I’m very into fields lately, so I thought that for White Wall Wednesday we would dive into a more complicated shoot where I’ll be moving myself and a prop to a different background! This can be done with a sheet taped to a wall if that is what you have! I decided to use the white wall only to further the idea that you can use literally whatever you have. I had such a good time shooting this. The session started with a rope tied around my head and ended with me accidentally throwing my whole body into the wall. I ended up with a whopping 50 shots for this shoot, which is way more than usual so I had a harder time choosing the pose. As a rule I don’t like to shoot more than 10 images, and I usually stick to 3-5 as average. So this was tough for me!

What I outline in the video:

  1. Lighting for compositing.
  2. The importance of camera angle.
  3. Contrasting backgrounds.

And that will lead us into next week when we talk about the editing of this image, and all of the challenges that with some background knowledge we can work past in no time!

Share your WWW with usย by linking in the comments!

If there is anything you want to know specifically about the editing of this image, let me know and I can work it into the next WWW video!


  • August 24, 2016 - 9:30 am

    Linda Kristiansen - Hi Brooke! I really enjoy these videos, you are my favorite inspirational artist and I have learned so much from you. Thank you for that! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I actually made an image the same way yesterday. I was going to shoot the whole thing on location, but as I was setting up everything I suddenly got accompanied by a whole school class on a field trip. I ended up shooting the background I wanted and went home to do the rest on a white background in my living room ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the latest post on my facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/FotografLindaKristiansen The story behind it is in the caption there as well.ReplyCancel

  • August 24, 2016 - 8:06 pm

    Fit BMX - Another great video!
    As I watched this, and when you started jumping backward I was waiting for you to sit down harder than you would like to. But you stayed on your feet, which is better than I would have done. LOL It was very interesting to watch!
    When did you get the Sony? It looks a lot smaller, how do you like it?ReplyCancel

Last week I was in Chicago where I taught a class about storytellingย and gave a lecture about “permission”ย and it was an absolute pleasure to be there with that group. I left feeling energized and inspired and ready to take on the world! Since I’ve been back, I really have! I’ve been making more connections with charity organizations, setting to-do lists and marking everything off, and feeling generally productive yet calm. What a way to feel. Sometimes I forget that all of that good feeling is harnessable and that sometimes it takes a mental shift. Hooray!

While in Chicago I photographed this image! I have certainly seen large key images before. I recognize the key to be a universal symbol as well as one that is easy to grab onto and create with. After all, it is timeless and beautiful and textured. What photographer wouldn’t love that?! Well, I can think of a lot, but this one does! I’ve created large key images before, but this one was special because of who I created it with.

My friend Jane Love came and modeled and she is always an inspiration, so I dedicate the finished image to her. Not to mention to all of the people I connected with. I felt like we were all unlocking things within ourselves that I hope will only go deeper as time goes on.

I wanted to share how this image was put together since it was shot for a class. This isn’t a portfolio piece, but it sure was a blast to create, and with really minimal elements, too! I created two GIFs because it was a two step process. Originally I was going to try and keep the subject on the same background she was photographed on, but decided the ground wasn’t dynamic enough (I have a thing with mowed grass) and so I moved her to a more wild looking New Zealand field.

What have you done recently that made you feel connected, inspired, or motivated?

  • August 23, 2016 - 9:09 am

    Aditya sharma - Hi Brooke,
    The Master piece you created above is amazing and thanks a lot for sharing the transformation GIF, your work and your creativity is much more inspiring for me then anything else.

    This is my recent work, hope you will like it,
    I am open for comments.


  • August 23, 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Joshua Pheneger - Amazing as always, thank you for sharing your process!ReplyCancel

  • August 23, 2016 - 12:04 pm

    Margherita Introna - This shade of green is just gorgeous! Love the tiny detail of the little yellow flower by her feet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keys are wonderful symbols and hold great meaning… I just worked on an image last week where I used a key. I specifically used a key as the space that I create the image was a new apartment I purchased, so using a key was both symbolic and literal ๐Ÿ˜‰ PS: Let’s not forget your most epic key image… the dress of keys!!ReplyCancel

  • August 24, 2016 - 7:57 pm

    Fit BMX - Love the photos!
    Sounds like a great class all the way around. It is always great get set into a new gear mentally. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

I love getting to share some of my editing process. This week was super fun because I was working in a way that has a lot of wiggle room for creativity. I love changing colors especially in my images until I find just the perfect combination. I always have an idea of a color palette before I start, but there is magic in finding control in the editing room so that you can create a palette that speaks to your soul. That is how I felt during this edit.

Some of what you will see includes: changing the color of the dress (and overall), moving the subject to a different background, blending the subject, and some finishing techniques.

How does color speak to you? I never felt so in control of my editing until I learned color tweaks and color theory. To me, nothing has a bigger impact on the viewer than the color of an image.

  • August 17, 2016 - 9:48 am

    Caz Harris - Fabulous tuorial. Loved the colour change and the way you added the shadow. I do shadows differently, but will be trying your technique out for sure. Love how you always get such fabulous images from basic set ups. Shows imagination and a touch of flair is more important that expensive props and sets.
    All the best Caz xReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2016 - 10:12 am

    julie jay - this was amazing and very helpful, i’m so excited to use this as inspiration for a cinderella shoot i was thinking about doing
    thank you so much for sharing your vision and talents with usReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2016 - 11:58 am

    Alma Williams - Love your work Brooke.thank you for sharing your skills!ReplyCancel

  • August 21, 2016 - 9:12 am

    Fit BMX - Wonderful video, I love your color changing technique, it always looks great!
    I haven’t had the time to try taking a photo from above, but I still plan on giving it a shot. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

Oh my friends, what a week since the last White Wall Wednesday! I was a little under the weather over the weekend, did some amazing hiking, had my 8 year anniversary, and totally forgot that I wasn’t ahead of the game with filming these weekly videos! So last night, at about 6:30pm, with 20 minutes of light to spare, I swooped up my equipment and ran (dress ripping as I tripped over myself) to my bedroom to shoot. I was in a literal sweat when I finished, I was moving so fast.

But alas, it has been produced! Apologies for some out of focus and poor quality of video, the light was basically non-existent. I love moments like that though, it was funny and entertaining to be sure.

This week I decided I’d do something slightly different – instead of shooting on a white wall, I’d take the concept of White Wall Wednesday (shooting with the most basic and boring spaces) and shoot from above, thus looking down at the subject. I utilized my boring bedroom carpet as my backdrop, but composited myself into a new background so that it was much more entertaining of an image.

The process of shooting was quite simple.

Step 1: Set my camera on the tripod and make my tripod as tall as possible.
Step 2: Point my camera straight down at the floor, or nearly.
Step 3: Focus on either the floor, or where your subject will be (if you’re not doing a self-portrait, you can simply focus on your model!).
Step 4: Shoot the images and don’t worry too much about the tripod legs being in the shot. If you have wardrobe that can cover them, go for it.

The final step I took was to photograph a clock from the same angle. You’ll see in the video that I photographed it up close instead of from far away like I shot myself. If I had used the same setup for the clock it would have been much smaller in the image, and I would have lost quality trying to stretch the image to make it bigger when editing. Next week I’ll go through some of the editing for this image, such as cutting and blending myself into the new background, working with a close-up shot of the clock to look realistic, and changing colors of the dress quite drastically.

Until then, I hope you have a magical week!

Share your White Wall Wednesday (top down, wahoo!) shots and remember to encourage others you see posting. Share the love and light!

  • August 10, 2016 - 8:44 am

    Jacob Watkins - I am the one that just commented on the YouTube Comments. I would like to say thank you again! You have reignited my creative juices.
    Here my first White Wall picture I did yesterday.

    Question about this latest image, does it bother you that some of the edges of the dress are transparent (like at the 11) showing that the image was photoshopped rather than making it seem like an in camera shot?ReplyCancel

    • August 10, 2016 - 8:55 am

      brookeshaden - Awesome work for your WWW! I love it! Thank you for sharing!

      Actually quite the opposite is true for me with this image, and part of my answer is knowing what the dress looked like in camera – it is a see-through dress unless the fabric is bunched up together, so many of the edges were see-through (I could see the carpet through it) and I decided, after I did a hard cut out, to go over the edges with less opacity so that you could see the clock through wherever you could see carpet before. I hope that makes sense! In the end, it adds believability for me personally since I only erased where it was naturally see-through. Always a learning curve though and I’ll definitely take a fresh look at the previous edit I did without that to compare <3ReplyCancel

  • August 10, 2016 - 10:25 am

    Derick - Beautiful and evocative. In particular, I love the rust/patina tones in combination with the old world clock face. I think I love props as much or more than photography, especially antiques. Random creative question, but did you set the time (8:08) with intention?ReplyCancel

    • August 10, 2016 - 10:30 am

      brookeshaden - I agree! Props are amazing, my office is covered in them (a moon mask, lanterns, a ladder, vintage cameras, clocks, sea shells, a saw, buttons, and more). I keep that clock set at 8:08 at all times because that is when I got married (08-08-08) and 8s, or infinity signs, are very important to us as a symbol. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 10, 2016 - 10:45 am

    Margherita Introna - I love time pieces in images. They always make me think of my father, which is very special and emotional for me. Love how you changed the colours in the final image. It gives the image a warm and antique glow.
    Strangely enough, the first image I ever did for my fine art conceptual portfolio was from the top down… It is the only time I ever shot for my portfolio from this angle (although I’ve used that angle a lot for nude work) and for a long time, it was also one of the very few “indoor” images in my portfolio…
    I took this quite simply lying down on my bed with a piece of sheer fabric cover me. I love the eerie and forgotten feeling of this image. Many still say this is their favourite from my portfolio ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • August 10, 2016 - 5:23 pm

    Andrea Chapman - This is such a beautiful image with the rusty tones and the emotion in the pose. I love images shot from above (I have a wide angle lens that my husband bought me for this purpose!) – here is one I shot last year, inspired by a challenge from Lindsay Adler https://www.flickr.com/photos/luna-8/20121825570/in/dateposted/
    Thanks for sharing your process with us, I’m really enjoying this video series!ReplyCancel

  • August 11, 2016 - 9:50 am

    Fit BMX - I’ve never taken a photo from above like this, so even if it doesn’t work out, it should be fun.
    Is under the weather code for Addicted to the Olympics? That has been my problem lately! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you are feeling better. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love that photo!ReplyCancel

  • August 11, 2016 - 3:02 pm

    Sunshine Biddy - I love this, the colors and tone are beautiful. I took my first over head photo a couple of weeks ago for a composite: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunshinedeal/27948201793/in/dateposted-public/ReplyCancel

  • August 12, 2016 - 1:13 pm

    Natasha - Thank you so much for this series!!! I have this horrible yellow walls (not even white. Bleh.) and I’ve always felt like there’s nothing I can do at home. Your WWW series has shown me that just isn’t true! This image is more inspired by the series as a whole, not this week’s “top down” prompt, but I wanted to stop by to share and say thank you. =)


  • August 12, 2016 - 2:05 pm

    Linda Kristiansen - Hi Brooke ๐Ÿ™‚ Inspired by your video today I set up in my living room and shot a few images. I looked around and found a jar of decorative sand that suddenly looked like a beach in my head. This is one of 2 images I created. https://www.instagram.com/p/BJBNcVNgezY/
    Thank you so much for always being such an inspiration!! โค๏ธReplyCancel

  • August 13, 2016 - 12:51 am

    Filippo D - Hello Brooke thank you very much for giving to me every day a fantastic inspiration to create my work with yout lovely words. You are a fantasticp person.
    I love so much this white wall Wednesday this that i want to share with you is my 3rd photo of this project.
    Hope you like it

I think that there might be nothing more inspiring to me than using a simple space in a creative way. From the first time I picked up my camera I began standing in front of white walls (which was all I had, hence the decision) to make my images. It forced me to think of idea upon idea to try and fill the space and make it more interesting than the last. I found myself very frequently using my body and simple props or costumes to fill the space, paying attention to body form and texture as a means of communicating an emotion.

This lead me to finding the simplest Photoshop tools to be able to make my subject pop. My methods were, as many people would tell me along the way, sometimes inefficient or outdated, but it was mine and it was fun. I loved creating in the way that I did, and still do. It might not be the number-one-best-way-as-trademarked-by-“professionals” but I love creating, so I consider it a success.

This is the point of White Wall Wednesday. It doesn’t matter what you have to create with, or what your methods are. Yes, there are things to be learned by everyone at all levels. Yes, my Photoshop skills have evolved as I have grown as an artist. Yes, I will continue to find new ways of creating. But for now, in this moment, it is important that we embrace who we are and where we are in our craft. Never let anyone make you feel inferior because you haven’t been creating as long as they have, or if your methods are different. Are you having fun? Yes? Good. Stick with it and shine.

I hope that you enjoy this editing video! I loved making it and sharing a piece of myself.

Leave me a comment if you found something helpful, interesting,
or if you createdย your own White Wall Wednesday art!