Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order

We have got student images pulled up. So, thank you Tory, thank you Sarit for lending your images. We're just going to take a quick look at other people's portfolios, because we can only look at my images for so long without being completely bored and needing to see something else. We're going to look at some thing else. Just really quickly. We're not going to talk about what's good, what's bad, what shouldn't be there, what can be fixed. That'll be for later. But, so, you guys can start getting worried now, for the end of this class, but not yet. We're just going to quickly look through your portfolio. This is how I would do anyone's portfolio, mine, yours, anybody's. It's just going through one by one, getting a sense of your color palette, your flow, what your subject matter is, locations, for example. Anything that might link one image to another. I love this picture of this chicken and this goat. And so, just take a first pass. Now we've gotten a sense. There are a couple things t...

hat I noticed. One is the flowing fabric, and the particular way that you do it. I would say that this image, this picture, and this one go really well together in terms of having some cohesion with the fabric. I would probably say that it would be really good to have these, well, one of two things, either acknowledge that they have a similar flow to them, particularly these two. And recognizing that they go well together. They might bookend your portfolio. They might go right next to each other in your portfolio. Or you might decide, actually I have stronger concept image that can replace one of these, because they're so similar in the way that they're facing, the way that they're posed, the fabric, things like that. If I had to say, I would probably argue that this one looks a little bit more interesting to me, just personally. That's a totally personal note, so not something that you need to listen to in any way, shape, or form. But I really like how she stands out from the clouds and the color palette here. As we look through, what I'm gonna look for first is, "Which image would surprise me, when I saw it first?" If I were to look through these images, and just say, "Which one is the most unique, "or has the most unique perspective, "or has a visual that really surprises me?" I'm just doing one more pass through really quickly to make sure that I didn't overlook anything. Aside from goat and chicken... We're gonna call this "Goat and Chicken" for now on. I would actually say that your first image here, I think should start the portfolio. I find this to be an interesting introduction to the whimsy of your portfolio, which I love. It also has the most bold colors in it, which I think is really interesting to start the portfolio that way. I then might go onto an image like this one, that keep some of the colors, and has some of the whimsy, but starts to bring it a little bit more back to reality in this picture, for me, which I know is weird to say, 'cause there's a man floating with an umbrella, but because of the way that you really see the texture of the grass, and this is a very believable sky that would be there, and the way that it's silhouetted. It's not silhouette totally, but semi-silhouette, I will say. That brings me back to a photographic look, which I think is really interesting to pair with some other images that you have in here. I might do that order of having this one and this one next to each other. Just continuing that perspective as well. The angle of the frame. Having both wide images next to each other. From this image, you kind of have the room to flow into a lot of different things. You could flow with color, into more de-saturated images now. You might pair these two pictures together, that both have a sort of smaller subject, not in the distance, but where you see the whole body in there, versus an image like this, where you see something much more close up. It gives you the ability to flow like this, with these two, or I think, you might go with one of the flowing fabric images, because of the flow of form between them, with this umbrella and then literal flowing fabric after that. Could be really interesting. I would say that the two hardest images to place would be the hands, because there's no person in it, which I don't actually think... I would not take this out of your portfolio. I love this image. But I would question where it should be placed. I think that you'll need to get multiple opinions on this, perhaps. Or use this maybe as a final image, because it works really well. It's sort of like, this is what you can do. This isn't what you have done in your portfolio, but this is a little inkling of a different way of telling stories, that I think is really interesting. I would say that this one doesn't have as much of a place, the goat and chicken, because there are no people in it. That can be a little bit jarring, when there's a subject matter change that's quite drastic. The lighting is beautiful. It's a gorgeous image. I just wouldn't know where to put it in here. It might be a little weird to see this really cool girl with this bow and arrow and then be like, and chickens and goats. That would be my only thought of what doesn't quite flow with the rest of the images. Aside from that, I would say that you'd be really good to start with this image, end with this image, to give them a little taste of something different, and then in between that, flow either with color or composition. I think it's gorgeous. I think you have a great portfolio. I'm going to move on to Sarit now. Are you ready? Yes, okay. We have six images here. Let's quickly go through each one, just to get our sense of the portfolio. I was really excited to look at Sarit's portfolio because this is so outside of what I have any ability to do. I mean, I'm sure that I could take a creative life class and learn something about landscape and stuff like that, but it's so outside of my comfort zone. I really enjoy looking at something that's so different from me. We had a long conversation earlier about the Dead Sea. Wow, what an amazing place. You even said, as we went through, "Maybe we should take out that India picture." I totally get why you say that, especially now that I'm looking at all of these as a whole. Because there's a person, two people in this pictures, whereas there aren't in the others. This is like the opposite that you had, Tory, where you had goat and chicken. Is there a name for that, that I should be calling goat and chicken? Okay, goat and chicken. That was the only one where you didn't have people. Now this is the only one where you do. I definitely understand why you would say that this image doesn't quite belong in this portfolio. I would argue that it's not that it doesn't belong, necessarily, because there is a sense of travel in your images, where these are different places with different themes. This is clearly not the same place as this. Unless it is, but it doesn't look like it. You've got different places with a very similar perspective on each one. Where you seem to be shooting with a wider angle lens. Where you have not distortion necessarily, but the sense of motion coming into each image that I really like. This one does not fit with the subject matter. It does not fit with even the angle of the lens that you're using, necessarily. But it does have a sense of travel and introducing a different space to somebody. This could be a really interesting image to just add more of to this portfolio, which I think could work really well. In terms of images that stand out, I immediately stopped on this picture the first time I saw it. I was in love with it. I thought it was so incredibly beautiful. I would probably start with an image like this, something that is very bold. Even though there isn't any color to it, it still has this sense of alienness, which I just made up. It looks alien to me. I think that that's really bold and dramatic. In terms of picking a flow to these images, I would say that it's probably good to start with this image because it's your only vertical image in this portfolio. I would then flow to either this image or this one, probably this one. It has a water them to it as well. It also has the same sort of composition with the foreground land and the background. Whereas this one doesn't have that sense of foreground so much. I would probably order your images this one, and then this one, and then this one, which is moving us into the blue category here. I think you can't go wrong basically with this one versus this one. But let's say that we're ending your portfolio without the India shot that you have here. I would end it there, because I think that it's a slightly different perspective than we've seen, and there's a lot to look at here. You notice this hot air ballon and you think, "Oh, there's something even more here, "than just the landscape." That could be a really beautiful way to end it. Also giving just a sense of joy to your portfolio, which I think it can't be bad to end a portfolio review with some joy, right? That can always be good to give your portfolio reviewers some happiness. I would say either add more shots of people or take it away, as we discussed. I think that you have a really natural flow to your portfolio, so beautiful work. That's a lot of information about ordering your portfolio, choosing image for your portfolio. There are so many ways that we can do these things. Of course it's all subjective. It's really hard to be objective and step back and say, "Obviously your images go in this order, "and obviously this shouldn't be included, "but this should be." We can debate about it all day. I know, because I have debated about it for days and days in a row with people about my own images and what goes where and what shouldn't be in there. At the end of the day, in my experience with portfolio reviews, it's always a very interesting process. They're often quite forgiving, in the portfolio review process. If you think about it, either they're going to connect with your work on some level, or they're going to not like your work. Let's just be honest, right? People often aren't like, "Oh, I don't really care. "I guess you could do this, I guess you could do that." either they're going to care, 'cause they like what they see, so they wanna help you, or they're not going to care, 'cause they don't connect, so they don't care what's in your portfolio. I'm not saying stress for days over this, or anything like that. What I am saying is be very mindful about how your images flow, how they make people feel, especially. What kind of feeling you wanna leave people with. What you want them to think about. Make a statement, because nothing is better than making a statement with your work, and being memorable. I think that is the most important thing in a portfolio situation. It's to just make somebody remember you. That's the thing that we're all gonna have more and more trouble with, as the population grows and the internet expands.

Class Description

Creating a great photo for a client is one thing - but turning your passion and ideas into a series that is shared, shown, and sold is a whole different business. If you do it right, you’ll be shooting what you love all the time. Learn how to choose which ideas to create, how to turn your concept into a production, and steps to getting your work seen and even sold in Fine Art Photography: A Complete Guide with Award-Winning Photographer, Brooke Shaden.

This is an all-inclusive workshop that provides the tools you need to run a successful and creative business as a fine art photographer. You’ll learn creative exercises to find and develop your ideas, how to create an original narrative, how to produce your own photo series, post production techniques and skills for compositing and retouching, how to write about your work, ways to pitch to galleries and agents, and how to print your pieces so they look like art.

This workshop will take you on location with Brooke as she creates a photo series from scratch. She’ll walk through every step for her photo shoots including set design and location scouting, she’ll cover techniques in the field for capturing your artistic vision, post-production and compositing techniques, as well as printing and framing essentials.

She’ll round out this experience by discussing all of the details that will help make your career a success like licensing, commissions, artists statements, social media plans, gallery prep, and pricing your work.

This comprehensive course is a powerful look into the world of fine art photography led by one of the world’s most talented photographers, Brooke Shaden. Included with purchase is exclusive access to bonus material that gives exercises and downloads for all of the lessons.


1Class Introduction
2Storytelling & Ideas
3Universal Symbols in Stories
4Create Interactive Characters
5The Story is in The Details
6Giving Your Audience Feelings
7Guided Daydream Exercise
8Elements of Imagery
9The Death Scenario
10Associations with Objects
11Three Writing Exercises
12Connection Through Art
13Break Through Imposter Syndrome
14Layering Inspiration
15Creating an Original Narrative
16Analyze an Image
17Translate Emotion into Images
18Finding Parts in Images
19Finding Your Target Audience
20Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
21Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
22Formatting Your Work
23Additional Materials to Attract Clients
24Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
25How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
26Circle of Focus
27The Pillars of Branding
28Planning Your Photoshoot
29Choose Every Element for The Series
30Write a Descriptive Paragraph
31Sketch Your Ideas
32Choose Your Gear
33How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
34What Tells a Story in a Series?
35Set Design Overview
36Color Theory
37Lighting for the Scene
38Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
40Subject Within the Scene
41Set Design Arrangement
42Fine Art Compositing
43Plan The Composite Before Shooting
44Checklist for Composite Shooting
45Analyze Composite Mistakes
46Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
47Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
48Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
49Shoot: Miniature Scene
50Editing Workflow Overview
51Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
52Edit Details of Images
53Add Smoke & Texture
54Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
55Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
56Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
57Self Portrait Test Shoots
58Shoot for Edit
59Shoot Extra Stock Images
60Practice the Shoot
61Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
62Shoot: Vine Image
63Shoot: Sand Image
64Shoot: End Table Image
65Shoot: Bed Image
66Shoot: Wall Paper Image
67Shoot: Chair Image
68Shoot: Mirror Image
69Shoot: Moss Image
70Shoot: Tree Image
71Shoot: Fish Tank Image
72Shoot: Feather Image
73View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
74Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
75Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
76Decide How to Start the Composite
77Organize Final Images
78Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
79Order the Images in Your Portfolio
80Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
81Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
82Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
83Determine Sizes for Prints
84How to Choose Paper
85How to Choose Editions
86Pricing Strategies
87How to Present Your Images
88Example Pricing Exercise
89Print Examples
90Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
91How to Keep Licensing Organized
92How to Prepare Files for Licensing
93Pricing Your Licensed Images
94Contract Terms for Licensing
95Where to Sell Images
96Commission Pricing Structure
97Contract for Commissions
98Questions for a Commission Shoot
99Working with Galleries
100Benefits of Galleries
101Contracts for Galleries
102How to Find Galleries
103Choose Images to Show
104Hanging the Images
105Importance of Proofing Prints
106Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
107Press Package Overview
108Artist Statement for Your Series
109Write Your 'About Me' Page
110Importance of Your Headshot
111Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
112Writing For Fine Art
113Define Your Writing Style
114Find Your Genre
115What Sets You Apart?
116Write to Different Audiences
117Write for Blogging
118Speak About Your Work
119Branding for Video
120Clearly Define Video Talking Points
121Types of Video Content
122Interview Practice
123Diversifying Social Media Content
124Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
125Monetize Your Social Media Presence
126Social Media Posting Plan
127Choose Networks to Use & Invest
128Presentation of Final Images
129Printing Your Series
130How to Work With a Print Lab
131Proofing Your Prints
132Bad Vs. Good Prints
133Find Confidence to Print
134Why Critique?
135Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
136Critique of Brooke's Series
137Critique of Student Series
138Yours is a Story Worth Telling