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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 33 of 70

Shooting the Background Images

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

33. Shooting the Background Images


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:07:25
3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear Duration:05:37
5 What Factors Dictate Growth Duration:08:24
7 Niche Branding Duration:04:57
11 Idea Fluency Duration:10:33
12 How to Represent an Idea Duration:07:01
13 How to Innovate an Idea Duration:07:07
22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series Duration:05:45
24 Wardrobe and Texture Duration:04:54
25 Posing for the Story Duration:05:32
26 Choosing an Image Duration:01:23
28 Posing for the Story Duration:04:17
29 Creating Backlight Duration:02:37
33 Shooting the Background Images Duration:06:14
54 Oil Painting on Prints Duration:05:41
55 Encaustic Wax on Prints Duration:03:09
56 Failure vs. Sell Out Duration:05:14
58 Branding Yourself Into a Story Duration:05:40
59 The Artistic Narrative Duration:05:26
61 Get People to Buy Your Story Duration:11:36
63 Pricing For Commissions Duration:06:43
65 Class Outro Duration:01:00
66 Live Premiere Duration:16:14
69 Live Premiere: Q&A Duration:16:10
70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique Duration:47:33

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.


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!