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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 41 of 138

Set Design Arrangement


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 41 of 138

Set Design Arrangement


Lesson Info

Set Design Arrangement

So we've got a few different wardrobe options here. And, my particular wardrobe is not very diverse. I have a very specific style, and in fact, I thought that what I was wearing would be really different, but it's not, it looks just like all these things. I tried to wear this to a wedding, but I was vetoed on that one. So, I've got a bunch of dresses here, and I also have a couple examples of props. And the point that I want to make here, is this... This really matters. This, versus this. Which, is still warm actually, this is tea. This is a teacup. Did you know? 'Kay. So we've got two very different props, and if I had said to you, okay guys, we're going to do a photo shoot, I need a teacup, somebody bring me a teacup. What is your idea of a teacup? Somebody might bring me this, someone might bring me this. You don't know, and you have to be so specific about what goes with what. So, same thing with keys. I have had this happen on a number of occasions, where I've said to someone, do ...

you have a key that I could photograph, and then I get this. And this is not a good looking key, is it? Maybe you think it is. I think this is a good looking key though. You know, something really old and timeless and beautiful. And, the fact is, that it doesn't matter which one you like more, but you have to choose really specifically. I wish that I could convey how many times I have looked at people's portfolios, and they'll tell me, okay I want, I want to make images that are, you know, that can go on book covers, that can go on young adult fiction book covers. And then I look at their work, and they've got people wearing jeans in the pictures, you know, jeans and a t-shirt. It's like, I get that that's the easy thing to do, but does that actually work for what you're trying to do here? And often it doesn't. So, we've got keys, we've got books, for example. A normal, everyday book, that you would find in Barnes and Noble, versus, this beautiful thing that we found. I just love this, I know. And the pages are worn, and it's just beautiful, and these kind of details make a big difference. Even, let's just say, I'm gonna do a photo right now, and I'm gonna take these book pages and rip them out, and throw them around the room, and that's gonna be part of the photo. I'm not really gonna do that, 'cause this is my book, and I don't wanna do that, but let's just say we were gonna do that. Look at what a difference it would be, to have these pages, these modern book pages that are crisp white, and nothing's ever happened to them, versus this book, which has the most perfect yellow pages in it. I just love them. So how do we choose props, and wardrobe, and location to all go together? We're in this room right now, which is very lovely, but, uninspiring, perhaps, to us sitting here, in terms of doing a photo shoot. So what if I did have to, what if I did have to do a photo shoot here? What are my options? Well, my options are probably to look down at the floor, in terms of the way that I like to shoot, right? And the background that I like to have. So, I would probably, so let's just say, I love books, I just need to say that, I'm not trying to be disrespectful to books, just in case. So if I'm going to create a scene here, you know my reaction is going to be okay, cover this newness as much as possible. 'Cause I'm not into that. So I'm going to lay these book pages all over the place, and you know, I'm gonna try to create something that covers the whole floor a little bit, makes it look dirty. Maybe I'll bring in some dirt for this image. Maybe I'll have somebody in one of these dresses, just curled up on the floor with the book pages. An easy way to create a scene that is, I was going to say timeless, but let's just say, not of our time, of a different time, because these are not from our time, and these pages are not from our time, and the floor could conceivably not be from our time. What a great way to do that, in this space. To limit the background that you see, to get rid of the noise, to start with the blankest slate possible, because that's what set design and image design is, is thinking of it from the ground up. From having absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing. What are you going to put in that room? What are you going to do? What does your room look like? My room looked like this new series that I created recently, with the yarn on the floor, and the wax on the floor, and things like that. Your room would be totally different, and the way that we would shoot this would be different, but what we need to think about, is what's the difference between these wardrobes? What does this color mean, versus this white color? What does this teacup mean, versus this teacup? Which I think is really just a glass, I don't think this is a teacup at all. I think I've been tricked. So what does it mean? How does it work together? And, are you doing everything possible to make sure that your image tells the story that you want it to tell? And if you are, then, fantastic. And if you are not, there are so many ways that we can do that, and we're going to be looking at that a little bit later on in the class, as well, in terms of how to actually build a photo shoot from the ground up, to be able to communicate what we want to communicate.

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.