Three Writing Exercises


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Three Writing Exercises

This is one that will scare you. I'm just going to put it out there. Don't be scared. You will be, but don't be. Stream of consciousness writing is the first thing that I want to talk about. This is where you put your pen down on paper, and you write continuously for a certain amount of time. I think that that is one of the most beautiful thing that anyone can do. You start writing, you put your timer on five minutes, and you don't stop, and you will realize immediately how difficult that is, immediately. You start writing things like hello, hello, hello, my name is Brooke, and you just write whatever comes until something better comes along, and it's amazing how many themes you can find within your writing when you really, really focus on your writing and just whatever needs to come out of your brain. I find that to be fascinating. I always start with nonsense, you know. I might start writing about my day, and then it's like clockwork. After about one minute, I just start writing stor...

ies. Just pure story comes out, and I love that. It didn't used to happen that fast for me, but now it does, and you might think a minute is a long time to just be writing, writing, writing nonstop, and it is. My hand cramps up, we're not used to writing that much, but really, really valuable as an exercise. Now if we think about story and writing in terms of how we use story visually, we've got these elements that we so often use, character, time, wardrobe, color, location. You can add in any of our image components here, and that's fine. So I've got these elements, I just chose five of them, and what I like to do is to pick a totally random thing to go with each word. So character, 10 year old girl. Time, early evening. Wardrobe, mermaid tail, why not? Color, blue. Location, desert. (laughs) I threw you off, didn't I? And so when you just do totally random words to go with these story components, it is so much fun to see what story will come out of that. So I challenge you to just, totally random, if anybody remembers what I just said, Girl, 10 year old girl, early evening, blue wardrobe, mermaid tail, desert. Write a paragraph of a story where you have to use every element. It is so much fun, and you'll be amazed at how many ideas visually come from that little exercise. And then finally, story structure. Now we're going to play a game to learn story structure, okay? So I want you guys to pass the mic, alright? But I promise you won't be too overwhelmed by what I'm going to say. So, first of all, these are the different elements of story. We've got an introduction, every story has an intro. Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night, all of these things, intros. Then we've got backstory, which is where does your character come from to get to the place in the story that they're about to lead their lives and show you through the story, okay? So this is everything you need to know about the character. And we've got inciting incident, which is like, the point of no return where you've got this character, they're making choices, and suddenly they can't go back. Okay, they make a choice and it leads the story in one direction. It's like a Y, you're going on a path and then all of the sudden it splits. And based on their choice, you go in a different direction. Okay, and then after the inciting incident we have the climax, which is where The Thing happens. The Thing that you've been leading to is taking place, and either everything is gonna come crumbling down, or everything's gonna be great, and then the resolution, okay. Now I challenge you to try to write with story structure, but it's very difficult for a lot of creative brains to work like this, to work in a really structured way. So just know that it could be really, really difficult. So our quick, quick exercise, okay? Let's start over here. Who are we? We're a little boy. A little boy, okay. Um. Any special attributes? Well, he... went with his grandfather, he's coming out from a balloon store with lots of helium balloons. Ooh, nice! Okay, perfect. A little boy coming out of a balloon store with lots of balloons. Would you pass that on to April? Okay, what is he doing? He is (clears throat) going to a birthday party. Oh, okay, good! Next? But he's mad, because they didn't have the color of balloon that he wanted, so he's crying. Perfect. How does it end? Yeah, yeah-- I get the hard part, right? Um... So he's mad, he's been crying, he doesn't have the color that he wants. He sulks in the corner at the birthday party. Okay, I like it, you guys are real sad. (laughing) Okay, but look how fast we have a story? So, story is really just made up of who is this person? What do they want? Why can't they have what they want? How does it end? Super simple, right? Takes like a minute to find a story. Now it takes way longer to find a good story. To find a story that you actually need to tell. But story itself is simple, and we get really overwhelmed by story, because we think that it's this huge thing, that like we just couldn't possibly do because it's such a time consuming thing to learn. It's not. But the way that we personally tell stories, the stories that we have to express are in the end much more complicated than our poor little boy sulking in the corner 'cause of his balloons. Okay, so that was storytelling exercises and idea exercises, and I really hope that you get a lot out of it. But I also hope that you come up with your own ways of finding ideas that work for you, because this is our fine art class, right. We're going like start to finish, everything in the world to do with fine art. And I want you to have your own personal journey in this experience. I want you to take your own associations, your own past, your own experiences, and channel that all into art that is meaningful for you. That has your type of story that you need to tell. Because in my opinion, it is vitally important that we tell those unique stories.

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
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