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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 33 of 70

Shooting the Background Images


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 33 of 70

Shooting the Background Images


Lesson Info

Shooting the Background Images

we're over here at this wall because the thing that we're going to do with the pictures that we just shot is to kind of transpose them against this wall. Like I said, if we just shot against a backdrop, then there wouldn't be any context. And you have to have context to really understand the story of the image. This is where location comes in. In representational art, we have to represent a location by showing a location. Otherwise, it's just the either of darkness, and there's nothing there to ground us. So here, I'm going to be shooting this wall as a plate. Ah, plate is just a blank shot that you put something into. So I'm not shooting myself here because I already shot myself on the back drop. I'm just going to shoot this wall so that we can put the backdrop up there against the wall. We're going to do that very simply. And for this shot, I don't need the camera to be vertical, so I'm just gonna go ahead and turn it back the horizontal, and we're going to frame this up pretty simil...

ar to how we did the other shots. I'm not going to change the height of the camera. That way, everything is still at the same angle, so we shouldn't have a perspective issue at all. And I'm just going thio, get as much of the wall as I can. Really, really simple. I'm just gonna get it in focus right there and take a quick shot of the wall. It's really simple, not a lot going on. I just photographed the wall and I focused down at the baseboard, and I'm gonna lock my focus now to manual focus on my lens. And then I'm going to tilt up just to get the blank wall with just a little bit of the floor showing that's going to give me enough wall to tilt up with the reason why I just locked My focus. There is because the camera doesn't know what to focus on when there's just a blank white wall in the shot, so it's going to keep searching for focus. So I locked it off just to take that one picture. So I've got the baseboard on the floor and the wall, and eventually it's just going to be me standing in the space. But with a dark wall instead of a white wall. So that's how I'm dealing with that. Now I want to make sure that I get some sort of depth, some interest in the shot. So it's not necessarily just one strip of a wall, which would be totally fine. But I want some options. So I'm going to move the camera over here and I'm going to shoot this corner of the wall. So I'm moving my camera over so that I'm not just rotating it at the corner, and I'm going to shoot this wall here with the hope that it gives some visual interest to the shop. So I just focused again on the baseboard, and I'm going to quickly take that picture and then same thing, manual focus with a tilt up to get that shot. Now, what I've done here is I've essentially allowed myself to take the corner of the wall and flip it so that it looks like we're looking into entire room, so that's gonna be the gold there. Now, the final thing that I want to do is just a really fun bonus self portrait, because I got inspired when I started looking at the space and I love this archway. So I want to do something where I'm peering around the archway. But then my body disappears inside of the arch. So let's just see how it looks to do a really quick, fun self portrait in this space. I'm going to move my camera ever so slightly to get more of that archway, and then I'm going to again go vertical because I'm photographing myself and I will be vertical in the frame. So I'm making sure to get enough of the wall and myself, but not too much so that it doesn't look like I'm really tiny in the frame. And I'm just keeping all of my settings from before. So not doing anything in particular with that. All right, making sure I'm on auto focus very good and finding my remote. Got it. And let's see how this looks. This is just a fun little bonus, because I absolutely love when I have the opportunity to be inspired by a space. This has nothing to do with a Siri's right now, and it's important to know that while I love the idea of conceptualization off a really specific Siri's, that really takes a lot of care in all of the images involved. It's also really nice to play and have fun. And to just be inspired by your space. The more you study your own creative process, and the more you think about what themes and what ideas are important to you, the easier it will be toe walk into any space and find your voice in that space. So this is mine. My little version of playtime with many years of conceptualization under my belt. So I'm going to go over here to take this photo and I'm just gonna have fun. Bye. Posing by peering around the corner. We'll see how it goes for the first time. I'm not so sure. Okay, let's check. Okay, Not bad. I look a little clunky, so I'm going to try another pose. Just trying to be a little bit more elegant. It's not my thing, but I'll do my best. Get all my hair off. Okay? Yeah. Okay. Let's see. Not bad. I like that quite a bit. So I'm going to leave it there. I hope that you enjoy these images and that you have fun editing them. I can't wait to see what you dio And remember, the next time you're shooting it can be fun. It can be playful. And especially if you think about compositing from the beginning, all the way through editing, you're going to have a much easier job of it, so have fun.

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!