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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 38 of 138

Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 38 of 138

Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design


Lesson Info

Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design

So if we move on to props very quickly, which of course goes into set design, image design, however you wanna design your image. We've got three different things to think about. One is how is your prop aiding your concept? What is the idea of the image? How is your prop going to really help tell that story? And we talked about this already with this image of the doors and how you have a prop which is a door and that door means something and therefore it aids your concept. But what about believability? I mean, how can you use a prop to make an image believable or not? I find very, very frequently that if I see an image that just doesn't quite look right, it's because the prop is out of place. Either it's the wrong time period of the prop or it's not being used in a believable way. It's not being interacted within a believable way or it just doesn't fit the scene very well. And that's what I'm trying to think about with all of these props. So everyone of these images uses a prop. In fact...

, in this image, it's not even a recognizable prop. It's a fish bowl. You may know that. You may not know that. It doesn't really matter. The point here is not the prop, but what the prop is doing in the scene, which hopefully is true for all of them. It doesn't matter that this is a paint can. It matters how it relates to the scene here. If I was just standing there and there wasn't paint in the sky, then what would the point be? If this was just a white sky in the background, it wouldn't really make sense. So there always has to be something that ties in every single prop. And then you might say, well then why did you use cardboard boxes? How does that make any sense? And you might settle there. You might say, it doesn't make any sense. That's just what I think. But in my opinion, I used cardboard boxes to show that you need to make your own ladder to your dreams as part of the concept. So there's always something that ties it in or at least I try to make sure that there's always something that ties it in. So here we have a few other images that utilize props. The umbrella as we talked about being a symbol for protection. We've got the watering can being a symbol for growth. We have a lantern and a feather pen as two different things I should say. I was going to just summarize it too quickly, but the lantern being a symbol for light in a dark space and the feather sort of an old timey time period type of tool here, where I'm not necessarily saying that the pen has anything directly to do with the concept, but that it's setting a mood, setting an atmosphere here. And then a key, which I love to use. Here we have different wardrobe examples, which also have to do with concept and time period, but also character. How are you developing your character within your scenes? What is it that you're doing to create a very specific character? In all of these cases, wardrobe is doing that, not entirely, but in a very big way. So here we have a dress that has these poofy sleeves and don't mind the hand and all of that. I realize there's a lot of weird stuff going on here, but we've got this girl in this poofy dress and that makes her look younger, right? Like if she was wearing a tight, slinky, sexy dress, then you might be like, oh what's that woman doing in there? But instead you're like, hey there's a girl in that picture. I get told all the time that people think that my self-portraits are of children, all the time, because people always think that I'm a child. I don't know why and I'm not, in case you didn't know. And it's often 'cause of my wardrobe and also because I'm oddly short, but also my wardrobe. So I wanna make sure that I'm using a wardrobe that one, gives me a certain age bracket, that also matches me to the image that I'm in and tells something about the character. So here we have this creepy picture that I was warned not to use, but I'm using it anyway and here we are. And I decided to use this very old nightgown in this image because what is creepier than somebody's head wrapped in ace bandages wearing an old nightgown? And I wanted to go for a creepy look here. So what I want you to know is that these girls are all dressed the same. Maybe they came from a hospital situation, maybe from a mental institution, who knows. They could be from anywhere and it's matching the theme of the image. The red, we've already talked about how that red gives already an image of who this person is, but then also the shape of it, the flow of it, how does this wardrobe feel and how does she work in that wardrobe can just be huge for the concept here. And then this one is one of my favorites where we've got a little bit of texture in the background with the wallpaper here and that matches the pattern on her dress and that's really important to me to draw in little ties like that with the background of the image, the foreground of the image. How does this relate in entirety to the image as a whole? These are my non-wardrobe wardrobe options where I've got just pieces of fabric in all of these. One of them is a bed sheet. Others are just literally random pieces of fabric that I found in my garage. And I love using that, probably more than anything because what is more nondescript than a blank piece of fabric? It doesn't indicate a time period. It doesn't indicate a certain character. It can be on anyone meaning anything in any time period and that's why I love to use them in my images, because think about it, this picture could be on any book cover. It doesn't matter if it's modern. It doesn't matter if it's about the 1200's. It doesn't matter, because it's just a piece of fabric. And that's what I think is so cool about wardrobe.

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.