Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 47/138 - Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing

I wanna photograph something fun though and really artistic and yeah, that sounds terrible, really artistic. This is gonna be so artistic you guys, it's just gonna be so great. But what we're going to do is a little bit of practice here with how do we create with nothing through compositing. So we've got this red fabric. Let me open it up. This is extremely expensive fabric. No, I'm just kidding. This was like three dollars from a fabric store. And I usually go in and I ask if they have any fabrics that they can't sell because sometimes they'll have something that got stained or for whatever reason they can't sell it or it's just a weird amount of it and I usually ask for that because then they'll give me a discount and then I don't have to pay full price because apparently I'm making myself sound super cheap and like I can't even pay for one yard of fabric, but still, why not right? If you're just gonna get it all dirty and it's gonna be disgusting, then you might as well. One way tha...

t I like to work is with fabric instead of dresses because I think that fabric is very moldable and dresses already have a certain look. So you saw April in this dress that I forced her to wear today and it's messy and it's all yucky and it has a certain look to it. I mean, first of all, it is a wedding dress, so I've already had several people ask me if I'm getting married when I've been out wearing it and one time I said yes and it was fun to lie to people. But yeah, this will not have that look. No one's gonna look at this and say, oh that's a cocktail dress or that's a wedding dress or it's this or that. It just is. But how do you make it look realistic? So I've got this dress and generally what I will do with creating a dress is to wrap it around my subject something like this, obviously without wearing a black shirt underneath it, just to give it some shape. And I'll sort of wrap it like that so then you can see the body shape of the person, but I'm worrying exactly about exactly what type of dress I'm gonna make. Will it be a princess dress? Will it be an A line dress? I don't even know. What is the other one? A fishtail dress, is that what's that called? Mermaid dress (laughing). Fishtail, mermaid, whatever. That's a braid. Fishtail is a braid. So I'm not worrying about that yet. I'm just making sure that it's form fitting enough. And then I'm going to take this fabric, once I've got that general shape to the person and just fling it all over the place to create nice flowing fabric and then it can be whatever I want it to be later on. I am, however, paying attention to a couple of things. One, making sure that when I fling it out it comes back to the person so that there's a believable perspective here, so that the fabric isn't like swoosh up in the air, like okay let's photograph this fabric even though it's supposed to be down there as a dress. You know, like if I'm trying to make it look like my dress is flowing out this way, I would rather do it like this, connecting it to my waist, flowing it out this way instead of doing these crazy things up in the air. It just won't work. The other thing that I'm thinking about is lighting, so I'm simply not changing my lighting situation in between. And then we go through our little checklist. Is there going to be blur on this, but not somewhere else? Something to think about. Where is your focus going to be and are you changing it? And in fact, focus is a big one for a lot of people because I'm on a manual focus lens, so I'm not switching my focus back and forth between like the background, the subject, the foreground, all these different things. So if you're on auto focus, you might find, depending on how you're using your camera that when you go like that your focus shifts to this piece of fabric up here or the tip of the fabric or something like that. So I like to keep my subject standing in one place, just move the fabric around like this and always pull it back to the subject so that this part of the dress is more in focus than what's in the foreground. Other things that I like to do if you're creating a gigantic dress out of this fabric, then maybe you want the fabric to come toward the camera more, so then maybe you'll take a step forward and this will be the lower part of the fabric coming closer to the camera. But that's something that we may or may not need to do here. So Tori, are you ready to be my model? I am ready. Yay. And what I have here is we're just using people in the studio today to photograph. And this should be pretty simple. I am going to, oh my gosh, you're so tall. Should I take my shoes off? No, you're good. I'm looking at her like wow this is like a giant dress on me and just a piece of fabric on you. But we're gonna make it work. So I'm going to tie this around here like that. Sorry. And I'm just getting like a knot in the back going because I am not even remotely organized enough to have any safety pins or anything like that with me. Is that okay? Uh-huh. Okay, well it's not okay for me, hold on. So instead of having safety pins with me, I just tie knots in fabric and people always say, but that doesn't look realistic and who cares. I don't know if you guys have heard, but pictures are 2-D things. So I don't care how the back of it looks as long as the front looks alright. And you're looking okay. You're looking a little baggy here, so let's pull it in a little bit. And I'm just going to make sure that when I take the picture this is pulled in so that she has some shape. And if she doesn't, I have been on many a mountaintops where I have this tied just exactly as you see it and then later on I'll just give myself some shape in Photoshop because that's possible. And you don't have to do it in person, but best to do it in person if we can. So I'm actually just gonna steal one of these clips because it's not everyday you're in a studio and you find clips just sitting in the corner of the room. So let's go for it. And I'm just gonna clip this fabric together. Perfect, okay, well you look perfect except for your straps. Would you mind pulling those down a little bit? Do you want it off the shoulder or-- Tucked into the dress fabric dress. Is it tight enough to be able to do that? Okay, good. I don't want any accidents on set today. So what I'm going to do is just take a quick step back and frame you up while you're doing that, so no pressure. And as you can see, I'm up kind of high right now, like I have my camera held up, not quite to my face, but pretty much, and I think that I would rather get a slightly lower angle on this because I want this to look really dramatic and you're already so tall. Good. So I'm gonna get down a little bit lower. I can't believe our luck with this black fabric. It's like so great. But I need to fix my settings because right now I'm at F2, which I'm okay with, I like a shallow depth of field, but I'm at 125 and I need to switch that, so I'm gonna go into manual mode here on my camera and I'm just gonna reset my settings because what I'm considering now is do I want blur? Do I want there to be blur on this dress or not? And that's something that I need to decide now, not later. So I'm at 125 for my shutter speed and I'm gonna take a quick test. Would you mind just kicking your leg out a little bit. Yeah, good. No, that was perfect. It doesn't have to look good, just have to see if we have any blur. And right now, we've got a little bit of blur, but I actually like that amount of blur. I think that that's kind of an interesting amount and I like the lighting too. And you might look at this and think, whoa that is so opposite from how I would shoot this. Like this is so dark and this so, like you're gonna have grain in that. And I know, I've been told over and over and that's fine with me. So right now, I'm sort of prioritizing my shutter speed, making sure that it's fast enough, that it's not just like a ghost of fabric that we have here because that would be really weird, but also making sure that my ISO isn't too high, so I'm just balancing those two needs here with my F2 aperture.

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.


1Class Introduction 2Storytelling & Ideas 3Universal Symbols in Stories 4Create Interactive Characters 5The Story is in The Details 6Giving Your Audience Feelings 7Guided Daydream Exercise 8Elements of Imagery 9The Death Scenario 10Associations with Objects 11Three Writing Exercises 12Connection Through Art 13Break Through Imposter Syndrome 14Layering Inspiration 15Creating an Original Narrative 16Analyze an Image 17Translate Emotion into Images 18Finding Parts in Images 19Finding Your Target Audience 20Where Do You Want Your Images to Live? 21Create a Series That Targets Your Audience 22Formatting Your Work 23Additional Materials to Attract Clients 24Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful? 25How to Make Money from Your Target Audience 26Circle of Focus 27The Pillars of Branding 28Planning Your Photoshoot 29Choose Every Element for The Series 30Write a Descriptive Paragraph 31Sketch Your Ideas 32Choose Your Gear 33How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations 34What Tells a Story in a Series? 35Set Design Overview 36Color Theory 37Lighting for the Scene 38Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design 39Locations 40Subject Within the Scene 41Set Design Arrangement 42Fine Art Compositing 43Plan The Composite Before Shooting 44Checklist for Composite Shooting 45Analyze Composite Mistakes 46Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing 47Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing 48Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories 49Shoot: Miniature Scene 50Editing Workflow Overview 51Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress 52Edit Details of Images 53Add Smoke & Texture 54Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite 55Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario 56Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot 57Self Portrait Test Shoots 58Shoot for Edit 59Shoot Extra Stock Images 60Practice the Shoot 61Introduction to Shooting Photo Series 62Shoot: Vine Image 63Shoot: Sand Image 64Shoot: End Table Image 65Shoot: Bed Image 66Shoot: Wall Paper Image 67Shoot: Chair Image 68Shoot: Mirror Image 69Shoot: Moss Image 70Shoot: Tree Image 71Shoot: Fish Tank Image 72Shoot: Feather Image 73View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing 74Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion 75Edit Images with Advanced Compositing 76Decide How to Start the Composite 77Organize Final Images 78Choosing Images for Your Portfolio 79Order the Images in Your Portfolio 80Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others? 81Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order 82Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing 83Determine Sizes for Prints 84How to Choose Paper 85How to Choose Editions 86Pricing Strategies 87How to Present Your Images 88Example Pricing Exercise 89Print Examples 90Licensing, Commissions & Contracts 91How to Keep Licensing Organized 92How to Prepare Files for Licensing 93Pricing Your Licensed Images 94Contract Terms for Licensing 95Where to Sell Images 96Commission Pricing Structure 97Contract for Commissions 98Questions for a Commission Shoot 99Working with Galleries 100Benefits of Galleries 101Contracts for Galleries 102How to Find Galleries 103Choose Images to Show 104Hanging the Images 105Importance of Proofing Prints 106Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery 107Press Package Overview 108Artist Statement for Your Series 109Write Your 'About Me' Page 110Importance of Your Headshot 111Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch 112Writing For Fine Art 113Define Your Writing Style 114Find Your Genre 115What Sets You Apart? 116Write to Different Audiences 117Write for Blogging 118Speak About Your Work 119Branding for Video 120Clearly Define Video Talking Points 121Types of Video Content 122Interview Practice 123Diversifying Social Media Content 124Create an Intentional Social Media Persona 125Monetize Your Social Media Presence 126Social Media Posting Plan 127Choose Networks to Use & Invest 128Presentation of Final Images 129Printing Your Series 130How to Work With a Print Lab 131Proofing Your Prints 132Bad Vs. Good Prints 133Find Confidence to Print 134Why Critique? 135Critiquing Your Own Portfolio 136Critique of Brooke's Series 137Critique of Student Series 138Yours 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.

a Creativelive Student

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. :)