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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 114 of 138

Find Your Genre


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 114 of 138

Find Your Genre


Lesson Info

Find Your Genre

Then think about your genre of writing. So how do you like to write? What do you like to talk about? Are you trying to inspire people, are you trying to show people how things are done? How do you like to write? You don't have to assume any specific tone. You don't have to be somebody that you're not. If your favorite person online is posting all these motivational things and you love it, that doesn't mean that you have to be that person that posts inspiring quotes and gives advice and stuff like that. Maybe you just love talking about technique. So talk about technique. If you love talking about your gear, talk about your gear. There is an audience for all of these things. It's just about choosing the one that you love talking about and then polishing the way that you talk about it to such an extent that you seem to know exactly what you're doing. This is a funny point that I'm making, because I'm not saying lie to anybody. Let me make this clear. Don't talk about something that you j...

ust hope to know a lot about one day and try to be an authority if you're not, but, the more you can write and rewrite and polish what you're saying, the more professional it will look and the more trust you'll build with your audience because you seem to know what you're talking about. Sort of an abstract point, hope it made sense. There's this quote that isn't properly attributed to anybody, but most popularly attributed to Blaise Pascal which says, "If I had more time, "I would have written a shorter letter." I love this quote. Because it really defines almost everybody's writing issue. Which is that it's so hard to use a few poignant words to describe something that feels so big to us, and what is bigger in our lives than our art? To try to describe what we're creating with the shortest words possible is so difficult, but it's so necessary for the world that we live in. We live in this world where nobody wants to read anything long, so how can we write short, descript sentences that pull people in and is engaging but also that describes properly what you're trying to say. So let me explain different ways that you might need to write for fine art and how long those pieces of writing need to be. We've got the biography, which is like your about me. One paragraph is good. You don't need to go on and on and on. Have you ever been to somebody's about page and it's like two pages of text and you're just like, oh man, I'm sure that you're a great person, but I gave up after like paragraph two. It happens. So keep it short for the biography. The artist statement is generally one paragraph up to a page is quite appropriate for your artist statement when you're writing for fine art. If you're writing about a series, a paragraph to a page is appropriate, so if you've created a new series, maybe you're going to debut that series in a gallery. They'll often ask you to write something about this new series, that's an appropriate length. If you're writing a grant about a page or more is probably appropriate, so if you're trying to get money for a project that you're working on, you're writing a grant proposal, it's good to really go into detail because this is somebody who's giving up a lot of money just for the betterment of your project, so you're gonna wanna convince people of every little detail of why it's so important that you get that money. And then a juried submission. I would say two different things here. One is that you're probably going to have to write about your individual images but also about the series as a whole, and this is where I would say, one sentence per image is very appropriate in those situations, but also one paragraph or more for your series, depending on how much space they give you to write about it. This is my Wingdings example. I have never in my life had an excuse to use Wingdings and now I have and I feel like I've reached the height of a mountain. I've used Wingdings. We speak in Wingdings, as you can see. But really what I mean is that we use symbols for everything. And I have never felt older than joining Instagram and realizing that I have no idea what people are trying to say to me. First of all, I'm like, I can't even see it. What does this say? And then it's like, a person holding a book or something and I'm like, "What does that mean?" And I can't figure it out. So we speak in these weird symbols now and that's just how life is, and our tolerance for reading has become incredibly diminished because of this, because we're finding shorter and shorter and shorter ways of saying things that emotes, hence the word emoticon, emoji and whatnot, what we're trying to convey with our long sentences that we used to use. And throughout history this has been a trend. We used to speak in very long, eloquent sentences and now we simply don't. So how do we battle this? How do we express ourselves eloquently in the written language without losing people? And I have some answers to this and you might have your own answers or you might be totally lost and that's okay too. We're gonna go over ways to do that. An example is when you get a long e-mail. How many of you guys have gotten a long e-mail and you're just like, nope, and you just won't even look at it right then cuz you're just like, whoa, that's a wall of text that I don't wanna read right now. That is the biggest pain to me. When I get an e-mail, now sometimes I get an e-mail that's super, super long and it should be where there is just so much good information in there. But how many times do you think that happens in a week where you get an e-mail that's really long and it should be really long? I get those e-mails and after like two sentences, I'm like, I know exactly what this person's gonna say, and then for five more paragraphs they elaborate on something that's important to them and they feel they need all those words to get it out, but you don't. Brevity is so important these days, because I don't have time to read long e-mails. You don't have time to read long e-mails, we just don't have time to do it, depending on the volume that you get. So that is my biggest pet peeve right now is that not that we shouldn't be speaking in long form or writing long form e-mails and things like that, but that if you are, there should be a point to it, a really clear point. And there usually isn't.

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.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Storytelling & Ideas
  3. Universal Symbols in Stories
  4. Create Interactive Characters
  5. The Story is in The Details
  6. Giving Your Audience Feelings
  7. Guided Daydream Exercise
  8. Elements of Imagery
  9. The Death Scenario
  10. Associations with Objects
  11. Three Writing Exercises
  12. Connection Through Art
  13. Break Through Imposter Syndrome
  14. Layering Inspiration
  15. Creating an Original Narrative
  16. Analyze an Image
  17. Translate Emotion into Images
  18. Finding Parts in Images
  19. Finding Your Target Audience
  20. Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
  21. Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
  22. Formatting Your Work
  23. Additional Materials to Attract Clients
  24. Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
  25. How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
  26. Circle of Focus
  27. The Pillars of Branding
  28. Planning Your Photoshoot
  29. Choose Every Element for The Series
  30. Write a Descriptive Paragraph
  31. Sketch Your Ideas
  32. Choose Your Gear
  33. How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
  34. What Tells a Story in a Series?
  35. Set Design Overview
  36. Color Theory
  37. Lighting for the Scene
  38. Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
  39. Locations
  40. Subject Within the Scene
  41. Set Design Arrangement
  42. Fine Art Compositing
  43. Plan The Composite Before Shooting
  44. Checklist for Composite Shooting
  45. Analyze Composite Mistakes
  46. Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
  47. Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
  48. Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
  49. Shoot: Miniature Scene
  50. Editing Workflow Overview
  51. Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
  52. Edit Details of Images
  53. Add Smoke & Texture
  54. Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
  55. Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
  56. Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
  57. Self Portrait Test Shoots
  58. Shoot for Edit
  59. Shoot Extra Stock Images
  60. Practice the Shoot
  61. Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
  62. Shoot: Vine Image
  63. Shoot: Sand Image
  64. Shoot: End Table Image
  65. Shoot: Bed Image
  66. Shoot: Wall Paper Image
  67. Shoot: Chair Image
  68. Shoot: Mirror Image
  69. Shoot: Moss Image
  70. Shoot: Tree Image
  71. Shoot: Fish Tank Image
  72. Shoot: Feather Image
  73. View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
  74. Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
  75. Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
  76. Decide How to Start the Composite
  77. Organize Final Images
  78. Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
  79. Order the Images in Your Portfolio
  80. Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
  81. Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
  82. Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
  83. Determine Sizes for Prints
  84. How to Choose Paper
  85. How to Choose Editions
  86. Pricing Strategies
  87. How to Present Your Images
  88. Example Pricing Exercise
  89. Print Examples
  90. Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
  91. How to Keep Licensing Organized
  92. How to Prepare Files for Licensing
  93. Pricing Your Licensed Images
  94. Contract Terms for Licensing
  95. Where to Sell Images
  96. Commission Pricing Structure
  97. Contract for Commissions
  98. Questions for a Commission Shoot
  99. Working with Galleries
  100. Benefits of Galleries
  101. Contracts for Galleries
  102. How to Find Galleries
  103. Choose Images to Show
  104. Hanging the Images
  105. Importance of Proofing Prints
  106. Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
  107. Press Package Overview
  108. Artist Statement for Your Series
  109. Write Your 'About Me' Page
  110. Importance of Your Headshot
  111. Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
  112. Writing For Fine Art
  113. Define Your Writing Style
  114. Find Your Genre
  115. What Sets You Apart?
  116. Write to Different Audiences
  117. Write for Blogging
  118. Speak About Your Work
  119. Branding for Video
  120. Clearly Define Video Talking Points
  121. Types of Video Content
  122. Interview Practice
  123. Diversifying Social Media Content
  124. Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
  125. Monetize Your Social Media Presence
  126. Social Media Posting Plan
  127. Choose Networks to Use & Invest
  128. Presentation of Final Images
  129. Printing Your Series
  130. How to Work With a Print Lab
  131. Proofing Your Prints
  132. Bad Vs. Good Prints
  133. Find Confidence to Print
  134. Why Critique?
  135. Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
  136. Critique of Brooke's Series
  137. Critique of Student Series
  138. Yours is a Story Worth Telling


April S.

I tuned in for most of Brooke's lessons in this course and watched some of them more than once as they were rebroadcast. First I want to say that Brooke is a very good instructor. Her easy-going, friendly, down-to-earth, somewhat quirky manner cannot be mistaken for unprofessional. She is very prepared, she speaks well (not a bunch of hemming and hawing), she is thoughtful, she is thorough, she is very relatable and at ease, and she is definitely professional in her presentation. I really thought when I first tuned in that it would mostly be background noise while I was at work, sound to keep me company. Not because I didn't like Brooke but I really didn't think I was into fine art photography nor did I think I cared about the business side of things much. Not now anyhow. I was really wrong. Brooke sparked a deep interest in me to delve into fine art photography, to consider creating images for myself, from my imagination. In fact, I realized that this was something I'd been thinking about for a couple of years though I hadn't put a name to it (the idea of creating pre-conceived images based on my own creative goals). I gleaned many little treasures from her about image sizes, working with printers, different types of paper, selling, interacting with galleries, and so much more. I may not need all of what she taught right now because I'm definitely headed in another direction at the moment, but she planted ideas and information in my head that I know will be useful at some point. Things I may not have thought of on my own, but that seed is in my head now so when the time comes, I'll know. I'd really like to buy her course but at the moment, with the holidays right around the corner, it's not in my personal budget. I'm grateful to have caught the live and rebroadcast lessons though, and her course is on my list to own. I think it's a great reference to be consulted over and over again, not watched once and forgotten. Kudos Brooke for really putting together an excellent course.

Ron Landis

I'm retired now, but spent decades in the people and training business. Brooke is extraordinary! Even though this course is extremely well organized and she's left nothing unattended, she moves through it with friendly conversational manners and without a sense of it being stilted. It's as though we are all her friends, not students, as she shares her heart and passion with us. What a joy it is to listen to her. And what a clear, unambiguous command of her subject. Wow! She explains it with such ease using explanations and techniques that won't overwhelm artists just starting their portfolio or the Photoshop-squeamish among us; but despite its simplicity her resulting art is breathtaking and beyond original. I wish more of my professors at school were as engaging. This was by far my best buy at Creative Live yet.

Angel Ricci

When the title says comprehensive, it means comprehensive! I loved every part of this course. It's inspirational, motivating, and insightful towards creating art work. Even if you are not necessarily considering a fine art specialty, the concepts discussed in this course are applicable to many areas! I find this super useful as a videographer and photographer and look to apply all of these exercises and concepts for my personal and business work moving forward. It is lengthy, but you will not regret a single minute. Brooke Shaden is an amazing artist and educator. I recommend keeping up with her work, presentations, and any future courses that may come in the future.