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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 67 of 138

Shoot: Chair Image


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 67 of 138

Shoot: Chair Image


Lesson Info

Shoot: Chair Image

For this image we are going to try our hardest to put somebody up on a wall. And that's a little bit challenging because we can't actually hoist somebody onto a wall and expect gravity to not pull them down to the floor. So we're going to do this through a method that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. And the reason why it's going to work today is because we have one window light coming straight in to our subject so the lighting isn't going to change. So what we're going to do is have our subject sit in a chair and then we're going to be able to rotate that chair later to make it look like it is up on the wall, and that can be really challenging depending on the light. Let's say you're outside on an overcast day and the light is coming generally straight from above. Well that's going to be an issue if you wanna rotate someone because suddenly the lighting will not be coming from above anymore. That is the problem that we're facing in most shooting situations where the light is dir...

ectional coming from above or from the side, but in this case it's just going to hit the whole entire scene from straight on so we're going to be able to rotate our subject. So what would you do if you could not rotate your subject? The answer is that I would have to probably find a way of photographing the chair and our subject in the right position up on the wall. And the way that I would need to do that is by placing maybe a table underneath so that she could actually get in position with enough of a stable base around her, but here on this location, we don't have a table available to be able to hoist our model and chair onto, so we're going to do this the Photoshop way and make sure that we rotate her later. The first thing that I wanna do though is get a blank shot of this scene, and I know exactly where I'm going to put my subject so that's where I'm going to focus my camera is where I will eventually put my subject in. If you don't know where you're going to put your subject in an image like this, then it's really important that you shoot your subject first. So I'm going to go ahead and get my blank shot before I make anybody come into the scene. And we're gonna see how it looks before I do anything else. I'm back on my 25 millimeter lens and I've done that because this is going to be complicated enough and I don't really want to have to stitch together the scene while trying to figure out how to rotate our subject, so I'm sticking to a wide lens. I've put this door in place, which is actually being held by a friend. Wave your hand through the crack. Oh there you go, yay! And so that's just a prop door at the moment being held up, which I put there for color. Because we're going to see the ceiling in this shot, I thought it would be really good to draw in that color through the doorway as well. Just add a little bit more visual interest. So I'm going to go ahead and frame this up portrait style here. And I'm going to focus on the spot on the wall that I've already picked out for our subject to be placed in. Now that I've got that, I'm just going to take two pictures, one to the left of the scene to get the wall, and then another slightly further to the right to get more of the wall that's in front of me. So now I have this blank slate that I can put anybody into, and that's exactly what we're going to do. I'm going to move our chair into place. Just here. And by having the chair in the scene with the exact same lighting, that means that the lighting will be wrong. Again, it's coming straight in from the side, not from above, not from in front. So I'm able to rotate this chair later to make it look like it is stuck up here. So the idea here being that this chair will eventually be up here like this. But for now, it will be down here. The last thing that I need to do is to think about gravity. So I've put my subject, in fact, why don't you join me over here? She is looking just lovely in this jumper that is kind of ridiculous, but I think it actually looks really amazing in photo shoots. It's very timeless, very old, and a little bit creepy, which is good. Because we've already talked about, we've got this creepy thing going on here. So I love this outfit and I chose it specifically because it's not a dress. So if it was a dress, then of course, dresses would have to follow the law of gravity by falling forward or falling down. And this is just one less thing that I have to worry about later on in post, but I also think that this wardrobe works better than any of the dresses that I have with me, so we're going to use that. The only thing is the hair. Hair is definitely going to have to fall forward, I'm not going to shave her head for this shoot just to not have to deal with hair. So I'm going to have you put your hair up in a little bun or something like that, so if anyone has a little hair thing then that would be awesome. (chuckles) Thank you. By putting her hair up in a bun, that's going to allow me to shoot the whole subject, the chair, everything all at once, and then I'll just have to take one extra picture of her hair falling forward after we're done shooting this main shot. So I'm going to get you sitting down whenever your hair's up and I'm just going to have you sitting super simply, just sitting like a normal person in a chair wearing a weird outfit. And I think for the sake of not having your arms flailing forward or anything in the picture, I'm going to have you keep them on your lap just like that. And you're going to pretend like you're not touching the floor, so you're good to have them pointed and just tip toe touching the floor like you did before. So even in a little bit further. Yep, just like that. Exactly, and then you'll just look straight forward. And this is gonna be so simple for this first shot here. So I'm gonna back up to where I was. And here I'm at this height, which, I'm actually going to rethink the angle that I'm shooting this at, because if I shoot from above here, that's not going to make sense when I actually move her up in the frame. So thinking about perspective is always important just because I shot my main image of the room from this height does not mean that I should shoot my subject from this height. So I'm actually gonna get down a lot further here so that the perspective makes sense when I move her up in the image. Going to focus on my subject which was perfect, so that's good. And I'm going to take this first shot. And that looks lovely, so let me have you lean back in the chair a little bit. Yep, good. And then actually, just push your head forward just a, yep, just like that. Perfect. Okay, so we've got that image, now we just have one more to get so I'm gonna have you take your hair down. And you can stay sitting, and I'm just going to have you lean forward and let your hair dangle. (chuckles) It's going to be kinda weird, but yeah. So that's perfect. And actually, can you lean your head like even further past your knees, yes. You still walk like this? Nope, your toes are good. Okay, perfect. And now I just need to photograph the hair. I'm just getting my focus again. Got it. Okay. So that's every element of this image, we've got the hair, the subject in the chair, this blank room that I shot earlier, and we should have enough to be able to stitch this together. One extra thing that you might consider doing in a situation like this is just looking to see where the shadows fall in this room, in the space that you're working in, so that you know how to recreate the shadows later. So I might test with my hand, I might have someone hold the chair up just to get a sense of it. Maybe I'll even photograph the chair up against the wall separately just to see what it looks like there realistically with the light and the shadow. But aside from that, I think we're good to go for this image, thank you so much, and we can move onto the next.

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.