Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Moss Image

For this image, we're using a lot of moss to create a rather creepy scene in this space, and I love creepy, so this is probably the most exciting moment yet during this series because I really feel a sense of everything coming together in one space and looking exactly as I envision, but I cannot take all the credit for this because I just drew a terrible little sketch of what I wanted and then all of my friends made it happen by putting this moss on the wall. So we bought moss, and its sort of like little sheets of it and I have an example here of what we haven't used yet, so this is the moss that we're using, just sort of little sheets. And we used tape to put it up on the wall and then double-sided tape to stick it to our subject on the wall right now. We have her standing on an apple box just so that she's elevated a little bit. My end goal being that I'm going to photograph her feet separately and when I photograph her feet I'll be able to add them in later to make it look like she...

's dangling in the scene. So the idea is that the moss is growing all through this corner of the room and it is enveloping our subject as though she is just completely melted into this space. This was a really exciting image for me because it's happening in real time as we see it right now. A lot of the time I rely on Photoshop, and I think that is totally fine if you rely on Photoshop. I do very frequently, but in this case I thought that it would be really helpful to have the moss in the space. One, because I don't live in a place where I can purchase moss easily or where I can go out and find it easily, so I thought, you know what, I'm just going to get as much moss as I can into one space, make sure that the lighting is consistent instead of trying to find logs and trees or random little areas where I can photograph it and hope that I can match the light to this space, so trying to move moss in a natural area in Photoshop into this room would have been quite a task in my opinion, get the contouring right, get the lighting right, so this way we have it all happening in one spot. I think that she looks beautiful and creepy in the corner and this is going to be rather straightforward in that I'm going to take just a couple shots of her here. I'm then going to photograph this space without our subject, remove the apple box, photograph her feet separately, and then I'll be able to get rid of that black box and have new feet in the picture in the end. So I'm just gonna step back, take a look, I'm gonna get a lower angle for this one, and we haven't got a lot of light in this space, and I'm going to try to just adjust my exposure to reflect the little bit of light that we do have. So I am taking my ISO up to 500 for this image. Just gonna get a little bit closer here. And this is looking really neat to me, so I'm gonna have you put your head down even further, yup, you got it. I'm just getting my focus here. And this is gonna be super simple, just a quick shot. I'm gonna get a little bit extra of the room in this space. And that's it. So now, I could tell her to move aside and I will get the feet and I will get the space without the box, but just because I can, because all this work went into this construction of this scene which actually did take quite some time to put together, I would say probably about an hour or so just crafting this and making sure that it looked perfect, I'm gonna come in and get just a couple detail shots here. And just make sure that I have this properly documented before I completely tear it down and destroy everything. And this is really good to have for a series, because if I have little detail shots then I, for one, have extra content that I can put on my blog, on my social media, or maybe even in a slide show in the gallery where this series might eventually end up. But the other good thing is simply that I can show people how it was done and really get some close up detail shots in that way. So I'm just getting in here, getting these detail shots, making sure that her pain is documented. No, no, she's not in pain, I'm just kidding. Well I don't think she is. You're in pain? No. Oh she's not in pain, that's okay. (chuckles) All right, so, you look beautiful. Now wait, I'm just gonna get one more shot, because it's so good and I wanna make sure that we do it justice, so I'm just gonna back up one more time. Make sure that everything is looking perfect. Maybe get a different angle, I might move in a little bit closer this time. (shutter clicks) Okay. (shutter clicking) Good. Okay, I think we got it. So, I'm going to have you just take a step forward, if you can. (chuckles) Are you stuck? I'm kinda stuck. Okay, well in that case, you're not gonna take a step forward and we'll just photograph your feet, okay? So I'm gonna photograph her feet, and I'm just gonna get back where I was. Make sure that my focus is still good. Perfect, and now the other. Fantastic. Okay, so now I've got the feet that I can edit in later, and once we're able to unstick her from the wall, then I will take my blank shot in this room, but that's as I've been doing, always getting a blank shot of the space that I'm in. Other than that I think this went beautifully.

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.


Class Introduction
Storytelling & Ideas
Universal Symbols in Stories
Create Interactive Characters
The Story is in The Details
Giving Your Audience Feelings
Guided Daydream Exercise
Elements of Imagery
The Death Scenario
Associations with Objects
Three Writing Exercises
Connection Through Art
Break Through Imposter Syndrome
Layering Inspiration
Creating an Original Narrative
Analyze an Image
Translate Emotion into Images
Finding Parts in Images
Finding Your Target Audience
Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
Formatting Your Work
Additional Materials to Attract Clients
Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
Circle of Focus
The Pillars of Branding
Planning Your Photoshoot
Choose Every Element for The Series
Write a Descriptive Paragraph
Sketch Your Ideas
Choose Your Gear
How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
What Tells a Story in a Series?
Set Design Overview
Color Theory
Lighting for the Scene
Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
Subject Within the Scene
Set Design Arrangement
Fine Art Compositing
Plan The Composite Before Shooting
Checklist for Composite Shooting
Analyze Composite Mistakes
Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
Shoot: Miniature Scene
Editing Workflow Overview
Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
Edit Details of Images
Add Smoke & Texture
Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
Self Portrait Test Shoots
Shoot for Edit
Shoot Extra Stock Images
Practice the Shoot
Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
Shoot: Vine Image
Shoot: Sand Image
Shoot: End Table Image
Shoot: Bed Image
Shoot: Wall Paper Image
Shoot: Chair Image
Shoot: Mirror Image
Shoot: Moss Image
Shoot: Tree Image
Shoot: Fish Tank Image
Shoot: Feather Image
View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
Decide How to Start the Composite
Organize Final Images
Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
Order the Images in Your Portfolio
Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
Determine Sizes for Prints
How to Choose Paper
How to Choose Editions
Pricing Strategies
How to Present Your Images
Example Pricing Exercise
Print Examples
Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
How to Keep Licensing Organized
How to Prepare Files for Licensing
Pricing Your Licensed Images
Contract Terms for Licensing
Where to Sell Images
Commission Pricing Structure
Contract for Commissions
Questions for a Commission Shoot
Working with Galleries
Benefits of Galleries
Contracts for Galleries
How to Find Galleries
Choose Images to Show
Hanging the Images
Importance of Proofing Prints
Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
Press Package Overview
Artist Statement for Your Series
Write Your 'About Me' Page
Importance of Your Headshot
Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
Writing For Fine Art
Define Your Writing Style
Find Your Genre
What Sets You Apart?
Write to Different Audiences
Write for Blogging
Speak About Your Work
Branding for Video
Clearly Define Video Talking Points
Types of Video Content
Interview Practice
Diversifying Social Media Content
Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
Monetize Your Social Media Presence
Social Media Posting Plan
Choose Networks to Use & Invest
Presentation of Final Images
Printing Your Series
How to Work With a Print Lab
Proofing Your Prints
Bad Vs. Good Prints
Find Confidence to Print
Why Critique?
Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
Critique of Brooke's Series
Critique of Student Series
Yours is a Story Worth Telling


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. :)