Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Print Examples

I wanted to show you some of my prints, since we're talking about printing and editioning and pricing and sizing and all of those things, and I just wanna give you a little example of what that looks like for me. And I think that it's really good to see papers and the sizes in relation to each other as well as to a human. So for context, I'm a bit over five feet tall, and this is how big a ten inch print looks. So this is my ten inch size, my smallest size that I offer. And I don't offer anything smaller than this because I felt like I would just lose too much detail. And that's a totally personal thing when you're choosing you're sizing and all of that good stuff. So I've got my paper here, and what you'll notice if I just take one of these is that it's a nice, thick paper. It doesn't really wobble around that much, it holds its shape no matter what I do, because it's really thick and it's really textured. And you're probably not gonna be able to see that from far away, but when I loo...

k up close, I can see the texture in the pigment, in the print, in the ink, and all of that. Particularly right in this top strip where it's really yellow, and it's just a flat yellow, I can see the texture really well through this region. So that's something that we're considering when we're choosing our sizes, and our prints, and our paper, and all of the things that go into that. So we've got sizes here, and this in contrast is my 20 inch size. So I go 10 inches to 20 inches, and you can see the difference. It looks like a little baby print, doesn't it in comparison? And it's just very, very small. So I wanted to take a second to talk about these sizes, and why I chose what I chose when I started. I really like this 20 inch size, because I feel like this is a reasonable size print to hang in a house. It's nothing gigantic where you would have to have a huge wall space for it, but I will say that I've learned a lot about markets both where I live as well as internationally, and they change. What people's expectations are, what their preferences are. So here in the United States, it's much more common for me to sell this size print, whereas in the gallery that I have in Amsterdam, it's very common that I sell my large prints there. And the whole reason is lifestyle, how people live. So they have, in Amsterdam, huge, tall ceilings in their houses, with big blank walls, where they can put giant pieces of art, where this is gonna look really tiny in that house, whereas something that's double the size is going to look much more reasonable. But here in the United States, as well as many other countries, you don't have that much space to put giant prints on your walls. And sometimes this depends on that gallery itself. So I will often go from one gallery in, say, New York City, where nobody has almost any wall space, to a gallery in Florida, where you have tons of big homes with big walls. I had a gallery in Florida that sold a lot of large prints because of the people that she was selling to and the types of houses that they owned, versus other locations where I sell this size or even smaller. Another really good thing to think about is I'm kind of having some trouble handling this print, right? I'm kind of like, ah! It's a little bit more more bendy, it's bigger, and I wanna make sure that I don't hurt this print. So I'm gonna put this back right there. But something to consider with these small prints is that they're very manageable, very manageable. I can take one of these prints, and I'm not very worried about damaging it, and it's not gonna bend, and it's easy to transport, so something that you might wanna consider is how you might display these prints in a gallery. For example, you would want to have this framed, this 20 inch print, because it's bigger and it's floppier and you can't handle it easily. This one, however, I have often had my prints just with a little backer board on it, a little whiteboard around the back, and I've had it sort of shrink-wrapped together, and just had them so you can sort of flip through them in a bin rather than on the walls. And that's really great, because it gives the illusion of discount, does in not? So if you go into a gallery, and you've got all these big prints on the walls, but then you have a literal bin on the floor, where you're flipping through the prints, then it's sort of like, oh, this is a smaller price point, you might be able to take it and go with that print. So it's just another way of thinking about it. One other thing that I wanna mention is the white border that you see. Here we have a one inch boarder on these prints. And these I think are either one inch or one and a half, but I think these are one inch as well. And then as the sizes go up, the border gets bigger, just to accommodate how big and floppy the print is. So if I have a 40 inch print, I'm gonna want a bigger border on that, so that the white border is more secure when you frame it, and it stays put where it's going to go. So it's also a visual thing. The bigger the border the nicer it's probably going to look, same with matting and all of those options. And the final thing that I wanna bring up with these prints is the actual signing of the prints. So I've got a pencil here, this is just a totally normal pencil, and a lot of people are shocked to learn that I sign my prints in pencil. But using pen is ... I'm not gonna say it's at all a bad thing, you can definitely sign with whatever you want, if you wanna use a Sharpie use a Sharpie, although I don't know how, I can't endorse that method of signing. But pencil is traditional, pencil is what most people use to sign their prints, and pencil is what I use to sign my prints. There have been some debate about using pens, and using inks, in terms of will the ink bleed over time, and sort of sink into the actual print that you're trying to sign, and all of that. So I use pencil. It's traditional, it's simple, it's easy, and I would recommend going in that direction with it. Now in terms of signing these prints, I'm just going to take this one and show you where I would sign this print. So here I have the image, and we've got the ink going to the edges right around here, which is 20 inches. So the 20 inches is not from one side of the paper to the next, it's where the actual ink falls. So that's 20 inches. And then we have the border, and there are a lot of ways you can do this. You don't have to do this in one standard way, but the way that I would do it is to sign the bottom, right-hand corner, and number the bottom, left-hand corner, and that's how I do it. So if I'm going to sing this print, I'm gonna sign it right here, and I'm just going to put my signature right on the bottom there. And then I would number it over here, which I'm not going to do right now` because I don't know which number this is, and I would have to look at my special document to know, which I'm not going to do at this moment. Especially because, if something happens to this, then I've just wasted my time numbering it, and I'm not gonna be able to sell it, and I'll have to destroy it. So instead I'm going to leave it unnumbered, but signing is okay. Other options here would be not only signing and numbering, but also maybe putting a title, maybe in the middle of it in quotes. You might add the date or the year that it was created. These are all options that you might wanna put on the print itself, and that is completely up to you, what you want to do with that. So I've got these two sizes here, and clearly what you're missing are my other two sizes. So I didn't bring any super gigantic prints with me because that's very difficult to do. So I did not do that, but I've got these prints here and I hope that it's interesting to at least see what the different sizes look like, where to sign it, and how you might wanna handle selling these prints.

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.


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
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


  • 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. :)