Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 30/138 - Write a Descriptive Paragraph

 

Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

 

Lesson Info

Write a Descriptive Paragraph

Looking at more images here, this is one that I created earlier this year and I had a lot to think about here because almost none of this image existed, it was just a field that I went out to, and I had to create something in that field. I didn't have to, I chose to, but I needed to put something in it for sure because how weird would it be if you just saw me post a picture of a field? You'd be like, "Hm, what's Brooke up to? "Not much, she just took a picture of a field." So I need to put something in it, so I've got these stars, which, I should say this is not quite the before image, there were no stars in the sky or stars on the ground, there was just a field, but I added stars, I added more stars. Stars and stars, stars in the sky, stars on the ground, and then I built this box tower and then I photographed myself in multiple parts trying to get my body in there. I changed some colors, I changed the lighting, I changed a while bunch of stuff about this image and then I ended up the...

re, but what I really wanna talk about with this image is not how it was created but why. And I think that what's important to do is to write about your images, and you might be very resistant to that, you might think, oh I really hate writing, and that's okay. I'm not saying become a writer, write a poem about the picture you're gonna make or anything like that, but if you can answer how, what and why for the images that you're creating: what is it, how did I do it, and why am I compelled to do it? Then you're much more likely to be able to speak more meaningfully about your work, and I think that's very important to be able to speak about your work and we're actually gonna talk about that later on in the class, but to me, if you can answer how and why before you even start the picture, aren't you much more likely to create something meaningful that actually ends up working out if you think it through how you're going to do it and why you're doing it ahead of time. I think that you should do this both for new pictures as well as old pictures. So I love going back through my portfolio and choosing a random image and writing down why I created that picture. I think that it's really fun to do, it just gets your mind thinking about, oh, what was I thinking on that day, why did I wanna do this, how could I put that into words? But especially doing it before you create something new is, in my opinion, one of the best things that we can do to start training ourselves to think more deeply about our images. Okay, so I've got a wall of text for you here. I'm going to read it to you though. And this is my description of this image, what I would write and what I did write before I created this image. I put it into nicer terms, cuz I did a lot of bullet points, but you get the idea, so I wrote, too often we face gray sky days and wish for something better. What if we could pull the curtain over those clouds and create our own blue shy day? I will achieve this by standing on crates that allow me to reach higher into the sky. I will photograph a blue sheet so that I can impose light clouds on to create a blue sky look. I will blend gray clouds into the being so that they are being covered. I want to create my own reality, one that I can control and define as I wish. This image represents that power that we have as artists and creators. So that was my how and why for this picture. I went through, I said exactly what I wanna do, how I plan on doing it, and then further, why it's important to me, what is the concept here, what am I trying to communicate with this image. And I find that when I go through this process and I show people my images, they're much more likely to say, "Oh I get it, I get what that concept is, "I get what you're trying to say." But when I don't think about it enough and I send someone an image and then I say, "What do you think?" They're like, "Uh, what are you trying to do here?" You know? So the point I'm saying this is that I think that the more you can do this, the more that you can talk about why you're creating and how you're creating then someone is much more likely to understand that thing, the how and the why, they're likely to say, "Oh it works, it flows, I understand not necessarily "how you created it but I get that this looks like "a picture that was created well." And that is the worst thing when someone says, "It looks photoshopped." I don't wanna hear that from anybody, ever. But then more importantly, they're going to look at it and say, "I understand why you did this." And I think that if we can write that out ahead of time, perfect. All right, so I just thought that I would show you how this image was built since we just talked about it. But first, let me tell you what, how and why. So if we can break it down. If you don't feel like writing a paragraph, you like, "Eh, I don't wanna write a paragraph about "every single picture," fine, don't write a paragraph. That's okay. All I want you to do is write what, how and why which is a part of our guide for this class, so we've got our little work book and it's going to ask you some of these questions like, what, how and why, and how you can try to work that into when you plan your photo shoot, so what for this image is literally what, what is happening? I mean we can all answer this, it's just a girl pulling a blue sky down over a gray sky, that's what the image is. And then we have how, so how did I do it? I used a blue bed sheet, that was how I did it, I used a blue bed sheet to be tugging on to pull it down over the sky, and then why. To show the power that we have as individuals to create our reality. Great, simple, simple, simple. Now if I know these things in three easy sentences, then I can communicate that so fast to people. I have been in gallery shows where someone comes in and they'll say, "Why did you do this?" Like really easy question, right, except not an easy question for a lot of people. You have to be able to say, "Boom, that's why I did it. "I know exactly why I did this picture." If you can't say that, I mean, just think about if you're the client, you're going into buy someone's print and the artist is there and you say, "Why did you make this?" And they're like, "I don't know." Or, "I can't think of anything." Then aren't you gonna be like, oh, I don't really wanna buy that print after all, there was no thought put into this, it just sorta muddies it up a little bit. So this was how this picture started, with a field. As apparently so many do with just a field, and I ended up using various compositing magic, just kidding, to put this together. So this was my really awful next stage where I've got like random colors put in here, cuz I thought it'd be covered later, like right now, and I have this, I'm not gonna say bad habit, I'm gonna say really effective but potentially what other people would call bad habit of just painting over things with my brush in Photoshop, it's my favorite thing to do. So I just painted over the sky, cuz I didn't need it, I knew I'd be putting my own in. See if I had kept this image, it would have been okay, those are stormy clouds, it would have been okay, but it wasn't quite the right field, it was still a little too bright in the background. You can see how some of the whites, some of the highlights are being really blown out back there. So I'm just covering that up so that I have a blank canvas to create my own version here, whatever I want. There are my crates. There are my legs. There's my body. There's some hair. I don't know why, I'm always photographing myself in multiple parts and I really don't even have a reason for you, but it just happens. Then I've got my clouds that I chose because they were nice and dark at the horizon line which is where they're going to be showing most. Okay. Now we got the sheet, so there's my sheet. That's my blue sheet that i was clearly not holding to begin with, so I was posing with just my arms in the air pretending like I was holding onto something, because I'm working totally by myself, so I wanna make this clear. Had I had a crew with me, had I had just one person with me, then I might have had them try to hold the sheet up or I might have tried to fix the sheet somewhere, but I'm just one little girl, and I did it like this because one, I'm very impatient. I don't have a lot of patience when I'm shooting so I don't wanna take the time to clamp things in places, but also, I was by myself and it was just easier to photograph the sheet separately instead of while I was posing, so I did that. Then we've got the sky blended into that sheet, just a totally different picture of clouds that I blended into that shy. And now we have some overall adjustments, which in my opinion make it mine at that point. It's like there's the compositing and there's the making it your portion, which is the lighting and the colors and how you choose to go about finishing the image, and so there we have it. It was a very cold day where I was. So that was me photographing the crates, and I knew that I wanted the crates to look a little bit bigger in the final picture, so I knew that I would be cutting them out anyways, so I didn't bother going into the space to do it, not to mention, this field was from New Zealand and I don't live there. So that's how this came together, New Zealand field and sky from California and crates from my house and a sheet from Goodwill, and there we have it.

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.

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 39Locations 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

Reviews

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.

a Creativelive Student
 

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. :)