Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

How to Make Money from Your Target Audience

And then, how can you make money from your target audience, which is, like, what we're getting to here, right? Like, how do I actually make money from these people, which is a really difficult thing to answer and I'm gonna try to answer really concretely by saying, first of all, you could have digital products. It depends on who your market is. You know? It totally depends. So, you know, maybe, for example, your market is other photographers and you sell textures, or maybe your target audience is galleries. So, what do they wanna see? Well, obviously, they're interested in prints. You have to convince them that what you have to sell is the best. You might not believe it. You might know that there is no such thing as better and best. What's that rhyme? Good, better, best? Nevermind. Okay. So, but the point is that when you're creating a product for somebody that is going to either buy it or sell it for you, you have to convince them that there's something really unique about it and th...

ere are a lot of ways to do that. So, for example, I wrote mass production here, which is something that I don't personally do. But, there's nothing wrong with that. You know? I've been into many galleries. In fact, I've bought many prints from artists who don't edition their work. They produce as many as anyone wants. They usually have smaller price points and I've gone in and bought 40 dollar prints many times and I take them home and I display them and it's true that they don't necessarily always hold a place of reverence in my house, like I don't frame it and put it up on the wall and I'll never take it down, but I still love that art and it's still a way to go. So, how can you make money from your target audience? And it's important that we all answer this personally, that we all really think about how do I wanna do that? Who am I targeting and why would they pay for what I have to sell? It's really important to think about. So, now I'm thinking about a media content plan. How, exactly, are you going to market to those people? How, exactly, are you going to create the content for those people? So, first question is what do you love to create and this might seem really silly, almost. Like, you might be like well, I already know what I wanna create. Get past that. Tell me how to sell to these people. Okay, this is how you sell to those people is you're so in tune with what you love to create that other people feel that from you and I would honestly say that my career has been built on this principle, that I love what I do so much that I make other people love what I do because, trust me, there are a lot of people that don't like what I do. There are a lot of people that come to me, outwardly, as I mentioned, and say I don't like what you do. I hear it every single day, almost. And not in a malicious way. Not like people emailing me, like, you suck. You're terrible, but people saying, genuinely, I don't really care for your visuals because they're too dark for me, or they're too creepy for me, or, you know, just for whatever reason, but they say, but I connect with your passion, with you loving what you do and I hear this every single day and it's really important. You know, people ask me sometimes, how do you get a big social media following and it's not about that. I mean, the way that you get people to come to you is to show how much you love something. I mean, if I had to say my favorite thing in the world, it's telling people what I love and getting them to love that, too, in whatever way they can. So, I would say definitely don't skip over that question. And then, where are those things that you love to create being celebrated? Really think, like, okay, I love to create dark, creepy works. If I love dark and creepy things, what magazines out there are celebrating that? You know, what forums out there can I join to meet like-minded people? What galleries are putting, you know, really dark, creepy works in their galleries, because they're all out there. You know, we love to think that we're the only ones, you know, and we're so tragic, and, like, all this stuff. I don't really believe that's true. I think, really, that there's always somebody else out there with the same interest. Maybe not in the same way, not with the same experiences, but there's always someone out there who is just waiting to say me too, right? Like, you put a work out there and what do you hope people say? Me too. I identify with this. I understand what you're doing. That's what we're all hoping for. So, okay. I love dark and creepy things. I'm not the only one in the world who loves that. I mean, there are a lot of sub-genres of that, too, trust me, that I don't fit into and then ask yourself, how much of yourself are you willing to share. How much of you, who you are, will you put out there in what you do. In my experience, the deeper I go, the more I share, the more people connect. Because, we're all desperate for connection. I mean, it's like, we've got the internet. It's great. It's also horrible. People are jealous of other people. You look at other peoples' lives and you wish that you had that and you feel disconnected because you feel so isolated in your jealousy, in a sense. And, not always jealousy. That's a harsh word, but just in your envy and your desire to be someone else, do something else, connect with someone else. So, if I can go online and I can be a voice for people who feel like they don't have a voice, how wonderful to connect people that way. And the only way we do that is through example. You know, I can post as many inspirational quotes as I want, which I do post a lot of inspirational quotes, but they're not my words. They're someone else's words. So, yeah, you might connect to that quote, but are you connecting to me? Not necessarily, so I wanna put my story out there and I'm gonna get online and I'm gonna tell you if I'm having a bad day and I'm gonna tell you if a photo shoot failed and I'm gonna tell you if I'm experiencing some sort of trauma right now and you're gonna know about it because I think it's important that we know those things about each other and you might not. So, this question is for you to answer, you know. How much of yourself are you willing to share? And, I can't answer that for you. And then, where can you find people with similar opinions? And it's, very likely, going to be the same place where your type of work is celebrated, could be very similar. But, where can you go? I hear from people all the time, saying there's no place on the internet I can go to find people who are like me, which is a crazy statement, crazy. Because, everyone is on the internet. There are forums for everything. I mean, all you have to do is go on Reddit and you know that there is a forum for everything and people discussing things that you can't even imagine people discussing. So, you know that there's a place to go. You just have to find it. It takes work. I mean, for example, I have a really hard time finding friends. Like, in real life, friends and is that their fault? Is that the world's fault because they haven't come and found me? No, it's my fault for not finding them. Also, I don't want them, but that like a whole other thing. We'll talk about that later, maybe. Creating a content creation deadline, So, how can you make a goal for yourself? How can you make structure for yourself? And, again, if you're that person who puts your foot down and you say art is art and I will not be forced into creating. Good! Don't be forced into creating. But, if we're trying to build a business out of this, if we're trying to create something sustainable for ourselves, you might need a schedule. You might. I'm not saying you have to. I don't wanna scare you, but you might. And, there are lots of ways of doing this. I'm going to just simply say make your own schedule. My schedule, for example, is that I create about one to two times a week now. It used to be way more and now I don't put pressure on myself. But, I try to have, at least, one new thing to share a week, just per week. So, it might even be just, like, I'm sharing Instagram stories of shoots that I've done, not necessarily the shoot itself, but just something new. So, I'm trying to create new content every week, making sure that I do one to two shoots a week just because I think it's fun and I love it and it's good to keep up with your creativity. Your deadline, your guide, your whatever-you-wanna-call-it, to creating your goals may be very different, but making sure that you have that plan. And then, what other types of content can you produce? That's my plan for creating content is to figure out what other types of content you can produce. For example, we talked about behind-the-scenes material, maybe photos of you shooting, maybe photos of you doing weird things in trees. I don't know. I have a lot of photos of myself, lately, doing weird things in trees and that's fine, too, you know? Create that content. Put it out there. Show who you are. It doesn't all have to be serious, but it does have to be on-brand. That's the first time I've said brand, isn't it? This whole time. That's, like, a record because we're talking about branding without talking about branding. It's important that you know who you are, what you're trying to put out there, exactly what your art looks like, you know, who you're trying to attract to that art, but it's also really important to say, okay, this is my art, but this is who I am. And, that might be really different, as it is for me. People always expect that I'm gonna be dressed in black with mascara running down my face every single time I meet people. Also, people are always like, you're really short. I'm like, yeah. Okay. I'm different from my art. I recognize that I don't look like that person, necessarily, but both are really good to acknowledge. The fact that there is you, the persona and you, the art and they might not be the same thing. So, what other types of content can you produce that will either show who you are personally or what your art is like on a more emotional or technical level. I thought I'd just make a grand statement here and say that Game of Thrones is the best show ever made. I mean, I don't mean to, like, pivot, and throw you off, but it is. Do you agree? We got a no and, like, a I don't know if I can answer this question type of thing. So, listen. Which one of you thinks, like, yes, best show ever made? Thank you. Okay, we've got two people. This is good. Like, 50 % target audience? Yes! Okay? My point in saying this is not to say Game of Thrones is the best show ever made. I, personally, love it. I think it's fantastic, but my point is this, if that's my opinion, if I'm gonna, like, just imagine, I become a Game of Thrones artist. Everything that I make is Game of Thrones themed. Who is my target audience gonna be? People who love Game of Thrones, obviously. Nobody else. Everybody else is gonna be like, uh, yeah, I hate that show. That show is sexist, or whatever people say about it and I'm gonna be like, I love it. You're not my audience. You can move on. And, that's how we should approach our art is by saying this is my opinion, gosh darn it. This is my opinion, and I'm gonna put it out there and, this is how it is, and if you don't like it, then you're not my audience, and I'm not your audience, and we don't need each other. There are five billion other people who might be my audience and you are not them. So, just remembering, opinions don't always have to be bad. It's okay if you don't get along with everyone. This is a lesson that I am learning myself that I have not yet properly internalized. I'm trying really hard, though.

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