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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 22 of 70

Shooting for a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

22. Shooting for a Fine Art Series
How you can create cohesion and conceptual flow across images in a series.


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

Shooting for a Fine Art Series

we're doing our first shooting segment, and I'm so excited for this because I am doing a samsara shoot with you today. I have never done one of these with anyone, Really. I just kind of sit alone in my garage, and it's weird and creepy, so this is really fun to do with somebody. I'm here with Anna, and I'm so happy that I finally get to photograph a model. And I love working with Anna, So we have been looking at my Siri's fourth wall. She was one of the models in that series, so you've seen her come up a couple of times already previously in the class. So today we're going to do something super fun, and we are working with a lot of different materials to create interesting textures. And I want to share a little bit about what this concept is before we dive in, because we've talked a lot about concept and ideation and how we create concepts that are not only meaningful and that connect to an audience but that also innovate and bring something different to the table. So the idea today is...

we've got this fish bully thing. This is gonna go on in his head. And the concept here is that there is this whole world outside of us that's dried up. That's Baron. And the only thing that's still alive is what's in her imagination in her head or literally inside this fish bowl that's going to be filled with flowers that I've got here. And we're going to be playing with texture a lot. So we've got some clay to rub on skin create that kind of dried cracked look like we're going for for everything outside of the helmet outside of the head. So I'm going to draw a sketch here of exactly what I'm going for. When I say exactly, don't take me at my word because it's gonna be one of the worst drawings you've ever seen. But I'm gonna do my best, Okay? There's the bowl. It's gonna go like that and oh, dear, it's already This has gone very, terribly wrong. That's okay, don't worry. Okay, that's a really good sketch that I made. And I always like to do a sketch. Even if Onley I understand what's going on just so that I could get a sense of pose and make sure that I know what's going in the shot. So we've got some flowers, these air flowers. You're not gonna be able to tell that these air flowers filling up the fish tank. So the important thing here is that I know exactly what has to go into this picture. There's the fish bowl, So I'm writing that down and I wanna make sure that there is depth of concept here. I already explained the concept. There's this fish bowl. There's a lot going on inside there because that's the part that's alive. Everything else is dead and dying and decaying outside of that. So I wanna make sure that it looks alive in the bowl. And that's why I have this spray bottle here so that we can spray the inside and probably maybe a little bit the outside. Just if it shows better of the bowl to show that there's this sort of, you know, growth inside of there, which can't happen without water. So that's going to be juxtapose. I'm just going to write down water and then we have clay. And in the final image here, we're going tohave draw these air cracks. Okay. Wow, I think my drawings have gotten worse. Three ground is gonna be really cracked, and it's going thio not look like this tarp. I just put a tarp down because things get messy and I don't want to get the floor messy. But eventually I'm gonna replace it with just a little bit of cracks, like she's sitting on cracked Earth. We don't have that here because we're shooting in the studio. Let me show you the set a little bit because this is not, however, normally work. Usually. Like I said, I'm in my garage, usually by myself, and I usually just have a bed sheet as my backdrop. So today we're working with an actual backdrop, which is really beautiful. This came from Obsidian studios, and it's really beautiful because it already has texture on it. So I don't need to really worry about adding a ton of texture in the background unless I want to, unless I think that it's going to enhance the image in some way. But this is a really lucky situation that we have, so I'm shooting with a backdrop. But as long as it's anything dark, I want every single image in this Siri's to have a dark background. So you've seen as in the Samsara Siri's so far. We have a lot of images that have a really yellow hue to them and a really dark backdrop. And those air some of the markers of that Siri's. We've been talking about syriza lot, and how do you create cohesion throughout a Siri's? Yes, part of it is theme, and the theme of Samsara is to explore death and grief and to normalize those conversations. But the visual, you know, through line like we've been talking about is dark background, really yellow sort of hue to the subject in the overall environment and a lot of contrast on the subject. You've probably noticed with some of the images that I don't use a lot of color in this Siri's. And when I do, it's very sparse and really the main color I've been using his green. So I'm probably going to let the green from the flowers really come out and let that be the only color that you see in the image. So that's how we're going to proceed. I'm just using window light and for the purposes of filming this class we have another light in the studio, but to me it doesn't really matter. So when we think about lighting, yes, lighting matters. But I tend to use whatever is available instead of fiddling with lights. And that's just a personal preference. So if you would love to play with lights, play with lights. And if you don't like to play with lights, who cares? Do whatever you want that makes you happiest. Remember, we talked about how people don't think enough about the day to day life and what makes you happiest doing just on a daily basis. I'm not happy working with lights, so I'm not gonna work with lights. I'm just going to work with what I have. That said, If there's something specific that's going to enhance the Siri's, do it now, I know that I could do that in post. I can add a lot of contrast and really brighten it up the way that I want. So I'm just not worried about that in camera

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!