Promoting Passion Video Blog: Beauty & Texture

Promoting Passion Video Blog: Beauty & Texture


The other day I walked through a sunny spot in my kitchen and was momentarily blinded by the bright light. When I turned back around I saw that hundreds thousands millions of little dust particles were lit afire by the sun rays, and the photographer in me said: PHOTOGRAPH IT!

So I asked my husband to hold up my blue cloak as a backdrop and I photographed the dust particles against that dark backdrop. In doing so, it looked immediately to me like snow, so I took that image into Photoshop, made it black and white, added contrast, and boom! Snow overlay! I couldn’t help but share that with you today.

That prompted me to start seeing little things in new ways. Those dust particles weren’t just dust particles; they had the opportunity to become snow to add magic to an image in the future. So many things could be so much more if we learned to see them for what they could be, instead of what they are immediately.

I hope that you enjoy this free texture pack that I shot during the making of this new video! All of the textures, save the “snow”, are rocks. There are 11 textures in all including the snow overlay, and I really hope that you enjoy them! They are free to use and if you feel so inclined, you can use the hashtag #shadentextures so that others may find these more easily.

I hope you have an inspired week and that you find all sorts of hidden beauties in the unlikeliest of places!


102 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Video Blog: Beauty & Texture

  1. As a mindfulness meditation practitioner myself I can easily relate to this. So often we experience the world in autopilot. If we just take a second to stop and really see it for what it is we might find a snow storm in sun dust <3 . Thank you for being so kind and sharing this textures. I am editing an image today so I might need one! have a great week.

    1. Hi Lu! I really want to get more into meditation and really being able to calm and center myself – so great that you do that!

  2. Thank you, Brooke, for your new use for dust! I am no longer just a “bad housekeeper.” Now I am an OVERLAY CREATOR πŸ™‚

    This came at the perfect time. I’m headed out this afternoon to shoot at a barren snow-covered beach and I was thinking meh, there’s really not going to be much there to shoot – but now…I can shoot textures!

    Make a beautiful day for yourself.


    1. I am SO glad that you’re going to get out there and take advantage of your situation. I think it’s just wonderful! I can’t wait to see what you come back with! πŸ˜€

    2. it is the little things that make life beautiful especially in times of great need. I make my art from virtual world scenes and fashion. People bring their beauty and build on it in Second Life. I work with textures to make my images more real and look like they are from another time. Dust and sparkles make all the difference!–amandamagick

  3. great textures Brooke and a very good lesson . Teaching us to see things as they could be is a wonderful idea . But I think we should see things as they are as well . I am fortunate enough to live in a snowy climate…and photograph snow regularly…great to do at night for best results…or even at twilight . If you were back in Lancaster you would have plenty of snow to shoot . You are an inspiration…I was in a rut …Watched your recent creative live workshop…and you got me going again…Thank you Brooke…you are a wonderful teacher…and person

    1. Thanks so much! I agree – to be able to see every side of a thing is beautiful and inspiring. To appreciate everything around you and to see even more as well. I wish I was back in snowy Lancaster right now…so much inspiration!

  4. AWESOME!! Thank you so much – you can never have too many textures on hand and it is super fun to make your own too. I just learned how and I feel like a kid in a candy shop!! I can’t wait to leave the office and go home and make some magic with these. Thank you as always Brooke!

    1. I am so happy to hear that Mary! Maybe today you’ll grab your camera up and find a totally random texture to be inspired by!

  5. I looooved watching this video for different reasons. First of all.. I love the brightness in the image. I love the sound of the birds. It makes me so happy because I am so over winter. I am so tired of it and so tired of the cold. I’m not sure how cold or warm it is there, but it sure gives the impression of warmth and it gave me a feeling of hope that soon all this cold weather will go away! Thanks for giving me hope!

    Also, I love this video because it talks about the little things. The little things in life are so often overlooked. It’s funny because this past week there was lots of sunshine coming through my windows and it gave me so much happiness. I thought about it so much. How can one ray of light give a person so much strength, so much hope, so much happiness!? How can something so simple lift someone’s spirit up?! How do people not notice such beauty?!

    Thanks, as always.

    1. Aww Rocio that is such a beautiful thing – being inspired by the rays of light and seeing the little things. I love it.

  6. Thank you,

    I’ve tried photographing textures myself but get constantly frustrated… at least you are here to help inspire my rather unimaginative mind.

    Best of luck and great week to you.

    1. Ahh I hope this video helps a bit and that you try your hand at it again – and if not, I hope you enjoy these!

  7. Thank you!!! You are so inspirational! After your last CL workshop I have promised myself to go make my own Brooke inspired photos – with emphasis on MY own. πŸ™‚ I just got your book too and can’t wait to sink into it.

  8. Perfect timing! I’m just going through the last stages of editing a very special image and was pondering what texture to use. I see it here πŸ˜‰ Thank you Brooke <3 It always feels like a little collaboration with you when I use one of your textures and I think that is awesome from all the way across the seas in a different country <3 xx

    1. Fantastic! I hope they help! I love the sense of collaboration as well – it is such a beautiful thing, to be able to connect and even share images from so far away. xoxox

  9. Wow, thank you! I love your textures. I used to try to make my own, it was fun. I don’t know why I stopped, I guess I found it easier to use the same ones. But now I wanna make new textures πŸ˜€

    1. I love that!!! Yes go out and DO it! There are so many great ones in Dubai…I am putting together another texture pack from my last visit and plan on making more this next time around πŸ˜€

  10. Brooke, you’ve really made me realize how beautiful life in its simplicity is. Everyday I try to find inspiration and beauty, even though it’s not he easiest thing for me yet. I want you to know what a big help and inspiration you’ve been to me and my life. You’ve convinved me that nothing, or no one, can stop me from doing what I love, which is creating art.

    And I do never say no to new textures, even though I’ve already found a favorite which I use a lot πŸ˜€

    <3 Albin

    1. Albin, that is so wonderful. I am so glad that you are seeing the beauty in everything – it makes life so much more rich! I LOVE that you are doing what you love! I hope you soar to your dreams!

  11. Just wanted to thank you for being the single most-inspiring woman I’ve had the pleasure of ‘discovering’ this past year, first on CreativeLive. I look forward to the day I can attend one of your workshops!

  12. Brooke, you are the most unselfish, most enlightening, most inspiring person ever. You are a true artist. And thank you for the textures. It is like the icing on the cake, but your inspiration is the cake!

  13. Another verbal kick up the backside for me (in the nicest possible way) . It’s always good to hear your positive thoughts, it touches something inside of me that wants to break free. The textures are wonderful. Thank you.

    1. Awww hehe that is awesome to hear. I always need a little kick so I have to fill my head with these thoughts πŸ˜›

  14. LOVE this post. Thank you so much for the reminder. I used to do this fairly regularly, but only started to get back into it late last Summer after purchasing a book called How to Be an Explorer of the World. Just a couple of weeks ago, despite the blanket of snow, I found myself photographing some turkey tail fungi during a hike and thinking, “This is going to make a great dress!” Lol

    1. Oh my gosh Elisabeth! My best friend got me that book for Xmas and it is AMAZING. Exactly how I want to live my life. LOVE it!

  15. Last night, I was going through some photos and found one that I had worked on but couldn’t get quite the right finish. I selected on of your Textures of India. It transformed it to make the photo just what I wanted. Thanks for those and for these!

    1. Fantastic! I can totally see what you mean in that picture. That texture in particular is my %100 absolute favorite. I love using it! So glad you liked it, too! I love seeing your photos btw!

  16. We just had snowfall here recently, so I’m really excited to experiment with the ‘snow’ overlay on the photos I took. And let me take a moment to say- you are by far one of my favorite photographers. I’m seventeen, and when I started getting serious with photography several years ago, you were the first I came across whose work I absolutely fell in love with. The concept, the creativity, the innovation, the surrealism of your work- I love it, and always look forward to seeing what you’re working on next! Oh, and I love your bohemian style. It reminds me of a fairy, haha. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for the overlays.

    1. Aww wonderful timing! I am so glad the snow overlay can help – let me know how it goes! Try lots of different blending modes until it sticks in just the right way πŸ™‚ Thank you for being SO kind!

  17. Thank you so much for everything you do. You’ve been a huge inspiration to me Brooke! This past couple of days I had been feeling down because I didn’t know what I needed to do to be successful then I went to YouTube and started watching your videos. Now, I feel like I can do whatever it is that I want. I know that nothing comes easy and I will fail but then again we learn from our mistakes and that’s what’s gonna make us grow, mentally, emotionally and professionally. Thank you Brooke Shaden!

    1. I am so beyond happy to hear this. Thank you for bringing brightness to my day! You CAN do what you want because we all deserve to be happy…and yes, failure might happen (it will!) and that is a good thing – Failure is the proof that dreams are being realized. So much love and happy thoughts to you!

  18. Recently I put down my camera and took a full time “day job” where I began to lose myself and feel my soul lose it’s sparkle… I sat down and had a “Brooke Fest” I watched about an hour of your videos and decided I needed to feed my soul and get back to basics πŸ™‚ Thank you for being an inspiration to so many!!

    1. Shasta, you have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad that you’re feeling sparkly again!

    2. It’s nice to know that someone is listening πŸ™‚ Today I woke up and watched two of your videos and then two of Tyrese Gibson on Facebook πŸ™‚ Life is meant to be lived! πŸ™‚ You are fantastic and don’t forget it πŸ™‚ Do what makes you happy πŸ™‚

  19. Love the textures! So sad I missed the AD deadline! Hope to cross paths in the future, but in the meantime these videos keep me pushing my creativity and inspired. Thanks for sharing/teaching!

  20. Thank you for another terrific video! I always love seeing your process and hearing about what inspires you! This has definitely inspired me! I hope everything is going great with you, and I will keep you in my prayers! Thank you for being such an inspiration to me lately. I have needed it! πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Brooke,

    Can you recommend a good source to learn how to artistically incorporate texture layers in photos if you’re new it?

    1. Hmm! I’ve never watched a tutorial but I’m guessing a youtube search would be good! I also talk about textures in my creativeLIVE courses linked in the STORE page here. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help there!

  22. You are so amazing and inspiring. I’m so glad I discovered you through creative live. I just got your book in the mail this weekend and it’s already my favorite thing ever! Also a little fyi, my four year old was watching the creative live videos with me and admired your capes so much that I got her a red one for valentines day…it hasn’t left her back for 3 days! πŸ™‚ You inspired her as well πŸ™‚

    1. Chantry, that is the most awesome way ever to start my day…imaging your daughter running around in a cape! I love it! Thank you so much for being here and sharing, you made my life brighter!

  23. Thank you so much, not just for the textures, but for being a constant source of inspiration. I wish more people could find beauty in darkness.

  24. Thank you so much for the textures! I was just yesterday thinking that I need snow for my self portrait that I’m creating for the “I am me”-project. So looking forward to try it out :D.

  25. I want the beauty in my life too!! thanks for the inspiration, and for be the way you are πŸ™‚ Blessings!!!! πŸ™‚

  26. Brooke! I just got back from Nice, France for a little tour of the city and to run in the Rock-and-Roll Carnival 10-Miler. Saturday started off rather rainy so Casey and I went to a modern/contemporary museum and I tried my hand at shooting some textures. I will letcha know how they turned out! Again, many thanks for all that you do for us and for allowing us to use the textures you have created.

  27. Saw you link on my twitter feed last night so checked it out this morning and your textures are beautiful. You are very generous to share with everyone, thank you for your kindness, it really helps an amateur photographer like myself.

  28. Thank you so much for your generosity. I shared this link on my blog. You are an inspiration, not only in photography, but in giving as well.

  29. Thank you Brooke! Just downloaded them – and they look great!
    And thank god for dusty kitchens ans sun rays!!! πŸ˜‰

  30. Brooke you never fail to inspire me! I love the way you think, and how you can articulate so well what you feel and think. I’ve had some ‘dry’ days, where I have not taken photos, even on a beach walk. I’m so grateful for what you said about being mindful of the details and everything around us. I love finding the beauty in dilapidated places, but sometimes I miss it in the ordinary, everyday places. So now I will try to be more mindful and find the beauty everywhere!

    I have always loved and been drawn to textures. Now I’ve started using them in my photographs, and I would like to start creating my own. I noticed that you’ve converted all your textures to grayscale. Most of the textures that I have gotten from other texture artists are in color. Is there any reason you prefer to use grayscale?

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