Has anyone ever told you that you can’t do something you want to do?
Or that you shouldn’t, or that it’s best not to?

This past week I had an idea to make myself look like I was covered in tree sap while hanging upside down from the most epic tree I’ve ever seen. In order to do that, I had to cover myself in molasses…or, as it ended up turning out, corn syrup.

On a micro level, there were many reasons why this wasn’t a good idea.

The sticky mess that would take hours to clean.
Messing up my camera equipment.
Ruining clothes.

I had a thought while I was planning. “You’re 31 years old now. When will this stop?” That line of questioning no doubt comes from countless sources, from parental figures to television.

The answer came immediately: It will never stop.

I will continue to pour molasses all over myself for the sake of art, or whatever else the art requests of me.

If we stop pursuing the little wonders, the absurd, the silly, the messy, the childish…

…We will lose our sense of wonder.

In my life, if I want to do something and it won’t do any harm to anyone else, I do it.

I don’t care if it is uncomfortable or difficult. I don’t care if it is easy or not. I will do it because I must prove to myself that I am all in for this life.

If we don’t pursue those wild things that are uncomfortable or difficult, our childlike desires will start to disappear. Just like a plan that doesn’t get watered, our imagination will die if it isn’t loosed.

I have known so many people who think I’m nuts. People who think I’m too childish. People who cannot fathom doing the things that I do. But at the end of the day, when those people see the process and result of my madness, they don’t think it’s so mad anymore.

We spend so much time making excuses for why we don’t do something. We come up with difficulties in our heads that don’t really exist. We prefer things to be easy and clean and sterile. We want certainty.

I crave those things too. I fall into long, terrible lulls of ease.

But I recognize them and I want more. I want to look back at my 31st year and remember that Friday that I spent covering myself in molasses. I want people to think I’m crazy. I want to stand out from the crowd. I want to make this life worthwhile.

You may not see the connection. How does covering yourself in molasses make your life more worth living?

It’s a fair question. And it has nothing to do with molasses – not really. It’s about doing something that creates a memory, about doing something uncomfortable so that you feel more.

What is one thing you can do this week that is outside of your norm?
Share it so that I can get more ideas of crazy things to do…[insert evil laugh]


  • June 25, 2018 - 6:56 am

    Gallagher Green - I love this photo, and the process to get there!
    This makes me want to do a reshoot of a photo I took a year or so ago, but this time I am going to have to cover my arm in paint! But it is only one arm, so that’s not too bad.
    I have a friend that two days ago ended up covered in and sitting in mud even though it was 30F outside, but he got the photo he wanted, and that’s what counts! 🙂

    The things we do for art, and fun! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 25, 2018 - 7:39 am

    Chrystal Kelly - Good morning! I was truly inspired by the redwoods too. I felt like all the fairy’s were running along with me. I love this image and how u created it. I actually took some time to myself yesterday to work on an idea that’s been nawing at me for a while. Another thing I’m addressing at the same time is that I have been wanting to create a gallery series of images that I feel confident presenting as a serious body of work. So I was able to somewhat solidify my idea by asking myself a series of questions that had to do with the subject of my project. Now I have to create in a whole new way, it’s going to take time, financial investment and allot of hard work. So today I’m studying and researching how to create a 8’x8’ room that is portable and start figuring out if I can get some of the stuff I need from the habitat for humanity restore. I’m feeling excited and apprehensive at the same time!ReplyCancel

  • June 25, 2018 - 9:05 am

    Wendy Baker - I could not agree more. Keeping the sense of wonder alive in myself is key. And still you inspire me to bring more of my childish behavior to my art.

    It’s my birthday week– I’ve asked for a waterproof camera– so I’ll come up with something crazy this weekend and share it with you. Thinking…Thinking…ReplyCancel

    • June 26, 2018 - 4:03 pm

      Gallagher Green - Happy Birthday!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 25, 2018 - 9:29 am

    Julie Oshiyama - L.O.V.E. love, love!!! You are so my hero, Brooke. I have always been accused of being a cartoon, yet over the past few years, I’ve reduced my cartooniness. This blog of yours reminded me that staying true to one’s self is the proper way to live; thank you for this blog. Ok, so I have an idea for you, but first this: I recently finished reading your book and completed your CreativeLive courses, one of the lessons I took away from both is to first find your story. One of the ways I find my story is through music, lyrics to be more specific. So, with that, my idea for you, since you seem to like gauze, is to have you wrapped in gauze while tumbling down (a hole, hill, tree, etc.) with the gauze trailing behind to fit with the song Come Undone from Duran Duran. Perhaps one day I will give this a try. But for now, that’s my crazy idea for you.ReplyCancel

  • June 25, 2018 - 1:59 pm

    Deborah Gichan - Wow Brooke, this was hands down my favorite video of yours. I love following you, but to watch you in action as you created this image was so honest, real and actually cute. But I am a mom and an older female photographer, so I get to that you looked cute…
    So the project I am working on is based on a theme where the world around us is looking strange because Mother Nature is not feeling well because we have hurt the environment. I touch on this in my website. This week I want to complete an image I began to composite of a house that is partially demolished. I put it in a scene with a stormy sky and a hill with a large hole. I want to dress up in a long dress with my silver wig, shoot multiple images of myself looking like a Grecian vase of dancers who are holding hands. I want the dancers to look like ghosts in front of the house as they dance around the hole in the ground with an image of a muddy female reaching out. Ok…wish me luck.ReplyCancel

  • June 26, 2018 - 7:58 am

    Anna - Love this so much Brooke! I frolicked in the ocean wearing bedsheets lol. It was a lot harder than I expected as the ocean kept bashing me around and stealing my sheet!!!! I will be working with flour in my hair next week. I love that you do weird, crazy things. Never stop!ReplyCancel

I often feel that art is most interesting when it is most inconvenient; when you have no money, no location, nothing to spruce it up. It really comes from inside then instead of relying on the objects around to fill the frame. When you create from nothing, you create from within. As so many of us do, my journey into photography began when I had little resources other than a camera. I had no money, no locations, no props except for what I brought home from dumpsters (seriously though). And looking back, it was like going through a golden age of creativity. My imagination was working overtime to find ideas that could come to life without any resources.

This is how I started a career, with white walls and dumpster props, and how I still try to operate today. There are times when I indulge in bigger budgets or interesting locations, but for the most part, at least 90% of the time, it’s just me and a $5 allowance. Oh, and bed sheets. Because they make the best costumes.

Have you ever created like this? I’m betting yes, either out of necessity or interest. If you have, you know how confronting it is. If you haven’t, you might find it to be an exercise in style.

Creating from nothing allows us to explore who we are, at our very core, without any outside influence. It is how I found my style so fast in my career, and how I learned the camera without pressure.

This video is from 2015, but it’s a good one. Here, I create an image inside a cardboard box, since I didn’t have access to a room suitable to my needs.

Create something with an everyday object in a way that isn’t expected!

  • June 19, 2018 - 8:09 am

    Gallagher Green - My budget is always nonexistent for photos, and I think it makes them even better in a lot of cases! 😀ReplyCancel

  • June 19, 2018 - 11:57 am

    Chrystal kelly - https://youtu.be/x1OVX5u1W-A
    My first stop motion video. Far from perfect but so much fun to make. Used stuff from around my house to create a little magic with help from a friend.ReplyCancel

    • June 21, 2018 - 5:56 pm

      Gallagher Green - I loved it, great work! 🙂ReplyCancel

I think that we have an innate desire to put our stamp on things, whether that is as a person, as an artist, or something else. In my years of teaching photography, I’ve never once conducted a workshop in which no one asked how to build a recognizable style. I’ve asked myself that question plenty of times.

It is a beautiful thing to look at someone’s work and know, without looking at the name, who made it. Those are my favorite artists. Their essence is in their art. It feels like a natural shine.

As an artist, I have thought about this topic for years. What makes someone stand out as being original? What makes someone’s work recognizable? What makes mine?

Here’s the truest answer. More true than any technique in Photoshop or lens choice.

It is the way my mind works. The way my brain functions. The way I see the world. The way I create in this world.

If you don’t like that answer, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a certain technique to set you apart, stop.

Yes, they help tremendously. Yes, they can make you stand out. Yes, they are the medium that us visual artists exist in.

BUT, and I believe this firmly, there isn’t a successful artist out there who doesn’t have their art in their bones.

If you gave your favorite artist a guitar instead of a camera, it’s very likely that their original music would match their original images.

What we want our art to look like is in us from the beginning. From Day 0.

My art is not just what it looks like or feels like. It is the culmination of who I am – visually, emotionally, experiences and reactions and decisions combined. It is my expression of myself.

That is not to say that finding a style is instant. Why? Because we hardly know ourselves. The more we understand who we are, the more fluidly our style can evolve.

At least that’s what I believe. And I really, really believe it.

There are certain visual ways that my style has evolved. I used to create very monochromatic images, almost always indoors. I shifted from that to incorporating more color in my wardrobe and visiting new locations outdoors. I then started to get into more complicated composites, more detailed sets, more props. I evolved. And I am evolving.

If I had to choose 3 visual cues to my signature style, I would say:

Square Format
Yellow highlights/blue shadows

There are more:


It’s hard to define a style with just a few words, and not entirely productive, either. We shouldn’t feel trapped by a style, but able and willing to move in and out of it.

I used to fear my style. I felt stuck in it. But now I recognize that my style is mine because that is what naturally comes out of me. No matter what I pursue, it will be mine.

I hope you enjoy this video detailing how I found my style and a few different tricks in the editing room to achieve a polish to my work.

How do you describe your style?
How do you hope to evolve?

  • June 11, 2018 - 7:00 am

    ganesh - This is great!ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 7:24 am

    Cheryl Clegg - Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
    My style? A very hard question to answer. The best I can say is it is eclectic, but I always try to evoke emotion. The days of film I spent many hours in the darkroom, trying to make things painterly. Then came digital and the learning curve continues and is endless and new everyday as well as exciting.
    Your work is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 8:37 am

    Angela Seidemann - Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 9:36 am

    Gallagher Green - Great video, and probably the best explanation you can get for explaining signature style. Like you said, it’s not easy to explain.
    I just create what I like, and hope that a signature evolves out of it, since I know I can’t force it.
    “How do you describe your style?”
    I don’t know if this is my style, but I would like to think it is:

    How do you hope to evolve?
    Thought provoking.
    More engaging.
    Maybe a little happier. Right now everything really leans to the darker side for some reason.

    This is a great subject I will have to bring this up in the next PPC Skype chat.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 11:14 am

    Cheryl Clegg - Thank you for sharing and for the constant inspiration!
    My style is eclectic, but always my main goal is to evoke emotion.
    In business for decades (I’m now one of those old timers, I guess), I have gone from trying to create painterly prints in the darkroom to moving my darkroom onto the monitor and learning everyday. Not all of my work is artsy, sometimes I am in a more documentary mood. What do I want people to when looking at my work? I want people to stop and look at the photo, not just scroll through, and feel the emotion.
    Your work is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 11:15 am

    adbrucephotos - This was awesome, as always! Monday have become my favorites again 🙂
    How do you describe your style?
    I am not sure if people look at my work and think “Anna Bruce” but in all of my work I like to incorporate these feelings: Moody, dramatic, warm tones, edgy, dreamlike. I have certainly tried to experiment with cool tones and blues and it always makes me freak out. I like warm tones – perhaps because I like warm weather? Because people don’t look dead or frozen? I don’t know. Ironically, in other artists’ work, I am drawn to blue tones (as you know from the piece I purchased). Very interesting.
    How do you hope to evolve?
    I will let time decide for me. As I learn new things, grow or change in life my style will evolve. I know that moody, dark and dramatic will be words that will remain with me for a lifetime – I have been pretty consistent in creating works that evoke those three. Thank you Brooke! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 1:44 pm

    Suellen - You have articulated style perfectly, it’s definitely what’s inside you and that is so hard to explain to anyone. When people ask you what I do I get stuck trying to explain as it is bound up with my style rather thane technique (as you explained it)…finding the words makes me stumble.
    My style is quirky, whimsical, mysterious, inviting. How I hope to evolve? I want to make images that have something more to say…I’m not sure what I have to say, want to say…I like making images that make make-believe, believable, but I want to include more message somehow, at the moment I am exploring being alone but not lonely.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 2:52 pm

    Michael Harbour - Thank you for your beautiful work!
    Can you tell me about your monitor/workstation?
    It is huge. It is touch screen! I’m curious!!ReplyCancel

  • June 13, 2018 - 7:40 am

    Cindee - Wonderful video of a difficult to describe subject.
    I found my style when I found my business name “Kymerical imagery” which is defined
    Kymerical: existing only as the product of an unchecked imagination.
    imagery: the art of making images.
    I recently wrote a paper for my business class where I described my style as
    Phantasmagorical with an etherial quality. Yes, I was using the thesaurus. I enjoy making images that would suit a children’s book, princess party, my granddaughters imagination come to life. She is the fairy in my images. I get lost in space and time while creating these images, it’s the same way I feel when creating a new dress for Emma. That’s how I know I have found my style, I love creating it.
    There is still a lot of distilling (evolving) that needs to take place but I am on the right track. I hope to reach the point where I know the colors as Brooke does and am able to consistently produce work that says that was done by Kymerical imagery.
    Oh and I don’t put my name on my real name on my work because I spent 25 years as a prison guard and don’t want to make it easy for any of them to find me. Just in case.

    phantasmagorical: having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.
    having the appearance of an optical illusion, especially one produced by a magic lantern.
    changing or shifting, as a scene made up of many elements.ReplyCancel

Last May I thought I had finished writing a novel. I wrote 80,000 words, sent it off to my friend Ksenia who edited it for me, and what I received back was a lot of red and feedback that I hadn’t properly written a book…just a summary of a book. And man, was she spot on.

That launched me into the most splendid year ever.

I have always valued books and writing above most other things, but truth be told, I wasn’t a reader. I had read books, and I’d read a couple a year, but I wasn’t really a reader. That was the problem with my writing. If I learned how to be a better reader, I could learn how to be a better writer.

So, when June rolled around, I started reading. A lot. And I can proudly say that in the past year, I have developed a routine, a habit, of making time for reading.

In the past year, I managed to finish 41 books.

That is really huge. I know it might not seem like a big number to some of you, and it might seem massive to others. That doesn’t matter. It’s not a contest.

What I did was dedicate myself fully to a practice that I knew would get me closer to my dreams.

One year and 41 books later, I am closer. That much closer.

Here is what I learned from my first year of dedicated reading:

  1. You learn as much from bad books as you do good books. It is very valuable to ask why something doesn’t work for you and to incorporate that knowledge into what informs your craft.
  2. The value of story structure should not be overlooked. I’ve studied and practiced seeing and writing story structure (mostly a traditional 3 act) and now I see it everywhere. When I sit with my husband to watch a movie we discuss it. I see it in TV and sometimes even video games. A story without structure usually just doesn’t deliver.
  3. Outlining is my jam. I pantsed (wrote on the fly) the first draft of my book. By the end, I had a mess of partial conflicts that never got resolved, and mostly, no conflicts at all. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the outline for my 2nd draft. I’m a planner, always have been, probably always will be. No shame in that!
  4. I’ve been given permission to use poetic language in my book. That was something I shied away from a bit because I thought that wasn’t how it is done. But now that I’ve read all sorts of books and really paid attention, I know that having your own unique writing style is exactly what counts for artistic flair.
  5. I love first-person POV. I never thought I would, but “The Fifth Season” and “Red Rising” changed my mind. I’m a convert…though I don’t think my first book will utilize that.
  6. My love of dark imagery is sustained in books as well as visual arts. Any book that can poetically describe something sad is everything to me.
  7. The more specific the character, the more I love the character.
  8. If a character has very clear desires, I as a reader desire that thing as well. When the desires are unclear, I don’t want anything out of the book.
  9. Anything is possible to write, as long as it 1) makes sense within the world, and 2) moves the story forward.
  10. I’m becoming a better reader! I’ve always considered myself a slow reader. However, and I should have seen this coming, reading is like anything else. It is a muscle, it takes practice. I used to only be able to hold my attention long enough to get through 15 minutes of reading at a time. Now I can get through hours. I read smarter, faster, and I enjoy myself more.
  11. Books have replaced my phone. Well, not entirely. But, where I used to keep my phone by my side, I’ve actively replaced it with a book. Now, when I have the urge to waste time on my phone, I read in those micro-moments instead.
  12. My writing will be heavily influenced by imagery. My first draft wasn’t at all image-tastic. Which is inherently weird for a visual artist. But, now that I see how great authors weave visuals into every sentence of their books, I know how to do the same. I’ve got some awesome visuals planned for my novel!
  13. I am very serious about writing. I knew I wanted to be a writing, but now that I’ve dedicated myself to this craft in such a big way (it’s no easy task reading that many books in a year while running a full-time business), I’m more in it than ever before.
  14. The best books are the ones that make me wish I lived in their worlds. I want to make a world like that, too. They are blossoming inside my head.
  15. At best, protagonists are your best friends. At worst, they are acquaintances. At best, antagonists are tragically wounded friends. At worst, they are pure evil. Note: I love the antagonist in my book!

For those asking, my book is shaping up to be Fantasy, and maybe Young Adult. I was originally going to only do one, but it is looking like it needs a sequel or a trilogy. I’m already excited for the expanded horizons I will offer.

Here’s my really, really rough pitch so far: Twins are born into a world on the brink of death. Separate, their powers could destroy everyone in existence, but together, they could save the Tree of Life and all of Her children.

It’s a massive work in progress, and I feel no pressure to go faster. I am taking my time with this, letting my passion seep into every crevice before I start writing out each chapter. Until then, I’ll continue going on early morning hikes with my Love to discuss new details, writing my outline, and enjoying new books.

Here is a list of all the books I read this past year. I’ve put in bold my absolute top recommendations. If they are part of a trilogy, I only highlighted the first. The one that is bold and red is my favorite of the whole list.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and which are your favorites!
Also, tell me your favorite book!
Extra points for fantasy or science fiction!

“The Graveyard Book” by Niel Gaiman
“Myst: Book of Atrus” by Rand and Robyn Miller
“Myst: Book of Ti’ana” Rand Miller
“American Gods” by Niel Gaiman
“Myst: Book of D’ni” by Rand Miller
“Story” by Robert McKee
“Sabriel” by Garth Nix
“The Story Grid” by Shawn Coyne
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“Lirael” by Garth Nix
“Abhorsen” by Garth Nix
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling
“Good Omens” by Terry Prachett & Niel Gaiman
“Structuring Your Novel” by K.M. Wieland
“Outlining Your Novel” by K.M. Wieland
“Everworld, Volume 1” by K.A. Applegate
“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin
“The Lost Years of Merlin” by T.A. Barron
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
“The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
“The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami
“Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“From Here to Eternity” by Caitlin Doherty
“The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ” by Philip Pullman
“Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick
“Many Waters” by Madeleine L’Engle
“The Martian” by Andy Weir
“Pawn of Prophesy” by David Eddings
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly
“Down Among the Sticks and Bones” by Seanan McGuire
“Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson
“Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” by Brandon Sanderson
“Mistborn: The Hero of Ages” by Brandon Sanderson
“Red Rising” by Pierce Brown
“The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu
“Golden Son” by Pierce Brown

Excuse me while I go devour Morning Star.

  • June 6, 2018 - 8:00 pm

    Gallagher Green - I told you “The Three-Body Problem” was great! 😀 The next two in the trilogy just get better!
    I have read “Frankenstein” which I liked, I just finished “The Hobbit” which I loved. I am sorry to say I read “The Fifth Season” and couldn’t get myself to read the next two in the trilogy, I just didn’t like it at all, sorry. 🙁
    I have now started “The Lord of the Rings” which I really like so far.
    I also listened to the audiobook (free on Librivox) of “Mathilda” by Mary Shelley, it is very poetically written and dark(ish). I liked it much more than I had planned on.
    I also recommend the book “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King, it’s much different from most of his work, I think you would like it.

    I am still working on the first draft of my novel, but I did write a children’s book that I now need to illustrate, once I learn how to draw! LOL
    I also decided to write a quick short story (to try and make a little money on 😉 ), but it is suddenly getting kinda long, and the other night I was typing along and “Bang!” two new characters just popped into the storyline. It surprised me, it was like the story was writing itself, and my fingers were just there, I think my brain left for a coffee break! (it can be a slacker)
    Writing has become very important to me. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 2:56 am

    Sam - My book recommendations:
    The Fey series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    For me the Fey had been the by far best planned and written fantasy world.

    And for fun: “Illegal Aliens” by Phil Foglio and Nick Polotta
    Science fiction, but I just love Phils humor!

    And now I’ll be off, looking for “Fifth Season” 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 6:43 am

    Addie - yay, this makes me happy…. Im a huge reader and my favorite genre is YA fantasy… 🙂
    here are some of my favorites
    – The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss,
    – Monster Blood Tattoo – DM Cornish (this one is a bit complicated as it almost has its own language, but its so worth it!)
    – The Onion Girl – Charles De Lint
    – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M Valente

    those are just a start and looking at the list, I realize they are all part of a series, so if you like one, then you can continue the story… maybe one day we can sit down over tea or hot chocolate and discuss our favorites!ReplyCancel

  • June 24, 2018 - 9:00 pm

    Chantel Schmitt - Try Wool by Hugh Howey. I can’t remember when I first read it. Had to have been around 2012 or so. There are also two more in the series…one a prequel. I’ll have to re-read Wool before I start on the others though because it’s been so long.ReplyCancel

My friends, I struggle a lot with sharing technical information. Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because I prefer the focus be put on creativity over tools, on imagination over technology. However, I also love Love LOVE to share as much as I can with others, technical or otherwise, so that we can all be elevated.

This week I answered a swelling call I’ve been receiving to go into a little more depth about editing. This video is a juicy ten minutes of Photoshop explanation, philosophy, and the editing of a new image.

When I started photography I also started using Photoshop. I didn’t have a background in it, and to be honest, it scared the daylights out of me. I am not a technical person. I do not learn quickly or easily. I get intimidated and frustrated as easily as cake. But I knew that if I wanted to see my visions come to life, that was what I had to do. So I did.

I am self taught in Photoshop with the aid of my husband for the extra-technical bits.

This is how I believe I was able to teach myself Photoshop:

I only researched exactly what I needed. I never went to workshops or watched classes because that was information overload for me. Instead, I put an image in Photoshop. Then, I decided the one most important thing that the image needed, and I searched for that one tool. Little by little I was able to learn Photoshop, and here I am today.

If you are just starting out – with anything – remember to take small steps. They add up to a sum greater than we think possible. Nothing is beyond our reach. I have to believe that because my life is based on it. Little by little, our reach grows; we are expansive.

In the video you will see me use all of my favorite Photoshop tools, like curves, lasso, and feather. They will help me to…

Composite extra hands into my picture
Expand my frame
Add fog to the background
Change the light and color

…and more.

If you want to learn how I edit in depth, I encourage you to check out my online classes.

I get a lot of requests to put full-length editing tutorials online. While I totally understand the request, for now I’m pointing you to my online tutorials.

Why? Because I put months and months of my heart/soul/energy/time/money into them to make them as comprehensive and perfect as I could for you, and in turn, it allows me to be supported in my art. I thank you so much for buying them and showing me that my weird vision is worthwhile.

What is your favorite tool to create with?
How often do you actively seek to learn something new?


Model: Steph Perez


  • June 4, 2018 - 5:55 am

    maryjane ellison - Topaz Studio, although I make heavy use of Photoshop CC.

    Every day I struggle to learn new ways of doing things. I love to research and figure things out. I have always had an insatiable curiosity about the world around me, and will never give up learning. I think that’s why I’m still so active at 81 years!ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2018 - 5:57 am

      brookeshaden - I love that you are learning new things! So many aren’t. I’ve never tried Topaz but I’ve always heard great things about it.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:03 am

    Mariëtte Aernoudts - My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a
    Month I lool up something on PhotoshopReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:04 am

    Mariëtte Aernoudts - My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a month I look up something on PhotoshopReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:19 am

    Lightroom and Photoshop mainly

    Everyday, I do a lot of research (old habits don’t die because you change professions) I enjoy learning something new, rather it be in LR or PS or photography or even in life. Learning is the key to a fulfilled life and one never knows enough is the way I feel.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 7:05 am

    Kristey Fritz-Martin - Yay Monday!!!! Thank you so very much for this Brooke!! For me, I feel like I have the inspiration and ideas floating around in my head but completely lack the technical ability to make them come true which is beyond frustrating to me. It is such a tedious process and rather than sit being frustrated I tend to walk away, grab my camera and just go shoot some more dreaming of the day that I will make it all come together. In other words, editing is not my jam lol but I am finding it to be a necessary evil if I want to bring my creative vision to life. These tips and tricks are so inspiring and truly changing perspective and approaching it as a “blank canvas” where I can create is quite an inspiring revelation. I actually devote at least 30 minutes a day to focusing on trying to learn something new. Growth is such an incredibly important thing and knowledge truly is power. As far as “tools”, aside from my imagination, I really try to get things as close to correct in camera so that I can avoid PS Bwahaha. There in lays my issue because obviously a lot of what I want to create can not be made possible in camera. Oh. . . The struggle is real. But as always, I am now starting my week full of inspiration and possibilities thanks to you and your kindness and generosity in putting these Videos together. Thank you so much for being so absolutely incredible!!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 7:19 am

    Julie Oshiyama - I, too, use Topaz filters. My favorite set of filters from them is LensEffects. With all things digital, I am self-taught; camera, digital darkroom, etc. I have a film (black/white) degree from Pasadena City College, back when digital first hit the market. My portfolio work back then was experimental photography (Fine Art). I loved working with litho film, infrared, hand applied emulsions, etc. It was not easy for me to move from a true darkroom to a digital darkroom, but I did. I can easily say that I enjoy not having to worry about chemical exposure. But, Photoshop was like learning a whole new language for me. I continually stretch and educate myself with the many features PS has to offer. I’ve also purchased a couple of your CreativeLive courses. Recently, I completely watching your Promoting Passion series. I watched 10 episodes a day until I completed the series. I learned a great deal from you, Brooke, and wish I had been following that series back when you stared it. So, to your question, my fave PS tool would be masks. And, yes, I actively seek to learn something new every day. As an intervention teacher, I can only encourage my students to follow in love with learning if I am doing the same.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 9:13 am

    Wendy Baker - I’m trying to decide if my favorite tool in Photoshop is the clone stamp or the lasso tool. I use them both so much that I can’t decide 😉 I’ve been using Photoshop for almost 20 years, and like you, it has happened one step at a time. I look up (it used to be in the manual) and use only what I need for a project.

    My problem has been that I LOVE acquiring new skills a little too much. It was very hard to create a series when every time I finished an image I was on to the next thing to try. It has been really satisfying this year to settle myself down and stick with a concept and color scheme.

    We did the same road trip as you seven years ago. I loved it so much that I invited all my kids and grand kids to join us to experience it all again a couple years ago. Those memories will last all my life.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 10:00 am

    Gallagher Green - Great video. And for anyone wondering, her classes are well worth the money!
    The new PC looks like it is working out very well. 🙂
    The tools I use the most are:
    Brush with a layer mask
    Undo, I use that one a lot! LOL
    I am always earning stuff or relearning stuff I forget how to do.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 10:59 am

    Anna D Bruce - This was such a valuable video! I love learning all about your process and how you create. Also, that Surface Pro studio looks amazing!!!! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 12:06 pm

    Julie - My hands are my favourite tool, they write the notes, press the shutter and guide my battered Wacom pen around my screen in Adobe Photoshop!

    I aim for daily discoveries, even the smallest thing – a mayfly by the lake, a tutorial for creating headdresses or a new creative network connection. It helps me to keep moving forward.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 4:44 pm

    Vicki Kurasz - I spend way to much time re-researching how to do something. I usually forget a step and can’t get the darn thing to work the next time I want to do it! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • June 7, 2018 - 12:57 pm

      Cindee Still - Vicki, if it is something that you will do repeatedly make it into an action and then you don’t have to remember the steps. Watch Ben Willmore on Creative Live show you how to make actions. He is a fabulous teacher and you can watch the video over and over because you will own it.ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 1:03 pm

    Cindee Still - My favorite tool to create with is my boundless imagination, along with PS layer masks. I seek to learn new skills on a daily basis. I am 56 yrs old working toward my degree in photography. I attend workshops with National Geographic and Creative Live in Seattle when ever I can. I watch tutorials on PHLEARN and F64 when I have a challenge in PS that I need help with. Oh yeh! I also watch Brookes videos and tutorials for inspiration and guidance. :}ReplyCancel