Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Example Pricing Exercise

We're going to talk about pricing right now in terms of what you guys are doing. Surprise! (laughing) Should've warned you. I just wanna take a quick moment to see if anyone is starting to form an idea of pricing that you might wanna go with for your work. So, first things first, does anyone have sizes in your mind of a couple sizes that you think you're feeling pretty good about that you would want to put out there? 20 and 30. 20 and 30. So, why 20 and 30 inches? Or if you're doing 30 inches. 20 by 30. 20, 20 by Oh, 20 by 30? Okay good. See, I'm in squares, so I hear one number and I think that's the whole thing. 20 by 30, only size that you wanna offer? It's the first size I thought of, but I, Okay. Can go bigger and I guess smaller by a bit, yeah. Okay. Bigger and smaller. So, let's start with your 20 by 30 size since you feel good about that. And I agree cause my best selling size is 20 inches, so it's probably a good range. And people kinda feel like... It's...

like when you go to Starbucks, and you have the options between the names that I can never remember. What are the names of the, Starbucks It's never small Right, it's never small, right? And so you're standing there in line at Starbucks and you're like, "Oh I don't want it to be too little, "and I don't want it to be too big", so you get the one in the middle and this is very much like that. People think "Oh well the small one is really small, "but the big one's way to big and too expensive, "so I'll get the one in the middle.", so I think 20 by 30 is a really good size. And if you're going to have your 20 by 30, what edition do you think you would do for that? If you were going to edition your work? How many prints, or? How many prints, at that size, would you wanna offer? Just as a starting point? 10. 10. 10. Very good, great starting point. Okay, so 20 by 30 an edition of 10, and you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but on average how much would you say a single image of yours costs to produce? If you just had to say, in terms of everything, like travel to get to the places, cause I know you do a lot of photographs all over the world, so there's probably a lot of costs involved in getting to those places, so if you just had to say an average price of what you would spend to be able to produce that image. What would you say? Wow that's a tough one. I know. And you'll have to do the counting later, but just totally general range. Well if it'd be something close to home, it's almost nothing, Almost nothing. But then again, you've got the camera equipment and lenses, so, you know, Exactly. it is another thing to take into consideration. Okay so let's do this, let's say that your 20 by 30 print cost you $60 to produce. And let's just say that you're gonna factor in another $40 for you equipment and that'll be something that you recoup over time, so it's $100 for your print. Then if you multiply that by 10 that's $1,000. Yeah, we did the math! Okay so that's good, so we've got $1, as your starting point, so maybe if you sell in a gallery, and you're marking it up 50%, you'll sell for $2,000. Now we have to consider where are you in your career. So do you feel like you're emerging as an artist, you're mid-career you've done some selling, you know kinda what you're doing now, or you've been doing this and you're a complete pro. I'd say emerging. Okay, and there are lots and lots of people who say emerging to mid-career artist, and all that kind of stuff, so we'll say starting. So maybe we'll keep it at $2,000 then and that's the price that you would sell your medium sized print for in a gallery and you would make $1,000 of that back. I think that sounds very reasonable for a 20 by 30 inch print, it's pretty big right, that'll be like this wide, maybe yeay tall or so, that's a good chunk of print. So I would say that's a really good place to start for your pricing, and now you have your mid-point so now you can go okay well if it's bigger I'll do this price, if it's smaller I'll do this price, and it's all relative to that one price point. Okay, any other victims, or you feel good about that? I saw Tori, kinda like, (squeak). I'll try. Okay so what sizes are you thinking? I'm thinking three sizes, I think a 16 inch long edge, and then a 40, 42, somewhere in there, large, Okay, good. and then maybe like a six inch or an eight inch little one. Interesting, yeah! I like that, okay so, really small, medium size, and large. We're gonna call yours extra small, medium and large. I like that. (laughs) And that's really good because the more you can space them out the more buyers aren't gonna be confused by all the sizes in between. Which was my mistake, so, I very much think that's a good idea. So you've got three sizes, are you thinking any editions for those? I haven't decided, but if I were probably maybe five for the largest and maybe 10 for the medium and I'm sort of thinking of doing unlimited for the small. Okay. Which would be a different paper, and a more mass-produced... Interesting, okay that's a really interesting topic because there will be a group of artists who say "Never do that because that devalues "the other sizes of your prints.", and a whole other group that says, "No, it's a totally different thing, "you can sell them however you want.", and the truth is you can sell them however you want. So that's a really interesting thing. And of course the prices would have to be quite different, on those Correct. So what about your open edition, what size do you think would be appropriate for something like that? It would be the smallest size. The smallest size, Yeah. Okay, the smallest size, six inches you said? Six or eight, yeah somewhere in there. Six or eight inches. Something small so, would you want it to be on a mass-produced paper? Or something like a postcard or something like... The printer in me say no, but, Right? Knowing how pricing works, maybe, yeah. Okay, this is really interesting, I've never actually considered this before. So if you had to put a price on that, what would you say? $80? $80, okay, good. So I like that Just outta thin air. And I like how you said bucks too because that makes it feel better. So $80, so if we have $80 on your small print, then what kind of a jump would you see having to happen, from your small to your next size up? So in my mind, it would be a large jump, because it would be on fine art, matte paper, museum quality, like a much higher print. A different thing altogether, so It would be. The 16, maybe, I think I'd start around $400, and then probably go up from there. That sounds pretty good to me. Yeah. I would, I would say, since it's 16 on the long edge, right, I think that that sounds really good, keeping it under the $1,000 mark to start. And it's definitely something that given only two limited edition sizes, you can definitely push it way higher once you start rolling with those prints. So I would say keeping it around $400 would be good, and then since you have a really big size jump, then I would definitely say don't make that under $1, because that's such a big size jump, that I would definitely say push that a lot further. What would you think for that? My initial reaction would be around maybe the $1,500 mark. Something around there, or even a little bit higher for that just because that's a very large print, the 40, 42 you said, 42 inches on the long side, so given such a large print, I would definitely say $1,500 to $2,000 mark maybe. But it depends of course, on the market that you're in right now, and that's always really tricky. Yeah, I think that, about $1,000 increase to start would be good for that jump in size. This is good, we got two of you done, and I'll talk to you guys later. But yeah, thank you guys for sharing. I know that it's nerve-wracking to talk about pricing and everything like that. And it doesn't feel good to do ever. It's really difficult to figure out pricing, to figure out sizing, to figure out editions and there's a lot to think about. So with this segment talking about pricing and editioning, we have a workbook that will take you through this process of how to find editions, how to find your sizes, how to find your prices, how to find your paper, and all of that fun stuff, and it is really daunting so I just wanna take a second to say that I get it. I know that it's so much information, and it's really confusing cause you don't wanna make the wrong choice and of course, we have this tendency as artists to feel like imposters and to feel like our work isn't worth that much money or whatever it may be, and I know that it's really hard to just settle on a price, and it feels terrible, but it's also really good and empowering to just do that. To set your price, know your worth, have done the math on it, figure out exactly the road that you wanna travel as an artist because these decisions will completely inform how you're able to progress as an artist in the future. Which sounds like another really daunting statement. But it's good, I think that it should be something that we take really seriously, that we spend a lot of time thinking about, and just lay a good foundation for what comes next. Because if you don't you might find yourself in a ton of different terrible situations later. But if we just know it right now, we'll be much better off.

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