Formatting Your Work


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Formatting Your Work

So I've got this image here, and this one, let's just say I wanted to use this for a book cover. Does it work? Could this picture work on a book cover? Of course the answer is yes it could work on a book cover, 'cause anything could work, but in terms of actual use, I would argue that it's really good for text, because there's all this negative space, but it's really bad for cropping, 'cause you're gonna end up with two cut in half doors on either side of the frame, and the tree's gonna be cut off, so it's not so great. So it's really unlikely that I'm going to license this for a book cover, unless they do something creative with editing or something like that, extend the trees up, who knows what they might do. Because trust me, they will do anything and it's a little bit heart wrenching sometimes. But I would argue that. So with this image then, is this good for a book cover? You know, if you were going to crop it in, would you be losing an essential part of the image? And maybe yes, ...

maybe no, but what about text? Where are you going to put text on this image? It's covered in people. I know, 'cause it's me. And I covered myself here. So I would say that it's bad for both, bad for text, bad for cropping, and that's what I'm looking for with these images. So then I chose this one, which I feel is good for both. It has lots of negative space so it's okay if you cover up some of that smoke because there's smoke everywhere. It's okay if you cover up a little bit of it. And it's great for cropping because of the center composition. So we've got negative space and a center composition, which I know works really well for book covers. And I've had some success with book covers. I've done a fair few of them now, and I find that my work generally does work for that because of these two things: the negative space and the center composition. And that's not saying that your images won't work for that. It's just saying, think about how somebody else will use the work that you're putting out there. And these are just general samples that you can get for free of maybe like a blank book that you could put your image on just to show as a sample, same with that. So just thinking about, okay, how can I turn my work into samples? How can that be something that I advertise maybe on my website, maybe direct to the client? And then commissions. So we've got the service. And we've already talked about this so I'm gonna zoom right through, but advertising the service, creating samples of that as well, because it's important to show people, and then making it simple, not a complicated process. And I like to cater to my client, but I wanna really point out that using the word cater was really hard for me, because I don't mean that I'm doing everything the way my client wants it, I'm not starting the process like, "Tell me exactly the image you want and I'm gonna make you whatever you want." I'm not doing that by any means, but what I am doing is saying, okay, this is my work. You can look through what I've done before, you can let me know if any of my images speak to you, if you wanna recreate anything, and then I'm saying, now how can I emotionally and visually connect this image to you? And I'm not doing it in a way that takes away from my artistic abilities within this process. And I'll talk a lot more about this specifically with examples, because I think it's important that we most definitely don't lose our artistic perspective here. Set expectations for your clients, just make sure that they know exactly what they're getting into like I mentioned. You book a shoot with me, you're going in a swamp. Done deal. Not really, but you know, usually it is true. And then the experience over the product. I mean, I feel that there are a lot of photographers out there and I'm not saying anything bad about this either. There are a lot of photographers who advertise the product over the experience. And that's okay, it's a choice that you're making. You're saying, look, I take great images and this is what you're going to get from this photoshoot. You're going to get an 18 by 20 inch wall hanging or whatever it might be, and that's the product that they're selling. But I'm not doing that. And I have this idea that if you consider yourself a fine art photographer, if you wanna move in a more art direction with your business, then it's important to maintain that idea that you're creating art, and what is art but an experience? An experience of the art, an experience creating the art, so it's important that we really put experience above the product in this case. These are examples of my way of creating samples. So I started out... I think this was 2012 or so. I was going to do a commissioned photoshoot. I'd never done it before, I was about to advertise this new service of mine, and I was like, "Uh-oh, I don't even know how to do this, I just know that I wanna do it." So I got my two best friends and I said, "Hey guys, can you come to the forest with me and I'm gonna drape you in some fabric and put some Ace bandages on you", which at this point was very normal for them, and I said, okay, we're gonna do this whole thing and this is gonna be your commissioned portrait, and we did it. And this was what came from that. And it was a really good experience because I got to learn, especially with this one here, how does she feel best? The other one was already doing a lot of modeling, so that didn't really count, but the other one had never, so she was sort of like, "Oh, does this look good? Does this look good? Does this make my arm look fat?" Those kinds of questions that everyone will ask when they've not been in front of a camera, and it's a good experience to have. So I'm doing these commissioned shoots, I've put it out there, and I say, this is an example of my commissioned work. And then I got a couple clients from that. So it's just good to have, good to be able to say.

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