Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories

And I think that this is looking pretty much how I want it to look, but we're going to add a couple of things here to this scenario. And this is where things get complicated. Now, if I were just making a dress out of fabric, then I could be like, "Okay, strike a pose." And then she'll be like, you know like whatever you would normally do, obviously, and then we could be done. I could just take the fabric and, like I said, photograph the fabric in different ways. But I want to make this an artistic picture, as I have embarrassingly claimed. And so we're going to do this in several pieces. And I'm going to explain why we're doing this in so many pieces, okay? So one of the reasons is because we've got this fabric and it, it could go with the rest of the scene. The candles and the veil that we're going to bring in, but I want you to imagine that we've got this fabric here and I'm gonna put this over your head eventually. And if we've got the fabric and the dress all moving all over the pl...

ace, what if I don't like the veil in one shot, but I do like the dress underneath in another shot? I would rather have the pieces of the dress separately, the veil separately, and then try to get it all together. If it works all together, great. If it doesn't, I want each individual piece to be able to add in later. So, I'm going to do this separately. And the first thing I want to do is get our main pose. Which is going to be really simple, cause I just need you to hold some candles and just stare out the window. So it's going to be really easy. So I'll have you just, the candles are all broken and weird. I'm going to have you hold those candles. Perfect. Oh my god, they're so weird. Okay. Just try to hold them together, if you can. You can hold it higher up, if you want, also. Yeah. Okay. And I'm not even lighting them yet, because we're going to try not to catch everything on fire at the moment, so we're going to keep them unlit first. And you can come straight onto me. Good. And then just direct your gaze out the window. Perfect. And I'm going to have you close your eyes even, as long as you don't get dizzy closing your eyes. Some people do and it's really hard to stand still closing your eyes. Great! Got it. Okay. So we've got our main shot, and this is going to be the shot that everything gets built off of. Now, I'm going to add the veil just to see if we can get everything going at once. So this is going to be weird, cause it's like really gross and heavy and odd, but here you go. Aww, you're married. Okay. So this is going to be the next shot that I'm going to get and I'm just letting this fabric come off to the side. And we're gonna just poof that down there. Okay. There we go. And let's have you take your arms out of this, and that way we won't catch anything on fire. Yeah, I like this. Okay, does anyone have a lighter? Thank you. And I'm gonna light these candles and your job is don't catch anything on fire. I should have inspected my candles. And we have hair that's like burning now, and now it's going to stink. Yuck. Come on. I have often lit candles later on in Photoshop, so if that's what you need to do, then that's what you need to do. But I think that is, it's really nice to have it practically done in camera one, because then you don't have to fake anything, but also because it's going to add a little glow to our subject. (laughs) These poor candles. Yeah, that's right. Just get rid of that dinky one and that's perfect. Oh, that's good. Yeah. Okay. We've got this. So let's do one more shot here looking out the window, and can you bring them any closer without catching yourself on fire? Perfect. Okay. Good. Yeah, I like how this is looking. Okay. Fantastic. So we've got, oh, they kind of went apart, yeah. I'm gonna, hold on, let me just kinda (laughs) There we go. Good? Okay. (laughs) These poor candles. Can you hold them a little bit lower for me? Yeah, that's it. That's exactly right. And I'm just focusing on the hands right now. Perfect. Okay. So I'm going to probably use this as my main shot. Just looking at it, seeing how it's going. So let's blow those candles out. Okay, I'm gonna do it. She was like, "I'm not responsible." Yeah, there we go. Okay. I'm gonna take them from you, but now we need to get all of these extra shots. This is gonna be our room. Thank you. (laughs) And so what I want you to do is just take this veil and if you can, just flick it out that way a little bit. You can take one little step over to the side. There we go. That way it doesn't go off onto the white or anything like that because this is transparent. So, we cannot afford to have this on a white or busy background or anything like that. It's okay if I switch my distance a little bit to accommodate this because my focus isn't shifting and the background will not change in this picture, so this will all stay the same. So I can move back to get that fabric. I'm just going to refocus. And whenever you're ready, I'm ready to capture the fabric. Perfect. Good. And let's do one more. Grand! I like it. Okay, well you know what? I love how it's falling behind you. Would you take another step over that way? Yep. I can't use left and right, because I just don't understand things, but perfect. Okay, I love how that was falling on you. So now let's go ahead and remove the veil and in fact, you can even remove the fabric, if you can do that in a decent way. (laughs) Oh, I'll come unclip you as well. Oh good, the clip was the easy part. Okay. I'm like holding it up in case you need a, okay good. So now if you wouldn't mind just assisting me for a second here, I'm going to have you just take this and fling it up that way and bring it back to your body a little bit. So there you go. I usually hold it from a corner, just so that there's more fabric moving outward. Okay. Yep, go that way with it to start. And I'll let you know when. Okay, perfect. Yep, got it. And just keep going. Good. And I'm just going to get a bunch of images here. That was a good one. Okay. Okay, and now out toward me. Oh, that was really good though. Okay. Oh, these are nice. And I actually think the reason is because the fabric is quite heavy, so it's falling really, really well without any wrinkles. And then out to that side, so if you would step a little bit over toward the window. Good. Yep. And it's important that you get it from all angles like this so that the lighting remains consistent. You have to make sure to really move from one side to the next and cover all the ground that you think you're going to need to cover. Great. Okay, we definitely got that. That looks really awesome. So we've got the veil, let's just go through a little check list. We've got the veil, we've got the fabric, we've got our subject, the candles were lit. I think we have everything that we need, so let's move on to our miniature scene.

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. :)