Shoot Extra Stock Images


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot Extra Stock Images

Anytime I'm in a new space, no matter if it is near where I live, just down the street, or in a different country, I always try to get stock images of everything, everything possible. But, the two main things that I like to have stock images of no matter what I'm doing are textures and smoke. Those two things come in more handy than anything else possible. So, what I'm going to do right now is photograph textures and smoke. Both of those things are super handy when it comes to adding atmosphere or mood to your images. If you can add a little bit of texture, maybe in the background of an image, it can really bring everything together with cohesion. It can also make an image look even more photographic, like an old picture, or it can make an image look more painterly. I love paintings, personally, that is my favorite medium, though I don't work in it, for whatever reason, and I love to make my photos look like paintings. It's sort of like a little, personal challenge, and textures help m...

e do that. Textures are anything that you can overlay on an image that has texture, which is super simple, and maybe very obvious, but texture can come from anywhere. It can from a floor, a ceiling, a wall, from a rusty can. It doesn't really matter, as long as it is a solid space, so there's no definite pattern happening, as long as it has interesting texture on it. So, I'm going to walk around here and take a look at what textures I can find and just simply see what works and what doesn't work and I'll walk you through a little bit of what I might consider a photographic texture, something that makes the image look like an old photograph, versus a painterly texture that will make the image look more like a painting. So if we look at this door right here, I thought this was just the absolute perfect thing. We've got a door and it has a couple of things going for it. We've got some, sort of, grungy texture, happening right through here. We have all these splatters, that can be really neat for perhaps, looking like drips in a photograph, which could be really interesting. But, there are lots of scratches, lots of little things that will make this look like an old photograph, or at least that's my hope. So, I'm just going to take one little step back here, adjust my camera settings and photograph up close. I'm going to get it in focus, and there, I've got my first texture, just of this little space on the door and it has to be that simple, there's nothing else to it. There just, get up close, frame it how you want, solid color, texture, flat surface, that's all I'm looking for right now. So, I'm going to get a few more textures, specifically down at the bottom here. I think this is really interesting. So I'm just going to frame this up, make sure that it's in focus and I've got the textures. And I'm just moving my camera around as much as possible so that I'm getting textures from all different spaces. I don't want to get the same texture twice. And you never know how these textures are going to work out. What I've noticed is that scratches like this on the door, they're very, if you can imagine old film, let's say, shot maybe 50 years ago, you can imagine scratches on the film and that makes it look like an old photograph. So, this particular spot right here, will be great for that, for overlaying scratches. But, something like down here, has a lot of drips and it's a little bit more muddied. There aren't any, necessarily, scratches going through it or dense, it's very mixed, and it even looks like paint dripping. Which means that this will probably be a good painterly texture. This is what I use on almost every single image of mine, and I often layer together multiple textures to create a different look. So instead of just taking one texture that I've shot. I'll often take anywhere from two to five textures and mix them together to be able to create one really neat texture. The other thing is that you notice that this door has green and teal on it and I'm not concerned with color here. Color is of no importance, even if it's different colors moving through one texture because I use all of my textures in black and white, so after I get these images I will convert them to black and white and then I can overlay them on any image without messing up the nature color of my original photograph. So, if you imagine, maybe I've taken a picture in this room, I have a model in there, I have props in there, later on I overlay my texture. I wouldn't necessarily want a teal texture to go over that image of my model because that's going to color everything in the scene. So turning it black and white is simply going to allow me to not mess up the, sorry, the color of the original image, but to still retain the texture over top of that image. So I'm going to go around, photograph a few different textures, which are available to download if you get the class and I'm also going to photograph the smoke. So let's see what other textures we can find within this space. (camera clicking) I also really like to find cracks. So when I'm moving around I'm particularly looking for spaces that have cracks, such as right through here because that can be used later on. If I photograph a wall for example, I can make that wall more interesting by adding cracks going through the wall. So I'm very interested in finding very small, tiny spaces with cracks and then utilizing that later. So that's something that I'm looking for. I'm also looking for holes in walls, anything that I can shoot from multiple angles, that maybe if I find a hole in the wall, for example, I can make it look like a hole in the floor, like a really big hole in the floor, even, if that's something that I'm going for. Which it is because I'll be photographing a tree in the room though there won't actually be a tree. So, I'm going to have to photograph a hole somewhere in the floor, or the wall, or the ceiling, and then make it look like a tree is bursting through that hole in this big room. I happened to find a really good hole in the floor in this building, so I'm going to definitely photograph that from multiple angles, but aside from getting cracks and holes in the walls, and things like that, everything else I'm going to shoot straight on flat to the surface that I'm photographing. Now we're going to shoot the smoke that I have with me and these are just little, tiny, smoke emitters, that let off smoke for about 45 seconds and they don't shoot flames or anything like that, you just light it and then it starts to smolder and then all of the smoke comes out. So what I'm doing right now is photographing white smoke on dark background. I didn't exactly have a dark background here so we made one up in this barn. So I'm going to photograph the smoke sitting here with the natural light hitting it from the front, with a naturally dark backdrop and I'm going to make sure when I edit these images that the smoke stands out really beautifully so that we can use these smoke images in any picture that we want. We can just add it in as atmosphere. So essentially we'll be cutting the smoke off of the background, putting it in to whatever image we have and then blending it using what blending it using whatever blending mode works for that particular image. So I'm going to photograph this smoke really quickly and I'm just going to pop out the smoke bombs. We've got these, they look just like that, really tiny, and I'm going to light two of them at the same time, just to make a thicker plume of smoke, and I'm just going to hold them together like this, hold the lighter, right there, at the flame, drop them in this cup, and let them billow. First I'm going to get my settings so that I'm totally ready to just drop them and run. So I'm going to take a few steps back, my goal here is to properly light the front, where the smoke is going to be, and let the back fall off into darkness. So I'm going to get about this far back, maybe, get my focus in general, give a test shot, that looks really good, and I think I'm ready. So I'm just going to set my camera there so that I'm totally ready to go and then I'm going to light the smoke bombs. (camera clicking) Okay, it didn't quite go according to plan because there's a little bit too much wind, so I'm going to wait for the wind to die down so the smoke actually comes up in a plume, but that's not to say that these images are usable, they're just going to be better used as a general fog layer, rather than smoke.

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. :)