Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Bed Image

This is a photo shoot with a bed that clearly is not just a bed because we sawed it in half, and the whole idea here was that the home is supposed to be a place of comfort, but everything is splitting apart, and we're going to have our subject just inside the mattress, literally laying in between it on this uncomfortable ground. The original idea here was to actually have the bed inside, in a small room, but the room was too small, and the bed didn't quite fit on the wall, and nothing was working exactly as it should, so that was when I decided to switch everything up and take the bed outside instead of keeping it in, which is sort of a twist on this series so far because instead of taking the outdoors in, we're taking the indoors out and that's how we ended up in this completely beautiful field that we're in which works perfectly for the feeling of this whole entire series. So I'm going to be photographing my model Rachel, if you wanna come on in, and we have her in this gorgeous nigh...

t gown, this is gonna be a very neutral shoot, not a lot of color. And I'm just gonna have you lay down with your head toward the head board, right in between the mattresses. Perfect. I told her earlier this is gonna be the simplest photo shoot ever because all she has to do is lay down, and even fall asleep if you want, you are welcome to. It's not very comfortable though. So we've got these two mattress halves, I took a knife to the mattresses, that's why my hand is covered in dirt right now, because I took a knife to it and then I rubbed dirt on it, poured some water on to make it a little bit muddy, and just to sort of distress this scene a little bit more so that it looks more a part of the field. All I need to do now is make sure that the costume is looking nice, I'm just gonna sort of rearrange things a little bit and I'm going to take one shot with this bed exactly as it is. We've got two friends helping out, holding up the head board and after I get that shot, I'm actually just gonna squeeze the mattress in even further and see if we can sandwich her in between this mattress because I'm not sure which one will look good. As you can imagine, this is a slightly difficult thing to pre-conceptualize and know exactly what it's going to look like, so we're going to see how it looks both ways and either way, I'm excited about this photo, we even have a crow cawing in the distance and it's all very ominous right now. So okay, let me take a look at your costume, I'm just going to spread it out just a little bit. There we go, yep. There, just put some wrinkles on it just like that. And you can just have your arms down at your sides. Ah, yep, exactly like that. And as I look at this scene, I might even have her switch her head to come toward me, toward the camera, which could be a really interesting take on this, but for now, stay there and I'll get one shot just as it is. I'm getting a slightly higher angle up on this chair that way I don't see any of the forest in the background or a house in the background, just the field and the bed. I'm again on my 25 milometer lens here so I make sure that I get the whole scene in and this is looking really, really interesting. So right now in F 3.5, so I'm for the first time deviating from my normal F2, which looks really beautiful. ISO 100 and 640 for my shutter speed at the moment. I'm actually gonna take that up even higher to about 1250, so this is gonna be a super fast shutter. And I'm going to have our bed holders go inward with yep, that's perfect. Okay, Tori back a little bit. Yep, that's it. And I'm going to take this shot. Okay. So I have my image so far, and it could be as simple as that but we're gonna try just two more variations. So Rachel if you wouldn't mind flipping your head toward me, and the reason why I'm making that choice is because whatever is coming closer to the camera is going to look larger, and I don't know yet just in the back of my camera if her feet look out of proportion compared to her head, but I know that it's always very flattering to have the head look bigger than the feet, so we're going to go with this option as well. That looks perfect. If you wouldn't mind Rachel just tilting your head even more toward me, yep, and then closing your eyes. That looks so beautiful. Okay, I'm just refocusing to make sure that her head is in focus here. (shutter clicks) Okay. And I've got that image, so now for the final one that I'm going to shoot here, I'm going to actually push the mattresses together and have Rachel turn on her side so that she's truly sandwiched in, and I do like your head coming toward me. So we'll have you stay like that and yep, on your side, and we're just gonna push this mattress in. Oh, I liked that. That was great (chuckles), see it's so fun when the model has a great idea like that. I'm just gonna move this slightly in. Thank you. You have a lot to handle over there. Okay and now I'll squash you in on this side. Let me know if anything pinches or hurts or, okay you're good. She says she's good. Confirmation from the model, okay. This looks really, really nice. I absolutely love it, completely. Okay. I'm super excited. All right. Head boards look good, everything looks good. Just checking my focus one last time here. (shutter clicks) Okay. And we've got the shot, now I'm gonna take a couple extras just of the grass below, of the field above, and I'm going to have to get a clean shot eventually without our head board holders over here. But that's something that I can do later. Just getting little bits of field from this angle so then I can add that in separately. So this is looking beautiful, Rachel, you may relax, although I think that's exactly what she's doing, so, this looked really good, it's so simple, but if you have a concept that's really beautiful and you have really good props to be able to make that come to life, then everything comes together really simply as this did, so I think we're ready to move on.

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. :)