Photo & Video > Fine Art > Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide > Choose Every Element For The Series

Choose Every Element for The Series


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Choose Every Element for The Series

I think if we start breaking down images, then we can plan them so much better. If we really consider every single element of what goes into a picture, first of all, you'll probably have more confidence to sell your work, at better prices. Because if you really think about every decision that goes into an image, there's a lot of decision making involved. And in fact, I have a friend who's pretty indecisive, and she, one day, was like, I'm gonna make a self portrait. I'm just gonna do this. I've seen you do it so many times. I'm just gonna do this. And she sends me these pictures; she's texting me these pictures of her like, laying in her apartment wrapped in a bed sheet, and with the text, this is so hard. And I was like, yes! What a great feeling for a photographer to have somebody that you know be like, wow, what you do is really hard. It's very satisfying because they're thinking about every single decision that we make really easily oftentimes. What camera angle am I going to use? ...

How do I choose my settings? What wardrobe am I gonna use? All those things. There are so many decisions. So let's talk about them. All of the decisions. First of all there's lighting. And I'm just gonna make a comprehensive list of everything I could think of. And if you think of something that's not here, just let me know, and we will add it to the list at some point. But we've got lighting, okay? That's like, first and foremost. You're a photographer, you definitely have to know something about light. Composition. So, I want you to put yourself in the mindset of somebody who has never taken a picture before, and how daunting this list will be to think about. Composition, props, any objects you wanna put in the frame. We've got the set, the location, where are you going to do this when you have literally every option in the world. You could do it anywhere with anything. What are you going to wear for this particular image that you're trying to create, or will your model wear, if that's applicable? Hair and makeup, you know? Are my pig tails appropriate for this photo I'm going to do? Or are they not? Most likely not. But one can dream. Camera lens. I mean, literally, what are you going to use? So, are you going to change your lens, do you want it to be wide, do you want it to be tight? Posing. How am I going to sit or stand, or jump in this picture? What am I going to be doing? That's the hardest one for people who have never taken a picture before, I find. They're like, oh, there's a model. Do something, model. Have you ever heard people say that? Just do something. Oh no. We have to tell them. The time; time of day, time period. Could be either one, but we have to think about those things. The emotion or feeling that you're trying to communicate in the image. The mood and atmosphere. How do you want it to feel, how do you want it to look? The colors that you're choosing; super important. The editing of the image; if you're going to edit it, or not. What will this turn into later? Your physical shooting process. How is it going to go? Do you wanna have five assistants who are all doing the work for you? Do you wanna do it all by yourself? What is your process? Is there a certain genre that you're trying to work in? Do you have an idea of a fairy tale princess photos shoot that you wanna do, and if so, how do you make all of these things fit that genre? Will you print the image later on? Do you ever want this to be in print? Are you paying attention to the resolution? Are you paying attention to the file sizes? Things like that. I couldn't think of a better word for this, but does it have any ephemeral qualities? Is it a piece of art that will go away one day, that has a short shelf life, or is it something that will live on and on, and on? How are you going to work within that? And then theme. Is there a theme that you're working with? So, this is a lot, oh, one more. (laughs) Interactivity, yes. So is this an art piece that is interactive for people? Do you want people to engage in any certain way later on, or is this something that you're gonna keep just for yourself? That's a lot of things to think about. I mean, and this is just what I came up with off the top of my head when I was trying to make a list. And you might think of something else. And if you have anything else, let me know. Still very long list though. But if you do have something, do say. Okay? Okay. That's a lot of things though, and so, when my friend sent me that picture, and she said, this is hard, I didn't just think, ha-ha, she knows how hard it is. I really thought, it is hard. It should be hard, and too often it's not hard for us, 'cause we don't think about these things every single time we take a picture. Let's just be honest. I know that I don't. For sure. I mean, there are so many times when I go create, and I'm like, I love the look of that tree, I'm just gonna make something with it, 'cause it looks cool. And then I start. And, I always get to the end of that process feeling a little bit, one, guilty that I didn't really think it through, and two, I don't really like it that much. It could have been better if I had just thought about every single one of these things, which is daunting. Nobody wants to go out on location, and like, you've got your camera, and you've got this model doing something really cool, and you're like, one moment, while I go through my checklist. Nobody wants to do that. But what if we did? That's my point. What if we did. What if we went through every single one of these things for every single picture we took? I feel like, inherently they would have to be better, or at least more meaningful, 'cause better is a bad word, but more meaningful. In my opinion. So that's what I try to do with my images. And this is actually an image that, I did not love how it turned out. And there were many reasons why I didn't love it. And it was okay, I mean, I'm not saying like, oh, look at this horrible picture that I did, but there were some things lacking. But nonetheless, we can still talk about all of these things, all of these crazy things that went into it. So I thought about, where am I going to take this picture? It was 4am when I got up to take this picture, and part of me was like, you know, I'll just do this against my wall here at home later after I sleep in til seven o'clock. That was part of me that said, I could do this by compositing. I could just put myself in this location later, and who really cares? But then the other part of me said, no, I like to create with experiences. I want to be there. I want to have this experience. So I went there at 4:30 in the morning, and I took this picture. I brought my hula hoop, my trusty hula hoop, that I love so much. It's purple and glittery, and I always have to fight that, but, there it is. I brought a stool. So, so far, what you know is this: I went on location, I brought the props with me that I needed to do everything there without having to composite too much, except for the actual hula hoops that I photographed on location for lighting consistency and angle consistency. And then, I've got this dress, so I'm making conscious decisions about location and wardrobe. I've chosen a location that's pretty nondescript, I've chosen a wardrobe that is certainly nondescript, very simple, all blue, no real time period associated with it. I'm not showing a face, so there's no character consideration here. It's not about the person, it's about the form. And then if we go back, we can probably choose something for every single one of these things that was a consideration, and I would even argue that maybe was not a consideration; that I just forgot to think about. And that's probably why it fell short for me with this particular image.

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