Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Choosing Images for Your Portfolio

Here we have a bunch of prints, and these are from my printed portfolio that I would bring along to different portfolio reviews, or galleries, or things like that. Some of them are outdated now, some of them I wouldn't use. But these in general, are images that I would bring along to a portfolio review and they're completely out of order. And I thought that it would be nice just to take a fresh look at these images, and put them in order, and figure out if any should not be in there at all. Or if some stand out as being a little bit weird and how we can deal with that in this portfolio situation. So, I've got a whole bunch of portfolios here, I mean prints, and some of them I think I can immediately identify as being a little bit out of the ordinary in this set. So, if you guys had to say, which one of these feels off, which one would you say? Yup. The third one. The purple, okay. So we've got purple, and this image is definitely one of the weirder ones, I think. The reason is, fir...

st of all, that it's a color palette that you're not seeing anywhere else, but also it's a man. And this is my only man, and he is the only man that I like to photograph in my pictures. He is not my husband, I get asked all the time. But, he's really fantastic to photograph and he is my good friend and I think that he fits in my portfolio in some place. But it's really easy to see how he doesn't work in this situation, because all of these other colors are a bit, well at least surrounding him, are a bit muted. They're a little bit feminine (giggles) as he is as well in this image with all the purple vines. But, yes, you could definitely say that this is one image that doesn't quite work within this set. Did anyone have a different reaction? Any other image that maybe... The root hair. The root hair, what's your reason for that? It's a dramatically different pose than the rest. It is, yeah. I agree with you completely on that one. Anyone else have a different sense? Okay, so mine would actually be this one. I feel like this color red is just a little bit off from the earthy tones that the rest of them have. This one is very bright, it's very almost orange-y color. Same with the one right below it. And, ironically, this image, I would argue, has less concept than all of the others. This one, even though you see this pose mimicked here, it still doesn't have quite the same conceptual overtone to it that many of the other ones do. So, I would argue that I might take this image out even though it has a decent concept. I think it's a little bit plain. It's a little bit simple, and she doesn't look totally integrated into the scene that she's in. Which is a little bit bothersome to me. And then these two both don't have quite the right color palette, so I'm going to remove them. But, you know what's really interesting to me? When I remove those two images, and I look at the colors flowing throughout these, suddenly the purple fits just a little bit more to me. Because, it's the only real pop of color now. Yes, you have red and you have teal, but somehow they seem really muted, don't they? There isn't anything bright going on, there isn't a lot of contrast going on, but he carries that. So, I'm going to use him, actually, as the boldest thing in my portfolio out of these images, and put that first. So, that now, we have our man starting off the portfolio. And I could switch that, right, like I could take that over here, and put him last. So, that people, you know, they'll get through my portfolio and be like, "Whoa, a man!" or something like that. (giggles) Maybe... I tend to like to order my prints by color. I think that that works really well. I think that it's something to really consider. And we have a really nice color palette going on here, because we've got two reds, two neutrals, and two cooler images. So, that could make a really good flow, but I don't know if it would. So, if I had to say the boldest image, I would probably say this one. Because this image has the red, which is always very striking, against a very contrasting color. And when you have that, it can be a little bit jarring to look at. So, that's this image here, which you can see a little bit better there. And I'm gonna put that first. So, if I put that red image first, I then have to decide do I wanna alter the images, like stagger them so then it's red, neutral, blue... Red, neutral, purple. I don't know, there could be any way of doing it. I might decide to go in order with my reds and my neutrals, like this, so that I had a nice flow of color that makes sense from warm to cool. The other, actually, it's quite interesting 'cause now I'm noticing that these two images are almost the same concept, right? Except, this concept's way cooler to me. So, I'd rather keep the one that's really interesting. Instead of the one that's a little bit less. Okay, so we've got a flow, so what would you guys do differently if I presented this to you? How would you feel better looking at these images, if you had to say? And it's good to think about pose as well. What pose flows from, pose flows from one to the other. For example, here we have this girl who's hunched over. And that might work well with this pose that's a little bit different. So, it might be good to have these next to each other because she's laying down and because she's hunched over. It has that same sort of (claps hands) back to the ground feeling to it, whereas the rest are standing. Just something to keep in mind. You might not care about color at all. You might only think about concept, and if you're only thinking about concept, then what fits here? I don't know if I can answer that. Nope, this is how I like it. So, how do you guys like it? Any thoughts on what you might do differently? You're allowed to tell me, I don't mind. I get that the first two are connected by color, but it seems really jarring... Image-wise. I agree, yup. From the plain to the very busy, to the full-figure to the more close-up. I don't necessarily know what I would do about it, but... Yeah, no, it's good to know because... Well, you guys know, I mean, as artists you look at your images so frequently that suddenly you're like, you can't see it anymore, you know? Like, I recognize that this image is a creepy picture, and that people have often commented to me that it's a really sad image. And I have a hard time seeing it 'cause all I can remember is how I was at this weird abandoned location with my sister-in-law and I made her jump in this murky water, and it was hilarious. And that's what I think of when I see this picture. So, I have to really take myself out of me, the artist who made this, and look at this objectively. And that's why it's so good to get help from people. To really figure out what works in your portfolio, what doesn't. This is not a dark image, necessarily. I mean, you might see it that way, depending on if you see this as blood or not, or whatever you think is happening here. It's not really a dark image, so what goes with that then? How might you reorder this conceptually if you're gonna keep that image first? Maybe these go together, 'cause they're almost like opposite compositions, which I think is kind of interesting. And then maybe you go to this one, because this one's getting a little bit darker so then maybe we transition into this one which has a similar flow. And then I like how this arm is out and this arm is out, and that kind of works together, next to each other. And then I, I don't know, these guys just... They're my two oddballs on the end, what can you do?

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