Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Decide How to Start the Composite

And I'm gonna open up our fish tank photo. And this is a really interesting one to me, because, first of all, nobody can agree, and when I say nobody, I mean there are two votes on my side, as to which pose we should use, and many, many votes on the other side. But it's interesting, because they both evoke a different emotion, and this ties in perfectly to our series, to actually creating something that has a through line, right. Because we're creating a concept, an over arching story, with these images. And I haven't decided the final order of the images, or anything like that, so I can't say exactly where this falls, in that range. But let me just go in, I'm gonna go ahead and open two images here, let me see. Oh wait, I don't know how to use this computer, hold on. Option, no, command, it's command. Alright, so I'm just gonna open the two that I had really liked the most, and see them open side by side here. So these are the two images, okay. And, they have a really different feelin...

g to them. This one is much more serene. You can see she has really soft hands, she looks beautiful in this picture, she's making a really nice face, which is like a real testament to this model, and what she was able to do, because she was like a real popsicles in there, and I felt really terrible when I was shooting this. But, she's looking very serene, whereas in this one, she looks rather dead. And I love dead. But also, I love serene, okay. We'll go back to that one. I am not saying that I don't like living people, but, I don't know which one fits, and that's goint to be the debate here, is which one ends up in the series. So, we're gonna actually edit both of them, I mean, I'm definitely gonna take each of these to completion, with their edits. But my instinct says to go with this one. And if, at the end of the series, we need something softer, this conceptually fits better, then of course, I will use this one, and I'm not going to choose an image, solely based on the visual, which one I just happened to like more. And I think that's a really good lesson to learn, when you're shooting, is, which one really serves your purpose better, in the long run. I absolutely can not decide. However, I know, that this one had about seven more votes, than the other one, which had two votes. Me and Tory, we're in this together. But, yeah. So I'm gonna open this up. And this is an image where we definitely have a lot of shadows, a lot of dark points, that I'm going to try to lighten up, just a little bit, I think. Even the shadows don't wanna budge on this one, this is like (huffs). Okay, there we go, we've got our black point all the way up. And, I'm very interested in being able to see some detail, but I do wanna darken this back down, just a little bit. I did expant the frame on this one, but for the sake of time, I'll do that later, and we're just going to take a quick look at these two images. And you know what, I'm going to open the other one up, not because I feel the need to assert my power, but, because I think it'll be good to see, how these edits move along together. So, if I take the shadows and the black, all the way up, we're just gonna open this picture in there. I did photograph extra dress of hers, so that I have more flowing fabric, to add in, to these tanks, and that'll be really good too. But if we just focus in, on our subject here, there she is, and this is the only thing that we pay attention to, I think it can really good to just quickly talk about how these edits would sort of evolve in different ways. Here, we have a lot of skin showing, and so, you see, that there isn't as much murkiness around her face, we see a face that's much clearer, and she's much more yellow in this area, versus this image, where she's much more blue, it's much more murky, I mean, this is a really creepy picture, I think. And so, immediately, when I look at them, if I just quickly toggle here, this one, I think "Oh, well, this should be a warm image," because I see this warmth in her body. Whereas this one, I think this should be a cool image, because her body looks dead. So, I'm going to, just edit each of these really fast, to see, how color might be influenced by the subject, and by the colors that we see naturally in this space. So, if I go to my blue curve, this one, will take in more of a sort of yellow, red tone. Versus this image, which might benefit from a little bit of a cooler tone. And, I don't know which one will be better. I don't know if one will be better than the other one, but it's going to be very interesting, just to see them, sort of side by side here, to see what looks good and what doesn't. So, we've got our two images, side by side, and, I think, as I look at these, that I prefer the blue image, what do you guys think? Eh. Who's on team warm? Oh, no one on team warm. Team blue? Okay, okay, and then we've got some people who're like "I don't like either one of these that much." And that's okay, you know what, you can be difficult if you want, and that's okay, I'll still love you. And the truth is, I probably wouldn't edit either one of these totally blue, or totally yellow. Because my typical process, is to start with my color signature, to start, where I would put the blue in the shadows, and the yellow in the highlights, and this is going to be my happy starting place, of having warmth and coolness, to this image, and see how that evolves. And you can see, how immediately that warmed up her skin tone, which maybe I don't want, something to keep in mind, conceptually, throughout this series, is, what do the skin tones look like, and how does that inform how we see that character. Things like that, things like color, things like lighting, are all incredibly important, with how we're going to read this series, conceptually, visually, and if it's going to change our perception over time, as we look at the images, it's going to be a really big deal. So, editing these pictures, is definitely going to take a lot of time, of course, we couldn't get through all of them right now, I was shocked to learn that I had shot 200 pictures, in one day. I think that's maybe the most I've ever shot in a day. But we have 11 concepts here, each of them slightly different, from the other. And it's, I think quite a journey, to get through all of them, and to try to make them cohesive. But at least we have a starting point. We know that we're looking for slightly directional light, something that's a little bit more contrast-y than maybe I'm used to, as well as, having to pick a color palette, which we have not done yet, very, very well at all. Which I had hoped to do, but I did not do. So, that's what we're going to have to do. The final thing that I do wanna mention here, while I have that image open, is texture. And, as I was shooting these images, I also photographed a whole bunch of textures, which are available for download with the class. And I made sure to prepare about 17 of them for you, with some smoke as well. And I just wanna really quickly take one of these textures and this not from that pack, that' you'll get, this is from a different one. But I just wanna show how, even something as simple, no, I'm going to the other one, as adding texture, can help bring cohesion to the images. If you were to take, let's just say, this sort of, creepy, peeley texture, and overlay it. I like to overlay my textures with softlight, usually, because I think that gives a nice sort of gritty feel to everything. Let's just say that you had every single wall in the background, not the subject, I'm gonna get it off my subject, so not my subject, but the wall, reflecting this very gritty texture, than that's just one thing that can bring more cohesion to the series, if every wall has that same peeling, paint kind of look. That could be a really great thing to add in, and I did that super simply, just by dropping that texture in, changing the blending mode, I choose soft light, you could play with anyone that you wanted, and seeing how that blends into your image. So, I'm going to be thinking about texture, color, light, composition, and then the quality of all those things, which we talked about a lot now, in terms of harshness, or brightness, or darkness, or color temperature, and things of that nature. So, I'm going to make sure, I finish editing all of these images, and I'm really excited about that, and I'm going to make sure you also have an additional bonus download of one of these images, totally start to finish. And aside from that, I hope that you got a little something out of this, and I can't wait to see how it goes.

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