“In the dark wilderness we found each other.”
(Illustration by Gillian Gamble.)
(All images by the incomparable Kim Winey.)

I have a lump in my throat when my attendees start arriving to Promoting Passion. My empathy and anxiety intermingle and I’m sick at the thought of hosting a convention and the possibility that someone, even in the smallest way, won’t be happy. Or moved. Or changed. I expect so much of myself that I project my insecurities on to everyone participating. I think I’m going to vomit from the nerves.

The first bus of arrivals gets stuck in the sand after a late departure, traffic delays, a broken A/C, and more. I’m afraid they’re going to miss dinner. I chase the bus half a mile down the road until we’re both sunk in sand. I knock on the bus door and the driver lets me in, and when I pop my head up and yell at everyone the biggest and warmest welcome I can, I feel that I am home.

The energy engulfs me. The hugs start rolling in. I pat each person I see on the shoulder to acknowledge them. And it doesn’t stop until 2am. I hug 160 people. I try to make each person feel seen. We begin icebreaker games and I force everyone to talk to strangers, to share intimate information, to break down the walls. The desert is not a place for walls and barriers but for openness and connection. We end the night in a huge circle under the night sky. I make a statement and whoever agrees takes a step into the circle. We see right in front of us the ways in which we are alike. We share openly. There are tears. (And so many more to come.)

Day one of Promoting Passion officially begins. I only slept 3 hours the night before but I shoot out of bed early and run for the main hall, anxious to check on every person at breakfast and to make sure everyone feels taken care of. I’m so early that I don’t see anyone around, so I take that moment to breathe and settle into my role as leader.

At orientation I set the tone. I ask everyone, for just 3 days, to make every decision out of bravery. We feel the importance of our gathering, but not everyone gets it yet. The veterans of PPC know. They nod their heads with a sly smile on their faces. They know what’s coming. Workshops begins, we rush around and make sure all the speakers are in place. There is no time for food. I try to brainstorm ways of making each person feel recognized. The workshops are flawless. I’ve never worked with such a professional and kind group of assistants and speakers.

I get bad personal news and I do my best to make everything okay but I need time to myself, so I sink down in my car and I breathe as deeply as I can and I remember that despite anything happening to me, I can’t give that energy to my friends. I move past it quickly.

We listen to Joel McKerrow give a speech. Not for the first time he moves us to tears. I host a roundtable discussion about grant writing – but, nothing is ever about something so topical. We cry together as we acknowledge our insecurities. We are bound to each other by honesty.

Our first panel discussion rolls around and I make up silly questions about the earth exploding and aliens invading and what would you do and create and everyone laughs and I feel again like I am home. And just like that day one ends and my friends head off to bed and I lay there late at night worried about everyone’s well being and make myself sick over it, but how do you stop caring when you know that you have the power to make a difference for someone?

Day 2 and I have my own workshop to teach. Forty of us go to yoga outside in the morning sun and we laugh and stretch and feel as though we’re moving like one entity. My workshop is a beautiful gathering of honest expression and while we shoot and edit, everyone knows its not about that. It’s never about that.

Three past attendees (Jen, Michlynn, and Ted) share their personal stories and journeys, a way of telling everyone we are all on a level playing field and acknowledging that there are some incredible stories in our group. No one is better than anyone else. We are so moved by their stories and many hugs are shared after by people who related so much to what they said.

Sara Lando shares a personal project with us in her lecture about the art she created before her mother’s death, and after. She tells us that her mother gave permission for Sara to share those images with people because expression and story is so important in healing. She created after her mother’s death too, but she doesn’t share that. The dead can’t give consent. Yet again we understand that the images themselves are not important – the spirit of the creation process is what heals us and connects us. We are all moved by her words to tears.

We create again. I cover my sister-in-law in clay and flour and paint. We make a massive mess, but we don’t care. We let ourselves get caked in flour; we laugh hysterically.

And then another panel discussion. More aliens and exploding planets, and we learn so much about the speakers and their journeys and suddenly the long, long path we think we’re on gets shorter and we understand that success is not born of talent but of perseverance, and we are settled into ourselves.

That night I’m late locking up in the main hall because I’m entranced with my friend Devin playing the piano. It is a gorgeous night and the music is soft and I’m starting to become less anxious, less worried about everyone. We’re settling in. One of the attendees, Bryan, comes to play the piano and he shares with us his singing and songwriting talent after we beg to hear it. He has stage fright, he says. I suggest we make a music video. Devin is into it. Sara is into it. Oscar is into it. And suddenly we’re frantically collaborating and we’re in our creative flow and this is happening. We’re choreographing and blocking and singing and everything is perfect.

We meet at 6am the next day to film at sunrise. We make a music video in an hour.

I start my day and everything continues without flaw. My assistants make this possible, especially my best friend KD and my sister Jessy. They show an unprecedented level of care and commitment to my baby. They constantly make sure I am fed and that I have space to breathe and help everyone with their every need. They are organized beyond measure. They make this conference run.

That day I give a lecture. I feel the power of it. I see people crying as my throat tightens around certain subjects. I can’t speak them easily but it comes out of me and I am impassioned in a way I’ve never been before. Because this year, I’ve found my truth and I am living it in the messiest and most authentic way possible. I feel supported by 160 pairs of hands and it makes me feel alive in a way I cannot express.

I need to give this back to them.

I host a confidence collaboration. I tell about 80 people in a room to face the wall and talk to the wall and block out everyone else. I ask them to tell the wall what they don’t like about themselves. Then what they do like. Then to pick a word that can empower them. I hear tears and I hear sighs and I hear giggles at how silly this seems. But everyone does it. And we settle into that moment. We come back together as a group and the hugs are endless and the tears are so necessary and we breathe together a deep breath. Later I’m told that it was an extremely poignant and important moment at PPC this year.

That night we have our closing ceremony. As I picked up the mic to start, someone came and got me to tell me to look outside. I see something in the night sky. We realize what it is. I rush inside and scream as loud as I can for everyone to grab a camera and get outside. 160 of us do this. We stand in the pitch dark desert looking up at the stars – and, by complete coincidence, at the Tesla SpaceX rocket launching nearby. It creates a rainbow ball in the sky. Trails of ethereal light blaze behind it. It is a spectacle I could never imagine. We are in awe. Many of us hold hands and lock arms and give hugs. It feels like a sign of brilliance.

Finally, after it exits our atmosphere, we go back inside. We begin a create-off, where four of us have 8 minutes to create something based on the same theme. I go first and I run around like a chicken and somehow I manage to create an image that I don’t hate around the theme Monkeys in Space. It’s a long story.

Joel the poet goes. Gillian the illustrator goes. Bella the photographer goes. And then we are judged, and Joel wins. I have never heard such loud laughter from a room. Our escapades were ridiculous, and the perfect release of intense emotion from the week.

And then we get serious again. I ask everyone to think of that word that they are going to use as a mantra to empower themselves. Then I ask them to scream that word as loud as they possible can. I feel the vibrations of it in my feet through the ground. It is frightening and beautiful and I think I won’t be able to hold my tears back for a single moment more as I realize how many people have just accepted their power.

I decide, in honor of the Sony Alpha Female grant, that I am going to give away my own, much smaller, PPC grants. All week I’ve been asking attendees and assistants who has touched them and made a difference in their lives. I consider this myself all week. And then I choose three people to receive the grants. It is a massive surprise and I watch three women come to the stage, crying at being acknowledged for their brilliance.

Benny reads his story to the group. Not a single person has a dry eye. Benny is an artist who majorly effected many people’s lives by allowing art to save his own. It is so powerful.

Joel reads a poem called Welcome Home. We cry again. Do you know what it feels like to be accepted into a new family, one that frees you and lifts you up? It is a homecoming. It is powerful beyond measure. We all know it and we won’t let go.

It’s time to end. I tell everyone to give thanks to the assistants and models and sponsors. We can’t do it without them. We CANNOT do it without them.

And then KD comes to the stage, just as I’m finishing the convention. She takes the microphone. She tells everyone that I created this conference alone. That I had no help this year. That all the decisions were mine and that my energy and my spirit brought everyone together and that is the magic glue at Promoting Passion. And I wonder if this sounds idiotic to everyone, because I know in my heart that I did nothing alone – I had the power of 160 individuals who needed this conference spurring me on. I had friends to lean on.

And then they stand. All 160 of my family. They stand and they cheer and they send me so much energy that I am moved beyond tears. I cover my face and cry and lend my soul to them to carry while I cannot carry it myself. Sometimes it is so heavy.

I spent the past year planning Promoting Passion. I worked myself so hard. I cried so many times. I hated so many minutes of it. I doubted I could impact people in the way that they needed. But in that moment, I knew none of that was important. I had impacted people. And those people impacted other people. And the gravity of that moment was a weight that lifted off of me. It worked. We were changed. We were changed.


Thank you to the sponsors of Promoting Passion. These are the people who believe in a vision outside of photography, who invest in creativity, innovation, and community:

 

And for the amazing donations (over $8,000!) to give away to people at Promoting Passion: Microsoft, Sony, WHCC, X-Rite, Think Tank, 3 Legged Thing.

 

  • October 16, 2018 - 8:32 am

    Arthur Hsieh - Just a simple bravo to you Brooke. You work so hard, your heart is so big, and your journey as an artist and human continues in plain view.ReplyCancel

    • October 16, 2018 - 8:35 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you my friend. I appreciate you very much.ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 8:42 am

    jennifer sulak - sooooooooooooooooooo lovely…to see this in words….i don’t even have words yet….i love you!!!!ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 8:57 am

    Wendy Baker - Thank you Brooke. For everything. You’ve captured the magic perfectly. Kim’s photos are gorgeous and so full of emotion. Yes, as always when encountering this beautiful community you’ve created, I am changed.ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 9:52 am

    Kristey Fritz-Martin - Big big tears!!! So much power, energy and passion!!! You are a true shining light my friend!! I know deep in my soul I will not miss PPC every again after following alone, not only the conference itself, but seeing how much work and thebpieces of yourself you put into making it all come together. Absolutely beautiful!!! Amazing job ❤️❤️ And yet again, you are my hero!ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 10:07 am

    Anna - Oh Brooke, I hope that you know how loved you are (first and foremost). Second, it makes me so happy to see your baby grow. This PPC was beyond magical for me. I got to bring Adam and he was able to see why I came home SO changed last year. As you may know, he is a Systems Engineer and Mentor for a large IT Company. He is used to very left brained conferences (not a bad thing!) and this was a breath of fresh air for him. He felt so inspired by everyone that he telling me after day 1 that we were definitely going to the next one! He’s already planning three-day weekends at your road shows lol. My point is, you have changed me. PPC has changed me. I have found a community of people who get me – friends who get me. I am part of a lot of photography communities but I feel so disconnected because we are so different. This is home and I know that you want this to be perfect but it was perfect. I know there will be people who are not happy – that is natural! It means that you have reached outside of your community into other communities. You will attract new people to this amazing event and for some people this may not be there thing. However, some of the issues that may come up can be mended. I am here to offer any help that you need. Just let me know 😉 You have my e-mail and cell. I am just a buzz away – Forrealz, I mean it: I don’t share offerings of help lightly haha. Thank you for sharing this blog and this magical experience. You are one of the most amazing people I know and I love you.ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 11:03 am

    Ronne Pierce - Love you so much Brooke and I enjoyed seeing you shed the extra layers that were no longer serving you. I felt it in you the entire weekend and I know that vibe really gave us all the courage to be honest with ourselves and walk more in the direction of who we truly are. You are a gift, PPC is a gift and I can’t speak for everyone but I will be there whenever you decide you will be offering us the gift again.
    Cant’ wait to see more of you being exactly who you are <3 Much love #ourtribeReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 12:13 pm

    Susan Bertram - Ahhh Brooke! Love this! You captured the energy and spirit of the event so well. And I’m so sorry that you got bad news while you were there working so hard to serve all of us. You did an amazing job. You’re a precious light spreading goodness in the world. I can’t wait for the next PPC. Big hugs to you!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 1:36 pm

    Chrystal kelly - Wow! I really wish I could’ve made it out there! It’s been so long since I have been west, too long! I was at the promoting passion in N.C. that’s where I live. The experience and all the people I met were just genuinely awesome. I look forward to attending again. Brooke you do an amazing job and the people you draw to you are really beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2018 - 2:48 pm

    Margaret Bond - As a first timer, I really did not know what to expect. However, from the moment I committed to attend this conference, I just knew, I knew in my soul that this would be an experience like no other. Boy, did I underestimate the power of being with so many creatives in the desert and in the care of Brooke’s guidance. Yes, I have been changed as an artist and, more importantly, as a person. I will be forever grateful for Joel, Sara, Bella, Pratik, Gillian and of course, Brooke. This experience stirred up something inside of me that will not be denied. Thank you very much.ReplyCancel

  • October 17, 2018 - 6:39 am

    White Wall Wednesday: Yarn Challenge » Promoting Passion - […] mentioned in my PPC post that something in me broke. And it was a really, really good kind of breaking. A necessary snap to […]ReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2018 - 11:22 am

    Cristina Baker - Congratulations on another incredible convention. I missed my PPC family again this year. Hoping I get to create with you all next year. Brooke thank you for being you and for doing what you do. You have been a huge inspiration to me and I am so grateful you put yourself out there. It gives me the courage to share my story too. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2018 - 12:13 am

    Mrs. Death Makes Her Grand Entrance - Photo Thrive - […] left Skully at home but something tugged at me to bring her, so I did. Adam and I headed off to the Promoting Passion Convention in Joshua Tree, CA where we would spend three amazing days learning, creating and connecting. The […]ReplyCancel

  • November 1, 2018 - 7:09 am

    Benny - Brooke, I know this is late. But I have been avoiding processing the trip and this magical event. Maybe because of how I crashed so badly emotionally last year. Or maybe I am just scared that when I do finally process it, I forget.
    I know this is not ration. How can I forget the love and support that brings me to tears just at the thought of it? How can I forget feeling like I belong somewhere for the first time in my life and that people actually want and enjoy having me around? How can I forget that energy that flys around lighting my soul and heart up like a Christmas tree for 4 days? Brooke,how could I forget you? I am sitting here in tears because my anxieties are coming up. “Come on, Benny! How many times are you going to thank her.” But I can’t believe the ways my life has changed since I found you, Brooke. And as for the rest of you, I will hold our laughs,tears and conversations in my heart forever. Until we meet again.
    BennyReplyCancel

  • November 29, 2018 - 12:11 pm

    Gratitude - Promoting Passion Convention - Photo Thrive - […] am truly thankful for my Promoting Passion Convention Community for sending in their gratitudes to me for the month of November. I consider these individuals as my […]ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2018 - 12:06 am

    Time Stops - Photo Thrive - […] Sometimes this approach works and sometimes it doesn’t. Back in October, Adam and I attended the 2018 Promoting Passion Convention in Joshua Tree, CA. I knew the location was in the desert but I didn’t quite know what to expect. […]ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2019 - 12:15 am

    Emotions - Photo Thrive - […] is the third concept I photographed at the 2018 Promoting Passion Convention (PPC) -here are the first and second concepts. My level of excitement for this image is beyond […]ReplyCancel

Happy Wednesday,
but not so happy White Wall Wednesday.

I don’t have a new video for you, BUT – we are a month in to White Wall Wednesday which means you have a bunch of videos to look back on. And if you haven’t joined in yet, use the hashtag #WhiteWallWednesday so that I can find your creations!

That brings me to why I’m not releasing a video today, and I’m glad for the opportunity to talk about it. We have a chronic problem of idolizing people who seem successful and swiping bad emotions under the rug. Let’s stop that nonsense.

A few things piled up this past week, physically and emotionally.

“The best way out is always through.”
Robert Frost

I threw my back out over the weekend and I’m trying to stay horizontal as much as possible to recover. I’m doing much better (thank you for the love!) and getting out each day, but want to take it easy. That means I couldn’t swing doing a photo shoot and a video by myself.

I am also prepping for my annual convention, Promoting Passion. It’s in ONE WEEK! I’ve put this event together almost entirely alone, from finding speakers, sponsors, assistants and models to booking a venue, figuring out A/V, transportation, budgets, hotel accommodations for 165 people, and more. It has been a WHIRLWIND. One day, I’d really like to share my experience doing this. First, because it is a learning experience like none other. And second, because I’m really proud of pulling it together and would love for you to have those same skills, if you don’t already.

Third, I had some pretty life-changing emotional stuff to deal with this week. I can’t/won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say I’m a little emotionally drained right now and didn’t feel like I had enough to give you in a video. (Plus, I have to save it up for Promoting Passion!)

My life for the past month has been like a television show…I’m just not sure if it’s a drama or a comedy. My dining room table, which was covered in a full body cast of my own body, is now strewn with paperwork and goodie bags and all sorts of convention items. My computer is a mass of spreadsheets, my emails are never-ending. But you know what I’m most proud of right now in my life?

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

The joy.

The joy that I’m finding in the in-between moments, even when I feel overwhelmed or when I have anxiety attacks, even when I don’t think I can handle one more responsibility. The joy is always there. The silver lining. That is my greatest super power.

Please don’t mistake my listing of tasks as unhappiness. I am wildly happy – in myself, in my life – but sometimes we get reminders to slow down. This week has been a reminder in the biggest way possible. Life gave me a massive shift in perspective, and I’m listening.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr

I’m currently on my sofa reading a great book, letting my emails pile up (just a little bit), contemplating some avocado toast. I don’t get my kicks from working myself to death; I revel in the moments of quiet that I afford. This White Wall Wednesday is a day of rest and inspiration for me.

After all, I have a convention to run next week. And I’ll be darned if I’m going to let an injured back and a touch of anxiety get in the way of me running the most passionate event on the planet.

Let’s do this, world.

With inspiration,
Brooke


P.S. Can I just give thanks for a few things:

…a soft bed and a comfy sofa, Netflix, good books, ripe avocados, cats, a husband who literally will not let me move myself, and the best community of individuals I could ever hope for to cheer me on through difficult times.

I’ll see many of you at Promoting Passion next week. And those I won’t, I’m keeping you in a warm embrace until we meet!

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:01 am

    Marilyn DeMario - You are a wonder and an inspiration, Brooke. Feel better!ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:03 am

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you Marilyn, you are so kind!!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:03 am

    Jen Dean - Oh girl. So much love and respect. I have been there (in the place where all is falling apart and your body tells you to stop! and you can still see the joy sinec there is so much good) and I am so glad you are taking it easy. I can’t wait to see you next week. Take care till then. The emails will be there when you are ready. Enjoy your book.
    Much love
    JenReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:04 am

      brookeshaden - Jen, I am so excited to give you a giant hug. Your compassion is so inspiring. XOXO!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:04 am

    Maureen - WOW! That’s a lot of stuff to deal with. I always look forward to #WhiteWallWednesday but completely understand. You are amazing and a true inspiration for finding beauty and joy wherever you look. And it is everywhere!

    Take care and good luck with your event. It will be fantastic!ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:10 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Maureen! I feel so loved to read your words today.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:08 am

    Ankur Banerjee - You have always inspired us by sharing your life experiences and learnings, you deserve the ‘me’ time and the rest. In a creative journey, to give time for yourself becomes very important. I hope you do really well with the promoting passion event, and one day I hope to attend it too (P.S. from India) lots of love!ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:10 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Ankur!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:12 am

    Carol Walsh - Thank you for your deeply honest White Wall Wednesday! It is amazing how our bodies symbolically speak to us. (Carrying too big of a load on your back?) I do it all of the time. You are such an inspiration for me and my fellow art photographers. I use you as an example all of the time. May you feel better quickly and have a fabulous conference. CarolReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:13 am

      brookeshaden - Carol, that means everything to me. Thank you, it is so healing to read your words.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:13 am

    Chrystal Kelly - Hey Brooke! I’m sorry your hurting, we all know and are inspired by how hard you work, that being said you should never feel bad about self care, that is also inspiring. I’m so glad you have a partner who loves you so much and is so supportive, I can relate to that and am grateful everyday for it. I really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your dedication to sharing so much, the Sony alpha female grant, which honestly you deserve more then anyone because you exemplify all the qualities they are looking for…thank you. Sending you positive energy and thoughts. ‍♀️ take care of yourself this week!!!ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:17 am

      brookeshaden - Oh Chrystal!! You are so lovely! I am really honored to be mentoring in the #SonyAlphaFemale grant, it is going to be AMAZING. I’ll keep taking care of myself so I can keep connecting with you and others. Big hug!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:15 am

    Stacy Honda - I’m so sorry you are not feeling well! Yeah probably the universe telling you to take a time out : ). Feel better soon! And I hope you have a wonderful convention. I wish I was joining you. Maybe next year! And yes you have plenty of wonderful white wall Wednesday videos to look back on, so don’t worry about that! Take care of yourself : )ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:17 am

      brookeshaden - Yes! I definitely got the message – time to rest. I wish you were joining us too! Sending a hug and I hope we can see each other soon!ReplyCancel

      • September 26, 2018 - 8:25 am

        Stacy Honda - Thank you! Hugs to you too : )ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:18 am

    Tanya Kryder - Thank you for always being so honest and open about your work and your life. I think we all need reminders to just take a breath and slow down sometimes. I have had my own battles with my body telling me it is time to rest and not push even though my brain is telling me to get off the couch and get it done. Sending you best wishes and healing energy for both your physical and emotional needs. Thank you for the inspiration. Love and hugs from Indiana.

    P.S.I hope one day to be able to be join you for Promoting Passion (It’s been a dream since I submitted my work to you for your year in review in 2013!)ReplyCancel

    • September 26, 2018 - 8:19 am

      brookeshaden - I am so thankful to know you Tanya!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:23 am

    Linda - Feel better soon; you always share something to prick my heart in a good way. Thank you!❤️❤️ Wish I was able to come to Promoting Passion, but maybe some day. Praying for you! ~LindaReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:27 am

    Anna Bruce - Aww Brooke!!! Sending you much love. You already give so much to everyone that this break is well deserved. I am sad that it took hurting your back and emotional stuff for you to get it but I am glad that you aren’t working yourself to death while not feeling well. Thank you for all that you do for us 🙂 <3 Can't wait to see you next week!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:32 am

    Gabriel Kordics - So, you are not doing WWW this week? LOL just kidding..take care of yourself. Next week will be a breeze for youReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:40 am

    Miguel Reznicek - Hi Brooke
    I love your work and there is one thing I’d like to know: Why are your photos always so dark? This may be your style or do you have to make them dark for a reason?
    Thanks – MigsReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:52 am

    Natalie Arriola - I love you, Brooke! You are always an inspiration in any situation. I hope you feel better soon and good luck at the convention. I so wanted to go, but couldn’t swing it this time. Hopefully I can make the next one! <3ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 8:55 am

    Julie Oshiyama - Ditto to all of the above statements and well wishes. Brooke, you truly are an inspiration to many people around the world. Thank you for always giving of yourself to this community and more. I’m glad you are listening to your body, which in turn is a vessel for others to receive your wisdom and inspiration. I so wish I lived in CA still. Joshua Tree is one of my fave places to shoot. Hopefully, one of these years, I’ll be able to attend one of your conferences. In the meantime, I will wish you all loads of love and light.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 9:17 am

    Janeane - So glad you are taking care of yourself Brooke! Thank you for sharing your honesty and can’t wait to see you next week. Breathe – we all love you no matter what!!!!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 9:27 am

    Kristy Slicker - Such courage… rotate ice/heat and enjoy your few days of relaxation!ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 9:29 am

    Sabrina-M - I’m so sorry your back is playing up Brooke. I absolutely know how you feel. It’s my back problems that keep me from doing fine art for a year now. If I take one photo I got to pay for it with a week of hardly moving. If it wasn’t for my back I would be there at PPC with all my great and supportive new friends like Ronne, Jen Kiaba, Gallagher Patrick, and so many others.
    I find true inspiration in you how you manage to keep going regardless your health problems, something I still need to learn. I sincerely hope you have less pain soon. But I have full confidence everyone at ppc will do it’s best to help you if you are still in pain. Give my love to each and every one of them. And to you I give you the biggest but most careful hug. Keep watching your P.O. box the next month as I will resend the mystery package;-)
    Lots of love and hugs
    Sabrina MReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 1:42 pm

    Els Aartse - Dear Brooke,
    Being able to see what life is about is what I hear in your writing.
    Life is about so many things in both positive as negatieve way’s. But when you do not shut your eyes for what is coming along your journey than it is possible to climb every mountain, also the steep. You only have to also see the beauty of it.
    You are such a strong person and it is beautiful of you to share your thoughts
    and being an inspiration to others. Thank you for that
    I hope you feel be better soon and good luck with your convention.
    Big softly hug from the Netherlands
    ElsReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 1:46 pm

    Moira - I hope you are feeling better and some days, a book, a cup of tea and lying down is just what we need. I love your words and imagery – you are an inspiration beyond words.
    Dealing with anxiety is never easy and can flip our world upside down, inside out in a matter of seconds – as I too found out/experienced this week. Fortunately I took a leaf out of your book and stepped back and looked after myself and did no work!!
    Take care and lots of love. I so wished I could attend your Promoting Passion event, but coming from New Zealand was not going to work for me – on this occasion.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2018 - 6:18 pm

    Turla Peterson - Thank you for giving us White Wall Wednesday, I learned a lot from watching all your videos and tutorial. I hope you feel better soon and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take it easy just watch Netflix and too bad there is no Games of Thrones yet, although you can watch on demand from Direct TV.ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2018 - 2:53 am

    Ruth Gordon - I experienced the Promoting Passion in Colorado with my daughter and I must say your conferences/life-altering experiences stay with a person FOREVER. I hope your back heals quickly and your passion for art never ends. love you!!!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2018 - 7:35 am

    Angela Marvel - Brooke, you are inspiring as ever 🙂 please take care of yourself and I hope you are back to your full self real soon 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2018 - 4:52 am

    Karen Burns - Brooke, please take good care of yourself! So sad to miss the convention and hope you can share some of it with those of us who cannot afford to be there. You are an inspiration. Best, Karen

    Ps—maybe east coast next year?ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2018 - 8:11 pm

    Gallagher Green - I am just now reading this over a week late, I was so swamped getting ready for PPC (not like you were of course), but I somehow missed that there was a new blog post.
    I am sorry you have hit some snags in your life, I know that it will be all good in the end.
    I hope PPC didn’t set your back, back in healing. The event (To me) went off perfectly, you are incredible. Thank you. <3ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2018 - 12:13 pm

    W. Lotus - I feel you on not working yourself to death. I am going through a period of needing to rest as well. A wise woman let me know my mental and emotional exhaustion was a sign I needed to slow down, not a fit of laziness I needed to push through. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself too.ReplyCancel

  • October 28, 2018 - 12:42 pm

    Abigale Eastwood - Hi, I feel you. Don’t let the stress take over you. We all you sound and sane. So take your time.
    It’s pity we didn’t meet at Promoting Passion but I hope there will be other opportunities.

    P.S. Thank God for cats – the best creatures in the world.ReplyCancel

“Supernova”, self-portrait, September 2018

A couple of years ago I started a video series called White Wall Wednesday.

The mission: Prove that you can create beautiful imagery with no budget.

The motivation: I started with no budget and no resources. I wanted to go back to basics.

The result: Lots of messages from people saying that they were inspired to create with what little they had.

If you know me, you know my mission in life is to inspire in any way possible, and preferably through action. By showing what is possible with a white wall, some bed sheets, and an overactive imagination, my aim was to lead the way to accessible creativity.

What is accessible creativity, and why promote it?

Artists kind of have a bad rep. And, I sort of get it. Artists are known for being mysterious and keeping a tight lock on their secrets. Why would we want creativity to be accessible if that’s how we make our money?

If that’s your opinion, you are entirely entitled to it. And I am entitled to disagree, respectfully.

I believe that, while it can be intimidating to give tools to create art for fear of copying or putting yourself out of business, I don’t think that is usually what ends up happening.

When we give more tools to more people to be more creative, we build a more interesting, inclusive, and ingenious world. What if the building blocks of our interactions and experiences was creativity, and what if more people felt they could express themselves emotionally through art? I personally think it would make for a much richer experience.

But that’s just me. And well, this blog is me. So, queue White Wall Wednesday.

If I can create a video series that promotes accessible creativity, I’m all for that.

White Wall Wednesday gives ideas and concrete tips about how to create with less, plus a big splash of joy in every episode. Because I love what I do, and I love it so much that I want to infect you with my happiness.

In a nice way, of course.

I also offer up White Wall Wednesday as a challenge. Follow along, and create your own White Wall Wednesday. If you want to show this community what you’re making, you can do so in a couple ways.

First, share a link in the comments of my blog or in the comments on YouTube.

Second, use the hashtag #WhiteWallWednesday and I’ll be sure to give that search a go once a week to check out the creations.

And finally, I’d really appreciate you sharing this video and this series. As time goes on I’ll share more and more about my process, how creating simply can be impactful, and give you weekly doses of encouragement to keep going in your craft, no matter what seems to be stacked against you.

This video is more of an introduction. The following weeks will get juicier.

Slurp.

 

  • September 5, 2018 - 7:04 am

    Stacy Honda - I love White Wall Wednesday! I’m so glad you brought it back : ) Thank you so much for sharing!!ReplyCancel

    • September 5, 2018 - 7:07 am

      brookeshaden - Thanks Stacy! I’m so glad you like it!ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 7:27 am

    Gallagher Green - Wonderful, I have always loved the White Wall Wednesdays!
    I doubt I will be making any photos this month though, I am very busy getting ready for this big art conference out in California on the 4th of next month. 😉 LOL
    Can’t wait for next weeks video! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • September 5, 2018 - 7:35 am

      brookeshaden - THAT’S HOW I FEEL XDReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 7:40 am

    Julie - Brooke, thank you for bringing back WhWW. I love the concept and creativity that goes with the series. You are not only inspirational with what you create but motivational by giving others some tools and permission to follow suit. I’m a true believer that what we put out in the universe comes back to us; my hope is yours always comes back 100 fold. Oh, so will I create, yes, once I wrap my head around the how.ReplyCancel

    • September 5, 2018 - 7:42 am

      brookeshaden - That is the most lovely thing to say and I’m so grateful you’re here!ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 7:45 am

    Susan - I love this! I love how you give actual tips and examples to people so we can create with little material. You actually do it and show us it is possible, this gives me hope and reassurance.
    I’ve always felt less of a creator because I do work with white walls (pink walls too, sometimes there is no white wall available!) and no studio lights or pro material. I have my lame camera, my bedroom, and an isothermal silver cardboard I found in the basement to reflect light… I create my self-portraits with that (you can see them on my IG if you want : http://instagram.com/perrotinsusan/) and they are not very successful… but this is what I love to do so I keep going and hopefully one day more people will appreciate it.
    Thank you for your videos and other tips and stories, you are very helpful!ReplyCancel

    • September 5, 2018 - 7:49 am

      brookeshaden - Susan, thank you so much for sharing! I LOVE your self-portraits. They are refreshing and I really enjoy them. Happy to know you’re on the white (or pink or silver) wall train!!ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 8:20 am

    Linda Solomon - Yes I have almost every day I tell myself I don’t have…so I can’t possibly make a photo… thank you so much for the push and the encouragement.ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 8:38 am

    Anna | Photo Thrive - I love this so much Brooke! White Wall Wednesday really helped me to begin creating! Because of it, I am where I am now – working towards a portfolio of at least 20 images and working towards art being my career 🙂 I love that you share your tools and of yourself. I could never be you, but what I learn from you I can use to be a closer “me” 🙂

    Here are some of mine (White wall/bedsheet)

    The one that kickstarted it all:
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/art-reach-for-the-stars/

    The rest that followed 🙂
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/love-thyself/
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/in-fear-there-is-temptation/
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/coffee-is-life/
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/head-in-the-clouds/
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/up-in-smoke/
    http://www.adbrucephotos.com/memories-of-winter/ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 4:39 pm

    Angela Marvel - Love this, so happy you brought it back. Perfect timing with summer ending. Inspires me to create even on colder or rainy days!ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 7:14 pm

    Vicki Kurasz - I find myself giggling. You burn a lot of calories when you shoot! I love hair tosses and you got some awesome hair toss shots. Hope you use them in another photo.ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2018 - 9:13 pm

    Kesha Broden - I don’t get it. You were just getting interesting. It feels like a huge backward stepReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2018 - 12:19 am

    Norma - Hi Brooke,
    I have followed your work for a while now and am very inspired by you like many others. There’s is something that I often wandered about so I decided just to ask you: why are you never nude, in images like below. Is that a shy thing? An American thing? You suggest with the plain tight clothes that you are but you can always see that you’re dressed. Never thought about leaving them out? I mean, it is nothing erotical but just an esthetic thing in my opinion. Hope you are not offended by my question.
    hug NormaReplyCancel

    • September 6, 2018 - 12:20 am

      Norma - sorry, I meant ‘the image above’ ; )ReplyCancel

  • September 7, 2018 - 5:08 pm

    Danya Kurka - Hi Brooke! I thank you so much for being so inspirational. I found your class on Creativelive about 6 months ago and have followed you ever since. I have felt.. No I wont lie I feel I will never be good enough..creative enough.. shoot even pretty enough to be successful…Wait! for every negative though I have had you have had an inspirational answer to my plight. I need to just do it to drop that fear on the ground and create it if that’s what I am right now.. So yes that is what I am going to do. I have been on this journey for about 4 years trying to find what is I am good at.. really I guess trying to find who I am I guess. If you look at my social mediahttps://instagram.com/jeweledfernphotography/ my creative journey it’s all over the place!! LOL But I think I have found home and I just need to get comfortable with it, comfortable with myself I think is my first hurdle. Without continuing to ramble.. I cant begin to tell you how much you have inspired and encouraged me and If I could just find a way to have more time to learn Photoshop skills better things might fall into place. I look forward to watching you and anticipate your words of encouragement and and hope someday to be an encouragement and creative force for others like you are to me. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2018 - 5:41 pm

    Virgi - When I was young I often dreamed of flying. This image is how I came down for landing. It used to be scary to land but nowadays there is no fear. I often wonder what these dreams mean for me. My last dream of flying was the first one I had of night flying so I am moved with so many feels seeing this.

    The tips are great as usual. I really like the post!ReplyCancel

  • September 11, 2018 - 7:07 am

    Angélica - Muchas felicidades eres muy talentosa me identifiqué mucho con tu trabajo, es extraordinario. saludos desde MéxicoReplyCancel

  • September 12, 2018 - 5:57 pm

    Darcy Berg - Thank you for sharing your creativity. You are an inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2018 - 5:45 am

    Heino - Thank you Brooke for the great suggestions. I will be doing a White Wall photo shoot next week.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2018 - 12:23 pm

    asia - hi Miss Shaden!i need ur help as my friend is a fine art student and is given a topic of BrookeShaden. your inspirations.. what brought you to the art and all about you… i saw your wikipedia but i couldnot find your inspirations there… i’ll be very gratefull if u’ll help me out…ReplyCancel

NARRATIVE.
STORY.
TRUTH & LIES.

These words are ringing in my head today.

When I was younger, my story went like this:

My sister was very good at art. Taking nude charcoal drawing classes when she was barely a teenager, creating pottery, and painting. I watched her excel at this, and silently, I decided I was not good at art. I let myself be “good” at other things – writing, for example, which I had never known to be an art form. These things don’t always occur to young people. I took a photography class, and I was the worst at it. I tried hard, and it didn’t help.

And so the narrative grew and grew until, without ever realizing it, I had decided I would never paint or sculpt or draw. I decided I could not. I was beyond help or skill or talent. Learning was not for me.

I regained my confidence as an artist when I pursued film-making. And then again when I became a photographer. But, in some way, those mediums were distinctly different from the raw talent of handmade art.

Up until two weeks ago, I would have continued to tell you that I can’t draw, that I can’t sculpt, that I can’t paint.

In fact, not a month ago I sat with my sister playing with Play Doh. Fast as lightning she made a fish, and then a dinosaur, and so on, until she demonstrated how quickly and easily her brain works in 3D, how she can collect the likeness of reality into clay.

I sat staring at my whale flattened to the table, entirely 2D, and not realistic in the slightest, and that feeling came back to me from childhood. And I joked that I was bad at this, and we all laughed as we do, and I moved on.

But a few weeks ago I saw a class pop up in my email from my local art center.

Ceramics for Beginners.

I clicked it, left it up in my browser for days, debating.

And then I enrolled. Without hesitation or further thought.

And I went to my first class. It was terrifying.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story. I tell it better in my video. I hope you’ll watch and let me know what you think on this idea of labels and how destructive they can be. I think it’s an important video to watch to…

Take control back of your narrative.
&
Cultivate a positive story for your life.

In the comments (either here or on YouTube), let me know…

What is the narrative that you need to change?

  • August 20, 2018 - 6:42 am

    Julie - I was just about to sit down to do my morning pages when I felt inspired to look at my emails; and there you were, of course, it’s Monday. So, I thought I’d watch your video then do my morning pages. Wow, I needed to hear what you had to say to me. I’ve recently completed a series called Dream Life, and while doing this series, I’ve been reminded of truths I’ve learned years back regarding the 4 Agreements, my paradigm, and most recently, as you stated, “What is the narrative I’ve been telling myself?”. I’ve been listening to a narrative that truly has been a part of my paradigm, a lie of sorts. One of my most glaring narratives is: I need to please others, but I’m not good enough. I totally believe I was led to watch your video before I started my morning pages and meditation. I’ve got a lot to think about, Brooke, and I thank you for fanning the flame.ReplyCancel

    • August 20, 2018 - 6:44 am

      brookeshaden - Julie, isn’t it beautiful when the honesty of our narrative reveals itself? I’m so glad that we could connect on this and I hope that clarity comes with your meditation this morning.ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 6:49 am

    janeane Sanborn - My sad little narrative on bad days goes something like this: I am not lovable and I will never be great at anything.

    In the last few years I have gotten control of it – I accept this is my damaged spot, my hard wiring gone bad and probably not going to change but I can manage it. I manage it through my very strong desire to create. I am so grateful that I am such a stubborn soul or to re-phrase, I got a lot of persistence. This carries me a long way in my creations! Thank you Brooke for being an inspiration in my life!ReplyCancel

    • August 20, 2018 - 7:07 am

      brookeshaden - For what it’s worth, I value you very, very much and I’m so glad you’re in my life Janeane <3ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 6:54 am

    Stacy Honda - HI Brooke! Thank you so much for sharing.I love that you post on Mondays. It’s something to look forward to at the start of the week. I did the same thing to myself! My brother is an incredible artist. His drawings and paintings are so amazing. I would draw quite a bit when I was younger, but then I would compare myself to my brother. I decided that I wasn’t the artist, he was. Later on I felt compelled to paint. What I created was so different from my brother, that I realized that, sure I can’t do what he does, but I can do what I do. And then finding photography opened up another world.

    Now I guess the narrative that stops me is that I don’t spend enough time creating and I don’t produce enough to be an artist, and I don’t have time to be an artist. Even though in my heart I feel like one and there’s so much I want to do. It may just be an excuse because I don’t feel like I’m good enough to ever actually do anything with it besides post on Flickr.ReplyCancel

    • August 20, 2018 - 7:08 am

      brookeshaden - I totally hear you. I’ve had the same story going on in my head this past year. I haven’t produced very much that I love and that constant voice telling me to do more is always there. You and I should definitely chat sometime about this more <3ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 7:31 am

    JOHN - I’m a fine art photographer and have been for many years using mainly processes from the 1800’s.

    A couple of years ago I had a chance to take a week of Russian icon painting taught by a couple from Russia who toured the US each year for 3 weeks.
    Boy – what a change – grinding your pigments – using egg tempura etc.

    I was the worst in the class but started getting better on the 4th day. It was an interesting experience. I think everyone should try something new every now and then – makes life interesting.ReplyCancel

    • August 20, 2018 - 7:34 am

      brookeshaden - Change certainly does make life interesting. I really like knowing that you persevered with the new technique. It sounds incredible!ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 8:18 am

    Gallagher Green - For a first sculpture, I thought the hand looked really good! Getting your mind to work in a 3D plane in very hard, and takes a lot of practice, I hope you continue with your sculpture. I bet your sister was very proud of you when you signed up for this class.:)
    When it comes to art and most other things in life, I have never let myself believe that I can’t do it. But there is one thing. I have never been a flexible person, not like insanely bad. But I could never do a backbend as a little kid, and I have never liked people saying “you’re just not a flexible person” (Mostly my dumb sister.) So just yesterday I started yoga, and now at the age of 30, my goal is a backbend. If I don’t show up at PPC I snapped in two and died! LOLReplyCancel

    • August 20, 2018 - 2:16 pm

      Anna - LOL!!! You’re never too old! 30 is young! I cannot wait for you to demo your backbend at PPC! 😀ReplyCancel

      • August 20, 2018 - 9:14 pm

        Gallagher Green - LOL Maybe PPC in a few years, I don’t think it is going to be a quick process! LOL
        Thank you though. ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 2:15 pm

    Anna | Photo Thrive - Those labels!!! The one I am working to break out of is the “I am not good enough” label. I am feeling further out of that tunnel than I have ever been. It’s funny you took a ceramics class because before you even posted that on social media, I had it in my mind too to take one. I love the hand you made. It looks quite amazing actually. I hope to see it in one of your portraits. This video definitely has a great message that needs to be shared more often!ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2018 - 2:24 pm

    Michaela Jung-Vogelwiesche - I love this theme! To be honest I am quite confident in my skills and I can’t remember a time when my fear of “not being able to do something” held me back. In my belief hard work beats talent – every single time! And that means you are able to learn everything you want to if you just put in the time and passion. Trying out new things is the only way to realize if you love or hate something. And learning new skills makes you and your art grow. Just go and do it! But there is one story circling in my life over and over again – and that is the story of “not being good enough”. I am a perfectionist and I have a hard time to let this go. My perfectionism never held me back from learning new things and dabbling in all kinds of creative work. But it held me back from sharing my work and thoughts for a very long time. This perfectionims paired with my introversion is like “shut the doors and let nobody in”. But I am slowly learning to let this go and I am more and more opening up to share my work, my thoughts and my process. And I thank you, Brooke, for inspiring me to do so with every single Blogpost, Video, Insta-Post and just everything you do. You teach me to be vulnerable. And I love you for being so open and honest about your own artistic work! <3ReplyCancel

  • August 21, 2018 - 1:05 am

    Marietjie du Toit - This is a wonderful post. It is like a reflection of all the things I tell myself. Since I was little I believed that I will never be able to create art. I am constantly told that digital art is not an art form; since it is technology based and does not show “the raw talent of handmade art.” My mother was a painter and could work in different mediums and I still believe that I will never be able to do that. I hear things such as; ” One day, you should try to create real art.”

    As I became older I had the constant urge to create beautiful things, mostly images through digital art. I have learned so much over the last couple of years since my children have left the nest and I love it, but I am still “hiding” most of it. Scared to expose myself and scared to hear that it is not good enough.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring so many people to live a creative life. Maybe it is time to let go of the labels.ReplyCancel

  • August 21, 2018 - 7:44 am

    Cindee - Wow! Labels–that’s all the college courses want to do–pigeon hole what type of artist you are. I keep being told I need to narrow my field “You can’t be successful with more than one genre”.
    Then there’s my mothers voice always present in my head, “Don’t be prideful” “Don’t brag” “Stop being a showoff” this voice keeps me from showing my work, from seeking others opinions. To top it off I have my voice circling around and around telling me “your not good enough” “their work is so much better than yours” “you need to learn how to do this better before you show it” “your not a real artist”. I fight these off as much as possible. I started forcing myself to introduce myself as a PHOTOGRAPHER. I hope to become confident enough to add the FINE ART into the sentence sometime soon. And there I go hoping to have a label applied to myself that then says I am good enough.ReplyCancel

  • August 22, 2018 - 11:20 am

    Brooke Vega - I feel like I let labels dictate the course of most of my life. I always felt like I had something to prove. I always imagined that I was “special” and would turn out to be something extraordinary. It took a long time for me to realize that I also held a corollary belief: if I wasn’t doing something extraordinary, I was not special. Subconscious though it was, that fear drove so many of my actions. My dad used to tell me that he admired Michael Jordan because he was born with enormous natural talent, so much so that he could probably have coasted through life, but that he chose to work hard anyway. That’s how I wanted to be. A born prodigy with an unassailable work ethic. So I got perfect grades, went to college with a scholarship, got a high-paying job in corporate America. That was the easiest way to exceed people’s expectations, to impress them, to provide evidence that I could be highly successful. I became terrified of failing because I thought it would prove the opposite. In the past year I wrote a book and began experimenting with all kinds of creative work, but I still struggle to answer the question “What do you do?” It’s been the bravest year of my life, but there is no label for it that makes me feel “good enough,” let alone special.ReplyCancel

  • August 27, 2018 - 8:27 am

    Su Hall - It’s too bad that the MyBlueprint site requires a credit card just for their trial!ReplyCancel

See how these 3 images were edited in my new video!

In the photo world, there seems to always be a debate about technique vs. concept. Some people feel passionately about technique and are very technically minded. Some people focus on the concept and say to heck with the technique. I fall into the latter category, if any, but that doesn’t mean that I dismiss technique altogether. In fact, for a while there I was so far on the side of dismissing technique that I had to pull myself back, and one big thing did that for me:

Portfolio reviews and competitions. I review a lot of portfolios, and I noticed two things.

  1. A lot of people have great technique but not-so-great ideas, and…
  2. A lot of other people have great ideas and not-so-great technique.

It really does take both. If your technique is flawed, the concept won’t really matter. The viewer just won’t get past the technique.

I’ve always been a believer in editing a picture until it looks and feels right; that doesn’t mean I’ve always followed through with that. I’ve certainly posted pictures online that could have been better, but impatience got the better of me. I’ve shot pictures in poor light or of bad quality simply because it was easier or faster.

But over time, I’ve come to appreciate pairing good technique with good ideas. The combination is the only thing that will propel my career. So, today I’m focusing on technique!

I won’t go into too much detail here because the video is lengthy and really shows in detail what my editing techniques are like. This isn’t a how-to, per se, but it is a comprehensive look at how my images are edited.

In this video, I…

  • Pull back the Photoshop layers to glimpse at the original images before editing.
  • Take a look at what my SOOC (straight out of camera) pictures were like, what decisions went into the edit, and how they ended up the way they did.
  • See how I made stuffing come out of my back, created a long, swirly dress out of a bed sheet, and changed a nearly white dress to deep red.

And more, of course.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse inside. And tell me…

What technique from the video did you like best?

What is your favorite technique in your craft?


These images are available as limited edition, fine art prints on thick, matte fine art paper. Each print is proofed and signed by me, as well as numbered. Print prices begin at $450 for my small size. A number of galleries carry my work, and if you are interested in owning a piece, get in touch with the gallery nearest you: http://www.brookeshaden.com/prints

If you would like to see how I edit more in depth, check out one of my Creative Live classes for hours upon hours of photo, editing, business, and inspiration education: http://www.brookeshaden.com/classes

  • August 13, 2018 - 6:59 am

    Gallagher Green - That chateau image has always been one of my all time favorites, I love it!
    I like how easy you manipulate the colors and light, I have a bugger of a time with that. I have been working on this photo “Inner Demon” ( https://flic.kr/p/28XPXLj ) for a long time now, and the lighting and colors have been a pain. Still not happy with it. It is a white wall photo, and I built the stone room using textures. It is a good example of, I love the idea but my technique isn’t good enough yet. This photo pushed my skills.
    I need to rewatch your videos of color matching and light, I think I am over thinking some of this stuff. And yours always come out looking great! 🙂

    P.S.
    Loved you behind the scenes on Instagram yesterday, it looked like so much fun! 😀ReplyCancel

  • August 13, 2018 - 9:07 am

    Anna | Photo Thrive - Another great post, Brooke! I agree about concept and technique. In school, we learned so much about planning our EVERY.SINGLE.ASPECT of our photographs. Everything was questioned during critique from the exposure, to depth of field to objects in the image to color choice. It was a great way of getting us to ANALYZE and think about our work.

    WHAT TECHNIQUE FROM THE VIDEO DID YOU LIKE BEST?
    Making the white dress RED. Life changing. I have so many white dresses haha.

    WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TECHNIQUE IN YOUR CRAFT?
    Replacing my subject into new settings – being able to shoot the person in one space and moving them onto a different backdrop.

    Thank you for another awesome week!ReplyCancel

  • August 13, 2018 - 10:04 am

    Jen Kiaba - Thank you for making these videos. They are such a wonderful way to start the week, and always leave me feeling filled up with inspiration <3ReplyCancel

    • August 14, 2018 - 9:28 am

      Gallagher Green - You are right there, it is a great way to start the week! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • August 14, 2018 - 1:12 pm

    Bernadette - Thanks for sharing your unique vision and passion. It’s inspiring to see how different artists work. I’m striving to learn photoshop as I go and I liked how you pulled the power of colour and light to emphasize your focus.ReplyCancel