Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Translate Emotion into Images

How do we cultivate an original narrative? To me, it's curiosity and experimentation. Those are the two ways that we cultivate an original narrative as we explore our curiosity and we experiment with our curiosity. And if we're constantly doing those two things, then we're never bored with what we're doing, we always love what we're at least trying to do, right. I mean, it's like, if you watch cats, for example, and they're, like, following a dust ball around the house or something, they are so fascinated with that dust ball. And my cat will just sit there and eat the dust ball, 'cause she's a little not very smart. But it's really fun to watch, because I'm like that cat is so curious about this dust ball, to the point where she's experimenting with eating the dust ball, and she is a happy, happy cat. Now, what if we were all more like our cats? Yes, I'm going somewhere with this. (laughing) And what if we followed our own little dust balls around and tried to eat them? Okay. (laughing...

) This is getting weird. But what if we did follow our curiosity, and our curiosity looked like an image like this, and then we experimented with how could we make that different, how can we push the boundaries of what this is? That's going to create originality, no matter what, no matter what. We fear that word, originality, so much, but I don't think that we should. And it's because we need to pursue creative bravery. Bravery is one of my, my fourth favorite word. I'm keeping tabs. Fourth favorite word. And it's one of my favorites because it's the non-defeatist way of looking at the situation. So, you could say "Well, I'm not creative," or "I don't have anything original to say," or you can say "I'm going to be brave in my creativity, "and I'm going to do whatever I want." Because honestly, doing whatever you want with your creativity is the bravest thing that an artist does. It is terrifying to do. It is terrifying because if you do whatever you want without regard for other people, that is opening up a can of worms for other people to critique you, to be mad at you, to be upset about what you're doing. And I've been going through my own creatives struggle this year of having this new series that I wanna produce and being terrified of upsetting people from it. And then I wrote this slide, and I said you know what, I have to go for it. There's no way that I can't go for this thing that I wanna do, which I'm not gonna go into detail about, but hopefully one day you'll see it. And maybe you'll even be offended, and that'll be okay. (chuckling) I'm okay with that. What makes something original? Your experience and your voice. What experiences do you bring to the table, and how do you see the world? What is your unique voice? And voice is one of these trigger words. Like, we say it all the time, point of view, voice, style, all of these words that are a little bit difficult to define. But it's the same as what if you're standing in a room with someone, how would you speak to them? If we're gonna literally use voice as the example here, what does your voice sound like, and how do you put that into your work? If I have the opportunity, as I do, to stand here in front of you guys and this is my chance to put my voice out there into the world, you better believe that I'm gonna try to inspire you, motivate you. I'm gonna do everything that I can to infuse my joy into the room and give it to you, because I don't want who I am and the way that I see the world to be negative. I want it to be really positive, and I'm gonna put that into my images. Now, you might look at my images and say "They're not positive at all, they're terrifying and horrible!" And that's okay too if you don't see it, but I do. I feel the joy in it, and I put that into my work. I think that three main ways that we can create originality is through theme, visuals, and your expression of those things, the way that you personally put this together. And there are lots of things that come into that, like colors, lighting, location, that whole list that we came up with. But... Those are the extraneous things. Those are the things that yes, we must consider them. But if you have first thought about theme, visuals, and expression of those things, then all the rest falls under that. Everything will fall into place as you start to learn your craft better.

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