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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 81 of 138

Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 81 of 138

Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order


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.


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


April S.

I tuned in for most of Brooke's lessons in this course and watched some of them more than once as they were rebroadcast. First I want to say that Brooke is a very good instructor. Her easy-going, friendly, down-to-earth, somewhat quirky manner cannot be mistaken for unprofessional. She is very prepared, she speaks well (not a bunch of hemming and hawing), she is thoughtful, she is thorough, she is very relatable and at ease, and she is definitely professional in her presentation. I really thought when I first tuned in that it would mostly be background noise while I was at work, sound to keep me company. Not because I didn't like Brooke but I really didn't think I was into fine art photography nor did I think I cared about the business side of things much. Not now anyhow. I was really wrong. Brooke sparked a deep interest in me to delve into fine art photography, to consider creating images for myself, from my imagination. In fact, I realized that this was something I'd been thinking about for a couple of years though I hadn't put a name to it (the idea of creating pre-conceived images based on my own creative goals). I gleaned many little treasures from her about image sizes, working with printers, different types of paper, selling, interacting with galleries, and so much more. I may not need all of what she taught right now because I'm definitely headed in another direction at the moment, but she planted ideas and information in my head that I know will be useful at some point. Things I may not have thought of on my own, but that seed is in my head now so when the time comes, I'll know. I'd really like to buy her course but at the moment, with the holidays right around the corner, it's not in my personal budget. I'm grateful to have caught the live and rebroadcast lessons though, and her course is on my list to own. I think it's a great reference to be consulted over and over again, not watched once and forgotten. Kudos Brooke for really putting together an excellent course.

Ron Landis

I'm retired now, but spent decades in the people and training business. Brooke is extraordinary! Even though this course is extremely well organized and she's left nothing unattended, she moves through it with friendly conversational manners and without a sense of it being stilted. It's as though we are all her friends, not students, as she shares her heart and passion with us. What a joy it is to listen to her. And what a clear, unambiguous command of her subject. Wow! She explains it with such ease using explanations and techniques that won't overwhelm artists just starting their portfolio or the Photoshop-squeamish among us; but despite its simplicity her resulting art is breathtaking and beyond original. I wish more of my professors at school were as engaging. This was by far my best buy at Creative Live yet.

Angel Ricci

When the title says comprehensive, it means comprehensive! I loved every part of this course. It's inspirational, motivating, and insightful towards creating art work. Even if you are not necessarily considering a fine art specialty, the concepts discussed in this course are applicable to many areas! I find this super useful as a videographer and photographer and look to apply all of these exercises and concepts for my personal and business work moving forward. It is lengthy, but you will not regret a single minute. Brooke Shaden is an amazing artist and educator. I recommend keeping up with her work, presentations, and any future courses that may come in the future.