Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


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.

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. :)