Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Write to Different Audiences

Now, if we're going to write to galleries, we have to know what makes us interesting. Otherwise, why are we pitching ourselves? They're a business, too. They want to know what sets you apart so that they can take a chance on you, or not. So you're going to want to tell galleries who you are, and make it interesting, but also informative and very short. No pressure. What you do, what you like about the gallery, what you want from the gallery, your website link. The same as writing to publishers. You're gonna want all the same things. And then, it's the same writing for grants. Writing for anything, you're gonna need to say who you are, what you do, what you want. Right? In any situation. You need to tell at least that to somebody. But then there are a few other things that you're gonna want to think about. Like if you're asking an entity for a large sum of money as you would do when you're writing for a grant, you had better be inspirational. In your own way. It doesn't have to be tradi...

tionally inspirational, but you had better say something that sounds very intriguing to them, that inspires people in some way. Now I went through a whole bunch of grant websites. Like a whole bunch. And these were all of the key words that I saw over and over and over again that they want to see from artists submitting. Forward thinking, innovative, having a new point of view, point of view was used again and again. Technologically interesting, you know a lot of people are looking for you to really push the boundaries of what you can do with technology these days. So maybe that's not relevant to you, maybe it is. And conceptual depth is something that I found a lot of when I was looking up grants. And a lot of people saying you know it's great if your image is beautiful, it's great if you're doing this thing to help a community, but where is the depth of concept in this idea? So if you're gonna propose an idea, make sure that is has lots of layers. And usually grants are genre specific. You'll see a lot of grants for documentary work for example, conservation work, things like that. Maybe your work falls into that category. There are grants for fine art, for pretty much every single thing you can imagine out there somewhere. Now if you're gonna write to a juried show, so we've covered galleries and publishers and music artists and stuff like that, so that's when you're going to share who you are, what you do, and what you want. Okay, and then if you're writing for a grant you better bring out your inspirational and aspirational views. But now if you're writing to a juried show, it's a little bit different because you have to describe the work. The individual pieces themselves as well as your work as a whole. So we've got a statement about your body of work plus one to two sentences per image. So here's an example of my Fourth Wall series. And this is general statement about the whole body of work, which says Fourth Wall looks at the fears and emotions we feel we cannot share by constructing a metaphorical insiders' perspective of the mind. So here's a little blurb about the series. Now you can make this longer, like I wrote, just a statement. Paragraph is appropriate, a page could be appropriate, it depends. But now I need to hone in on a single image and figure out, Okay, I've written about the whole series but what about each individual image? What makes it unique? What makes it stand out? So for this particular image, which is called "Undone", I wrote "Undone" took 60 hours of laying yarn down on the floor, and 4 hours of sewing under the skin of the model's hand, to create a scene of bloody metaphor. Okay, so I'm using some keywords like bloody and skin. Should have said flesh, right? I agree. But then also giving interesting facts about this photo. So they know what the whole series is about, that's like your chance to be a little bit flowery and abstract with your language. But with this particular image, why do I feel the need to say anything about it? Well I'm gonna tell you. It's because I thought my back was gonna break when I spend 60 hours on the floor laying the yarn down. So I wanna tell you that. Because one, it shows how much time put in to this image in particular. And it also shows the dedication to this series, which I think is really important in selling it to somebody when you're trying to get an award. You know, if you're a jury right now and I'm giving you two images, one like this that has conceptual depth and layers and took 60 hours of working on to produce, versus one that maybe took me 10 minutes to shoot, an hour in Photoshop, and is pretty obvious what it is, aren't you going to award the one that had more depth and more time spent on it? Probably. It depends, of course, on what the situation is.

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. :)