“Don’t let what you don’t have stop you from what you could create.”

How often are we plagued with the repetitive thought that we cannot create unless we have something more to create with. A better camera, a new tripod, that awesome speed-light, or just a bigger budget entirely? There are amazing photographers out there who are able to spend a lot of cash for every photo they create, and that is a really wonderful thing to have at your disposal. I am not one of those artists, and to be honest, I get a lot of pleasure from that fact.

One of the things that inspires me more than anything is creating from nothing. I love to give myself a strict budget and see what I can do within those confines. Case in point, this picture was less than $10 total (In case you were wondering how much yarn you’ll need to cover a tree and a human for a pretty creepy photo shoot). Sometimes I challenge myself to shoot inside my house (I’ll be sharing that picture later this week!) or to use a household object as a prop. Self-portraiture is a perfect example of how you can shoot on the cheap, assuming you don’t feel the need to pay yourself and exorbitant amount for modeling. >..<

I still have moments where I feel that my work could be better (re: more personally fulfilling) if I had a grand location or prop or dress, but those instances are few and far between. And when I do have that craving, I get a bunch of photographers together to pay for the scene so we can all benefit and all afford it…because what better way is there to spend your time as a creative than geeking out with other creatives about that AMAZING ABANDONED CHURCH or thatย one of a kind carousel horse, or or or you get the picture.

Never let your budget or access to locations andย props hold you back. There is always something to be done with your unique imagination and the world you have before your eyes. There is always magic to be created.

Brooke Shaden Photography

Share with me your images created on a budget. Have you used really inexpensive props to create an image, or perhaps an unlikely location? Let’s inspire each other with the creative thinking that a tiny budget requires. Our images are our imaginations, and with that, anything is possible.

Brooke Shaden Photography

For these images I was smitten not only with the inspiration of creating something from nothing, but also by the concept behind it. Life giving life, or perhaps life taking life…whichever way you choose to see it. Red is such a powerful color because it can symbolize power, life, death, blood, etc. It is truly one of those emotional symbols in an image that makes me feel something instantly. A girl giving a tree her life-blood, or both of them sharing. Life giving life. Life taking life. Life-blood.


  • April 21, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Dan Reyes - Hello Brooke. This is the image that I created on a budget the title of this image is “rebirth”, I only paid for the snack of the little girl in the image and the location was just at the backyard of my friend which is totally free ๐Ÿ˜€
    I have been creating these kind of images about 8 months now and the people still do not accept these kind of images in my country but I always been inspired by you and to follow the passion within me. I have always been inspired with your quote “If we understand that our own opinions should be held at a higher standardโ€ฆthen we might be able to break free of those things that hold us back in creating our art.” thank you for the inspiration…ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 8:48 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Dan!

      Your image is breathtaking. I really like the spotted light and the circular motion of it. I love that quote – it is so true – there may always be a feeling of adversity when our passion is not accepted, but that doesn’t mean it has to tear down our ability to create. Keep on going, you are doing beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 8:43 am

    Carin - That was so much fun to watch……an intriguing & amazing image on a budget which is within everyone’s reach. I see some photography teams and the places they travel to and the vast amounts of money it must cost, and although the images are impressive I sometimes feel given the level of expense and fabulous locations and top models how could they fail to get impressive images! This image is just as amazing to look at and done with so much fun and laughter, truly inspiring to all wanting to achieve amazing, fab results based more on imagination and creativity than budget. Oh remind me to buy you a new scissors lolReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 8:47 am

      brookeshaden - Ahhhh you are the greatest! Yes to new scissors ๐Ÿ˜› haha! They are now full of red yarn fuzzies! I truly ADORE looking at works that had huge budgets because they often are so impressive, but at the same time I get so much pleasure from creating the way I do that I find fulfillment in that. Sending lots of inspiring days ahead your way…though I have a feeling you’ve got that covered ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 8:48 am

    Manon - It’s so amazing ! Really, it’s so great, so lifefull (i’m french, sorry for my bad english) ! This picture and all this work, with your smile… Wouah ! Thank you for your happiness, you two !ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 8:49 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 8:58 am

    Amani - That was SO much fun to watch, I caught myself giggling by the end when you were cutting the yarn off her neck haha. It seems like so much fun!

    Red has always been my favorite color, and it’s so amazing to see how you play with it in your images. You’re right, it can symbolize so many different things.
    The images are beautiful! My favorite one is the second. I love her pose in that image, and also the way the yarn looks more loose, as if she’s breaking free but still holding on to what’s giving her life/what she’s giving life to. It’s amazing how each one of these can be interpreted differently.

    I almost always use inexpensive props, and most of the time I use stuff that I find lying around. For my newest image, I used some fake flowers that my mom was going to throw away :p

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:01 am

      brookeshaden - Beautiful Amani!! I love YOUR use of red too! Isn’t it so fun to “repurpose” things that others might throw away? I love rooting through trash cans for that very reason ๐Ÿ˜›ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:12 am

    Robert Cornelius - I absolutely adore this weeks video Brooke! I think it’s my favorite so far. So much fun, creativity, inspiration and FRIENDSHIP! ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:28 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you! On to the second half ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Robert Cornelius - Weird only half of my comment sent ๐Ÿ™
    I had said… There is nothing more fulfilling to me than creating with a friend, at the end not only do you have fun memories, but you have a piece of art that is part of both of you. I was feeling super inspired last week and had a friend come over to just see what we came up with. I created this image with ZERO dollars and I’m so proud of it ๐Ÿ™‚


    • April 21, 2014 - 9:29 am

      brookeshaden - INCREDIBLE Robert. But really now, I think you’re being a bit greedy stealing all the talent in the WHOLE WORLD. You are amazing.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Ninon - Sadly, I absolutely can’t afford to spend money to buy props for my pictures ๐Ÿ™
    Even though I love props, even though I know my pictures are better when I use some… Very often, I just have to hope that the model, the pose, the location will be enough.

    Nevertheless, I went through my gallery, and found these 3 pictures, created with absolutely unexpensive props:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemissninon/12842130134/ (I only used some beautiful papers I had bought years ago)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemissninon/11713502184/ (I used my fiancรฉ’s mom Xmas decoration – she’s kind enough to let me use them for free!)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemissninon/10159129906/ (I bought the ribbon, it wasn’t particularly cheap – for a ribbon, I mean – but it wasn’t ::that:: expensive)

    Sometimes, I feel that my work would be better if I had more money to spend for it… but creating something out of barely nothing is a great challenge too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your pictures are wonderful, kudos to your model Kelly, I bet this wasn’t easy..!ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:30 am

      brookeshaden - Thanks Ninon! And I hear that – I don’t have a budget for props most of the time too. But hey, that’s the fun of life! Creating something out of nothing. That is how we have to live personally too, knowing that we might be the only one who will forge our path. I think ALL of your images are powerful, personally!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:22 am

    Giulia - I’m sure you won’t believe it, but i planned a photo very similar to theese, with yarn and nature :O
    I think I won’t do it anymore, because i feel very awkward after seeing this ๐Ÿ˜€
    Anyway, i still love your works ๐Ÿ™‚ :3ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:32 am

      brookeshaden - Giulia…PLEASE do it!!!! You have no idea how many times that has happened to me, and I started to doubt my vision. What if I can’t do as good a job as they did? What if people will think I’m copying? Well trust me, you have my permission and in fact my applause! I hope you go through with it! And then share it here so I can see ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2014 - 4:32 am

      Giulia - I know it’s been a long time since this post, anyway, this is the photo i planned before seeing your work…I wasn’t sure about post it or not, because in some ways I felt I was copying you ๐Ÿ˜›
      Here it is ๐Ÿ™‚ https://www.flickr.com/photos/giu_ro/14210911613/ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Denise - Brooke,
    Loved watching this video. Meeting the challenges of creating with a budget – the fun and inspirations that develop – seem to transform into a little spark of magic in the final image. The loose yarn here lends itself to the idea that she is still open to furthering who sheโ€ฆ is even within her already well designed self. Awesome!

    I’m not sure how to include my image here in the comment box. If ‘Twlight Visitor” does come through, it was taken with a bolt of fabric a few clothes pins, a friend to pose and a photo from a year earlier for this spirt to revisit.

    p.s. looking forward to Pasadena!ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:33 am

      brookeshaden - Denise, you are great!! I love that interpretation very much. I couldn’t see the pic but if you just paste a link to it here, I’d be very excited to click! Yes so excited for Pasadena!!! I wish it was next weekend already! ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 10:03 am

      Denise - Thank you Brooke, I’m obviously ‘tech challenged’ as I couldn’t get a link to work. LOL

      Howeverโ€ฆif you have the time and inclination, it is on my Facebook page – in fact it mentions you. Facebook: Denise Neale JensenReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:32 am

    jon wilkening - You and your work is truly inspiring. I love how you don’t wait for images to come to you but actively create them with what you have. Love these weekly doses of inspirations. Thank you

    In terms of shooting on a budget, the main camera that I use is a $20 Holga Pinhole camera that I found on amazon. It forces me to see the world in such a different way.ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:34 am

      brookeshaden - Wow Jon, that is incredible. Your portfolio is unique and beautiful and a really interesting perspective on the world. Thank you for sharing the inspiration with me today!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:35 am

    Tom Newforge - I Love the second image. The one with Kelly’s hand up? Very nice. Was going to post one for you but…..I can’t figure out how:(ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:37 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Tom! If you reply here and just paste a link I’ll be able to click through. Would love to see! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:49 am

    Samantha Pugsley - I am all about shooting a budget. Most of my props are free or found at goodwill for incredibly cheap. Case in point, one of my recent favorite images cost nothing more than a sheet I already had and a tiny bit of gas to drive me to the nearest nature preserve: https://www.flickr.com/photos/slpugsley/12939975444/

    Thank you for continuing to share yourself with us. The second image really speaks to me. I’ve worked with red yarn before but nothing like the scale of this. You’re truly amazing and inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:51 am

      brookeshaden - That image is really beautifuil Samantha..I loooved viewing it!!ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:51 am

      brookeshaden - Just pretend I spelled beautiful right ;PReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:50 am

    Melanie - My 1 1/2 year old watched this with me and he kept saying “Whoa! Whoa!” I think that means these are golden! I too loved watching this. I’m an avid knitter/crocheter so I love yarn! And I love the symbolism of the yarn itself, not just that it’s red, but that it can be a plant/animal based fiber and is used for the making of fabrics which are used to make clothing which are used as an outward representation of who we are as an individual. So to me it represents an actual giving of the tree to the young woman so she can become who she wants to be. I love this little series you’ve created.ReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 9:52 am

      brookeshaden - Awww Melanie that is awesome! Somehow there is nothing like validation from a 2 year old ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you so much for contributing such an amazing interpretation. You inspire me.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 9:59 am

    Lauren - Hi Brooke!

    I am just smitten with your ideas on creativity and your passion to empower others to get out and create. In fact, you inspired me to carry out a photo that has been in my mind for a few months now, and I certainly don’t have a large budget to work with. I loved this video and your reasoning behind the red yarn!

    The theme of my photo is “joy”. The kite was ordered off of Amazon for about $17 and the flowers I bought to create her dress and flower crown costed about $20. Not too bad! I couldn’t post the photo in the comments so I have included a link to my blog which I just posted it on. And just as a heads up, I gushed a bit about how much of a fan I am of yours.

    So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your passion and your willingness to share and inspire. I can’t wait to create more, and I’m so happy I found your blog!


    <3 LaurenReplyCancel

    • April 21, 2014 - 10:03 am

      brookeshaden - Lauren, you are SO lovely! Your picture inspires me so much. Makes me want to get a kite and have some photo fun with it! And I love how different it is – unique and bright and joyful. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing it, and for being so kind!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 10:28 am

    Izzy - I have enjoyed watching and reading your blog posts for ages, and I love this post so much. It is so wonderful to be able to take pride in creating from nothing, and I find it exhilarating to look at a photograph created with only $3.

    Recently, I shot with a few of my friends, and the entire budget of the shoot was $10. My friend did hair and makeup, my other friend modeled, wearing one of my old dresses, and I had a couple others assist me. I was thrilled with how they came out, and I wanted to share them with you!


    • April 22, 2014 - 7:06 am

      brookeshaden - Izzy, thank you so much for being so kind ๐Ÿ™‚ I can completely see why you liked those images! Thank you for sharing them. They are colorful and peaceful and really sing to my heart.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 10:33 am

    NoraSue - Dollar a yard fabric is my best friend, along with Goodwill and thrift shops. I have found that the same six yards of fabric with my daughter can be wrapped to make numerous different looks. Rope, ribbon, twine and scarves add to what we can do.


    • April 22, 2014 - 7:07 am

      brookeshaden - Ahh yes those are all my best friends! I got a piece of fabric for 50c recently and it has been used about 5 times now! And I love the idea of adding to it, and not just using one piece!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 10:41 am

    Izzy - Also, two quick questions, and one other thing I’d like to say. If you wouldn’t mind sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
    Where are you located out of? I love the forests that you shoot in.
    Also, where do you find the stunning dresses that your models are wearing? They are beautiful!

    This recently came up, and when I was discussing this with someone, I thought of you. Several people asked me what type of camera I have. This led me to respond with several paragraphs of a response…oops

    There are photographers that are able to create stunning photographs with next to nothing. They are able to create unbelievable images because of their imagination and talent, not because of their equipment. The type of camera someone uses doesn’t define the quality of their photos. Anyone can go and buy a $5000 camera and take terrible photos with it. The content of a photograph depends on the photographer, not the camera you use. Sure, some cameras take better pictures then others, but buying the same camera as someone you know that has great photos doesn’t mean you will as well. Especially with conceptual and surreal photography where a photographer has their own idea and vision for what they want the composition of the photo to be. I also dislike when people tell me that the model in my photo is so gorgeous. The appearance of the model doesn’t make or break the photo. Yes, my models are stunning but someone can take a photo of the prettiest girl in the world and make her look ugly. It’s all about the composition of the photo, and I think that those who base photographic talent on equipment are misinformed, and haven’t yet discovered the true essence of photograph. That’s all:)ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:08 am

      brookeshaden - I shoot everywhere and anywhere especially when I travel ๐Ÿ™‚ I get dresses from those same places – vintage stores, thrift stores (love goodwill and salvation army) and sometimes online at places like Ebay and Etsy!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 11:38 am

    Tom Newforge - Something I took a crack at the other day with Rachel Sauer and a step ladder:)


    • April 22, 2014 - 7:10 am

      brookeshaden - Oh wow Tom this is so unique. I really like how painterly it looks because of that even yet vibrant light and the color palette.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    Denise - Hello Again,

    Think I got the link to work this time ๐Ÿ™‚


    -All Good ThingsReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:11 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Denise! Yes wonderful! I am so happy to see ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how vibrant the red is (can you tell that’s a favorite of mine?!) and her pose is so emotional. Thank you for sending!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Jesus - Really inspiring! thanks for this!ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:11 am

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    Sarah Allegra - I think this cost under $10, which all went toward the vintage slip from Ebay. All the wires and bits were scavenged ๐Ÿ™‚


    • April 22, 2014 - 7:11 am

      brookeshaden - I LOVE that image, it is one of my favorites from your portfolio! Absolutely stunning, and it looks like a high-production image which is even neater!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Mary-Claire - My fabric is always repurposed into dresses, capes, etc. An old Halloween costume made years ago has been a favorite piece of clothing. When I do purchase a prop, I go to Hobby Lobby and use a 40% off 1 item coupon to buy things for just a few dollars.ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:12 am

      brookeshaden - Yes! That is the way to go! I always forget my coupons and then beg the store clerks ๐Ÿ˜› haha! You are so crafty, I think it is fabulous.ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 2:55 pm

      Mary-Claire - If you haven’t lost your smart phone, you can actually look up “Hobby Lobby coupon” when you’re at the store and it will pop right up! The cashier will just look at it and give you the discount. Plus, a big FYI, the clerk told me last time that things go on sale every other week. So if it’s not on sale that week, it should be the next. ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 3:08 pm

    Paulo Carvalho - Create with little money … How I understand that! Sometimes it’s hard, but when we reached the result we want, it is quite gratifying. Loved the video … Loved the result that gave these beautiful photos. And you created, like that, in a simple way and without fear. Awesome. I also loved that detail of affection that you gave at the model with that kiss… You are so great.ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:12 am

      brookeshaden - It can be difficult sometimes to not envy those amazing locations and huge props, but at the same time, it forces us to see life as a whole in a more inspired way. How amazing! Thank you for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    Naid Kelly - Wow Brooke, I absolutely love the photos from this shoot! They are one of a kind, well done! I really love the poses!

    Thank you so much for sharing, very inspiring! I had a failed self portrait shoot tonight which you have now inspired me to definitely try again tomorrow!

    A lot of my photos are created on a small budget as I just can’t afford fancy props, I’m still searching charity shops for clothes to use! But here is my newest photo, I build the nest myself, most of the branches were dead branches I picked up in the forest, but I also had some decoration branches in my room that I bought from ikea for ยฃ6 and the flowers I used to decorate the nest are artificial and they were on sale in ikea, I got so many different bunches for like 20p ๐Ÿ˜€ the eggs were ยฃ1 which I then painted, the other bits of material are from my crafts cupboard ๐Ÿ™‚ here is the finished photo;


    I am currently staying in my grandas house at the moment while visiting England and his house reminds me of those old kinda houses, like nothing is modern in it, and I love that about it, so I shot a self portrait in the room I am staying in using the flash from my phone to create shadows on the walls, it didn’t quite work out how I wanted, I like it but I know it could be better and I’m tired now but I’m going to try again tomorrow!

    Thank you again!ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:14 am

      brookeshaden - I’m so glad you’re going to try the shoot out again! The picture you linked to is so beautiful. The colors, the composition, it is all so delicate and I can’t stop staring! I never would have guessed you made part of those eggs!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 5:15 pm

    Hillary Joy - Hi Brooke!! These are absolutely beautiful. I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me to create from my heart. I recently read your book and it is so helpful and amazing โ˜บ Hoping that maybe I will be able to do a workshop with you once day! This is an image I created right outside my back door with just a white sheet to protect me some from the elements. It was a bit chilly but definitely expresses how I have been feeling this winter. http://www.hillaryjoyphoto.com/blog/2014/2/inspiration-has-found-me-once-againReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:15 am

      brookeshaden - Hillary that is really amazing – your picture is spot on for me with the emotion and I like that unique composition! You are so kind, I thank you so much for brightening my day! I do hope to meet you someday in person!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 7:18 pm

    Shasta - I took your advise! ๐Ÿ™‚ I spent $2 at the dollar store!! Trash bags and duct tape!! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had so much fun!!

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:15 am

      brookeshaden - That is awesome!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    Shasta - Wait… this link is better! http://www.shastalinphoto.blogspot.com/2014/04/ariel-at-lake-billy-chinook.html

    You are such an inspiration Brooke! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still watching you every week!ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 10:24 pm

    Hanna - I love this Brooke! I am a single mom barely getting out of the house so pretty much all my images are created on a budget :D. I have learnt a lot about compositing since I always cut out my model (which is me) into a background that I sometimes have the time to shoot. But I love the whole process. And you are an endless inspiration. Maybe I’ll share an image later, I am at work right now. Autumn leaves is an amazing prop that you can pick and then dry and use over and over for example.ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:17 am

      brookeshaden - I think that is so awesome that you have all of that responsibility yet you still create and put your creative voice into the world. That is really special and I hope sometime you’ll show us here!

      Leaves are my favorite prop ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 12:48 am

    Isabel - Iยดm tinking I spend no more than ten euros in each photograph, and most of the times nothing at all! like in this one, at my sisterยดs house: it was a great time and I really enjoy it and all the process behind: https://www.flickr.com/photos/93511058@N02/12720928294/
    Thanks for sharing your work and love!!ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 1:04 am

    lee turnbull - I love all your work and I love watching your videos. My budget is generally around zero and it is a challenge to create something out of next to nothing. The last shoot I did was based upon the film “Quest for Fire” I looked all over for a suitable outfit for the model but couldn’t find one so I made it myself (First time Ive made anything). There was such satisfaction in making it without sewing myself to the material, putting in a zip and it not falling apart on the shoot.

    Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration.ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:18 am

      brookeshaden - That is really amazing that you just took a stab at sewing and creating an outfit. I tried once and I only had to make a cloak, and it nearly fell apart on the set! haha! We do our best ๐Ÿ™‚ That is wonderful of you though – keep creating!ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 10:18 am

      Hanna - Whooops I am sorry, I meant my post to be below.ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 7:20 am

    Margherita Introna - Oh, I always pay myself an exorbitant amount for modelling ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Brooke, I love this collection. These 3 images work so well together! Huge kudos to you and especially Kelly for the commitment in creating this. Loved the video and I have no doubt you ladies had so much fun creating these. The colours and symbolism is powerfulโ€ฆ to me it is as if the tree and the character are giving each other life and that their spirits are connected <3

    There are many photographers whose work I follow and loveโ€ฆ but it has always been your gallery that speaks to my heart and soul for exactly the reason you have described in your blog. For me, there is something extra magical about working in this wayโ€ฆ It is the way that I have always worked, simply as I knew no other way to work. Finding your gallery was a huge revelation for me and why your work resonates so much to me.

    I love using simple props and settings for my images. Either just with simple items used as props found around the house (or garage!) or finding items to use on location, like branches. My latest image was also created with using simple props from around the house, i.e. three large sea shells – two were dived out by my brother and the one has been in our family for decades. Luckily though I have a number of interesting items around the house to useโ€ฆ the other day I dragged a massive crossbow down to the beach to create an image (still in my โ€œto be processedโ€ folder) and I have an anchor that I need to also lug down there for a future shoot, but you can see my image with the sea shells here:

    • April 22, 2014 - 7:25 am

      brookeshaden - Kelly is an amazing person and she always puts up with whatever strange antics I throw at her. I don’t usually get out of it without a little eye roll, but I let her have it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thank you for being SO kind…you have no idea how you lift my days and make them so much better. Thank you for always being that source of inspiration for me.

      Your image, as with all of your images, make me think and feel. They transport me to a place that I wish I could experience. I want to be that character. What an amazing gift!ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 8:04 am

    Helen - Hi Brooke! This series may be one of my favorites of yours: the themes and colors are just stunning. I love following your photography! Your work is so passionate and beautiful. You were truly the person who inspired me to begin photography! Thank you so much for that, it has been a life-changing artistic journey already!

    For this image I knew I wanted a long white dress, but I was having trouble finding anything within my budget, so I decided to use a white sheet and a t-shirt to create the dress myself, which ended up being so much more fun ๐Ÿ˜€


    • April 22, 2014 - 8:06 am

      brookeshaden - Helen, you are so kind!! Thank you for brightening my day! I think what you did with her costume is so unique! I love how you took things that you already had and repurposed them. That is great!!ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 10:22 am

    Hanna - What just happened, I am acting like a crazy person in the comments :D. Sorry everyone. I meant to reply to Brooke’s comment on my previous post. Anyway this is what I wanted to show:


    (You can remove my other comments if you want Brooke, they were meant to be below my post….)ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 10:57 am

    JD - So how many yards of yarn did you use? (approx)ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2014 - 11:04 am

      brookeshaden - I can’t remember now how many yards were in each package, but we used 4 normal sized packages of yarn ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    Missy - Brooke – Today was a hard day for me for a few reasons and I saw your post and once again you have pushed me and inspired me… and REMINDED me how important it is to stay true to yourself. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much your friendship and guidance means to me, even from miles away. You’re truly amazing.ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 10:57 pm

    Maria - Wonderful theme you have lightened, Brooke.
    I want to share my experience.

    I created โ€˜human entityโ€™ by using black colors and a brush only. Here it is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariam_pic/12366306655/ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2014 - 8:40 am

    Geneve - Hi Brooke! Thanks so much for your inspiring words and photographs. I started photography on a budget and really believe it doesn’t take a lot of money to make awesome photos. Start simple and have fun! I got this dress for Halloween years ago on ebay for about $20 and the wig was probably about $10. Thanks for checking out my photo! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • April 23, 2014 - 8:46 am

      brookeshaden - Geneve! That dress is amazing! Wow! And you did something really beautiful with it.ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2014 - 11:00 am

    Chelsea Knight - These kinds of messages make me so happy. I really envy my best friend who does fashion photography and he has hair stylists and make up artists every shoot. But I’m happy enough to have control over all those aspects to make the image truly my own. And it’s so much more fun to buy yards of plain fabric and drape a subject to create whatever I want like this:

    Thank you for the invigorating message. It’s giving me some much needed motivation to shoot more this week. โ™ฅReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2014 - 9:02 pm

    Crystal Dickerson-Hancock - I am so inspired by your work. You always motivate me to stretch myself and not be afraid to try something new. This is a fun image that I created on vacation to the Florida Keys last week. The lighting wasn’t what I usually use for my images but just went with the spontaneity of the situation and tried to deal with it in post ๐Ÿ™‚


  • April 25, 2014 - 11:25 am

    Wendy - Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us. You are a huge inspiration for me. The little french girl I am is like a kid who just discovered a treasure : your art, your world. A world which is full of magic where everything is possible and in which you’re inviting us. And I love it.
    Moreover your words are so powerful ! After watching your videos, I always feel invincible. You give me hope and courage. Even though I know my work is bad, I will continue to take photos because I love it and I want to improve myself. It makes me feel free and I’ve the impression to grow up more and more.
    I wish I could meet you and thank you personnaly (it’s one of my dreams, but as you said, all of our dreams can come true ! ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I hope you’ll come to Paris one day.

    This is one of my humble pictures : I only chose some socks in my closet and shot myself in front of my biiig window. As I had no tripod, I put books and school files in a pile to support my camera. That’s it !

    Thank you for all Brooke ! I wish all your dreams will come true !ReplyCancel

  • April 28, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Kora - I’m so happy I watched this video, I feel like its incredibly easy to get sucked into planning wardrobe and props. I often put shoots on hold just to save up a budget. I watched this and whipped up some props from what I have already have.

    Thanks for putting education out there. And hopefully I’ll be able to attend your late night in Iowa this summer.

    Heres my shot from nothing:

  • April 29, 2014 - 5:58 am

    Liam Folie - Hey Brooke!

    I created this photo a while ago but since you were talking about photos on a budget I thought I’d share this one. It was really challanging because I’m the person in the photo so I could hardly see anything with th bandage wrapped around my head haha. I got three 4.5m long bandages for under $10.00

    Also I love reading your blog! You are such an inspiration!


  • May 1, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    Shavrill - hey brooke!

    I Created this photo with no budget, I creating nothing to something you are such an inspiration to me thank you brooke, ๐Ÿ˜€


  • June 30, 2014 - 8:53 am

    Making an outfit | Claire Fredette Photography | Story telling through conceptual photography & thematic portraits - […] Brooke Shaden’sย ย creativity allows her to create awe-inspiring dresses and unusual photos using yarn, sticks, garbage dumpster finds and thrift store dresses. Sometimes, it’s just a few yards of fabric. She’ll wrap it around the model and composite the rest of the flowing “gown” in later. […]ReplyCancel

  • May 18, 2017 - 3:10 am

    A1: Idea development – Em's Learning Log - […] idea, focusing in on the ‘found toy’ (stickman). Remembering work by Ellie Davies and Brooke Shaden I tried using red wool to make him stand out better from his surroundings and got a couple of […]ReplyCancel

I wanted the last class I would ever teach at After Dark to be a big one, so I decided to end it with a set design class. I went out that morning with the very kind man behind Sweetlight John and gathered sticks, leaves, debris of all kinds, soil, cobweb, and a lantern.

When it came time to do the class, I nearly forgot that it was nighttime! I was envisioning everything being lit by a window. So instead of panicking with 20 minutes to spare before class, I once again nagged the Sweetlight team and asked if they could put one light with a softbox above the subject, pointing directly down. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts…which I might be, but in my mind, I wanted to simulate a moon. So I figured the best way to do that would be to put the light overhead and diffuse it.

Brooke Shaden

Once the light was set the class gathered, and we began building. We started with a simple setup: dirt on the floor (thank you WHCC!), a black backdrop, and our model Marsha laying on top. I put a lantern in her hand and made it look like a forest scene with a girl who had fallen asleep under the night sky.

From there we began adding leaves, and then sticks, and then eventually a bed.

(I should definitely say thank you to the hotel for providing the bed, though I actually think they still have no idea that we covered it in dirt and sticks, so probably best to not mention it…).

My method was to build the scene up, starting with something simple and ending in a crescendo of a beautiful dream sequence – a girl dreaming in the forest at night, still sleeping in her bed. It was probably the most fun I’ve had teaching as far as the actual shooting goes…and to imagine, it was all in a ballroom at a hotel with one light and a black background. That is why I love photography. You can make it whatever you want, your dreams can become a reality, and you can do it with your own rules.

If you’d like to purchase this print to support the Saving Eliza charity, you can do so here!

Brooke Shaden

If you had a blank space, how would you decorate it?


  • April 17, 2014 - 7:43 am

    Tom Newforge - Wonderful image. Wonderful cause to contribute to. You are amazing and one of the “good ones”. It could be said more eloquently but sometimes simple is easier to digest.
    Keep chuggin’. Your making a difference on so many levels:)ReplyCancel

    • April 17, 2014 - 7:49 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you so much Tom, that really means everything to me. A year ago I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t hold back in trying to be the best person I could be, and sometimes I scare myself with how often and how close I come to being so much less, and that makes me want to try harder. I know that I have so far to go, but it feels really great to hear such kind words – so thank you for pushing me to be better.ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 7:53 am

    Tom Newforge - I just looked at the site and realized he opened it to anyone. That is awesome. I did a levitation shoot last night. I’m gonna twist, tweak and submit.ReplyCancel

    • April 17, 2014 - 11:24 am

      Melanie Myhre - Brooke you are such a beautiful light in the world and a great role model for so many. Never doubt yourself. The set was a stroke of genius and I am so glad I was able to be there to be a part of the experience.Lovely images!ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Tom Newforge - But to answer the blog question, (cause I’m procrastinating), I would decorate a blank space with gleaming white walls with tall, black, leafless trees painted on it. I would then furnish it with a few chairs and a table made of unfinished dark oak with Snow White marble tops and cushions. In the corner would be a single large, green, leafy plant of some sort. If I were to photograph that space I would wash it out best I could while retaining the dark contrast and lay a model across one of the couches in a pale, off yellow dress.ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 8:39 am

    robin spalding - omg brooke! i LOVE these! and your closeup of marsha WOW! it was such an incredible mindblowing experience to be there watching you create this magical space in the most unlikeliest of places! to watch the set come alive was amazing! thank you again for the experience you gave me at after dark! it was surreal it was lifechanging it was to indescribable! i really think it was like being in heaven.
    if i had a blank space? i guess it would depend on my emotion im trying to tell, but i love how you take the outside and bring it in. theres something magical about that. i loved abandoned and ruins as they have soo much story in them so i guess anything to make the space look like that. or to showsomething hidding underneath the clean blank space. or something that shouldnt be there is always fun like water in a room, in fact lara zankoul did a series of a room half in water and it was sooo neat. i love the surreal and unusual realities.ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Lu - Beautiful Brooke! the portrait is stunning too. You are making a big difference in many ways, in many lives, that’s why I love being here. It is inspiring, invigorating and very rewording. Like Tom, I will go ahead and submit a print. Con mucho amor! LuReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Lu - Oh! and in my blank space I would put…cotton candy!ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    Paulo Carvalho - Beautiful pictures! Love, love, loveโ€ฆ And that close up, amazing. And through the photography, you show once again the person you are. Well, about white space, I also would say that would depend on my emotions at the time. And because I loved these pictures, my mind became vitiated and I will be tempted to say that would decorate with these brown tones from the forest in autumn. I like it.ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 11:04 pm

    Catherine Rondeau - I keep coming back to your blog Brooke because I so often leave inspired after having receiced or been reminded of important life lessons. Like creating with what you have available to you instead of not creating because you think you don’t have what you need. Does that make sense? To me anyway… So thanks again for sharing and bravo for this great improvised photo session.ReplyCancel

  • April 19, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Izzy - Brooke this is absolutely stunning! I’m so amazed and inspired by what you are able to create on a daily basis.

    I was wondering, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, where do you rent/find these beautiful dresses that are in all of your photos?ReplyCancel

  • April 22, 2014 - 6:48 am

    Brooke Shaden – Image 7/10 | Alice Riddy - […] is a recent image of hers with the a fairy tale fantasy theme, this was posted on her blog On her blog post she actually explained what her lighting set up was (Softbox directly above the […]ReplyCancel

  • April 27, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    Emma - I’ve always wanted to get a large raffia rug and seed it with wild flowers. I’d also love to have trees growing up the walls!ReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2014 - 7:08 pm

    Los Angeles, California | toemail - […] is a recent image of hers with the a fairy tale fantasy theme, this was posted on her blog On her blog post she actually explained what her lighting set up was (Softbox directly above the […]ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2015 - 6:04 pm

    ClaraBottrill - I’m excited to find this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new information in your site.ReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2015 - 3:56 am

    PrestonH44 - Yes! Finally something about veet anti ingrown hair cream.ReplyCancel

I went hiking the other day, and as I was merrily walking along a trail and commenting on how beautiful the dirt looked (seriously though) I whacked my head into a tree branch and fell on the ground.

I do dumb things all the time. Like that time I thought it would be a good idea to buy 300 copies of myย own book, only to realize that it is very difficult to travel with so many books. Thus, I have aย lot of books just sitting in my living room like some crazy narcissist.

There was that other time when I thought it would save time and energy if I just sent 100 different galleries the same e-mailed plea as to why I thought I should have my work represented by them. Every gallery turned me down because of my time and energy saving methods.

A few years ago I was rushing to get to a shooting location in the forest. By the time I had my camera set up it was so dark I could hardly see what I was shooting, yet I did it anyway. The only problem was that I had wrapped about 10 feet of yarn around my head and couldn’t get it off while in the dark without scissors. I drove to the nearest gas station before nearly cutting off my air supply, all the while chuckling gravely at how strange a death scene that would have been.

One time (re: a lot more than one time) I failed to answer emails and then left them for months because I would start to panic every time I opened my inbox (re: re: this is happening right now).

I went to the grocery store in my favorite skirt, went to the bathroom, and came out with that same skirt tucked into my underwear in the back. Thank you random kind lady for letting me know before I got to the dairy aisle. Yes, that was highly embarrassing.

You are going to do some pretty stupid things. From whacking your head on a tree branch to royally messing up a business deal, things happen, and sometimes they happen often. In fact, sometimes it feels like all you’re doing is messing up.ย But even though there are endless opportunities to make mistakes, there are the same amount of opportunities to get it right.

Laugh at yourself. Realize that few things are reallyย that serious.ย Laugh at yourself because if you do it first you recognize your mistakes and take responsibility. Laugh at yourself because you know how short life is, and it can’t be spent in misery. Laugh at yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and the mistakes you will make.

Remember that whacking your head on tree branches is a sign of growth, no matter how much it might hurt, so wear that bruise with pride. And next time you’re out remember to keep your chin up, because you never know where the next tree branch will come from and you don’t want it to smack you in the head.

Tomorrow I’m going out to shoot another red yarn wrapped around the body picture, and this time I am determined not to asphyxiate myself or anyone else in the process. See? Always learning.

So, what dumb things haveย you done?


  • April 16, 2014 - 7:17 am

    Karina - Lost the half of my wig in the middle of the party while I was dancing :p hahahah I felt like I wanted to die…ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:21 am

      brookeshaden - Haha that’s awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ Not so much at the time, but looking back…tehe ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo I’m hoping it was hot pink…ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:34 am

    curtoneil - Knocked over the cake at a wedding reception… where I was the wedding photographer. Luckily it was a family I’ve worked with before and we all laughed about it. I just finished getting the cake shots and the table cloth seemed way too close to some hot lights so I tried to move it a bit, the entire thing collapsed in my hands and the cake went flying, table landed on me, camera ended up beside the cake and I had no where to hide.ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:38 am

      brookeshaden - Oh my GOSH!!!! I’ve been cackling at this for a while now. That is so amazing. And terrible. And mostly amazing. I’m glad everything worked out!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Michelle - I was doing a shoot once at a park and I had to walk down this hill, that I thought was not muddy. (I was also wearing a dress) As soon as I took one step I slipped down the hill grabbing on to a tree branch for support. I got mud all over my legs and butt. I started laughing so hard that a few strangers came over and started looking at me.

    I also one time thought that the store was open but it was closed. I grabbed on to the door to open it and I smacked my face into the door. The door was actually locked and I didn’t realize it.

    At times I feel like the most clumsy person on the planet but it’s nice to know I am not alone. But you are right by saying sometimes you do need to laugh at yourself and not take life so seriously. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:39 am

      brookeshaden - Your stories are amazing and are 1,000% the things that I do all the time. You have no idea how many doors I’ve walked into, or times I’ve slid down hills unintentionally. I LOVE it.ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:42 am

    Liam Folie - Went swimming at school and had my change of clothes but forgot my underwear…and I’ve made that mistake many times sinceReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:46 am

      brookeshaden - Ahhh gotta love that. I forgot my entire change of clothes last time I went swimming. I was cold and damp for hours!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:49 am

    Tom Newforge - There was the one time I had the opportunity to meet a very influential photographer I had recently become a huge fan of. As soon as I walked through the door, there she is.
    I walked over to shake her hand and introduce myself only to realize that she was already deep in a conversation with someone else. I awkwardly shook her hand and walked off.
    Then, minutes later she went outside shooting clouds as did I but due to the already awkwardness I had created, kept my mouth shut.
    To top it all off, I get in line for her to sign a copy of her book and am hoping to engage in a decent conversation only to realize that in front of me is a kid who swept PSW with his work and behind me is her former teacher. Both of whom were quite pleasant to speak with in line by the way, but basically sucked all the wind out of my sails by the time I got up to have my book signed. So I stood there like an idiot and muttered something like, “I love your work.”. Ugh.
    So embarrassing. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m quite the people person but in that situation I felt very awkward and reserved. Not everyday you get to meet the person who you consider the bar to reach in your trade.
    Hopefully Brooke, our next meeting will be less awkward:/ hahaReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:51 am

      brookeshaden - You are simply the best, and I consider you a friend and all around amazing person. That show was a circus act/whirlwind and next time, we’ll connect ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxoxo hugs until then!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:55 am

    Mary Angelini - Oh dear Lord, the list is endless! I love that you have borne your soul to let us see how mortal and human you are – yet one more thing that make you special!! I once decided it was a brilliant idea to use my right index finger to wipe the dust off the front fork of my bicycle…while I was going about 35 mph on top of it…resulting in my arm slipping into the moving wheel and flipping me several feet in the air before landing square on the top of my head. Thankfully I had a helmet! Another time I felt sure that on my 31st birthday I would learn to ski and took on a hill which was clearly well beyond my skill level…about 10 years down the hill my skis crossed. That lapse in judgment necessitated reconstructive knee surgery. It would appear that my stupidity is not good for my health! LOL Time for a bubble wrap jump suit! Hope your head feels better Brooke ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:57 am

      brookeshaden - Oh my gosh you DO need to be protected somehow!! Come stay with me, I’ll push you around in a padded shopping cart or something like that ;-DReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:58 am

      Mary Angelini - Wow, now that would make for some really interesting images Brooke!! I feel an idea brewing….<3ReplyCancel

      • April 16, 2014 - 8:07 am

        brookeshaden - Haha yes!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:58 am

    Patty Maher - Brooke – this made me lol….I’ve also made crazy mistakes – ie more than once taking off my glasses at a shoot location only to lose them, step on them, break them and then try and figure out how I would drive home without being able to see. Or there was the time I had to cut myself out of a costume only to get the scissors stuck in a very precarious position…luckily my husband was home and managed to get the scissor unstuck without stabbing me in the chest. #photographerproblems


    • April 16, 2014 - 8:07 am

      brookeshaden - Hahah Patty, I love the scissors bit!!! How random and funny and scary!!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Delphine Millet - Like Michelle, I slipped down a muddy hill. I was going to the place where I wanted to shoot and just few seconds later, I was on the floor, mudd all over my butt. I was with a friend and we laughed a lot!

    An other time, I forget my remote (I was used to do this a lot! now I learn to double-check ๐Ÿ™‚ ) so I had to run to be in place with the timer. I did a couple of pictures, and for one, I put unintetionnally my foot in a hole and I wrung my ankle during the exact moment the photo was taken. It was the best picture of the shooting! Hahaha.

    I learned to not be afraid of being ridiculous and to not be that serious. This kind of things are the best memories!!! It brings personnal memories and stories to the ones you create.ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 8:07 am

      brookeshaden - Oh my goodness! Well if you’re going to hurt yourself, might as well get a good picture of it!ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 8:13 am

      Delphine Millet - Hopefully I was not hurt. In a way that I can’t explain I am a very lucky person ๐Ÿ™‚
      I only have bruises and cold from taking pictures. My friends says that if I don’t suffer for a picture, it’s not going to be a good picture ๐Ÿ˜‰ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Amani - Oh my god, I admire you for laughing off the skirt incident. I think I would’ve cried!

    The first thing that comes to my mind is one time I was discussing a paper with my professor (who I thought was super cool and okay maaaybe I had a tiny crush, maaaybe), and he told me he thinks I could make a career out of writing and I got so awkward and shy and nervous and instead of saying “thank you”, or “thanks”, I said “thanks you”.
    I’m sure he ended up doubting what he said earlier hahahaReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 10:13 am

      brookeshaden - Heheh sometimes you just have to laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ I have done that sooo many times. Or like the one time I met a guy named Dan, and he said “Hi, I’m Dan” and I replied with “Hi, I’m Dan”….yeah…that was really dumb ๐Ÿ˜›ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Sami - I’m always tripping over, one of my favourite things to trip over is my own feet, my second being slightly uneven surfaces. Tripled over my tripod leg before too, that one was an expensive mistake as the whole lot came crashing down lens first.
    I normally walk into stuff too, my boyfriend says it’s like I gravitate towards things. My own awkward gravital pull ๐Ÿ˜€

    I normally laugh hysterically at myself though, like a crazy lady so it’s all good!ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 10:13 am

      brookeshaden - Ahh that is great. I’m super clumsy too. My husband is always saying “WATCH OUT FOR THAT DOOR!”ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 8:52 am

    digitaldadindy - I bought a green screen to do composite portraits for a middle school drama club. School colors are green and white. Moral of the story, don’t hang your composite hopes on one color background if you can’t control what your subjects wear.ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 8:57 am

      brookeshaden - Phenomenal! I love when lessons are learned that way…though the actual learning of them isn’t so much fun!!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 9:06 am

    Marisa White - One of my favorite self-deprecating stories happened while I was in Singapore one summer. It was hot and humid day and I was walking down a street of endless stores filled with cute little sun dresses. I found one that I liked and immediately went into the dressing room to try it on. My American standards I am a small. That doesn’t equate over in the Asia Pacific region and I didn’t realize this until I was stuck. Dress over my head (no bra because it was a sundress!) stuck. Wiggling around like a cat with a sock on my head, stuck! I had to call the poor woman working at the store into the dressing room to assist me. Mortified, I could help laughing and apologizing. Repeatedly. She was a good sport the entire time and help free my from my fabric prison. How embarrassing!

    Note to self: I am a large by Asian standards!!!ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 10:14 am

      brookeshaden - Hahahah that has me rolling laughing!! Oh my goodnessssss!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 9:14 am

    Kory Zuccarelli - Brooke, haha. While shooting only a few days ago, I was running to my model to hold a prop while I put my camera on a timer. As I ran back a thick tree branch skewered my hair in a bun and threw me back. I managed to still get the shot, but man did that hurt a lot.
    It’s these stories that keep life interesting.ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Libertad Leal - Oh my goodness, I have found my tribe! Thank you Brooke and everyone for sharing your stories, I have laughed so hard! I am a certified clumsy, klutzy, spacey person. I work very hard at not being that way but sometimesโ€ฆ One time when I was a teenager I was at a party and the boy I liked was casually chatting with me as we walked, I got a head of him a bit and promptly tripped on my own feet and my dress went up fully exposing my behind. I can now laugh about it but 14 year old me literally wanted to die! A few years ago we were at a family gathering and I walked directly into a glass sliding door and I literally bounced off of it and landed on my butt. Very embarrassing. Another time I was walking down some interior stairs at work while I carried several staplers in my hands (that was a bad decision) and I tripped and fell and rolled down the stairs. I landed on our office lobby where several customers waited. So embarrassing! Another time I went for an job interview as a translator and I totally blanked out on a few super easy questions they asked me in Spanish (I am a native speaker!). I so not got the job. And like that so many many more. I constantly bump into walls, furniture, trip, spill stuff on me, it’s a miracle that I am still in one piece. I’ve always been this way so I just laugh at myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 7:33 pm

    lovelyn - I have too many embarrassing stories to count. I’m easily embarrassed a bit clumsy. Once I walked few blocks on a crowded city street thinking that people kept staring at me because I was looking particularly good that day. I was wearing skirt. I’d actually taken time to put on makeup. It wasn’t until caught a glimpse of reflection in a bank window that I saw that my skirt was tucked into my underwear. LOL At least someone had the decency to tell you at the grocery store. No one told me anything. Everyone just stared as I walked by. Now I always double check my skirt before leaving the bathroom.ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 1:47 am

    Donna S - When I was younger I was cast as one of many little angels in my churches annual Christmas play. So, I was never really graceful as a child(nor am I now), and with the added wings strapped to my back, I was a weapon of mass destruction. On the last song sung by the little angels we all turned and trooped up the stairs and I was the last one to climb, and as I did I came too close to the tree and my wing bumped it, then I bumped it, and well…. The whole Christmas tree fell over in the middle of the Christmas play, and I was standing there in embarrassment as several women came up and tried to get it upright again. It is pretty hilarious looking back on it, I think someone may have even recorded it. Man would I love to see that now! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 1:56 am

    Donna S - Just remembered another funny moment! I was shooting senior portraits for my best friend, and also shooting some fashion shots later on. So there was me, and three other girls taking pictures. I was wearing boots because the ground was still kind of muddy and wet in places and they were the easiest and fastest shoes I could get on. My friend was seated on a stump in the middle of a foresty place, and there were roots and small holes everywhere, and then there was a larger one. I pointed these things out to my friends so that they would keep an eye out and not kill themselves during the photoshoot. Unfortunately, at one point while I walked around and got shots from different angles, I overstepped when I moved backwards and went right into the hole up to my hip. Worst part is that it was a little bit muddy from the rainfall, and the bottom had water that got into my boot. It wasn’t a really embarrassing experience, but one that made me facepalm at my clumsiness. We all got a good laugh out of it and I trudged around with a soggy foot for the rest of the shoot hahaha ๐Ÿ˜›ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2014 - 6:59 am

    Paulo Carvalho - Hello Brooke! In these past few weeks I could not visit your blog, because my computer was broken, more precisely the graphics card. Finally is arranged and here I am again. I missed to read your posts, Brooke. I’ve done some dumb things … Among them, I remember once being photographing birds in the lagoon. But suddenly I came across a fantastic sunrise, with reds, oranges, yellows, behind some trees. It was a breathtaking view … I had to take that shot, but I was with a telephoto and for that photo I needed a wide-angle lens. To my bad luck I didnโ€™t have that lens and I had to snapping the shot with the lens I had. I tried by all means to find the best position to take the photo and suddenly I found myself in the middle of a creek. I was with my brother who asked me greatly admired: what are you doing? And I said between laughs: Everything for photography… Of course, the rest of that morning I walked with wet tennis and wet pants.


  • April 17, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    Dave - I needed to clean out the gutters on my small ranch style house from the leaves that had clogged it. I put the ladder to get up there on the wood deck and pulled a hose up the ladder with me. I sprayed the gutters at the end of the job to clean out the dirt that was still there. Some water got on the deck below. Where the rubber feet to the ladder were. I got on the ladder. Physics took over. The rubber feet started to slide on the now lubricated deck. I went for a ride. Time dilated. It took forever for me to slam the ground on top of the ladder. I kind of bounced to the side of the ladder. I laid there for a second, trying to figure out if I broke anything. Nope. I was good.
    So, I jumped up, and looked around, like I had planned my little ride. No one saw it. It never happened.ReplyCancel

  • April 18, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    Eva - I always get caught when I am naked in the woods. Some random dog walker or mushroom picker materializes out of nowhere.ReplyCancel

  • April 19, 2014 - 5:04 am

    Mary-Claire - I break things, run into walls, close the car door on my head, etc. on a regular basis. Probably my most stellar moment was when I was 19 and in college. It was Thanksgiving break, and I couldn’t go home (12 hour drive) as I had the lead role in a large Christmas dinner theatre production with rehearsal over the weekend. So I spent Thanksgiving with a friend and her family. She taught me how to ride a 3 wheeler, which was great fun.

    The next day, we hopped on the 3 wheelers (mine borrowed from a neighbor) and took off. This huge crazy full sized German shepherd started barking crazily at me and chased me. Certain I was trying to escape being eaten alive, I drove like crazy as fast as I could away from him, paying more attention to him than where I was going. And promptly smashed into a cord of wood, totaling the 3 wheeler. The dog jumped on me and started licking my face. To top it off, I had broken my leg and had to be transported to a nearby hospital to have it set.

    The doctors wanted to cut off my pants, but I had borrowed my friend’s Calvin Klein jeans and there was NO WAY they were going to cut them off because I couldn’t afford to replace them. So several people had to wiggle me back and forth to get them off (remember now that I had a broken leg), so THAT was fun. However, I felt quite triumphant until a team of super cute medical students all came into the room to learn how to set a plaster cast up to the hip. And there I was, no pants, a hospital gown and a shower cap on my head.

    And I lost the role in the play.ReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 8:30 am

    Jen Sulak - at a local taco shop…i was scooting out of my seat to go get another drink….and i didn’t remember the bench stopped i thought it went all the way…and i landed FLAT straight downwards on my butt with my legs sprawled out. Mind you, i somehow hit my left leg on something and had a knot for 3 months after. ๐Ÿ™‚ I said when i stood up….”i guess i didn’t have my fall for the day!” (as the guys at the next table looked over and wondered WHAT THE????) My hubby saw it all.ReplyCancel

  • May 3, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    sarah hoey - i think the dumbest thing i’ve done, at least that i can recall recently, was for a photo actually. i had acquired a vintage surgical eye lid holder at an oddities shop in madison, wi. i knew i needed to use it for a photo, and i knew exactly how it would look. however, i didnt realize quite how DUMB of an idea it was. after giving myself a prep talk for at least 25 minutes in the mirror, i finally got it in my eye, and had my boyfriend take the picture (i left the remote in the other room!) needless to say, it was extremely uncomfortable, and i actually almost scratched my cornea from the experience. the picture turned out, so at least something good came from it. haha!ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2014 - 4:43 am

    isabella bubola - Haha, this was fun to read ๐Ÿ˜€
    Okay, I remembered this anecdote that happened last summer. I was attending a fashion photoshoot because my friend was helping out with the lights. So there I was, just standing and watching how it was all getting done.

    The photographer was shooting beside pools of a hotel. The pools were all connected with one another, and in some places you couldn’t tell where one ended at the other began.

    Of course I had to NOT WATCH where I was going, and stepped into one of them with my chucks!

    I couldn’t believe what had just happened so I started laughing and caught an eye of a guy who saw me stepping into the pool, and then it got even funnier ๐Ÿ˜€
    I walked back from the shoot thirty minutes barefoot and holding my chucks in my hand. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Luckily, it was summertime.ReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2015 - 7:27 pm

    jazmine - my most embarrassing moment is when i was 14 i got out of the shower and my sister asked me to get the mail so i put on a towel then when i opened the door she shobed me outside and took my towel and locked it i was like that for 1 hour so after that i went the owners apartment and asked for a key so while he is getting the key his 12 year old looking son is just looking at my skin when then i ran back to my apartment with a lot of people looking at me then i got back in and grounded my little sisterReplyCancel

Two things happened this week.

1) I realized I had way too many dresses compared to the amount of closet space (case in point, the trunk of my car has become extra storage).

2) I realized I could raise a little more money for the school I’m helping to create in India (watch the video about it below!) if I sold some of those dresses.


If you’d like to bid on any of these, all money is going to the school and I would be so appreciative. And my husband would be too, because he would like possession of the closet space back.

If anyone else has a costume or prop that you’d like to sell for the charity, you can link to your Ebay below so others can find it. That’d be super awesome! The school needs all the help it can get. Or if you’d care to make a private donation, email me through my website and I can give you all the info for non-profit donations.



  • April 15, 2014 - 9:10 am

    RaphaelleM. - Hello Brooke,

    The links drive me on error pages ๐Ÿ™ I can’t see dresses in details on selling page
    I’m in France, maybe it doesn’t work with my country ?

    Thank you !ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 9:13 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Raphaelle! Oh no! I think that might be the case. They have been working for others. I’m so sorry!ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 9:10 am

    Amani - I’m definitely getting at least one of these <3ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 9:13 am

      brookeshaden - And that’s because YOU ARE AWESOME ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 9:55 am

    Mary-Claire - Hmm, I was at a vintage shop 30 minutes ago but didn’t buy anything because there was so much to see and too little time. Now I’ll have to shop online. ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 7:42 pm

      brookeshaden - ๐Ÿ˜€ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 5:57 am

    thomas miles - can’t believe how many bids there are on these dresses! going to such a great cause, can you donate in ยฃ’s because I’m from the UK and would love to help! They are so beautiful, hardly sell any like that around here XDReplyCancel

  • April 21, 2014 - 11:29 am

    Michael Albers - I won the bidding for the top right silk wedding dress. I will share pictures when I use it in a future shoot.

    I would love to know any background about it and how you had used it.


  • April 24, 2014 - 9:50 am

    Crystal Connell - I won the red dress!
    I would love to see a photo that you may have done with it. I plan on displaying the dress in my gallery next to any image I do with it. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 24, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    Sophia France - I think this is so great of you Brooke. I’ve only just stumbled across this and I’m devastated to find that you no longer have any dresses on your ebay! I’ve followed your channel regardless though, but I was just wondering – will you be selling any more? If so I’m so, so interested in buying them!

    Thanks a lot lovely,

The other week I was teaching a class about how to build a wardrobe for $10 or less, both in what you see in front of you and in Photoshop. I did the class not fully expecting to use the picture. I light-heartedly asked the class if I should turn it into an underwater picture, and so I did. I darkened the background, added bubbles, and hot dog, if she didn’t look underwater.

But this is my problem. I have a hard time committing to an image if I don’t see the story behind it. Certainly I could make up a thousand stories for why this woman was underwater, but they didn’t feel genuine to me. So I sat with the pictures, knowing I didn’t have to use them for anything, but still they were in my mind.

And then, just yesterday, I had a vision of what the picture could look like. A powerful red dress, her reaching to the sky, and a sense of freedom and power emanating from her. It was calming to me as much as it felt chaotic, and that is the best way I can describe the scene.

Imagine you are in a very loud place. Maybe the wind is whipping around you deafeningly. Yet in that moment of chaos, you are calm. You block it out and you hear nothing but the soft music in your mind. That is how this picture makes me feel. And so, in the truest sense, there isn’t a traditional story here that I had figured out. But sometimes thatย feeling is enough, and on rare occasions, the feeling translates to the viewer.

Whether it does or not, I hope that the video is enjoyable. Those who donated to the fundraiser I had going on will be receiving a 1-hour long editing tutorial for this image later this week.

What is your favorite feeling or emotion to portray in an image? Share with me the sentiment and even the picture if you’ve created it.


  • April 14, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman - ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me happy to see you working on my Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you once again for being such a wonderful inspiration to me.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:12 am

      brookeshaden - Sharon, I feel like I’m going to become a broken record but seeing your name pop up here in the comments makes me jump with joy. You are such a bright soul!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:24 am

    Andrea Gore - I love her hands in this photo. Er arms being extended to the sky make me feel strength and her hands are so graceful. It is so beautiful!! I would say my favorite emotion to portray in photos is confidence. It is something I find myself doing over and over in my self portraits. I truly believe it may be something I portray often because it is so important to me and it is something I want to inspire in others . I struggle with it at times . Capturing it with my camera is a process I find therapeutic and personally stimulating . ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the post Brooke <3.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:26 am

      brookeshaden - I love that your favorite emotion is confidence…I think that all artists could benefit from trying to capture that in an image. I also love that feeling, and I have certain models that I love to use for it because they exude strength. I don’t often think of myself when it comes to that emotion, so you’ve given me something to think about! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:26 am

    EVE - Hi Brooke, love the post and your work!. I just wanted to share a really good tutorial for underwater photos I came across. You might find it useful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDZZJylttik
    Love from AustraliaReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:28 am

      brookeshaden - Thanks Eve! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Karina - Wowww! That’s amazing!! Love your work!! Can I buy this video class!? Would love to know how to do it…ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:32 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Karina! Thank you! Right now this tutorial cannot be purchased – it was created for those who donated to a charity project I had going. However, I will be doing a class on this later this year ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:33 am

    Lisa Lizarraga - I am not sure what my favorite emotion is to portray in an image but it seems dark sad fearful into happiness, joy, hope, love is what i like. I just did an image called, Hidden Monsters, and it is about the dreams and hopes within me being my own hidden monsters. Thank you for the video blog Brooke it feels like you edit without fear and i love that.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:34 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Lisa! You should link to your pic, I’m sure others would love to see ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:50 am

      Karina - Oh, cool! Thanks for your attention! I’ve been looking your store page, can I buy those ones?? I’m a beginner on photoshop.. It will help me? Or just for who already know how to use it? Thanks a lot! X xReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:53 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Karina! It’ll definitely help, please do check them out! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:35 am

    tori - I feel like I am that girl, reaching out to the universe feeling freed from my own constrictions. Over the weekend I made a decision to start consciously choosing and creating a life worth living. It finally occurred to me me that my dreams are important and worth exploring. I believe my favorite emotion to portray is freedom. Freedom from self doubting thoughts. Freedom from constraints that hold us back from living a life we want to live. Your words, your classes have inspired me beyond what I can express with a keyboard. Thank you for all that you share!

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:38 am

      brookeshaden - Tori, you have no idea how much you’ve touched me. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am so proud of you and excited for your future. When you chase your dreams, you always have the satisfaction of knowing you are living life for yourself in the most sincere way possible. Your blog is beautiful – I really enjoyed looking through and can’t wait to read more. Wishing you so much love and inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:58 am

      Karina - For sure I will do it! Thanks a lot Broke! Hello from Brazil to you, you are a such inspiration for me <3 ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you again!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:37 am

    Alex McCombie - If you are going to perform a rain dance, then you should at least dress the part ๐Ÿ™‚

    for a story line โ€ฆ.
    What I see is a representation of how every single person was effected by the power of nature and the backlash of how we treated her.

    Race, wealth, age are all equally effected.

    The hopeful, yet somewhat submissive posture of the model conveys a genuine apology to mother and a hopeful wish she will forgive.

    “A Mother’s Tough Love”

    A pleasant indulgence on this Monday morning.
    Thank you Brooke.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:39 am

      brookeshaden - Absolutely beautiful Alex. I really loved reading your thoughts. Thank you for them, truly.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:38 am

    James Taylor - I love that you always want a story in your photos, it gives them such meaning and emotion. I always attempt to figure out the story before I read your description. I rarely get it right but I like the idea that each viewer can take away something different is awesome.
    Anyway, I have always loved the emotion of wonder or sadness. mainly because it the only facial expressions I can make haha ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope you have an awesome day Brooke, you always make my mondays better!ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:40 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you James! You have no idea how much I relate to that! I also can really only do wonder and sadness and have always gravitated to those two exact emotions. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Robert Cornelius - I love to portray a struggle, because it means there is something over come, something to triumph over. Even if the subject is about to succumb to the struggle at least we know they fought all they could. I guess that’s not quite an emotion, but there are so many emotions in a struggle, fear, pain, anger, maybe even joy sometimes. https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertcorneliusphotography/13736419473/ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 8:43 am

      brookeshaden - I completely understand that Robert, especially in your work…which, by the way, gets better and better by the second. I’m pretty certain you are poised to take over the world. Just sayin’.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 8:56 am

    Amani - That video was definitely enjoyable, it’s always amazing to see your editing process! It’s incredible how you can turn a simple image into a beautiful and evoking piece.

    I think my favorite emotion to portray is strength and freedom, letting go.
    When I created this image (http://500px.com/photo/59078228?from=user) what I had in mind was a girl who’s too blind to see all the pain that others are causing her because she’s naive and chooses to see the best in people. But as I worked on it I realized that that girl also possesses a huge amount of strength, because even if she’s getting hurt, she’s standing strong, and her naivety is what makes her pure.
    And letting go and freedom to me also means forgiveness- forgiving yourself. This is the image that I feel portrays that the most http://500px.com/photo/60710658?from=user

    sending you lots of hugs <3ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:06 pm

      brookeshaden - I love that emotion – strength amidst hardship. You do it very, very well. xoxoReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 9:07 am

    Brooke Golightly - I like to portray a sense of longing because I know it’s something everyone has felt at some time in their lives. A desire for more. And also because it has been such a struggle for me for many years. I can relate to you wanting a story or some kind of background to your pictures. I often feel that way, and like I don’t have anything to shoot if it isn’t always saying something. I love that you are able to reach inside yourself and find that hidden voice (or the quieter one, who has such difficulty being heard). Another lovely image and sentiment, Brooke.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:07 pm

      brookeshaden - Ahh I absolutely love that emotion in images. I don’t know that I’ve really explored it myself.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 9:20 am

    Melanie - I love this image! I wish I had your editing expertise. I think all images, whether they had a story behind it or not, carry an emotion. Often times the story evokes the emotion and in other times the image is the emotion itself. Right now my art is focused on the loving of yourself, becoming who you are. I don’t know what emotion that equates to, I’m still trying to figure it out but the more I photograph it the more peace I feel. I think the image that captures that the most would be this one http://www.mmhewittphotography.com/blog/2014/3/18/aware, though my third in this series “Release” is a very very close contender.
    Without sounding creepy or anything, I hope one day to actually meet you and learn from you in person. You have fed my soul and creativity in more ways than I can say.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:08 pm

      brookeshaden - Thanks Melanie! I don’t have any real expertise except to click randomly in Photoshop until something seems to work. Thankfully I like it so much that I don’t mind patiently clicking until it works ๐Ÿ˜›

      Loving yourself – beautiful sentiment, I love it. And your image is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Mary Angelini - Maybe it is about turning lemons into lemonaide, but I like taking an otherwise ok image and giving it life, whether it is to warm it up and add a ray of sunshine (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203713184336271&set=a.1074901078911.13566.1417729609&type=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like), to take an already moody scene and play it up by accentuating the existing darkness (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203725444562769&set=a.1074901078911.13566.1417729609&type=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like) or make it the stuff of my imagination (http://500px.com/photo/61922501?from=user). That said, looking at all of these and other images of mine, I think the overriding current is about solitude. There is a dichotomy to solitude that both intrigues and saddens me. I still don’t know what it is, but I enjoy exploring it! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:10 pm

      brookeshaden - Yes I love that too Mary! But it’s funny because you see solitude, and I understand that, but I see life. I think that you have a unique way of photographing spaces that brings a light to them that others might not see, and I think that is absolutely beautiful and unique.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 9:30 am

    Jessica Devlin - Beautiful! You are a real inspiration and have helped guide me to think of the Why I do and Why I like certain things.

    Is the fundraiser still going?ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:11 pm

      brookeshaden - Aww I am so glad to hear that! It is not going on anymore, but I do have items up on Ebay that I’ll be announcing tomorrow to aid in the fundraiser and anyone can make a private donation through our non-profit by emailing ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 9:48 am

    Tom Newforge - Think I missed your fundraiser. Sorry Brooke. I was away and would have participated.
    Your creative philosophy is quite the enigma to me. Not that it’s strange or out of the norm at all but I am one of those people who creates the story after the fact. I know that’s not a good thing and at times ideas can get lost in translation if not executed with precise intent. The best way to describe it would be that I take a bunch of pictures…..and occasionally get lucky with one that speaks to someone else.
    I’ve had this personal stigma of overly prepared/visualized images not feeling organic and looking too rehearsed. I’m starting to get past that and it’s one if those things that I am learning from you through osmosis if you will. Taking in tidbits by just following your words and reading and listening to you speak about your process.
    I’m not to the point of putting thoughts to paper yet but I am definitely previsualizing what I intend to convey before I shoot. It’s a step in the right direction and once I find my voice I hope to unleash some of the work that I’ve held back.
    Hope your fundraiser went well and if you need any more help, you know where to find me.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:12 pm

      brookeshaden - No worries Tom!

      I think it is really wonderful that you are exploring new avenues of creating. It is not easy to put what you know to rest for a time to explore something new. Pre-visualized or not, as long as the creator has intent by the end, I love it all.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 10:08 am

    natascha van niekerk - Just loooove the colors and tones in this image! And so you! Love that about your work, I can spot a Brooke Shaden image from a mile!
    I often create images based on a feeling I want to expressโ€ฆ and I think the emotion that pops up in my work the most is the concept of freedom, and even of reaching for freedom from a place of constraint. This image, “Untethered” is my favorite image depicting thisโ€ฆ https://www.facebook.com/NataschavNiekerkphotography/photos/pb.345227872169360.-2207520000.1397494970./671715826187228/?type=3&theater
    Thank you for this awesome space of sharing!ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 12:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Oh yes I definitely see freedom! I especially love your lighting and color choices for that image – it all speaks of a better time of freedom for the characters.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    lovelyn - I photograph landscapes mainly. It took me a while to realize that it’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do. For some reason I always felt like including a person in my pictures would make them more valid. It’s crazy the funny ideas we come up with sometimes. Anyway, I try to express a sense of endless possibilities in my photographs. There are possibilities everywhere and opportunities to discover something amazing.

    I love the finished result of your photograph. I think it’s amazing that you can build a dress like that in Photoshop.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2014 - 4:13 pm

      brookeshaden - Landscapes are lovely, and in so many ways, I think it takes someone extra special to capture the soul of the Earth without relying on the soul of a person to decorate the frame. All art is beautiful art.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 5:29 pm

    Adilson Andrade - Ms Shaden,
    Lately your work has been my best source of inspiration and ideas.
    It is really very kind of you posting the making of most your work.
    Sharing is something magical like your images. Thank you very very much. Greetings from Brazil.ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 8:53 am

      brookeshaden - I am so glad to hear this! Thank you for being so kind!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2014 - 6:25 pm

    C Gabriel - I love your workโ€ฆ You have inspired me so many times โ€“ You have no idea. My favorite emotion to capture is โ€œThe Innocenceโ€ wich actually is the theme Im working on for an expo here in Puerto Rico on May!!! (Sorry for re-post) I forgot to share one of my works. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=597921913583774&l=86da97aa15ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 8:54 am

      brookeshaden - I think you are sharing the theme of innocence really well through your work. It is intimate and beautiful.ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:49 am

      C Gabriel - Thank you so much!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 5:03 am

    Margherita Introna - Brooke, this image is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing so much of how it came to be with us <3 As always, your use of colours and tones are magicโ€ฆ I love the modelโ€™s pose. It feels as if she is reaching for the sky to draw power from it, making this image symbolic and powerful.

    A huge part of the inspiration to my images are my emotions, whether happy or sad. With the sadness that has been so much a part of my life over the last year, it has been the emotions surrounding the sadness that has been expressed in my work the most.

    But I also love to capture the moments in-between, where calm and wonder survive. The beautiful moments of peace and magic, because I have been grateful to experience those as well. In such cases, it has been the feeling of connection to the environment โ€“ beautiful open spaces on the mountains or on the beaches โ€“ where my heart is happyโ€ฆ

    Here are two such examples of what I mean:
    โ€œThe Spaces Betweenโ€ https://www.facebook.com/MargheritaIntronaPhotography/photos/pb.165302450297680.-2207520000.1397563183./228666133961311/?type=3&theater
    โ€œSummoning the Elementsโ€ https://www.facebook.com/MargheritaIntronaPhotography/photos/pb.165302450297680.-2207520000.1397563187./222981377863120/?type=3&theaterReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 8:56 am

      brookeshaden - What I love about you and your work is this calming sense that I get when I read what you write and when I see your images. I completely understand the in between moment you speak of, and you capture it amazingly well.ReplyCancel

    • April 16, 2014 - 7:48 am

      C Gabriel - Thank you so much Brookeshaden!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 7:27 am

    Vinod Krishnan - awesome work..ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 8:56 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Vinod ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Lu - Brooke! you are so kind to show us your process, both in a technical and in a personal way. Your images are very emotionally charged and powerful that’s what I like about them. The move me.

    In my images I like to portray a sense of calm, acceptance and love. What can I say… I am a lover and some times I can be very corny…but I’ve come to terms with that. You can see some of my images as an example here http://lulight.com/2013/07/02/magical-realism/ .

    Thanks for the video too! I am now editing an image that’s bringing me a lot of headaches so it is nice to see how you do it. Is seems so effortless from the video. You seem to flow with the image. Love that! Mucho Amor!ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 7:44 pm

      brookeshaden - Lu, your pictures are SO fun and captivating!!! I just spent the last 10 minutes browsing through. Amazing work!ReplyCancel

  • April 15, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    Mary-Claire - Having seen you shoot Marsha in Union Terminal made it even more cool to see the editing. I love it.ReplyCancel

    • April 15, 2014 - 7:44 pm

      brookeshaden - Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 12:03 am

    Janca - Hi! Your work is really incredible, it reminds me very often paitings of old masters especially your work with chiaroscuro. I give to my photos very often feelings like: sense of separation and reconciliation and “panta rhei”. Here is my last work: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9TrGxwvWZsg/U0reXWbHfJI/AAAAAAAACaM/oyoPYF89oyI/s1600/IMG_9870small.jpgReplyCancel

  • April 16, 2014 - 12:19 am

    Catherine Rondeau - Such a powerful image Brooke! I think what I find so engaging in your work, and it’s what I strive to do in mine, is how you are able to portray tension between opposing forces. Life is a constant tug of war between contradictory emotions, ideas, qualities and faults. Being caught in the extremes is never good. I believe the path to peace of mind and wellbeing lies somewhere in the middle, in the quest for balance, which is perhaps one of the keys behind the magic of your work…

    In my latest image, entitled Mother Nature, I tried to convey both profound distress and wild hope. You can see it on my blog:


  • May 12, 2014 - 9:54 am

    Alicia Heaney - This is so inspirational! I am just starting to get in to making scenes like this and it is really cool to see your process!ReplyCancel