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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 18 of 138

Finding Parts in Images


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 18 of 138

Finding Parts in Images


Lesson Info

Finding Parts in Images

So what does it mean to layer your inspiration? First, you have an overarching theme. So we've got a theme that you're going to choose for your series that you're going to do. Let's just say today, day two, you're starting your series and you're gonna choose a theme. After that you're going to choose your individual ideas for the images within that theme within your series. Next you're going to choose how to visually express those ideas. You can see how it's already layered, we have a theme, the individual ideas, your visual expression of those ideas, the technical expression, how you put it together, and then your personal expression. So what are you bringing to the table that somebody else would never be able to bring? With these things you are layering your inspiration. Now I think that it's important to add emotion visually and realistically into your images to be able to convey the thing that you're trying to convey and my hope, my goal, is that over the course of this class that ...

you will gain those tools to be able to work emotionally and visually and realistically within your work. As I mentioned I don't care if you don't shoot people, I don't care if your work looks nothing like mine. The fact is that every piece of art has emotion in it and it's up to us to tell the viewer what that is. To somehow visually and realistically show what that emotion is and this is how we connect to art. You might see a piece of work that has been done over and over again, where, I don't know, maybe it's the example of the umbrella and the birds the water. You're like, gosh could I even look at one more picture of an umbrella and birds and water? Then you might just see one that has all those same things but it's the emotion that you get from that particular piece that draws you into it. So how can we use emotion realistically and visually within our work? Now I personally do it like this, with pose, with color, with location, that's just how I do it and you can see that here in this image. The pose has this sort of weird creepy thing going on, we've got a very specific color palette happening that really brings you into the world of the image and the location is very decayed, very dirty, very weird and that all represents an emotion. The last thing that I wanna say here is to think back in your life and go ahead and just try this now just think back to a moment that defined your life. Something that set you on a new course, something that changed your way of thinking. What is a moment for you? It could be different for everyone, it might be the day that you were diagnosed with cancer it might be the day that you had your first child, it might be the day that you graduated high school. For everyone it will be different. What was a defining moment in your life and how would you represent every part of that experience visually? Every single part, how can you break that experience apart and assign something visual to every element? It's really interesting to do this because it allows us to really understand ourselves. To understand each part of what makes us, us. What makes an image mine versus yours, versus yours, versus yours? It's our experience and the way that we represent those experiences that culminates in art that's personal and meaningful for us. This was the very first image that I ever created, literally I got a camera, I set up my tripod, this is what came from it. I really wanted to share this image because I did this exact same thing. I was thinking about experiences in my life that were meaningful and I settled on this one experience where my grandmother, she used to recite this prayer to me before I would go to bed and she would say, "If I should die before I wake "I pray the lord my soul to take." As a child I thought that was incredibly creepy and terrifying, I would just lay in bed like, oh my gosh, I don't wanna go to bed. Because what if I do and then someone's there to take my soul, I just didn't get it. I was very horrified and that stuck with me and of course I laugh about it as I got older, like oh my gosh, I can't believe I was so scared of that. But it really stuck with me as like, that was one of the first times that I learned to be afraid to go to sleep. That's a really big deal for a child to learn that as a kid. So I decided to put that into an image and without knowing it I went through this list in my head. I had never created a picture before, I didn't know how to work my camera I didn't know how to even get something to turn out looking like a photograph, I just didn't get it. So without realizing it I went through all these things in my head as one would have to do when you're taking a picture for the first time. Well what pose will I be in, where will I be sitting and what will my frame look like and what colors are gonna be here and how will I light this and all those things that a beginner would have to ask I did and that ended up being represented in this way. Now can you relate to this image? Can you take some part of your experience, look at this and understand maybe what's happening? Sure, do you understand my inspiration in it without hearing the story? No, there's no way that you could know that that was my experience. But because I had an experience and because I dissected that experience this is what resulted and that creates an original story that hopefully other people can relate to.

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.