Is there anything more validating than being able to use whatever you have at your disposal to create? That has been the single most rewarding thing about my passion/career so far. I wanted to take pictures and so I did, despite not having a studio, lights, expensive equipment, etc. I started out with a tripod (pieced together with different brands) from a thrift store, a lens that was gifted to me and thus completely inappropriate for my tiny little space I was shooting in, and I had absolutely no concept of what it meant to be a photographer. I only knew that I had passion, and so I created in any way that I could.

That is what White Wall Wednesdays are all about. It means that we stop making excuses about why we can’t create and we find ways to make it happen. It might not always turn out like the image of your dreams, but if I’ve learned anything it is that there is just about always a way. Things get done because we have the inspiration and motivation to try.

When I see a blank wall, I see an opportunity.

This week we are focusing on the editing process that has gone in to the image we shot last week. I hope that you pick up some tips that help in your own process and that you enjoy the video!

Please share any images you’ve created in your blank space, and/or a before/after if you want to show people where it came from!


  • July 20, 2016 - 8:48 am

    Marcy Criner - I love the idea of white wall Wednesdays!! Here’s my before/after:

    • July 21, 2016 - 7:53 am

      brookeshaden - I LOVED reading about your evolution and how you came to your final piece, which was stunning and totally had soul. Thank you for sharing that, it has inspired me today!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 8:53 am

    Katrin Auch - I love watching you edit, seeing everything come together really feels like magic. I have a couple suggestions/comments. I am not sure if the smoke and particles that you used were specifically shot for this image, or if you have a stock library of smoke and stuff. I would love to know more about your stock library. Also, not sure how everyone else feels, but I found having the speed edit and the breakdown running at the same time very distracting. Personally I would have loved to see both separately, but that might just be me. Thank you so much for doing this!ReplyCancel

    • July 21, 2016 - 7:55 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Kat!! Miss you! Thank you for always being so loving, I appreciate it so much. I will do my best to incorporate a look into my stock library in one of the upcoming videos. It may take a few weeks but I’ll get there! Sometimes I shoot new stock and sometimes I use old, so I have a library of smoke especially that can be used in many situations – very helpful! So for this one I used images I already had, plus one that I shot for it to look more like pouring. I agree about the video in the video – it was an experiment to try and show more and not make the video any longer than it had to be. Noted, though, and I will probably keep it more traditional in the future!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 9:05 am

    Margherita Introna - I always find is to fascinating to watch others edit. There is always something to learn – regardless of the genre. It feels like every time I touch Photoshop, there is something new to learn. I LOVE that about Photoshop and I find the thirst for knowledge and being challenged is a brilliant motivator and keeps me constantly inspired.
    I shot a new piece in my little studio on Monday that I am going to use as the first piece of a new series I am working on. The rest of the series will be created on my upcoming travels and this first piece is to launch the series. I am soooooo excited about it and my I have been scribbling so many ideas in my notebook!! So many possibilities that I could burst from happiness 🙂 🙂
    I actually don’t have a white/blank wall in my house (my house has mostly wooden walls and it is a sort of A-frame house so the walls slant), so instead I have “cheated” a bit and made my own “walls” for my little studio space 😉 I painted up a couple of polyboards and use those to create blank wall spaces… Here is one of the first images I created in my studio that I posted late last year. It marked many changes in my life and in my work and so is a very special, yet simple, image which you can see here:

    You can view the before and after video of how I created this here:

    And the blog post for it:!Change-Death/c20iz/567c0b9b0cf203da56ea5fd6

    Thanks for posting this video Brooke. I am always fascinated about your control and understanding of how to read light. You have really opened my eyes in that regard. Thank you.
    Love & Light

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:00 am

      brookeshaden - You are so amazing at creating in blank spaces, and it has even become something I associate with your work – not so much the “blankness”, of course, but the minimalism and highlighting just the right details. Always a pleasure to peruse! I’d love to see your slanty walls though and what you could do with that – super challenge!ReplyCancel

      • July 21, 2016 - 3:08 pm

        Margherita Introna - Wow Brooke, thanks. I am pleasantly surprised by the comment 😉
        You will see what I mean about my “slanty” walls when you come visit me 🙂 🙂 But don’t worry, I have already pondered hanging from the roof trusses upstairs! I have the gear for this and as a climber, it is super tempting… Although I love creating in my little studio space… it is small, but has become my happy space. It has been so wonderful having a space close at hand that is there purely for creating in! However, I have just bought a new apartment (not to live in – I purchased it as investment/income) and cannot wait for the current tenants to move out next month so that I have can a day of creating in the space before it is renovated. I already have 3 image ideas I’m going to attempt there!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 9:30 am

    Aditya sharma - Awesome, i just love the way you transformed the photograph into a beautiful piece of art. Thank you so much for this new concept (White wall Wednesday).ReplyCancel

    • July 20, 2016 - 9:50 am

      Aditya sharma - Here is my before N after photograph

      • July 21, 2016 - 8:00 am

        brookeshaden - Wow talk about a transformation! I love the glowing bulbs, that is an awesome touch especially with the window. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 10:12 am

    Monica Melgar - Good morning Brooke! Hope you are having an amazing day, and I know you are preparing something awesome for us, so excited to see today’s video! I thought I would chip in with this shot using my white wall! You cannot see me but Im smiling! I used one of the textures that you so kindly shared through this site and I just don’t understand how much I was missing out by not using them, thank you for being so generous Brooke, can’t wait for today’s video!ReplyCancel

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:01 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Monica! You are SO lovely!! I can see you smiling in my imagination and it is glorious, and has officially given me my biggest smile yet of the day! I can’t see your image for some reason when I click, can you send a different link? I’m very eager to take a look 🙂ReplyCancel

      • July 21, 2016 - 4:58 pm

        Monica Melgar - Hi Brooke! I really hope you are having an amazingly creative day! Sorry to hear that the link I previously posted didn’t work, but here is a new one to my instagram, hope this one works I did try it Any ways, I loooooved yesterday’s video and always find your tutorials amazingly helpful. I concentrated on each part of the video separately and enjoyed both of them so much, always learn something new when I watch them, thank you so much for sharing, and as always I can hardly wait for next Wednesday! It is such a treat since that’s one of my days off, so I can watch it as many times as can! have an awesome rest of your day! Ps. Do you like chocolate?ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 10:28 am

    Judi - Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge and inspiration with us all, Brooke. Each time you share, I learn some little trick or technique that I hadn’t seen before.
    I agree with Katrin re: both things running together very distracting. I think I shall watch again with a sticky-note over the quick edit portion…
    Thanks again, you rock!
    Peace, JudiReplyCancel

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:02 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Judi! I’m really glad that you took something away from the video! I agree with the note about the editing video within the video – I wanted to shorten the video and not draw it out, and I was hoping that since it could be rewound and rewatched it wouldn’t be too annoying, but I doubt I’ll edit a video this way again. Good experiment – had to try 😀 XO!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 10:28 am

    Aditya sharma - Good morning Brooke

    Awesome!! I just love the way you transform the photograph into a unique piece of art. I Loved today’s video, can’t wait for the next video. Thank you so much for this concept(White wall Wednesday) of yours.

    Here’s my before and after:

  • July 20, 2016 - 1:22 pm

    Fit BMX - Great video! There were several things I wasn’t sure how to do, that you cleared up very nicely. Thanks! 🙂
    Since I don’t have an open wall, I took my photo against the wall of our old barn. Which worked, but it is far from white. So for me this is Rusty Wall Wednesday! LOL
    Here is a photo a did a few months ago I tooks against a wall. This was during your 30 Days Creative Challenge, so I used a box as well. I also used cornstarch, I dusting it down between the light and the light and the box, giving the light something to refract off of.
    Everything I did to make this photo happen I learned from you, thanks! 🙂

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:05 am

      brookeshaden - Talk about WOW! What a beautiful transformation. I especially love the negative space the light. You did such a wonderful piece of work here and I’m so glad that you shared it with me. Inspiration galore!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 2:13 pm

    Mira - Brooke, you’re just a storehouse of magical and incredible ideas, I wish to be in your head, the world will never be the same. You’re our inspiration!!!!! I’m in a hurry to create something!Now open the editor…..
    With love from Russia)))ReplyCancel

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:05 am

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you Mira!! I can’t wait to see what comes out of your imagination, I bet it is spectacular. I hope our paths cross one day and we can shoot together!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 4:05 pm

    Debbie - Good timing on this post as I try again to expand my knowledge of editing in Photoshop. I cannot wait for next week’s White Wall.ReplyCancel

    • July 21, 2016 - 8:06 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you, I miss you!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 7:10 pm

    Yash Patel - Excellent work. True artist.

    Love your work.ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2016 - 7:25 pm

    Monica Melgar - Hi Brooke! I really hope you are having an amazingly creative day! Sorry to hear that the link I previously posted didn’t work, but here is a new one to my instagram, hope this one works I did try it Any ways, I loooooved yesterday’s video and always find your tutorials amazingly helpful. I concentrated on each part of the video separately and enjoyed both of them so much, always learn something new when I watch them, thank you so much for sharing, and as always I can hardly wait for next Wednesday! It is such a treat since that’s one of my days off, so I can watch it as many times as can! have an awesome rest of your day! Ps. Do you like chocolate?ReplyCancel

I recorded a video a week for two years straight. It started as a New Year’s resolution to see if I could actually stick with that kind of commitment on a weekly basis and then turned into an obsession…and 100 Promoting Passion videos. I will continue to create videos for that series here and there, but for now, I want to introduce this new mini series of videos!

White Wall Wednesday is all about using what we have to create the work of our dreams. It is about taking that blank and boring wall and making it work for us. It is about compositing, posing, lighting, and more. When I started photography it was all I had. Just me and my tiny white wall. I was too afraid to go outside, too afraid to ask others to model for me. Fear fear fear. So I used my white wall. And to be honest, it was the best thing I ever did. It taught me to see boring things in amazing ways. It taught me how to composite. It taught me how to use my imagination. And so I wanted to go back to those basics and challenge myself with a white wall series.

Leave some love in the comments – show me YOUR white wall shots.
It can be images you’ve already created, or create something new with me.
Next week is an editing video, so you’ve got 2 weeks to create and edit with me.

Thank you for taking this wild journey with me, I have so much respect for everyone here. And thank you preemptively for inspiring me with your white wall creations. This is going to be fun!

  • July 13, 2016 - 10:31 am

    Kristy - Awesomely inspiring!ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 10:43 am

      brookeshaden - You are so wonderful Kristy!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 10:40 am

    Katrin Auch - OMG, I love this image and this series, Brooke! I have actually been doing this a lot recently, but compositing in different backgrounds.
    This one was was shot in my studio against a white wall with would Ikea curtains as a dress, and exercise ball to drape over and “moon in my room” night light. I composited in a background I had shot driving home one night.

    Can’t wait to see the next video and see you at the convention this September!ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 10:44 am

      brookeshaden - Wow Kat!! I love that image. It immediately struck me as a whimsical classic painting. Well done for sure! Can’t wait to see you again, finally!!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 10:48 am

    Cristina B - Your posts always inspire me to create more. Excited for the convention in September! This is a photo I shot in my upstairs bedroom with plain white walls. As you can see, I changed that lol.

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Hi Cristina! Can’t wait to see you in Sept! I LOVE the photo! Super interesting light and motion!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 10:50 am

    Onno Veerman - Really inspiring instruction video. There is so much to learn, but your way of thinking and composing is really helpful for me.ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Hi Onno, that is so awesome to hear! Thank you for your kindness!ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:14 pm

      brookeshaden - And PS – let me know if there is anything specific you’d like me to cover in these videos that you think would be particularly helpful 🙂 XoReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 12:50 pm

    Monica Melgar - Hello Brooke! It is so amazing that there are magical and inspirational people like you in this world and your kindness and sweetness make my heart sing every time I watch one of your videos or look at your magical, amazing and thought provoking images. I decided I would share this image for your white wall Wednesday video series I am trying to apply the techniques Ive learned from your Fine Art Portrait course from Creative Live. I wish you an amazing rest of your Wednesday Brooke, stay sweetReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:16 pm

      brookeshaden - Hi Monica! That image you created is so sweet and the concept is so lovely, like she’s dreaming of butterflies. I like the combination of clouds and butterflies – classic and timeless. Thank you for watching my course and for viewing this video! Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 1:03 pm

    Chelsea Knight - I LOVE the idea of this series ♥ Awesome creativity boost.
    Here’s are my favorite white wall shots that I made recently.

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:17 pm

      brookeshaden - Hey Chelsea! First of all, you have such a unique way of posing and creating an expressive mood in your subject. Really interesting and love the story it tells! Thank you for sharing your images, I hope to see more from you in the future! Xo!ReplyCancel

      • July 13, 2016 - 8:55 pm

        Fit BMX - Brooks is right, you do an outstanding job conveying emotion.
        Beautiful photos! 🙂ReplyCancel

      • July 14, 2016 - 11:45 am

        Chelsea Knight - Thank you so much! Really working on it. Posing is so rough sometimes. Gotta be able to coach my models and do it myself too! lolReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 3:06 pm

    Alan Uchoa II - Oh, Brooke… I wish one day we can meet each other. You inspire me and really motivated me to dive deep in my world and make it real. Now I’m really depressed due to some “events” in my life, so I’m without producing anything since the end of the last year. I really want to go back, but there’s some fear inside me and I’m trying so hard to make it trough. Well, heres some photos and videos that I produced on a blank space. Keep inspiring out lives. You’re in my heart. (1:12)

    I hope I also can inspire you some way.ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:20 pm

      brookeshaden - Hi Alan!! I am so happy to watch those videos! I was particularly touched by the piece in the white sheet. Really beautiful work that moved me and inspired me greatly. I hope that whatever you are going through you find peace quickly and that you can get back into creating. You really have a gift that I don’t want you to give up on. Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2016 - 7:32 pm

    Viktor Kolomiiets - I`m really excited about this amazing idea!
    My old shot (in spring) on white wall

  • July 13, 2016 - 8:19 pm

    Fit BMX - If there was a little dancing emoticon for your comments section, this post would be full of them right now!!!
    Super cool, I can’t wait. But the funny part is, I don’t have any blank walls to use! LOL
    I will do my best, and love your videos rather am doing this or not. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2016 - 8:21 pm

      brookeshaden - Ahh too funny, no blank wall! Nothing at all? Even a red one? 😛 You are too great, thank you for being here!ReplyCancel

      • July 13, 2016 - 9:01 pm

        Fit BMX - NOT EVEN A RED ONE!!! LOL
        But I live in the middle of nothing in Kansas. So unlike most people, I can hike anywhere I want and never see a soul. But still no wall! LOLReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2016 - 10:37 am

    Kevin Etherington - Looking forward to the 2nd part.ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2016 - 7:50 am

    Mary Landberg - Leaving some love here for you Brooke. I loved this simple yet mind opening video! Lately I’ve been trying to get the whole scene into one shot (floor to ceiling) but end up with a little distortion (which isn’t always bad.) I’m so new at this I never thought to take separate photos of the ceiling. I am beyond excited to see the editing video. My muse is on fire about this!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2016 - 11:09 am

    Kimberly Gintar - This is super!! Thank you so much for doing this!! Yesterday I took my first wall portraits and made my first composite with textures. I absolutely love how it has turned out. I’ll post it after next week. I can’t wait to see how you edit your pics. Thanks again and here is a ton of love!!! <3 Kimberly GintarReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2016 - 5:14 pm

    Amanda Meyer - Hi Brooke and fellow passionates! I am so excited for this new video series! Wednesdays are now my favorite days of the weeK! I love the topic also, most of the images I started out creating this year were just that, shooting on a white wall all over my small apartment. It sometimes challenging but also very fun to transform a space into something else. <3ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2016 - 6:36 am

    Margherita Introna - What fun Brooke!!! 🙂 🙂
    I actually don’t have a white/blank wall in my house (it’s somewhat of an A-frame house, so the walls slant), so instead I have “cheated” a bit and made my own “walls” for my little studio space 😉 I painted up a couple of polyboards and use those to create blank wall spaces… Here is an image I posted a few months back that I created in my little blank space:

    You can view the before and after video of how I created this here:

  • July 20, 2016 - 8:18 am

    Monica Melgar - Good morning Brooke! Hope you are having an amazing day, and I know you are preparing something awesome for us, so excited to see today’s video! I thought I would chip in with this shot using my white wall! You cannot see me but Im smiling! I used one of the textures that you so kindly shared through this site and I just don’t understand how much I was missing out by not using them, thank you for being so generous Brooke, can’t wait for today’s video!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2016 - 12:49 pm

    Rick Finden - Well, now you did it! I was supposed to spend lunch ordering a copy of a picture from our wedding for my wife and I ended up watching your videos instead. (It’s been 28 years, she can wait another day.)

    I collect images off tumblr. Most are landscape that I study to improve my own photography. I have maybe three non-landscape photographers’ images in my digital photo-frame on my desk. A number of your images are included. Red Dress & Mountains is a favorite.

    Thank you so much for the White Wednesday series! I love listening to (and learning from!) your thought process.

    See you next Wednesday!ReplyCancel

Many moons ago I found myself teaching a teen photography class in Los Angeles. It was a something I wanted to do because, quite simply, I had never done it before. I wanted to see if I liked teaching that age group, and if holding a fairly regular teaching position would be for me. I only lasted one semester and found myself restless with the schedule, but it did connect me with a fabulous artist named David Limrite. He and I began a collaboration, which I wish I had kept going longer, and here I share that with you.

I took pictures and he painted on them, and in turn he painted me backgrounds to put people into. I never fulfilled that part of the experiment, but what we did finish was a wonderful melding of technique and concept. I am proud to share these images that we made together, a real collaboration between two artists with very different mediums but a very similar message. What he does with painting is what my imagination manifests when I think of the most interesting world I can envision. It is an honor to have his paint on my pixels.

What collaborations have you been involved with?
Share links/pics if you have them!

Model (top picture): Andrea Pun
Model (bottom picture): Self-portrait

  • July 7, 2016 - 10:09 am

    Thomas Miles - I am doing a collaboration tomorrow with an old school friend of mine who’s hoping to become an actress and wanted experience modelling and getting photos for her CV. She’s so lovely and we’ve worked together before. Got 3 bunches of flowers today for about £2 *bargain* and hoping to make a flower crown out of them and use the rest for the location. She’s wanting to use her prom dress some more which is very princess looking which would match with the flowers to create a flower princess look! Very excited to try something more fashion based and see what kind of results I can get. Been wanted to create images like these for ages so very excited! 🙂 love these images and the use of mixed media. So expressive and really inspiring <3ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2016 - 10:18 am

    Margherita Introna - This is pretty darn cool Brooke! Love the extra dimension the painting adds. Must look amazing as a print.

    I consider all my work with a model as collaborations. As a loner I struggle to let people in, so working with models was a very different vibe for me. A good one though in many ways.ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2016 - 2:58 pm

    Carrie - Love both of these. Can’t figure out which is my favorite! Have you ever tried that method where wax is painted over an image for textures? I want to try that! Can’t remember the name of the method.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2016 - 8:38 am

    Fit BMX - Those are lovely! I had never thought of doing that.
    I don’t really have any artist friends that I know in person, so I don’t have anyone to collaborate with. But it would definitely be fun. 🙂ReplyCancel

As many of you know I used to study filmmaking. When I was in college I focused on writing and cinematography, receiving degrees in film, English, and a minor in creative writing. These things have long been my passion, but when I graduated from my university I quickly gave them up in favor of photography, which I have pursued since then. Last year I got the itch. A little voice in my mind told me I should start making films again. I was increasingly having ideas that were much better put to music, or seen in a sequence of moving pictures. I decided that the best way to begin would be to direct a music video – something small with people I know and trust to help me create art. And so I did!

Last October I got together with my friend Devin, whom I trust in any video-related scenario, utterly, and I told him my idea. Weeks later I was in Los Angeles with my little cast and crew as we began creating a video for one of my favorite songs. It was a little labor of love, and marked a step back into my passion, or at least what it used to be and still can be.

Isn’t it funny how we somehow decide what we are or what we should be, and any other dreams feel so far away – indeed, too far to pursue, surely. But deep down, if we set out with the intention of never defining ourselves, we find a great capacity for growing with our ambitions. Our greatest dreams can come true at any point in our lives, whether it fits a predisposed timeline or not. I thought I was going to be a filmmaker. I was fiercely determined. When I graduated and didn’t pursue that career, everyone that knew me was dumbfounded. “But what is that degree for, then!?” they would exclaim. I would look away, never making eye-contact, feeling ashamed, and mutter that I didn’t know. And we don’t have to.

Here I am, seven years later, diving back in to something I fell in love with when I was a teenager. It is never too late. It is never too early. Time should never factor in to our dreams, hopes, desires, wishes, or any other whimsical thought. Time is steadfast; let’s ride on the winds of our greatest whims and see where it takes us. You just might find yourself embodying the person you used to be, or falling into the person you want to be. I find myself as a 17-year-old girl again, fresh with the excitement of what filmmaking could be. No limitations, no fear of risk, no expectations weighing me down. No need to make money with every project, no need to prove myself, no need to be something that I know I am not nor want to be.

The lyrics to this song say “Don’t be scared, it’s alright.” What an amazing way to begin again in a medium that I have such history with. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared. Everything turns out alright in the end. It is a calming, beautiful message and I am so glad to have the artist’s blessing to share that message with you. Jerome, of Message to Bears, has written with his joyful approval to share this video, and so I present to you my music video for “At a Glance”.

Writer/Director: Brooke Shaden
Director of Photography & Editor: Devin Schiro
Producers: Kelly McGrady, KD Stapleton
Stylist: Laura Behary
Cast: Lola Clark, Danielle Clark
Steadicam Operator: Brandon Toy
Music by: Message to Bears, “At a Glance”

  • July 5, 2016 - 7:39 am

    Laura B - Beautifully realized and rendered: thank you Brooke for sharing your gift with us! Not only have you inspired our young daughters to be creative storytellers, you’ve rekindled my own love for cinema. Lola, Danielle, and I loved working with you, and we’re proud to have been a part of this project, and proud of you for returning to filmmaking!ReplyCancel

    • July 5, 2016 - 8:21 am

      brookeshaden - You and your girls are simply the best and I am so grateful to be able to share memories with each of you! Thank you for all of your efforts and for being so kind!ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 7:43 am

    Paulo Carvalho - I love it! Well done Brooke! I agree with your words when you say: “Time should never factor in to our dreams, hopes, desires, wishes, or any other whimsical thought.” There will be a behind the scenes? How I’d love to see that 17 year old girl with all her excitement! Congratulations for another great work. <3ReplyCancel

    • July 5, 2016 - 8:21 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Paulo!! Thank you so much for being so kind! I wish I had more BTS for this one…but I do have BTS for the next one that is forthcoming, and I can’t wait to share. I’m very excitable 😀ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 7:52 am

    Patsy Zaruba - Job well done. I see you have a gift and why you want to use it, good for you. I agree when you wrote, “It’s never too late and it’s never to early”. As a school counselor for K- 8TH graders I want them to learn to never give up on self. Thanks for sharing your gift.ReplyCancel

    • July 5, 2016 - 8:22 am

      brookeshaden - I love that you teach that to the students at your school. My hat is off to you for being a light for those kids. XO!ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 8:28 am

    jenshu - thank you 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 9:30 am

    Tim Stephens - This is wonderful! Hints of darkness but filled with that fearlessness inspired by eternal hope. Your signature is embedded in every aspect of this video, Brooke, even as you push in new directions. Had I stumbled upon this I’d be sending you the link and saying, “You gotta check this out! You’re going to love it!”

    Will you ever share those dark little vids from the “assisted living” days? I’m sure I’d enjoy them! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • July 5, 2016 - 1:39 pm

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you Tim! I wasn’t sure how a video in this format – clearly narrative – would turn out (if it would match “me” or not), so thank you for saying so! I will attempt to find those videos and if I can, I’ll share them! <3ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 1:29 pm

    Margherita Introna - It is through creating that I am not scared and I know it will be ok… Love the mood this video evokes Brooke… the innocence and wonder created is just wonderful. Emotive and moving. And oh the wonderful childhood memory it made me remember of writing a note and burying it…ReplyCancel

    • July 5, 2016 - 1:40 pm

      brookeshaden - Agree – the message of this song is so beautiful. I listen to it every single day to remind myself. Love to you always Margherita! One day I’ll come visit 🙂ReplyCancel

      • July 6, 2016 - 7:38 am

        Margherita Introna - I’m holding you to that dear Brooke! My home and heart are open for you always… I’m hoping to be back in the UK in September and possibly some of October. Let me know if you’ll be around there then. Perhaps we can meet there! It’s half way for each of us 😉 xxReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2016 - 7:36 pm

    Mike E - Terrific Brooke, beautifully done! Congrats on returning to your roots, my you’re on a journey. Hats off to the producers too! 😉ReplyCancel

    • July 6, 2016 - 7:37 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Mike! We had a really fun time filming it. It is nice to feel part of a team sometimes 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2016 - 12:30 pm

    Fit BMX - Dang nabit! Your video nearly made me tear up!
    I knew you had a degree in cinematography, and it was your first art love. But WOW, I didn’t see this coming. It is outstanding work, I watched twice and loved everything about it both times! Those little girls did an incredible job conveying emotion, they may have themselves a career in acting. You did a great job casting.
    I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
    A big hug and congratulations on a job well done. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2016 - 1:43 pm

    Denise Leitner - Brooke

    I was driving this morning and thinking why not take a chance and be the artist you really wanted to be.

    I got to work opened my computer to find your beautiful video and blog.

    Thank you for your generosity and continued inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2016 - 3:20 pm

    kenneth vogelsberg - Brooke this an amazing piece of work!!! I LOVE IT!!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2016 - 4:26 am

    Amani - This is so beautiful Brooke! I love it. I can’t wait to see the underwater one as well!ReplyCancel

    • July 7, 2016 - 6:07 am

      Fit BMX - I was thinking the same thing! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2016 - 9:21 am

    Georgia Martin Baker - Thank you so much for sharing your art journey with us and your beautiful insight in a special way.
    I totally teared up!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2016 - 3:10 pm

    Carrie - Can’t stop watching this! I have been struggling with my anxiety demons spiraling out of control lately. This video and song…the lyrics. I just bawl. I feel like I’m drowning. Like I want to hide in my house forever. I’m still making myself push past the discomfort but it is mighty hard. As I push along, trying to encourage others by sharing that they are not alone. That I may look perfectly normal but to not judge a book by its cover and to always be kind to everyone.ReplyCancel

People often ask me how long I’ve been an artist. My standard answer is to say “7 years”, since that was how long ago I picked up my camera. Before that I was creating films in college. Before that I was writing short stories in high school. Before that I was writing poetry in middle school. On and on it goes.

The truth is that how we create is not what makes us artists. Being an artist is about the journey we take to express our personal truth. That journey meanders. It is not a predictable path, nor should it be. It is too easy to wax philosophical about the unknown, winding future and the beauty it holds. The truth is that most of us are scared of that path. We think it will be an adventure until we start down it, and out of fear we quit and find the easier way.

Being an artist is about doing what you know you should do despite the fear. Being an artist is not about being fearless but instead about being brave. Being an artist is about listening to yourself, even when you don’t see yourself clearly. It is recognizing that even a blurred vision of yourself is better than someone else’s version of yourself. It is creating despite not knowing how; it is finding your story when you think everyone else is more interesting.

An artist’s palette will ebb and it will flow. It will become grand and it will diminish. It will carry the weight of the artist’s soul and it will wash it back out to sea to be claimed by another sunset. That is the beauty of the artist’s adventure. So many people set sail for a destination, while others of us simply go. We let the emotion of the experience translate into an indescribable yet brilliantly articulate masterpiece. This is what we call our muse. This is what we call our genius. This is what we call ourselves.

The etymology of the word “art” goes back to mean “human workmanship”. I identify with this root insofar as most of the artists I know embody what it means to dedicate oneself to a craft. To do the work of what it means to be human – is this not the most pure form of art? To question what it means to be alive. To give yourself the most visceral human experiences. To work for a more meaningful life.

Our images, words, paintings – our greatest creations and even our lesser ones – flow from an intimate place. My images are so rarely related to my current situation, but when they are, they come from a place of understanding. When my emotion clicks with logic I am able to create with honesty like never before. This image is just such a time for me, when my world has been shaken, where I have been searching, and here it has come together perfectly.

For perhaps the first time in my art I have looked at a piece I created, which was done on a whim with the very last of the light outside my bedroom window, and I said “this is me”. Catharsis. Release. Understanding. I relish leaving myself behind. I fall in love with the possibility of who I will be. In this image I see so much of me. I see my insecurities and my doubts. I see my strength and my soul. I see my artist’s sensibilities coming out in their creepy way that defines me so deeply.

For three weeks I’ve had this image pulled up on my computer and my phone, looking at it many times every day, wondering why, out of all my images, I am so drawn to this particular one. The photographer in me wondered if it was the light, or the compositing, or the colors. The storyteller in me wondered if it was the use of symbolism or the character I had created. But the real me, the one that combines each of those people and so many more, knew the truth. I saw myself, pure as day, sitting right in front of me, raw and exposed in a way I had never witnessed before.

To see yourself clearly. To let yourself be known. This is my definition of Artist.

What piece of art have you created
that represents who you are or want to be?

“Catharsis”, June 2016, self-portrait
To purchase a print please contact the gallery nearest you.

  • June 30, 2016 - 2:09 pm

    Margherita Introna - This images is so incredibly powerful and so incredibly vulnerable at the same time. I broke out in goosebumps the minute I saw it. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself in this image and in your words. As someone who is growing more and more into their true artist self – as I am learning to embrace that part of myself and allow it to be seen and set free – this image, and the pure honesty in which you shared it, moved me deeply <3

    A few months ago I photographed a two part series about being forced to wear a mask to hide my true artist self and how that made me feel, and then setting my artist-self free to becoming who I truly am and who I want to be… This image makes my heart skip a beat every time I look at it as I have a rough draft of it saved as my phone’s screen saver. Part of me is scared to start processing it as I know it will be one of my favourite images (and I’ll be a little sad when it is finished)… the other part of me is so excited to finish it! But for now, I feel it needs to wait in my folders a bit longer before I feel I am ready to see it finished. For now I am enjoying the total excitement of knowing it is waiting for me 🙂

    However, I would like to share one of my recent images with you… It is called “Past vs Future”. You can view it here:
    Or see the blog here:!Past-vs-Future/c20iz/576852ec0cf221d55a203a54
    My images almost always related to my current situation and emotions… and this one is at the crossroads on my journey of being the artist I dream of being… and it makes my heart so happy…

    • July 3, 2016 - 7:15 am

      Fit BMX - The post below was supposed to be a reply for you, but I messed up.ReplyCancel

  • July 3, 2016 - 7:08 am

    Fit BMX - Just looked through your blog, and you work is very nice! Thanks for sharing. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 3, 2016 - 7:31 am

    Fit BMX - Even though this piece seems simpler than some of your work, it has a super deep feeling for some reason. This has a lot of emotion, and strength.
    I love everything about it! 🙂ReplyCancel