Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


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.


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
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