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.

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. :)