Skip to main content

Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 73 of 138

View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 73 of 138

View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing


Lesson Info

View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing

We are going to edit the images from the series that we photographed. And I'm very excited about this. I intentionally did not go through and really select images too much, or you know, put anything together because I wanted to do this with everyone, and make sure that we were looking at it fresh for the first time. And really just saying, okay, I haven't practiced, I don't know how this is gonna go for all of them. Let's see how it goes. So we photographed a ton of different setups. And it would be great if every single one of those images was perfect, but I highly doubt that that will happen. So, I wanna go through first, and just take a quick look at what we have photographed here, and what we can do right now to try to put some of them together. I think that working within a series is a very interesting thing to do for an artist because it forces you to take images that hopefully conceptually go together and maybe have some visual links, and really edit for cohesion, to make sure t...

hat these images look like they are meant to go one after the other, after the other. And in the end, that's going to really help with art buying and things of that nature because if your images looked like each other then they're more likely to sell together. And that's good. So, I've got these images here, and you can just see now, the slight changes that we made during this particular photo shoot. And I won't go through every single one, but this was the big change, right? Like, the feet, and making sure that she looked a little bit more comfortable there even though she was on the tiniest little bar stool I've ever seen. And then we finally made this one last change just to soften the hands. And that was all that had the change here. It was a very simple photo shoot. And what you'll see now is that suddenly the stool goes away. And this is one of the images that we could focus on here. And I'm going to use you guys as my focus group, and see which ones we're going to open up. So let me just zoom through all of the images so that we can just take a really fresh look at what we have here. We moved on to the sand room. And the sand room was really interesting for me because it looked really beautiful as it was. And it's really hard for me to edit photos that look beautiful, because I don't know what to do, and I get really overwhelmed because I'm not sure what needs to change if it already looks good. So I tend to actually work better when the image is really ugly to start, because then I know what needs to be fixed. In this case, it's harder to say. But I believe that we're going to edit some clouds outside the window; or just a little something to add more atmosphere instead of just a big, white box in the frame, which is probably not very good for putting the attention on our subject. Another thing that we can do is actually just cover up this window completely, and make it look like there's a wall there. And the lighting wouldn't necessarily be motivated then, but it could be believable that it's coming from just outside the frame, just at the top. So that's another option that we might take with these images. And we have a few different poses that I was inspired to photograph while I was shooting. And as far as these go, I think this one was my favorite, just with the way that the light was hitting, and her pose, and the way that she was integrated into the scene. So then we have the end table, and we have our subject looking really delicate here. And this is probably not one that I'm going to edit today, because this one is quite straightforward, and much more cosmetic. But it's good to just take a look at the different poses. I had her, sort of more balled up like this, but I really liked her position before. She looked a lot more delicate in one of these images, versus at the end there. So then we have the bedroom. And it's really fun to see how this one evolved because, (laughs) it's funny I said bedroom, I realize this is not a bedroom, but, we have the bedroom set. And this was my initial thought, was that we were actually gonna shoot from straight on, looking down at the bed, but I liked seeing the field in the background so I put her in the same position as I would have had her if we were looking straight on. But it didn't quite look right because her legs were the biggest thing in the frame, compared to her head. So, I flipped her around and she was still a little bit static there; and that was when she did this on her own. And I like to be open to that kind of inspiration. And that's definitely the image that I would use in this final edit. I had photographed a few extra pieces; vines and chains, and things like that; extra vines. And then we moved into the wallpaper room, which was by far the most complicated space for me because it didn't really look like wallpaper. And it's going to take a lot of trial and error, so we probably won't edit this one right away either. But the issue comes from there being no actual paper in this room. If there were real wallpaper it would have been much easier to work with, but the bed sheet is going to require some finessing. So, we're going to see about that. And then we had the chair room, where we had this door that was sort of, propped up in place, if you remember. We had Tory in the back just holding it up, hoping that it didn't fall down. Because it matched the ceiling, and I knew that I was going to get the ceiling in this shot. So, I photographed this space, and then we have our subject, who I really liked when she got into that pose with her head down slightly. And then I photographed her hair as well to add on later. That will definitely be a fun image to check out. And then we have our mirror shot, which we're going to skip right past because we're not going to be doing that one today. And then we have the moss. And everyone here is very excited about the moss, because this was a true team effort, and we were just so excited to see this come to life. So we might go ahead and take a little peek at the moss today, and see what we can do for that image. Super creepy, this one was. Oh! Love creep. Okay. And then we finally, we had the tree room, which is where there's going to be a tree busting through this room, with somebody underneath the floor boards. There she is. And we're not gonna look at that one either because this one is going to probably take me, I would say, four to five hours at least, to edit. And we don't have four to five hours, and if we did, you wouldn't wanna watch me do it. So we'll probably leave that one. But then we have this fish tank, and that light was so beautiful. And we have a number of images to choose from here. And this will be good to look at, perhaps with the sand image as well. Just to edit it for cohesion, since it has very similar lighting. So we have this image with her facing forward, and we've been having a debate here about which one is better. So we've got facing forward, versus facing away. And I know that facing forward is winning, so we're just going to have to choose which one will end up being the one that we go with.

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.