Shoot: Mirror Image


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Mirror Image

This is an image that I think is going to be quite simple in the series, but it's going to be a little bit magical as well. And part of my goal with this series of images, is to bring magical elements, into a space, that looks very realistic, as this decaying space does. I think the more that you have a building that's falling apart, that has grime and dirt all over the place, the more realistic it tends to look. So, if we can bring some magical elements in, I think that we're going to have a good balance, between magic and realism. So, for this picture, we have a mirror, and this mirror, we're going to end up putting on the wall, make it look really big, and I'm going to put something else in the mirror. It's not gonna be a mirror by the time we get done with it, it's going to be sort of a portal to whatever is on the other side of the wall. Not literally what's on the other side of the wall, because we have a fish tank, on the other side of the wall, but instead, it might be clouds, ...

or it might be rolling hills, something very magical, something that our character's dreaming about, sort of like a portal to a new world. So, that's what I'm going to edit into his picture, and to do it, I'm going to have our subject standing with the light hitting directly, and just sort of be dreaming about what is through this portal. So, I'm going to have hers simply like this, with her head back, with the arms back, very graceful, with the dress flowing, with the hair moving, and then, I will edit this picture frame, separately, to look really big on the wall. Even bigger than it actually is, so that this portal, looks really big and inviting, and will actually form some of the lighting conditions that we might change, later on in post. So, instead of having lighting just coming from one side, I might edit light to come out of the frame as well. And that's something that I have to think about ahead of time, to make sure that I'm shooting in the right conditions for that to happen. So, I think we're ready to get started. So, Rachel, if you wanna come on over here. We've got this nice, gray dress that we're using, and it could be good on it's own, but I've actually found that this dress, works really well to change the color up. So might make this dress blue, or red, I'm not sure yet, exactly what color we're gonna go with, that might be determined by the colors that we find through the portal that we're going to create, so this should be nice and simple to start. So, I'm gonna have you stand here, and actually just gonna move this mirror slightly away. Just there. So that we have a night clean slate. So, I'll have you stand just about there, and for this first shot, I'm not gonna have her do anything, but assume the position, which is good, you were already doing it, look at that. It's so nice, having people along, who just get it. So, I'm going to turn my camera on, take a step back, I'm going to get a bit of a lower angle here, and I'm going to get my focus. And my settings are stying pretty consistent at this point, because we're still in this room that we've been in, so right now, I'm at F 2.5, 100 for my shutter speed, and ISO 250. And that looks pretty good to me. We might get a little bit of blur, when we start moving the skirt. And that will be fine, in my opinion, just adds a little bit of a believability and motion to the picture. So, I'm gonna have you lower your arms just slightly, yup, that is perfect. And then, arch your back toward me a little, yup, you got it. And, can you put all your hair behind your shoulders? Perfect. Okay, so, this is my base shot. This is the image that I am going to start from, and then I'm going to build off of. And I'll explain what I mean in just a moment, after I capture this image. So, I'm checking focus one more time, (camera clicks) And taking one shot, and if you could actually even back bend a little bit more toward me, yup, that's perfect. Just cause of the angle, that I'm so much lower, I need a little bit more of an exaggerated pose, so that was perfect, you got that. Now, we need to get extra shots of our subject. So, I'm going to have you, you can sort of relax your body, I'm going to have you, flick your hair toward me, so just a little like that, over the shoulder, and I'm going to catch it, as you do it, whenever you're ready. (camera clicks) Perfect, and now the other side. (camera clicks) Good. So it's just a little bit of motion, her hair went out really far, but I'm not catching it when it's sticking straight out, because that wouldn't be believable in this space. So, I'm catching it as it's falling behind her, just to create some motion in that area. So now, I'll have you take the sides of your dress, and just flick them out, and you don't have to do it really hard, just gently will be perfect. (camera clicks) Okay, and maybe two more times. (camera clicks) Good, and now let's do one, if you can grab the very back of your dress, and throw it toward me a little bit. That's hard to do, I know, but if you can, we'll see. (camera clicks) Perfect, got that. So, we've got the images of the dress, images of the hair, we've got our subject in her pose, and it looked really lovely. So, you can step aside, and then we're going to have our friends come over, and hold the mirror. And for this image, I'm not worried about keeping my position exactly, because I need to make this mirror look bigger than it actually is, I'm actually gonna get pretty close to the mirror, and photograph it closer, so that I have the room, to be able to make it look bigger, in the final image. Of course, the closer you photograph something, if you then put that image into another picture, it's going to look bigger. So, I'm going to get as close as I can, and I'm going to photograph this mirror, just like this, just getting my focus. (camera clicks) Got it. Thank you guys. Okay, so, now I'm going to photograph this space. Would you guys mind moving that with you? Thank you. I'm going to photograph this space, because this is going to be my room, so I'm just steeping back, and taking a few more images, on my knee, like I did before. And, focusing on the spot on the floor, that I marked mentally, where my subject was standing, (camera clicks) Just get a couple of images of that room. (camera clicks) Okay, and now we have the space, to build out from there. So, this one is fairly simple, but there is some cutting involved, some editing, that's going to be a little bit tricker than just, "Oh, I'll just put the mirror in, "and then the subject will be there, "and it'll all be perfect." I'm actually going to have to cut around her hair a little bit, which is another deterrent, from capturing the hair going out to the sides, because that's the area that I'm going to have to be editing. So, I don't want little, tiny strands of hair, going off, if I'm going to have to cut around, every single one of those hairs. So, I'd prefer the hair being, sort of slick straight, and then just flaring down at the bottom, where I don't have to edit around the hairs. So, that's what I was thinking about for this photoshoot, and I have high hopes, that this one is going to be magical, and realistic at the same time.

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. :)