Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 114/138 - Find Your Genre


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


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.


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 39Locations 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


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.

a Creativelive Student

What an amazing 20 days this is going to be! Brooke is so enthusiastic and has such a lovely manner. What a bargain for all of the information Brooke will be sharing with us. So excited. Thanks Brooke and Creative Live. :)