Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 63/138 - Shoot: Sand Image


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Shoot: Sand Image

We're in this little tiny room with this one little tiny window and we're doing the sand shoot, which has been a lot of logistics to get to this place. Because when I was planning this shoot, I wrote down that I needed 800 pounds of sand and I put a little question mark next to it because I did not know if that was going to be possible, especially since we're out in the middle of nowhere and it ended up being possible. And here we are in this little tiny space with all of this sand and this beautiful chair. And the goal here is to create this super atmospheric very old feeling image and I think that we're going to be able to achieve that with this little tiny window with this light streaming in. Which is a situation that I would actually not shoot in generally. It's my natural instinct to shoot with the window light coming straight in at somebody rather than sweeping across the scene in this very diagonal sort of way. So I'm challenging myself in this space and I think that aside from ...

that lighting challenge, it's going to be a really beautiful image. And I'm really excited to see how it goes. But we have a couple of things that we have to do here in order to make it work. First of all we do have sand, but we have apple boxes put in place to try to hold the sand in because we didn't want the sand to just sort of spill everywhere into this room because then it wouldn't be piled up around the chair like I wanted. So we have things holding it in and just when I'm about to shoot, I'll move all of that away, let the sand spill down a little bit more and hope that everything stays in position long enough. I actually ended up choosing this room because the floor slants in the direction of the sand which is really helpful so that the sand doesn't immediately roll away. That would be completely terrible and a waste of 800 pounds of sand, which we're going to donate to playground afterwards. So all is well. But we have to get started here, get our model in place, so Kristen if you wouldn't mind just taking a seat on the chair. There goes sand. There it goes. Awesome, okay that's perfect. And she instinctively sat down in exactly the right position, this is exactly what I want you do to. So you are perfect right now and I'll pose you in just a second. But first I'm going to get the sand moving around here. You can see that it's already streaming in the window light, which I did not anticipate. And I am so excited about that. Because I think if we can capture that in the image, that's going to be beautiful. So I'm going to just really gently move this tarp. And, okay, this is good. So I'm just going to cover up the tarp a little bit. Just make sure that we don't see that as much as possible. I know that part of the goal here was to not dirty this house, but you know when you're in the moment you just do what you have to do and then you cross your fingers that no one's mad at you afterwards. Or at least that's my theory. So here go the apple boxes. This is like an adult's dream, right? Like it's not just for children. Okay, we've got one out. So far so good. And the thing that I should mention is that if for whatever reason we can't cover this tarp, that's okay I'll just get another shot later of the sand hitting the floor. And we don't have to worry too much about that. I think this apple box is now filled with sand, so. Yep, there it goes. Oh my gosh. Okay, that looks good. Wow. And then we've got a couple extra bags. I know that I do see these back here, these apple boxes. I'm gonna leave that one, cause it's just in the shadow. And I actually think that one will be completely covered as well because of that strip of shade that's in there so I'm not worrying about that right now. But I am going to cut these open, with some scissors. (plastic ripping) Let's see what we can do here. I may be small, but I'm very strong. Oh it looks so good. I'm like a little kid right now, are you doing okay? Yes. Okay. There and then one more for this side here. (plastic ripping) That one little flap, okay. There we go. Alright, we did it. It's very dusty in here. Maybe that's obvious already. But I'm just going to smear this around just slightly. This is a professional technique of making sure that the sand looks really natural. I just made it up myself. And we're gonna get that out of there. Okay I'm going to build it up a little bit around the dress. And now I'm going to decorate our subject. So as if you're not decorated enough, I'm going to put some sand on you. There, oh, look at that. It sticks really nicely, so that's really good. I'm making sure that she actually looks integrated into this sand pile not like we just sat her down here. And the sand is sticking beautifully. So this looks really good. Get some up here, you can move your hands if you want. Want them messed? Oh yeah. Yeah. We have a model who likes to play so this is really good. Okay, now I'm going to have you get in position. Your position is going to be letting it actually fall off your shoulders and you'll just sort of hunch this way, just fall this direction. Yes, exactly, that's very good. And I'm going to take a look. I'll let you know if anything needs to change. But for now, I'm just going to let your back show a little bit right here. That'll be good. And I'm going to take a look through my camera. So I'm actually switched over to a 25mm lens. And this is going to allow me to see what I need to see in this room to start. This is looking so beautiful through my camera. I'm very excited here. And I'm already getting ideas about editing so I'm already starting to think, should I take that window out of the picture or should I leave it in and actually edit something out that window that's relevant to this scene. So I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do, but we'll find out later. So I'm going to take my first shot, 'cause I actually love this pose. So I'm going to capture this as it is. That looks just beautiful. And then I'm going to take a couple extra shots around the space. And now we're going to try one more pose just to make sure that I have some options in this room. So I'm going to have you actually turn your body a little bit more this way, just your upper body, yep. And then just fall forward. Yep, no, that was perfect. That's exactly what I want. And then I might have you just angle a little bit so if you wouldn't mind taking your left shoulder up and your right shoulder down more, yep exactly. Perfect. And then I'll just really quickly shoot a couple more images there. Okay, and then I lied, as all photographers do. So if you can sit up in the chair once more. And I'm actually gonna have you stay sitting up with your arms exactly as they are but turn your upper body away from me as much as you can. You want me this way, or? Facing away as much as you can. Yep, just like that. And then let's have you take your shoulders toward the corner of the room even more. Yep, and then actually lean into the corner of the room. Good and then, again I lied. But I'm going to have you take this arm forward, yep, and then hold on and turn away just like that, perfect. Okay. And I'm going to shoot this really fast. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicking) Okay. And we are finished with that shoot. So you can get comfortable. And what I was thinking about there was just allowing her to look fragile in this space where sand is symbol of time and letting our subject sort of blend right into the floor in this very old chair in this very old dress, looking like she belongs in this space. So I'm really excited to try out this new type of lighting for me, see how it goes and I think it's going to fit really well into the series which we're going to keep shooting now.

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. :)