Skip to main content

Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 62 of 138

Shoot: Vine Image


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 62 of 138

Shoot: Vine Image


Lesson Info

Shoot: Vine Image

This is the very first shoot that we're doing today as part of this series, and as I mentioned a little bit, this series is all about bringing the outdoors in and talking about decay and how we find ourselves trapped in those situations, which obviously are not literal, we're not going to as we see here find ourselves literally dangling from chains and vines, but trapped in the decay of our lives, which sounds really depressing when I say it out loud like that, but what I mean is, we find our walls crumbling in on us, we find ourselves in the same situations that we're always in and we find ourselves getting too comfortable in that lifestyle, so this is about how we all feel sometimes, like we're a little bit trapped, we're a little bit stuck in the decay of our lives and how can we break free from that? So this first photo shoot, we have Rachel here, she is our lovely model who's going to balance on this stool with these chains and vines. As you saw earlier when I was location scoutin...

g this area, I didn't have any plans to have chains in this image but it ended up being just so perfect for this concept that we're able to have the mixture of man made versus nature all intertwined together. So that's what we're going to be doing is having her sitting on this stool. And this is going to be a little bit tricky because the idea here is that the chains and vines are actually wrapping underneath her, holding her up as she dangles from the ceiling. So we're going to have her in a position that's sort of curled up in fetal position on this stool, and these will be coming from under her, scooping her up. Now I already know as somebody who puts people in dangerous situations frequently that I don't wanna hurt anyone but I also really wanna get the shot, so I might rely on Photoshop just a little bit as I photograph these chains and vines separately from our subject and stool just so that I have enough images of, for example, the chain coming around and underneath her. I can just get this separately, put it in later in Photoshop and then I don't have to make her terribly uncomfortable by trying to wrap her in chains as she balances on the stool. I already know better than that. So we'll see what we can do, we can see how we can make it look right now as we get set up, but I'm not going to freak out if something doesn't work right here on set, that's going to be totally okay. As I look at this scene, we tested yesterday, I already know the pit falls of this location. One being that there is light coming in from the back, but we have really nice light from the front, so what I'm going to do is take a look through my camera, get our model set, and just make sure that there aren't any pockets of light in the background that are distracting. For the final image here, I wanna have a nice, dark background and really make sure that our leaves and vines stand out a lot in this image. So the first thing I'm going to do is get a couple more vines up here. So I've got these extras that we've brought in, and I'm just going to weave maybe one or two up here. If I can get it in, there we go. Just a couple, see this one was perfect, it's like five in one. So I can just fix these, make sure that it looks nice and bushy here, make sure that it looks believable. And I'm not gonna worry about leaving all of them in because this might be a good opportunity to just slip one underneath her so that it looks like it's coming around. So I'll leave some of these open, same with the chains, and let's get you in position if you don't mind. So we've got Rachel wearing a nude leotard and this is a costume that I take advantage of all the time. One of the reasons being that it's very timeless to me. It almost has a look like a 1920s bathing suit or something like that, but it's super simple, super neutral, doesn't have a time period associated with it and it's going to allow the costume to blend in with her skin which looks very natural. And that's what we're going for here is natural and timeless. So this is going to be really good for that. So let's have you come take a seat. I'm going to try to not make you too uncomfortable, so go ahead and have a seat, you can face just out this direction is perfect. Okay. And then, yep, if you can. Oh you're so good. Thank you. And I'm going to stick this one just under your bum there, if that reaches down a little. Okay. And if not that's okay. We'll just stick it there instead. That looks kind of neat I think, going in under her arm, just any way that we can get these vines to actually attach to her body, so maybe this one, this one's pretty long. Can you sit on that one (chuckles)? Perfect, yes. We got one, and then maybe we'll just tuck this one in that way. I like it, I think that's looking really interesting right now, and if I ask you to rotate slightly, is that okay? Oh, oh, it spins. Okay that's perfect, yeah, exactly. So I might have you do that. Now we have to get these chains. I'm sorry this is so cold. Oh, I don't know, do you guys ever feel bad when you have to do something like this to somebody? Tell me if it hurts also. It's fine. Okay. Oh, okay. You're being so good, thank you. I'm going to drape this over your foot if it'll stay. Okay, does that hurt, you're good? Okay. And now this one. (chuckles) Okay, I'm gonna go just right through here with it. Okay. Yeah. This looks good to me so far. I think that this will eb a really good start. And if I need to photograph the vines separately, that's okay, I'll just add them in, covering her a little bit more later, but I like how this is looking. I'm just going to take a look through my camera right now, see if there are any windows that are getting in the way, and then close them up if I need to. I've got my camera on a tripod here. And I can shoot this image portrait since I have a very long subject, if you include the vines and chains and all of that, so what I'm making sure to get right now is all of my subject and a bit of the floor, just to have some context of exactly where the shadow is falling, where the stool is hitting, all of that goodness. And I notice that the background looks pretty good, she's actually covering the doorway that I was a little bit nervous about in the background, but the windows are open on the left hand side so I'm just going to close those really fast and make sure that we don't have any light coming in from that direction and these can't hurt either. Just any places where there's some discontinuity in the wall, I wanna make sure that we close that up. And that we have as clean of a slate as possible. Because that's going to help in editing to not have as many small things to get rid of. This was the window that I believe was bothering me in the shot. Okay, so now we can head back and actually take this picture. And at this point it doesn't take really any more effort. Just going to get my focus. And I'm on F2 and I'll probably stay there most of the day trying to get that shallow depth of field that we talked about when we took a look at the location scouting of this area. So I'm at F2. ISO 125 right now, I might take that down just slightly to 100, and I'm going to choose for my shutter speed. And I think that looks really beautiful, exactly how I would normally shoot it. So Rachel, if I could have you just put your head down a little bit, perfect. That is exactly what I want. So I'm gonna take one shot, just like that. Now I know that there is a chain on your foot, but (chuckles) if you wouldn't mind pointing your toes as much as possible. Oh that's really, really good. Okay perfect. Got it. And that is going to be our shot I think. Let me just take one final look. And perhaps if you could make your arms really soft, just your hands so then you're not clasping so much. Yep, that'll be perfect. Good. And now I've got a couple of options there. So now that I have that shot. I can actually ask Rachel to move because I'm okay. One thing that I might do is just tilt up while she's still there and get an extra shot of those vines and the chains, but aside from that, I'm going right back to where I was. Can't hurt to take one extra. And I'm going to ask her to get down. So Rachel, if you wouldn't mind untangling. I'll try to help as much as I can, and you can sort of hop down when you feel comfortable from that position. Thank you so much. The last thing that we have to do here is to move the stool out from this area. (chuckles) Just like that. I'll put the stool off to the side, and now we're going to take my blank images. These are my plate shots where I'm going to be able to have this empty space underneath all the vines. And that's going to be the image that I use to get rid of the stool that we have in this shot, so eventually, I will erase the stool out from under her, she will be dangling from the vines and chains. There will be nothing below. So I'm just not moving my camera, it's on the tripod. It's already positioned, it's already focused, it's already set with its settings. So I'm just taking a quick shot. Now at this point I might choose to take extra shots all around the frame just so that I can expand my frame outward if I want to and that's something that I'm considering here. Just taking a few extra images of the surroundings, and what I'm mostly concerned about is the floor, just getting some extra shots of the floor just in case I need them cuz it can't hurt. So that's it for shoot number one today, and that was vines and chains and levitation and all of that all in one. We've got a lot more to shoot though so let's move onto the next one.

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.