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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 100 of 138

Benefits of Galleries


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 100 of 138

Benefits of Galleries


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.


  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.