Promoting Passion Week 28: $15 Challenge

Promoting Passion Week 28: $15 Challenge

I put a $15 limit on myself and went out to be inspired. From a thrift store to a convenience store, I found wardrobe and props that I could use in my image. I used absolutely nothing in the shoot that I didn’t purchase that day by putting found objects together to create a scene. It was an incredibly fun, liberating, and challenging way to shoot.

There is inspiration all around us, and I see no reason why we can’t grab hold of it and let it do it’s magic. Inspiration is not something that should be saved for those who have big budgets or expensive equipment. Take what you have no matter how much or how little that is, and create. Free your mind and soul. Let your voice be free.

If you do take this challenge, come back here and leave a comment with the resulting image that you created…or if you aren’t a photographer, take the same challenge but create something else entirely…an arts & crafts project, a piece of writing, a painting, etc…Create….because it will awaken something beautiful within.

cu1 cu2 cu3 cu4CHALLENGE YOURSELF.


43 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Week 28: $15 Challenge

  1. what is it about circles and round objects that is utterly just gorgeous and magical when put around a subject? i LOVE this one brooke! love love love love. x a billion. i will take this challenge on i usually have a 0 budget lol. so broke! but i love how u create magic doing the same. it gave me hope starting out and now i am doing it and not breaking my bank much to my hubbs relief. lol. cant wait to share what i do!

  2. Wow Brooke. Very cool image but you look amazing in it. Very regal and elegant. Nailed the pose. Love it.

  3. Brooke, this is so wonderful! Like a secret peak into the fantasy world of a dream girl! Love all the little detail shots! I’m sure your work is a 100 times more spectacular in print!

    1. Thank you dear Natascha!! I think that everyone should have their work printed because, well, it’s just such a different experience! Thank you for being so kind xoxo

  4. Just fantastic Booooooke! The image is so lovely, the tiny piece of hair just floating a tiny bit over the face is simple sublime. There is something so fluid about the way it’s flows over your face. I absolutely love working on a budget, honestly 15 bucks is pretty high for me haha! I could do a LOT with that. I’m spoiled by the prop room at the studio that is basically a free throft shop, there are endless creations just waiting down there to be imagined and brought to life! Once I have some free time (and finish editing the 10 or so images from shoots I’ve already done lately) I’ll take challenge! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes! I so often already have the dresses or find props in the garbage that I don’t spend anything. There have been times when I’ve stretched my budget, but in general, if I were to really calculate the cost of everything, I rarely find a time I need to spend a lot.

  5. Beautiful image. It’s really peaceful, and I love it!

    I just did a shoot this weekend with my almost 16 year old niece using a sheet, a torn-into-shawl-size chenille bedspread, a big stick and flowers we picked.

    We called it “Dancing with Faeries”, and I’ll be editing it today. Thanks for the inspiration. The price: totally free! YAY! (That’s my typical budget). I actually just did a blog last week on that subject, how lack of crafty skills and funds should never stop one’s creation. πŸ˜€

    1. That is so wonderful! Please share, can’t wait to see! And…I LOVE totally free..Best price tag ever!

  6. BrookeI think your work is nothing short of amazing but yes here it comes Im a bit of a purist shooting film with as little post production as possible (maybe a little lazy) but I”d like to chalenge you to get it right in camera on a budget. The reason behind this is a lot if peole shoot film as digital is out of there price range and most people just do not have your skills to post process. I feel that your promoting passion is a very worthy cause but you are alienating a large postion of the photographic community.


    1. If you do decide to shoot film, I’d recommend a Holga camera for it’s more dreamlike images, straight out of the camera. That would seem to be right in your wheel house.

  7. I love the image! Very magical. I love that you keep getting the word out about shoestring budget shootsβ€”and that they don’t need to look cheap. I have been following your advice since watching your vert first CreativeLive course. In fact I just did a piece that had a told budget of $12β€”a $5 used dress, and $7 in feathers. I had so much fun shooting it, that even posted some behind the scenes images. ( Another great place to “shop” for costume options and props? Your mom/grandmom/friend/cousin’s closet or house. As long as you treat any item with respect and return it in the same condition, it’s a great source of treasures.
    Keep inspiring passion!

    1. Wow Kat! Absolutely beautiful piece. I especially love the light – its so airy and naturally flowing.

  8. Hi Brooke, at first… I wanted to say that you inspired me SO MUCH! I’m so thankful for you. Your art and your videos have given me so much motivation, inner peace and inspiration for new pictures.
    I like the small, cheap things as well. Just today I bought a nice 3 yards of fabric for 3 €. I can not wait to take pictures with it!

    1. Lia, that is so lovely. The light and symbolism are so meaningful, it speaks to the soul.

  9. Ah Brooke, today’s post made me so happy! I love challenges like this – it turns creating an images into an adventure. The addition of the curtains is what took this image into another dimension for me and I love that! It would have been a rather awesome image without, but somehow the curtain added so much more – more story, more magic. Loved this one! Thank you so much for posting the close up details here and thank you for sharing as always <3

    1. I’m trying very hard lately to put more story into what I do, so I was excited at the red fabric and that opportunity. Thank you for being So kind!!

  10. Thanks so much for the video and photos Brooke. I loved watching the image transform from putting together the pieces into the final edited photo – totally inspirational! And the close-up images give such good detail. I love the close-up of your arm – it looks like a Michelangelo painting! I’m not sure if it’s the colouring or some editing magic but it’s awesome. πŸ™‚

  11. I am always going to car boot sales here in the UK finding wonderful things at bargain prices. Yesterday I bought a lace parasol to go with a vintage wedding gown from the 1960’s I purchased a while back….I have some great ideas for these items just need to get shooting……..Being able to create and inspire on a budget is amazingly fulfilling – I love a bargain! Love this image too it’s active and serene all at the same time which is intriguing.

    1. I am currently searching for a lace parasol!! Desperate for a blue one πŸ˜€ Might order it online πŸ™‚

  12. Love thrifting. Your description of the circus performance and dream state made me think of the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The author used strange/mysterious/sometimes disturbing/dreamy vintage photos from different collectors to illustrate and build the plot line. Your photo would fit in.

  13. Almost all of my photos have been with $0 budget because I don’t have any money, and it’s amazing what you can find in your house and create something with it.

    This is my most recent photo:

    And this is a photo I did a couple of months ago that I dedicated to you because it was exactly what you did to me:

    You have inspired me so much. I still need to develop my skills and keep practicing but just the fact that I’m doing something that makes me happy and that came out of my imagination is the most beautiful thing ever.

  14. Hi Brooke! It’s me again ^^
    I have a strange question for you.
    Do you have probably a playlist of inspirational music?
    Or a Spotify account where we can follow your playlist?
    I think music is always very important for creating pictures and it also serves as inspiration.
    In some of your videos you play already a song.
    So I came through you, for example, to “Honor by August – Believe” …
    and I would like to know more of your favorite music … or what music inspires you.

  15. Hi Brooke!:D
    I also have a question :D..and I don’t want to sound inpolite or in some way rude.
    I want to be a photographer. [I’m 16 now.] I feel like this is what I am supposed to do in my life. It’s my passion and I love creating. And I believe I can do it and don’t listen to those who are laughing at it. They dont believe that I can make money from photography. I do. But this got me thinking yesterday, how do YOU do this?…What exactly makes you money? I know that you have your photos in galleries,and that you make workshops..But is that enough? Or what else does make you money?

    Thank you very much for response, and for all your work. It really helped me and still helps me a lot:) <3

    1. Hi Natalie!

      That is a great question, and not rude at all! I’m happy to share πŸ™‚ I do make money from workshops, though I have stopped hosting them. I am now only doing artist retreats, but the same principle. I sell my work in galleries, which is where about 1/3 of my income comes from. I also license my images for things like book covers, album art, etc. I occasionally do commissioned portraits (a single fine art image for a client) and that also helps. So with all of these things, I make my income – and it is enough for me.

      Just remember that if you are passionate about something, you can make others passionate as well. Never stop doing what you love because someone else finds it to be impractical. All the best things come from impracticality.


  16. Hey brooke, I’m a guy living in Peru and that just learning to shoot, I have to tell you that your pictures are amazing, they are very inspiring, plus a budget that things get fascinating. I was a bit lost in that photograph but you’ve opened my eyes, I really hope you take a little time to read this. I hope someday achieve something worth taking that you can see it and give me your opinion criticizes.

    PS:Sorry for my English, I’m using a translator.

  17. Yay!! I’m so excited! I’ve been without internet for almost 6 weeks now and I just got it today! Time to catch up on Brooke!! πŸ™‚ Stunning image, love the colors and the overall feel of it!!

  18. Hi Brooke, thanks for such an inspirational post, I think its such a nice idea to challenge everybody with a $15 shoot, you’re getting behind us to give us all a little push πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see the results from everybody in the comment section. I did notice as I was reading through the comments that you were asked about how you make your money from photography. This is something I’m struggling with and have loved the idea about licensing photographs for book/album covers and have spent a long time trying to figure out how to go about that. Would you mind telling me how you do that and if you use a specific agency to licence your images? Thank you again for continuing to inspire so many of us. secretstare

  19. Hi Brooke, Thank you for this challenge. I finished my image, and ended up spending $0. Instead, I went “shopping” in my closet (found an old costume from a play I did), and a friends house (borrowed the bird cage). All elements are mine, except the gorilla, which was found on Wikimedia Commons, for free. It was fun to put it all together, as it was an idea I had in my head for a long time – and this challenge prompted me to finally do it.

    I also wrote about the inspiration behind it here:

    Thank you again! Lisa

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