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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 25 of 138

How to Make Money from Your Target Audience


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 25 of 138

How to Make Money from Your Target Audience


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.


  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.