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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 59 of 138

Shoot Extra Stock Images


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 59 of 138

Shoot Extra Stock Images


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.


  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.