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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 68 of 138

Shoot: Mirror Image


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 68 of 138

Shoot: Mirror Image


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.


  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.