Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

 

Lesson Info

Presentation of Final Images

We get to talk about printing today but, not just talk about printing because we've already covered a lot of the basics of printing but, as you can see, we have the whole series here that we created together and this is really exciting for me because I get to show you my work finished, which is really great. You know, I can show you all day long all of the prints on my computer and the files and everything but, it's different when you see it in print and I'm really excited because this is the culmination of what we're trying to do. We're trying to get our work from concept to creation, to print and then hopefully into somebody's hands, at the end of the day, who wants to keep it forever and ever. That's really the goal and that's why this is so exciting to see, finally, in print because we worked really hard on this, together all of us in this room actually, and it's very gratifying to see. I wanna make sure that you also get to a place where you're exhibiting a series of work like thi...

s and that's why we have this bonus material, which is trying to guide you through the process of printing from how you find your printer, different ways of printing, the actual printing methods, the papers you might wanna choose, the sizes you might wanna choose, things like that so, this is a printing checklist that I hope will be really helpful for you. And I'm just gonna set this down. So we're gonna talk about printing and I feel like we have to first talk about these images because here they are and we can't ignore them forever. I'm gonna walk you through a little bit of why they're ordered like this, why they're printed like this, and each of the choices that I made, in regard to these prints that you see right here. First, let's go over a few printing basics, things that you are going to have to consider when you are printing your work. Now, why would you be printing your work? What are the scenarios in which you would want to have prints? First is for portfolios so, if you are working on a portfolio that you would like to put out there into the world in some way, whether it's to get reviewed, to show galleries, whatever. You can do that at any time so, you don't have to wait for a gallery to knock on your door to start printing your work and I highly encourage you to start very soon after you start creating for a couple of reasons. One is that it gives you a new appreciation for the craft, for what prints look like, how your work feels different, and it can often give you editing ideas, as well. Next time you go in, you'll have a better idea of how things are going to print. Later on we are going to be live printing so that you can see something come out of a printer and we'll talk about how to proof that. The more you start proofing your images, the more you realize that certain editing techniques might not be as good for printing as others and there are lots of factors that go into that. But, the other reason why I think it's really important to look at prints and to print your work frequently, having a consistent and updated portfolio is that you're always going to be ready for those meetings. You're always gonna be ready for any moment to go into a gallery, share your work ane either have it hang on their walls one day or not. I think that if you can have your work printed authentically, meaning, true to how you would actually print the work for a show, then you're giving that gallery an insider look into what their show would look like. They wanna know, as much as possible, if you can be trusted, if you're going to bring them good prints, good quality, that it's going to last a long time. They wanna know that you're gonna bring those prints in to them and what, exactly, that will look like on their walls. There are lots and lots of reasons to print and if you're going to start printing, there are a few things that you wanna consider, the printing method and a lot of this is stuff that we've gone over before and this is just a really good overview of the final process, this is what you're gonna wanna do. Choose your printing method, choose your paper, the type of printer that you're going to print on, calibration if you're going to calibrate your monitor or not, which I obviously recommend that you do. If you're going to do it at home versus outsourcing, the location of your printer. Where is your printer located? Your relationship with your printer, which I'm gonna go into detail about with me and my printer, turn around time for prints, how long it takes to send the file versus pick up the print, ease of printing. Is this an easy process or not? And there are lots of factors that go in to the ease of printing or the difficulty of printing. And the size of your prints as well so, how big are you printing? How difficult is that to manage versus smaller prints and so on. So, that's what we're going to be talking about. And, this is the series that I've created. SO, you can obviously see them hanging around me but here they are digitally. This is the order that I have chosen, personally, to put my images in but, what I wanna know is, how would you order them? What would you do differently in this situation? I'm going to walk around and show you each of the prints and why I decided to do what I did for these sizes, the paper choice, every detail. Now, I have chosen this specific order for the prints for many, many reasons. And, I'll explain my reasoning and then if you guys have any other ideas, tell me and we can have this conversation. Who orders the prints in a gallery? The answer is that you always should have the final say in how something gets hung because this is your work but, often I will send my prints off to a gallery and they'll make that choice for me unless I tell them this has to go first, this has to go last so, unless you are very specific, they'll probably just choose for you but, in this case, I get to choose for myself and there's a narrative that's being told here from one print, to the next, to the next, which is a lot more apparent in person than it is on a screen so, I wish that everybody could be in the room right now to see but, lets go through one-by-one and talk. So, we've got this image here, which is our tree with the roots underneath and this image to me, when I started, was going to be the last image in the series. That was what I thought when I had conceptualized it so, it's very odd to me that I have chosen to place this first. I thought a lot about it and I thought about how this is, in a lot of ways, the strangest image in the series because of the fact that it's a lot of Photoshop. The rest were not as much Photoshop and it has this quality of being very surreal way more than the other images do, in my opinion. So, you've got a lot of Photoshop, a lot of heavy editing, something that probably couldn't really exist in real life, whereas the rest probably could, in some way. So, I've got my girl underneath the tree and, to me, this is an image of being cradled by the Earth, an image of being cradled by this house that she's in, that you'll see develop as a character, unto itself, over time but, I thought that this was a really interesting way to start because it's sort of like, can you get more integrated into a space than literally being under it? And I felt, no. So, I thought this might be a good place to start and when I am choosing one image to the next, to the next, to order them, I'm thinking about many different factors. One being the conceptual story that's arching through this narrative. Now, this felt a little bit like being born. She's in this fetal position. She's being cradled by a tree, which is a symbol for life so, this seemed like a really good birth image to start with. Conceptually, I'm thinking, how does that relate to the next image? But, visually, how does this relate to the next image? Which, honestly, if you're walking into a gallery show, you're probably not going to immediately say, oh, I totally see how these conceptually link from one to the other. First, you're going to say, oh, I see how these visually connect from one to the other. That's just going to be your first thought. So, I thought, since she is being cradled by these roots and since she's in fetal position, I'll move on to the next one here, which is going to be almost the same image, just not below ground. This time she's cradled by vines, still in the fetal position so, it has a really nice visual connection from one to the other. It also has a nice thematic connection because it's almost the same thing except she's being moved up into a room. I really liked the connection between these two but, then I had a harder time connecting these. This was the first point where I thought, uh-oh, I'm not quite sure what should come next. I have every single option around me, right? My thought process was, let's connect it visually because thematically all of these moving on, pretty much in the whole center of the series, have a very similar thematic element. They're all dealing with the same concept of being in this space and being brought down by the space, held back by the decay, being part of the decay, or breaking free from that. So, from one to the next, what connects these two? My answer is that the pose does. So, she's sitting in a pose where she's sort of upright and fetal. Then we move over here where she's almost in the same pose except one leg comes down now, which just sort of opens it up a little bit and that was my connection, not to mention the vines one to the next. One is green, one is purple, through happy Photoshopping but, aside from that, it's still vines and it's a very similar position. So, if I keep moving on through the series, now, I didn't have any other poses that looked like this. I was done with being able to match the poses, I have no more vines that I can choose from so, in this case, I looked at this end table that we have and I thought, well, the end table looks like the chair. It has a very similar feeling, old-timey sort of feel and I thought, well, this is great, it takes one piece of furniture right into another, just a little visual connection from one to the next. And then, if I start looking at this, what will connect this to this? Again, it's the chair so, we've got a chair here as well as here and I decided to flow right into this image. This one was quite different. This was a pretty big jump, I think, from the chair to the sand room here. And, we've got this sand and a little bit of the chair and I started to wonder, what else is like this picture? We've got light coming directly in the room, we've got this sand, we've got this dress, we have no more chairs. What could it be? For a little bit, I tossed around the idea of putting the bed after this just to keep the furniture thing going on here but then I thought that that's probably not strong enough to link so many images so, from sand I went to moss, just acknowledging that these are two very similar, natural elements and that seemed to feel right to me to go one to the next. Both were shot in the corner of a room so, they have that going for them. And then, I moved from the moss into the fish tank and this was a little bit of a leap for me as well, but, I liked that the hands were very, very similar. It's the same model from one to the next and it has these greenish-blue colors from one to the next, as well. And then I had a really easy time linking the bed to the fish tank because she's in almost the same position, just turned in a slightly different way, where her hand is up by her face and they're sort of integrated into the middle of this scene; one in the middle of the fish tank, the other in the bed. The bed was very difficult because this was a really hard picture to place. It was outdoors, first of all. Nothing else was. It featured a large piece of furniture. Nothing else did and it felt a little bit out of place. I almost took it out of the series because of that. Because, I felt like maybe it was just too different but, then I looked at this mirror image that we photographed and I kind of felt like, you know, this has a pastural scene in it and this really connects to this bed being in the pasture, so I felt like one could go to the next. And then we have the final two images here, where we have a really similar pose from one to the next, both with the arms out, slightly up, slightly down but, from one to the next, this has a slight sense of freedom and this has a complete sense of freedom to me. And that's why I wanted to end with this image. So, the first thing I did was choose my starting image and my ending image, just so that I could bookend it and understand the narrative arc that I'm trying to go for. So, we have feathers, which are a symbol of freedom. We have her pose, which is much more open and free than any of the others. You see so many poses where they look trapped, sort of closed in on themselves but, in this one, she's completely free and open and that felt really beautiful to me, to end the series so that we had the sense of completion and closure, toward the end. So, that's how I ordered them. I know that was a lot of explanation about how I ordered them. So, what do you guys think? Would you change anything? As I was walking through did you think, I disagree with something? And, that's good if you did, I wouldn't mind at all. There's no right answer to how to order a series, of course. Especially because I didn't necessarily know ahead of time what was gonna go where. In fact, I surprised myself. Do you have a, yeah, go ahead, I would love to hear your critique. I was looking more at the moss and the bed and considering that those also have some sort of flora element to them and thought that it might work better toward the beginning where you also have the kind of flora element to them, as well. Interesting, yes. I didn't even see that. See, we've got the green vines, maybe that goes with the green moss, for example. And then, yeah, the bed might fit better in there because it's got so much, I don't know what that stuff is called. Grass, wheat, yellow. That's why I said flora, I don't know either. You did the right thing. Tory? I'd have to see it but I kind of wonder what the moss and the sand would be switched places, because I can see the boards of the wall going under the boards of the wall of the moss and, also, they're both lighter and then the sand is darker and then you have the sand and the dirt. I love that. I wish I had thought of that. No, but that's great and the thing is it's not set in stone, right? This is the fun thing about prints, it's not like I'm saying to you, okay, come up here and tell me what I Photoshopped wrong. That would hurt a little bit more than just the order of the photos but, yeah, that's a really good point. And then you start to look at different elements when you get other people's opinions. I hadn't even thought to look at the boards on the wall and how they connect to one another but they absolutely do. These boards can connect to these boards, can connect to these boards and then we start to see this really good connection of all of these lines running through, which we have here, as well, and in the first one, also. Very interesting. Yeah, Serete? The first thing, when I walked in was look at the color flow that's going on, the blues being disbursed everywhere and the brown. It really flows nicely. Oh, thank you. That's very nice. Okay so, yeah, there are some things that we could change and all of this depends on whether you are solely focusing on visual cohesion, conceptual cohesion, or if you're trying to maybe mix the two together so that there is some sort of story. Would any of you have changed the first and last image? Would you have switched them, maybe, or changed the narrative somehow? No? Okay, thanks. The thing is that it's really fun to play how story changes based on the order of your images. So, had I started with that feather image and ended with this one, you might get the complete opposite sense, like she was free but now she's being taken into this dark, dreary place and this all goes back to our voice and the mission that we have as artists. What are we trying to convey? If I wanted to convey the story of a girl who's just being brought down by her surroundings, then maybe I'd switch the order but, I'm already so drawn to darkness, as you can see displayed here, that I wanna end this on a positive note and it's really important for me to say that, even though this image of the feathers is very dark, we've got just a little bit of window light, we've got this really dark background, even though it's a physically, visually dark image, it still has this positivity based on her energy, the symbol of what a feather is, and that's why it's so exciting to me to play with visuals and concept all at once and to ask yourself, how is it that the visual scheme that you're working on within an image, can change, or enhance the concept that you're working with and vice-a-versa? So, I actually decided, as I was going through this, that I was going to print some of these images multiple times, and we're going to bring the printer out later but, I just wanted to let you guys know, I recognize that printing is very difficult. I recognize that you might be very frustrated when you send prints out to get printed, or you have your own printer, that they're coming out really dark, or really light, or de-saturated, or overly saturated, or whatever the issue may be and I'm very fortunate that my relationship with my printer is one where I don't worry about that very much because we have such a wonderful working relationship. I sent these files to my printer, he printed them, I showed up here, and this is what they looked like and they were really, really nice because my printer simply knows, already, what colors are not in my color palette, how dark is too dark, when do I wanna see detail, when do I not? And if there's an image that's particularly odd for me, I'll write to him and say, let's proof this or whatever, because I don't proof every image of mine because it's simply not financially worth it for me anymore to do that because he's right 95 or 98 percent of the time but, for you it might be worth it and we're gonna show later exactly why and how things can go wrong, which, obviously, we don't want.

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.

Lessons

Class Introduction
Storytelling & Ideas
Universal Symbols in Stories
Create Interactive Characters
The Story is in The Details
Giving Your Audience Feelings
Guided Daydream Exercise
Elements of Imagery
The Death Scenario
Associations with Objects
Three Writing Exercises
Connection Through Art
Break Through Imposter Syndrome
Layering Inspiration
Creating an Original Narrative
Analyze an Image
Translate Emotion into Images
Finding Parts in Images
Finding Your Target Audience
Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
Formatting Your Work
Additional Materials to Attract Clients
Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
Circle of Focus
The Pillars of Branding
Planning Your Photoshoot
Choose Every Element for The Series
Write a Descriptive Paragraph
Sketch Your Ideas
Choose Your Gear
How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
What Tells a Story in a Series?
Set Design Overview
Color Theory
Lighting for the Scene
Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
Locations
Subject Within the Scene
Set Design Arrangement
Fine Art Compositing
Plan The Composite Before Shooting
Checklist for Composite Shooting
Analyze Composite Mistakes
Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
Shoot: Miniature Scene
Editing Workflow Overview
Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
Edit Details of Images
Add Smoke & Texture
Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
Self Portrait Test Shoots
Shoot for Edit
Shoot Extra Stock Images
Practice the Shoot
Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
Shoot: Vine Image
Shoot: Sand Image
Shoot: End Table Image
Shoot: Bed Image
Shoot: Wall Paper Image
Shoot: Chair Image
Shoot: Mirror Image
Shoot: Moss Image
Shoot: Tree Image
Shoot: Fish Tank Image
Shoot: Feather Image
View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
Decide How to Start the Composite
Organize Final Images
Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
Order the Images in Your Portfolio
Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
Determine Sizes for Prints
How to Choose Paper
How to Choose Editions
Pricing Strategies
How to Present Your Images
Example Pricing Exercise
Print Examples
Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
How to Keep Licensing Organized
How to Prepare Files for Licensing
Pricing Your Licensed Images
Contract Terms for Licensing
Where to Sell Images
Commission Pricing Structure
Contract for Commissions
Questions for a Commission Shoot
Working with Galleries
Benefits of Galleries
Contracts for Galleries
How to Find Galleries
Choose Images to Show
Hanging the Images
Importance of Proofing Prints
Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
Press Package Overview
Artist Statement for Your Series
Write Your 'About Me' Page
Importance of Your Headshot
Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
Writing For Fine Art
Define Your Writing Style
Find Your Genre
What Sets You Apart?
Write to Different Audiences
Write for Blogging
Speak About Your Work
Branding for Video
Clearly Define Video Talking Points
Types of Video Content
Interview Practice
Diversifying Social Media Content
Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
Monetize Your Social Media Presence
Social Media Posting Plan
Choose Networks to Use & Invest
Presentation of Final Images
Printing Your Series
How to Work With a Print Lab
Proofing Your Prints
Bad Vs. Good Prints
Find Confidence to Print
Why Critique?
Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
Critique of Brooke's Series
Critique of Student Series
Yours is a Story Worth Telling
 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What an amazing 20 days this is going to be! Brooke is so enthusiastic and has such a lovely manner. What a bargain for all of the information Brooke will be sharing with us. So excited. Thanks Brooke and Creative Live. :)