The Pillars of Branding


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

The Pillars of Branding

This is what we've talked about, so this is just a recap. What do you stand for? Literally, what is it that you are all about? What is your brand? What is it that you want people to understand about you, if they were to walk into your first gallery show and see your work on the walls, and see your artist statement, and see you standing there, what should they feel from that? What should they take away from that? What is it that you are trying to put out there? How do you want to make people feel? That is so important, is it not? The idea of making people feel something. You know, sometimes we get so all about us, me, me, me. What am I trying to do? How am I gonna make money? How am I gonna get clients? What about those people? How do you want them to feel when they walk away from looking at your work? So important, and then what is your story? What is it that you're trying to tell people? What is the narrative that you're creating over time? I mean, this is the beauty of social media, ...

is that we can create a narrative arc. We can create a story for ourselves that people are interacting with on a daily basis if we want to. This is how I answer these questions personally. I stand for free imagination, for people to tap into their most creative selves. That's what I want. I make people feel like their weirdness is worthy. This is what I want to make people feel, that darkness is okay, that whatever you're feeling is okay, that you need to express that and my story is about expressing my imagination so that I can live in my own reality. So when you see me posting online, this is the story that I'm telling, that this is my world. I'm making up the rules and I'm creating this art and I'm doing this because I love it, and what better way to create that because you love something so much. I believe that if you communicate these things, then those who are in alignment with you will be loyal to you, and I have found that to be true over and over again, that if I can look back at these things, standing for imagination, being my totally weird, freaky self, whatever, and then, creating my own reality. If I am true to those things, then the people who like those things, who are into what I'm doing are so loyal. It's like we're all best friends. I suppose I do have friends. This is, this is so great, okay. I wrap this up very nicely. So, action, I think, is how we do that the most. Through what we're selling is how we put that out there. We've got our persona, who we are literally, and then, the services that we can provide people, and if you can infuse who you are and what you do and how you want people to feel, into all of those things consistently, it's very likely that you're going to have a brand and a business that's just pulling in the exact right target audience. Finding your target audience is all about creating expectation for them. It's about creating original works for them, and for yourself, and for finding people who are like you. I mean, that's what we're really trying to do here. If you create from within, if you speak your mind, that's how you do it. So just to recap this Content Plan. Hone in on what you love, first and foremost. Find where those creations are being celebrated. Share yourself openly, as much as you can. I never would want to tell you to do that if it's not good for you. Engage with others who have a similar opinion, and I really mean engage, like actually engage with them, not just like, okay, I'm gonna post my photo in this group and then, run away and not say anything. No, no, no, engage with those people. Create on a schedule that works for you. Create backup materials, while you're making your main content, I should say. And share a few different types of content. I recommend three. I share videos all the time. I share photos of myself creating all the time. I share a lot of stuff, but I think three is pretty good. And then finally, care about the people that you're interacting with. Really care about those people because they matter so much, and sometimes we forget that. Show them that you care in any way that you can. I mean, sometimes it's hard. Sometimes you lose track of things, but you know, write them a message, or give them something that you have to offer that maybe they could benefit from. Surprise your audience, which I think is great. Do something unexpected every once in a while. Do something that keeps them on their toes, because here's the thing. People can steal your images all the time. People can say whatever they want about you, but if you're one step ahead of everyone, then you have nothing to worry about, and I really am empowered by that thought, that if I can just be one step ahead by being authentically myself, then you'll always be surprising your audience in some way. Okay, last thing that we're gonna talk about. Sample branding questions. List three of your greatest interests. I think that I was going to use the word, passions, but I don't know that everyone has three passions, and in fact, some people get really scared of that word, and they don't want to talk about that, so interests. What are three of your greatest interests, and then, which of those three has the most valuable audience? I know that this is a really terrible word, valuable, but what I mean is if you have three interests, if you love three different things, and you're like, you know what? I don't even know which one to pursue because I love all three of these things. Well which one has the audience that's going to allow you to keep creating that type of work in the most authentic way possible? So really, who's gonna pay you for it? What type of work is going to allow you to keep creating, and if you don't have multiple interests, then pick the one that you love the most and just go with it and it doesn't matter who has the most valuable audience. How can you turn that interest into revenue? These are questions that you'll ask yourself. How can you bring yourself into your work in a unique way? So how can you actually infuse who you are into what you do? And how often do you think that you can realistically create art? Like, what is your timeframe? What makes you feel like you can do it? And then, these three questions. What do you create? How do you create it? And why is it important? I think that those are super, super important questions to ask yourself.

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. :)