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.

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.


Class Introduction
Storytelling & Ideas
Universal Symbols in Stories
Create Interactive Characters
The Story is in The Details
Giving Your Audience Feelings
Guided Daydream Exercise
Elements of Imagery
The Death Scenario
Associations with Objects
Three Writing Exercises
Connection Through Art
Break Through Imposter Syndrome
Layering Inspiration
Creating an Original Narrative
Analyze an Image
Translate Emotion into Images
Finding Parts in Images
Finding Your Target Audience
Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
Formatting Your Work
Additional Materials to Attract Clients
Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
Circle of Focus
The Pillars of Branding
Planning Your Photoshoot
Choose Every Element for The Series
Write a Descriptive Paragraph
Sketch Your Ideas
Choose Your Gear
How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
What Tells a Story in a Series?
Set Design Overview
Color Theory
Lighting for the Scene
Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
Subject Within the Scene
Set Design Arrangement
Fine Art Compositing
Plan The Composite Before Shooting
Checklist for Composite Shooting
Analyze Composite Mistakes
Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
Shoot: Miniature Scene
Editing Workflow Overview
Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
Edit Details of Images
Add Smoke & Texture
Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
Self Portrait Test Shoots
Shoot for Edit
Shoot Extra Stock Images
Practice the Shoot
Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
Shoot: Vine Image
Shoot: Sand Image
Shoot: End Table Image
Shoot: Bed Image
Shoot: Wall Paper Image
Shoot: Chair Image
Shoot: Mirror Image
Shoot: Moss Image
Shoot: Tree Image
Shoot: Fish Tank Image
Shoot: Feather Image
View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
Decide How to Start the Composite
Organize Final Images
Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
Order the Images in Your Portfolio
Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
Determine Sizes for Prints
How to Choose Paper
How to Choose Editions
Pricing Strategies
How to Present Your Images
Example Pricing Exercise
Print Examples
Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
How to Keep Licensing Organized
How to Prepare Files for Licensing
Pricing Your Licensed Images
Contract Terms for Licensing
Where to Sell Images
Commission Pricing Structure
Contract for Commissions
Questions for a Commission Shoot
Working with Galleries
Benefits of Galleries
Contracts for Galleries
How to Find Galleries
Choose Images to Show
Hanging the Images
Importance of Proofing Prints
Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
Press Package Overview
Artist Statement for Your Series
Write Your 'About Me' Page
Importance of Your Headshot
Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
Writing For Fine Art
Define Your Writing Style
Find Your Genre
What Sets You Apart?
Write to Different Audiences
Write for Blogging
Speak About Your Work
Branding for Video
Clearly Define Video Talking Points
Types of Video Content
Interview Practice
Diversifying Social Media Content
Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
Monetize Your Social Media Presence
Social Media Posting Plan
Choose Networks to Use & Invest
Presentation of Final Images
Printing Your Series
How to Work With a Print Lab
Proofing Your Prints
Bad Vs. Good Prints
Find Confidence to Print
Why Critique?
Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
Critique of Brooke's Series
Critique of Student Series
Yours is a Story Worth Telling


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. :)