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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 92 of 138

How to Prepare Files for Licensing


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 92 of 138

How to Prepare Files for Licensing


Lesson Info

How to Prepare Files for Licensing

High resolution JPEG is typically what I will send my clients, unless they ask for something else. A lot of people, shockingly, when they license images don't know a lot about file types. And they don't know why I would send them a .TIF, or how they can use a .TIF. So it's just really good to have a standard file type and size that you will send to your clients. If they ask for something else, give it or don't give it. I've had people ask for the original PSD files with all the layers, in which case I'm gonna want to know exactly why they need that because they should not need that. There was one interesting case for a book cover that I think I have here, where the publishers had asked if I had the layered file for this because they wanted to add her hand over top of the lettering here. And they thought, well, if she's on a separate layer then they can do that really easily. And I wrote and said she's not because she was really there in that space. But they just thought if she was comp...

osited in, that would be nice and easy to just plop the letters underneath her hand. That did not end up working out. And I have many more stories to tell about this as well, but not until later. As for sizing goes for what you're going to send your clients, I will typically just send the standard size that it's in. If my pixel count across the longways is 5616 pixel, then that's usually what I'll send them. Unless, I will say, unless it's only for digital use. I tend to think that if you have, let's say you're selling an album on iTunes and you want a graphic for your iTunes album cover, maybe to put as a graphic somewhere. There's really no need why you're going to have to have a 25-inch photo for that, there's just no need for it. So I'll usually size those images down for those clients who are only selling digitally, depending on the use. Sometimes, I sell images for backgrounds for websites for certain launches. And in that case, I'll size it bigger to fit the scale of the website, so then there's nothing weird, grainy, stretched, pixelated, anything like that. But I try to limit my size for digital use because I trust nobody, I trust nobody. I have had some bad experiences where I've sold images to a magazine, and I think that it's gonna be in print. And whoops I forgot to ask, it turns out it's only online and I've sent them these giant files. And then, there they all are to be downloaded by anybody who clicks on that magazine. So it's really kind of rough out there in the digital world when you're selling your images digitally. Just something to keep in mind, I will often send two files to my clients if they're doing print and digital. I'll send them one full-sized JPEG for print, and then another one that I'll say, "Please only use this for digital use." And this is something that you might want to put in a contract because if you don't, then they really don't have to do anything that you say, which is not good. So here is the expectation of your client when you're selling a digital file. They're either going to receive a high resolution file. So if they're not, for whatever reason, you need to be very upfront about that. And I have had files before where I make the deal, I say, "Great, I'm gonna send you this file." And then I realize that I don't even have a high resolution file of that image for whatever reason. Because of the great computer crash of 2009 or because of whatever reason I just don't have it. So you always want to be really upfront, and know exactly what you have to offer before you move forward with any deals. Then they're going to want to know that they can use that image in connection with promotional materials. And this is something that often we as the person selling the image might not think about. You know, you might think, okay, we've got a book cover, and I'm gonna sell this image for this book cover, and that's the only place it's gonna go. But if you think about it they need to sell this book, so they're gonna need to put this work out there in many different places, not just the book cover. So it's really good that they know that you know that they can use that image for promotional materials and things like that. And if you're uncomfortable with that, well, this is on your terms. You don't have to send that image. So you change the terms based on your expectation as well. We're gonna talk about exclusivity, and this gets really complicated, as we've already sort of dived into. Exclusivity is based on, in my opinion, these three things more often than anything else. Region, so are you selling to somebody with exclusivity in a certain region of the world. Sometimes it's really small, like just a city. Sometimes it's really big, like an entire continent. Just depends on what they want. How long they get that exclusive license for. One year, two years, three years, infinity, however long. And the medium, so is this going to be on an album cover? Is this going to be on a book, a movie poster, a ballet poster, whatever it might be? Make sure that you know those three things. All right, so if you're selling a digital only image. An image that you are selling to somebody who's not going to put it in print for any reason, this is typically what I'll do. I'll make sure that the pricing is lower because they're probably not going to have a wide distribution. If you think about a music artist who has a big label, and they're gonna put their album out to everywhere, in Target or whatever it is, then yeah, they're probably going to have a really big budget to be able to buy that image. If a band comes to me and they say, and this is always the starting line. "Love your work, but I don't have any budget." Which is key for like, okay, this is probably gonna be a digital run. Then, they're not gonna probably be able to afford a really high-priced image. So generally speaking, pricing is lower for digital only distributions. The resolution is limited, for me. You might choose otherwise, maybe you don't care if you have high resolution files out there. And I know many people who don't care about that. But if you do, I tend to send a 1200-pixel out there to them. I still keep it at 300 DPI, and that's about a 4-inch print. So if somebody were to download that image, they couldn't really print it that big. So it's probably a more manageable fraud situation [laughs] than something else which, oh, the bigger it is the worse it is in my opinion. So that's typically what I do for digital only releases. And then for print only, the pricing will often be higher because they have a budget to print that work in whatever medium it is. And the resolution is unlimited, so I'll send them the highest file size that I can, and that's usually pretty good. I've actually had people email me and say, "I don't know how to use Dropbox, "just send whatever file will fit through email." And I'm like, "Oh boy, where is this going." [Laughs] But aside from that, it's good to send that unlimited size.

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.