Benefits of Galleries


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Benefits of Galleries

All right, here are the benefits of the gallery in my opinion. They're marketing to the right people. It is extremely difficult to put your work online and know that the right people are going to see it, to buy your work. If you were to say right now, "I'm gonna put my work online "and I'm going to put it on the website "where art buyers go." What website is that? Yeah, I don't know either. I haven't found one yet. Let's make it together,, something like that, it'd be great. I don't know where to go just to get your work in front of the right art buyers, because anyone can be an art buyer. You don't have to just sell to collectors, it could be literally anyone in the world who thinks it's worth investing in. But the benefit of a gallery is, that they already, first of all, have a list of people that collect from their gallery. There's this whole weird society of galleries and art buyers, and art buyers really tend to create relationships with certain galleries and they'll...

come back again, and again, and again to that gallery to see what's new with their artists. It's really good to know that the gallery is marketing to the right people, to people who first of all, pay that price range for the art. That they're gonna walk in and expect a certain price so that there's no sticker shock because that is perhaps one of the most challenging things to me is, that I let my galleries make most of my sales, but when I tend to make sales, it's almost always if I start to engage people online, it's almost always people thinking that the prints are gonna be really, really low prices, like $50 for example, versus the $1, that it might actually cost. I find that there's a really big discrepancy between people who go direct to the artist to buy the work versus people who go straight to the gallery. I'm tending to make bigger sales through galleries 'cause they're marketing to the right people. Then, they cultivate relationships with our buyers, as I mentioned, so these art buyers are not just loyal to the artist that they collect, but they're loyal to the galleries themselves and they have relationships. For each of my galleries, every time there's an exhibition, they send out an email to their email list of art buyers saying, "I know that you're interested in this artist. "She's having a new exhibition. "Come and take a look." That's really good for me, 'cause then I don't have to do that. I hate doing stuff like that. They know how to sell things and I really wanna emphasize this because I don't know how to sell things. If you do, if you're really good at sales tactics, good. Be good at it. Do it yourself. I think that's great. But, I'm not good at selling my own work and it's not because I don't think that it's valuable, I'm just bad at it. I don't know what to say. I get all choked up. I stumble like this and that's what happens. They don't. They know sales tactics. In fact, I would even argue that one of their sales tactics is simply owning a gallery, because people going into a gallery expect to pay certain prices, versus someone going straight to the artist might expect to pay a lot less. One sales tactic is simply having a gallery space and bringing people into that space. They give credibility to your art. I think that this is quite a debatable topic because and I tried to use the word credibility so that it wasn't value or anything like that, but I say credibility in terms of the fine art world and building a reputation for yourself and sort of climbing a ladder of getting into better and better galleries. The reason why I say credibility is because they're building your resume for you. They're giving you exhibitions. They are allowing your work to be displayed. The moment you pass that little hurdle of having your work displayed in a gallery, that's going to signal to other galleries that somebody took the chance on you. Maybe you're worth it, maybe you're easy to work with, whatever. At least it gives some credibility. And then they're your representative. What I mean by this is, think of it as an advertising agency. If somebody out there, like their job is to photograph cars and they're a car photographer. I'm sure that's a thing, I've never heard of it, but I'm sure it is. If their job is to photograph cars, you would probably assume that they have an agent because they're doing commercial work. The same is true in fine art. The gallery is your representation. They're representing your work. Not every gallery will represent you and I think that's an important distinction because some galleries will do one-off shows with you. They'll invite you in. You'll have an exhibition and then, that's it, you leave with your work and you don't stay with that gallery. But, other galleries will be looking to represent their artists, instead of just having one-off exhibitions, really the next step is finding somebody to house you and your work, and take you into their little family. That looks something like the art fairs, the ads that they will place in magazines. That's when you'll start to really get the benefits of a gallery, when they're investing in you long-term. The other good thing about them investing in you is that they keep your work all year round, so you don't just have an exhibition, then you take that work away, but you have an exhibition, you give them your work, and when the exhibition ends, they keep that work in the back room all year round. We'll talk a little bit about the back room scenario later on. It's my favorite thing about galleries, but for now, just know that they represent you, and they give your work a home. I went through my stash of prints from over the years that I've printed and not sold, or printed and been given back by galleries. I had over 100 prints in my house. That hurts me. I don't want them in my closet, I want them on gallery walls. The more galleries that represent you, the more homes you have for your work to live and breathe, and maybe be sold to people instead of just being in my closet really sad, and dirty, and yucky. They also prevent against scammers. I've been finding this is an issue more, and more, and more in the last couple of years. I never noticed it outside of that. But, I'll get an email from somebody and that email will say, "I would love to buy a print." And then I start the process and then I realize, this person doesn't seem quite right. I had this happen recently where all of sudden, this guy was saying, "I wanna buy a print but I can't send you the money "right away because we're moving "and my wife is." And I'm like, I don't know about this. The whole time, he's saying, "Just send me the print now, "and I'll pay you next week." I'm like, come on. There was all sorts of other weird details with it and the thing is, immediately after I started realizing something was weird, I forwarded that email to my gallery. She wrote back, she said, "That's a scam, I've seen this guy before." She knew him immediately, that that was, and I wasted two weeks corresponding with this guy about the print that never was to be. Scammers are awful and they're out there and they're trying to get prints, or money, or whatever the case may be for them.

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 39Locations 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


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.

a Creativelive Student

What an amazing 20 days this is going to be! Brooke is so enthusiastic and has such a lovely manner. What a bargain for all of the information Brooke will be sharing with us. So excited. Thanks Brooke and Creative Live. :)