all One image. Essentially. So we've got the main shot of the candles, and then we've got the dress on. We've got the hair and that's it for that shot. So now I'm going to do my full hair picture. And I just mentioned that I, you know, you gotta obey the laws of physics. Hair wouldn't be standing straight up, right? But if you are knowingly bending the laws of physics and you are positive that that's what you want to do because that's the surreal part of your photo, then go for it. So for this picture, my hair is gonna be spread all the way around, Uh, the backdrop here, which will be a wall eventually. There's a little trick to this, and that is that either I need to take my main shot with my hair pulled up so that I get a really clean neck. I wanna make sure that you see my neck, because if I take a picture of myself standing like this, but then in another shot, my hair is up like that, it's going to make no sense So that...

's what I am trying to dio is to make totally sure that it makes sense. So if you're bending the laws of physics, then you have to still figure out if it's going to work to the person's mind, that's viewing it. Let's go see if we can get our main shop for the hair pictures, and this is going to be, ah, little bit more challenging to get that main shocks. I won't just be standing still. My hair is going to be moving, but we'll see how it goes, all right, I'm just going to stand as though this is a wall, because it will be eventually and it's pretty sturdy. But it moves, so as long as I don't crash into it, it should be okay. I do want to make it look like my hair is climbing up the wall, so I wanna make sure that my hair connects with the backdrop when I flip it up. This is going to be really important for natural shadows that will fall on the backdrop later on and editing. So I don't have to recreate that because when you think about compositing often you think about shadows. Something in an image is not grounded. It doesn't look like it's really there unless there it's creating a shadow somewhere on the surrounding. So I wanna make sure that the hair is touching the wall and it's creating natural shadows. So let's see about this official Maine shot. I'm going to go from the side, Okay? We'll see how that looks. Now. That was not, um, particularly good is a main shot, I think so. We'll call that a test shot because I wasn't really posed, and I can see that I have some motion blur here. So I'm going to adjust my settings to go up from 2 50 for my shutter speed, going to go up Thio 400 here and take my eyes so up to compensate to about 2000. So let's do another shot. And the problem with what I just did was that I wasn't posing my body. I was just focused on the hair, and this is the difficulty of self portraiture is that you have to think about all the different components at once, so I think I'm going to try one more time. But I'm going to try to pose my body how I want it. I need to think about what that's going to be. So I want my arms out. Do I want them in? Do I want TEM hidden? What am I going to Dio? So I'm going to try to keep my arms in so that they're hidden to start and we'll just see how that looks. And I caught my hair in my armpits, so I'll try again. We'll see. Okay, we got one decent shot, maybe even two, so it looks pretty good. I'm going to a just a couple of things. I'm gonna keep my feet together because my feet were definitely not quite so graceful in that shot. So I'm gonna make sure that I keep my feet together and we'll try again. This time, I will keep my arms out, or at least one so that there's a little bit more context of the body and reset the camera, and it's going to do this a few more times. Okay, Now, what I'm not doing very well is getting my hair to hit the backdrop. So I'm gonna really fling it this time. I'm not gonna worry about my body as much. Did you see how it really hit that time? That's what I want. And we'll do it from the other side because we're going to create a big fanning effect. Okay, let's check those. Oh, they look good. And I think we have enough to cover the entire area. So I'm pretty happy with ease. The only thing that I didn't get is one really good leg shot. So I'm going to try to get one perfect leg shot, which should be easy, because I just have to stand there, and then we should be pretty well finished with that that image. So I'm going to just tiptoe here with my really dirty feet, okay? And maybe I'll get some dress while I'm at it. I like to just get us many shots as I can when I think of it, because you never know when you're gonna want to use it. Might as well pose my feet at the same time. Okay, I think we got it. So that's going to be image number two

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.


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!