Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Clearly Define Video Talking Points

Opinions, attracts your ideal client. If you have an opinion, you're more likely to attract somebody with the same opinion. It is a well knows fact, that a lot of people will shy away from having opinions on social media, and in their business in general because the fear is that you'll push those people away, you know. Too many people are saying oh I don't like that, I don't agree with you. And you think that's bad. It's actually really good, because the people who do agree with you are going to really agree with you, and they'll be really loyal to your brand and to what you're putting out there. It shows that you have a prospective, that you're unique in some way when you have an opinion. It is often relevant to your brand, so if the theme is already relevant, then your opinion on that theme is also relevant. And it gives you qualifications which is a weird thing to say, but, and not that you're not qualified if you don't have an opinion, but doesn't it make someone seem like they rea...

lly know what they're talking about if they've already formed an opinion about that thing, I think so. When you share ideas it's for the benefit of others, as well as yourself. So you might have a certain idea on that topic, and that can really help people in their own craft, in their own life, in their mindset, whatever it may be, and should be relevant to your brand. And then experience, backs up your talking points. This goes into telling stories, which is really fun to do. I mean, if you're not a natural story teller, then you might not think that it's very fun, but I love telling stories. And it helps you relate to your audience, because experiences are not universal, but the emotions that we feel from them are. So, if we can tell a story that makes somebody feel the way that we felt, nothing will connect people more than that, I think that's just the greatest. Alright, now these are some questions that we're going to go over at the end as well. And these are questions that you might want to ask yourself to be able to find talking points for a video. What type of work do you do? Simple, we've already done this one, right? Remember when I was like what do you do? And we pretended like we were at a party. I know. How do you do it, why do you do it? What is unique about your process? Where do you find your inspiration? And these are questions that like, most people would get asked in a normal interview. If you were going to sit down and be interviewed, this is probably what will come up. What makes your work unique? What would surprise someone about what you do? What has been your favorite thing to create? How often do you create? And is there a central theme to your work? And you could add a million questions to this list but these are just the most common questions that I personally get asked when people ask me questions. Tips for presenting. Tips for presenting. Oh there's so many tips to talk about, and I picked only the ones that helped me the most. One is eye contact, always make eye contact if possible. This would be a much different class if I stood here talking like this the whole time. Wouldn't you think this was kind of weird if I did this. And you would like definitely not engage with me at all. Or if I felt like I couldn't look at you, so I was always like this, talking to the wall. I can't even do it because it's so awkward to do, but always make eye contact when possible. Cut extraneous words, as we mentioned. Write about your work a lot, write about it, and then you'll be able to speak about it because you'll find yourself writing the same words over and over again when you're describing your work. And those words will stick in your mind, the more you write them, just like that's why people write lines of things, to remember something. Because the more you write it, the more you remember it. And it's weird that you would have to remember your process and remember what your pictures look like. But it's true, when you have lights on you and you're thinking like okay, I have to talk about my work it goes away. It just goes away sometimes. I'm sure that you've been asked a question and you're just like, nope, can't remember. What were we talking about earlier? What did you say that was so funny about forgetting something? I forget, but it was great, anyways. So, yeah, that was a conversation that happened. But, it happens all the time. It happens all the time that we just can't remember, so always write about your work, which I've already told you to do several times. Know what's unique about you. That's the hardest one. Have you figured it out, yet? Keep thinking. What's unique about you? You got it, oh good, I'm glad. And then this idea of being your future best self. This one strikes a bad cord with some people. Because being your future best self might sound like being someone that you're not, and I don't mean that. Although I do mean it a little. What I mean really is think about who you would like to become, and then embody that when you're speaking about your work, and about your business. Because that's the only way that you're going to be that person, is by just doing it, right? You can't be like, oh I wish I was like this other person, or I wish that I would be more confident, and then never act confident. It just doesn't work, so if you want to be more confident, act more confident. And it will come naturally. I know that it will, because it has for me. I was the shyest person you could ever imagine, and I really mean that, and people always say to me, you weren't shy, I don't believe you at all. And I'm like, but you didn't see me crying under my covers every day. So, I know that I was shy, and you just see me now, after I've practiced and practiced to not be that way, because I didn't want to be that way. All I did was just try over and over and over again, and then one day it just started feeling natural. Now, more tips for presenting would be, find good light and then you might say well what is good light? If you're the type of artist that already knows about light, you know, you know what good light is. You know what light you like best in your images. And you might want to use the same light that you use in your images. So that you have that same consistency across all the different mediums that you're working in. Good light for me would be anything soft, anything even, that's how I light my work. I don't want to go buy lights just for my videos because they bother me. Don't like to put lights together so, I'm not going to start doing it for videos. So, think about good light, and a clean background. Unless your thing is a busy background, you know which is some people's thing, but mine isn't. Mine is to have really clean spaces, and I want to try and draw attention to me 'cause the words are coming out of my mouth instead of the background. Make sure that you wear something that connects with your brand. Make sure that you don't look like something that you don't want to be. Now, this goes back to that distinction of your art brand, versus your personality, okay. Sometimes they're two different things. So I'm not going to, in my videos be wearing like old timey night gowns or Victorian dresses, just 'cause that's what I use in my images. And certainly not nude onesies and stuff, that would be extra weird. But I'm going to wear clothes that truly represent who I am. So, am I going to wear headpieces like that, and look like a princess? Heck yeah, I am. Because that's what I love, and that represents me personally. Just a quick notes about microphones, make sure that you're clear, make sure that when you're speaking it's very obvious, that you're annunciating and that the camera's picking it up clearly, and I do this without a microphone, I just want to make that clear. I don't have extra equipment for videos. I stand in a quiet room, I set up my video camera, I talk to it, and it records sound. Now there are probably lots of people who are like, no that's not how it works, you have to have a microphone. Okay, I get that microphones are good, I do recommend it, but I don't have any recommendations, because I use the one in my camera. So, it works pretty well for me though. And make sure that your focus is good, that's my biggest pet peeve, and I never get myself in focus I'm the worst. It's hard when you're all by yourself, but still worth doing. Okay, so I recommend, just your regular DSLR and a portrait lens to try and blur the background a little bit. Just trying to create more separation from the subject and background, it will give it an immediately more professional feeling. And when somebody sees that separation of subject and background, even if they have no idea anything about photography or video, they'll probably assume that it was a professionally done video, rather than something just on a phone. But, it's fine to use your cell phone. If that's what you've got, use it. I don't see no reason not to, there are beautiful things coming out on phones. Microphones, you can find one that's attachable to the top of your camera, like a shotgun microphone that will just point at you, and you can just talk at it. You can use a lavalier mic, which is what I have there. Boop, boop, boop, boop, okay? And there are lots of options, simple and expensive options for you. Editing software, depends on the type of computer that you have. I, like I've always had Windows, I've always had free software for editing, and so I would use Windows Movie Maker, for years and years and years for my videos. iMovie, Avid, Premier, Final Cut Pro, tons and tons of free software as well. My point is there is no excuse to not be making videos. This stuff is so easily accessible for us, that we just should be doing it. Okay, assuming that somebody needs to hear what you have to say. Why am I bringing this up again? Because I don't think that you believe me yet. Genuinely, I think that somewhere in your mind, you're still telling yourself that nobody cares. And I'm very very sensitive about this. Because I really think that people care, and I think that it's up to us to create the content that we want to put out there in the most visually, verbally, interesting way possible so that people can find what they want to find in you, in your work. If we're not doing that, then that's going to fall on us in terms of our business won't be as profitable. We're not going to be able to connect to as many people and that's really frustrating to me. I don't want us to end up in that space. So, always think about that. I brought up this point now of looking past what you look like, because a lot of people will never make a video because of this. And I hope that none of us think that way. I mean trust me, I've been called ugly a fair few times by people on the internet. And that can stop anyone from wanting to put their face online, and their heads talking, and stuff. It's really really intimidating. But in the end it doesn't matter. In the end, no matter what you look like, first people are going to hear your message, second if you look a certain way, other people do too. There aren't that many different types of people, right? Like, guaranteed somebody will look like you, and they're going to feel even more connected that you put yourself out there in that way. I have never in my life turned off a video because of how somebody looks. I don't know if you guys have, but I have never done that. So, never let that be the thing that stops you. And then how can you evoke an emotion in your viewer? How can you do it? What is it about this video, or this content that you're putting out there, that will connect somebody to it. There's this really interesting study that was done that says, and I'm going to talk about this more later, that people who see themselves in what you're producing feel more connected and are more likely to engage on a deeper level. And this is what I always think about is, you know what, how can my experience that I'm sharing in this video relate to other people. What would be interesting about this journey that I'm going on, and let's show those pieces to make it a cinematic, as beautiful, and as relevant as possible. So how can we evoke an emotion? To me, it's about vulnerability and honesty. It's about showing the bad parts and the good parts of whatever you're trying to share with people. It's about letting people know I'm human, you know? So, yeah I'm going to show you this video, where I'm in my pajamas, because I'm human, and you know what I liked what I had to say, and I didn't want to redo it. That's really the end story here. Okay, types of video content, as we mentioned. You can pick any of these and make a beautiful video, behind the scenes, inspirational, technical, a day in the life video, I love stuff like that, an adventure video where you're going on an adventure and you show people what that's all about. I wrote hard-hitting because there are a lot of really interesting styles of video, I think especially right now where people are just like this is how it is, these are the facts, and it's just a really hard-hitting video, and I've been enjoying some of those lately. High energy versus low energy, you know just like what is your energy level? I have a high energy level, so I like to talk a lot and fast, and really animatedly and I can't stop moving my hands and that's what I like to do, and you might be totally different, so do it your style. And then about me, now about me is a type of video content that I think we should all be focusing on right now, because first of all, video content on your website, is king right now, we need it, I think it's so important. I don't even have one on my website, and I'm embarrassed that I don't have one, 'cause I've got a bajillion videos out there, I can pick any one and put it on there, but I haven't done it yet. But an about me is a really good one to focus on, because one, we've already practiced writing about me, two, people want to know who you are. If you're going to invest in a brand or a business or a company you probably want to know what they're all about and an about me video will do that. People are sick of reading, people are sick of trying to figure out who you are by clicking every single link on your social media and stuff, and trying to read between the lines, a video is the most effective, and efficient way to get that information across in a way that they'll actually engage with.

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