This Is Our Story

There will be many mistakes and many triumphs that follow when you choose to pursue your passion.

You might feel like you’ll never figure out your style…

…or feel feel inferior if you use your bathroom light because you can’t figure out how to turn on the fancy one…

…or you may give up on lighting completely and take a chance on the midday sun…

…you might create your first big print and only then realize all of the editing mistakes you made…

…or you might get a deal to have your artwork on a book cover, only to realize you lost that file ages ago…

…You might be really proud of an image one day, and then look back and cringe years later…

…You might look back at your work and think you were drowning…

…but that would be the biggest lie of all. You were jumping higher than you thought…

…you weren’t watching time pass, you were living it…

…and when you look back at your journey there are no mistakes to be found, only lessons…

…no failure, only success at living your dream…

…and yes, there were growing pains…

…times when you felt vulnerable, naked, and exposed…

…and times when you needed to protect yourself from the harshness of the world…

…yet dreams are always worth carrying, no matter how heavy they seem…

…You are more powerful than you know…

…and can fly higher than you ever imagined…

…and in the end it won’t matter if you were the most talented, but instead the most fulfilled…

…for you are onΒ a journey that only you can experience…

…and every moment of it, the ugly and the beautiful, is perfection.

The biggest mistake there is to make is to believe the lie that you are not good enough to seek happiness, fulfillment and bliss.

Make your journey one for the storybooks. Live it.



  • August 28, 2014 - 7:44 am

    Kristin V. - Inspiration and encouragement packaged up perfectly and given as a gift to many. This is why I adore you. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 7:45 am

      brookeshaden - And I adore you for being so encouraging and always making me feel loved <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Marjorie - Thank you for this… exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 7:49 am

      brookeshaden - I felt the same πŸ™‚ I’m so glad it helped.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Margherita Introna - I found myself giggling and smiling through this post Brooke <3 I have been following your journey for a few years now, but it was only over the last two years or so that I had the courage to interact and comment. I've loved being part of your journey and honored that you are part of mine <3 xxReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 7:53 am

      brookeshaden - I feel just the same Margherita. My life is elevated because you take the time to comment. You have no idea how lifted I am. Thank you for being you.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 7:57 am

    Kacie - SO beautifully said! Thank you for your inspiration!!ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:01 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you for being here!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:00 am

    T Michael Testi - Every time you show the pictures of the oranges and the branch with your head, it always brings makes me chuckle (in a good way) and brings a smile. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:19 am

      brookeshaden - Same!! Haha!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Iana - Thank you. Everything you said is exactly what I feel right now. Yes, I do have fears. Fears of not being good enough… of thinking that it could be a waste of time… that I’m not improving… that my dreams are not meant for me. Thank you, for encouraging me and for making me feel that I can succeed and can live my dreams. Thank you. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:20 am

      brookeshaden - You absolutely can live your dreams. It is all about that journey and reminding yourself every step of the way that you are worth it. Enjoy it <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:06 am

    Jessica Wilson - I just teared up reading through this, because it seems like when I read your words, they are saying everything I’m feeling. Truly an inspiration and part of the reason I’ve had the courage to start pursuing the photography I want to. I don’t really know what to say but Thank You for being you.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:18 am

      brookeshaden - Thank YOU so much Jessica, you have no idea what this means to me.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:14 am

    Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - I am editing a photo and it’s not going too well. I was just thinking that I was failing and losing on the issue. But then comes another one of your beautiful messages and everything looks wonderful, already breather better and I regained strength to continue. Thank you my dear, you are an angel.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:18 am

      brookeshaden - I hope you’ll show me this photo when you are finished πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:39 am

      Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - OK! When I finish, I’ll show you, I promise. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:14 am

    Joe Symchyshyn - EXACTLY


    • August 28, 2014 - 8:18 am

      brookeshaden - I am so glad it could help!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:15 am

    Libertad Leal - Oh wow, this is absolute perfection! I love it so very much. I very much admire your ability to uplift, to inspire and to ignite that fire we all have within. Each time I stop by I leave feeling uplifted and joyful. Thank you.

    Also, I want to be like you when I grow up haha πŸ™‚ (I am older than you) .ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2014 - 8:18 am

      brookeshaden - You just made my day πŸ˜€ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:23 am

    Libertad Leal - Well, then my work here is done. Life=complete. Hahaha πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Tammi - Beautiful words that are uplifting my soul at this moment. You are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Mary-Claire - Great post. I read it originally on my phone and had to get on the computer ASAP to see the photos better.

    I cringe at one of my first big prints. I took the photo in the evening and took such pains to check everything up close to make sure that I got everything, but I didn’t zoom back out. So I discovered in the print that the model had a water bottle on the ground by her side. And it would have been such an easy fix! Sigh…

    Live and learn for sure! πŸ˜€ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Chelsea - You always inspire me Brooke! Love this message; sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s all about doing what you love, not about everyone else’s standards. I struggle with that a lot especially just being out of college, but I always feel uplifted with your amazing words! Thanks for being you!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:52 am

    Amani - I love reading the comments on your blog posts because it makes me feel like you’ve created this tiny community where people share the same feelings and aren’t alone. So many of us feel like you always say the right things at the right time, exactly when we need to hear them.
    Thank you for being so inspiring <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Emma Godfrey - Fabulous! It reminds me of a picture book called The Red Tree by Shau Tan, simple, honest and ultimately uplifting. I would love to read a Brooke storybook one day.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Catherine - This is perfect. Thank you so much. Every word rang true, I just hope I can get to the fulfillment part and stop second guessing myself. <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Nicole Haney - Thank you. :’)ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 10:31 am

    Lola Mitchell - Seriously wonderful post. The words are so true and paired with your photos! it hits the spot. I hope you are still writing the book you mentioned a few times. You have a real talent making people feel and think through your images and words.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 10:36 am

    Katrin Auch - I love that you are fearless in showing your early work–showing your journey, so we know that you just didn’t emerge from the womb the Brooke Shaden of legend. Your journey is beautiful and gives me hope and inspiration for my own journey. Many thanks for your kindness and love.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 11:40 am

    Madeleine - Thank you so much for being you and sharing your experiences and power with the world, Brooke.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    isabella bubola - Needed this, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Fede - There is nothing else to add to what everybody already said. IΒ΄m from Argentina. So far away from where you are. Still I feel so close and connected to you.
    I can really feel your words and make my days brighter.
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    Vanessa - Loved this. Needed it. Felt it. Miss you. xxReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    Sarah Ann Loreth - Thanks for this Brooke <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 4:11 pm

    celeste obias - i keep being hesitant upon starting my own photography journey, but you have encouraged me to start now, brooke. thank you very much. You have no idea how great your impact is unto my life.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    Tom Newforge - Omg I loved that. Saw some if your images that I’ve not yet seen. You never cease to amaze me. Don’t ever stop. You make me smile every time I read one of these:)ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    Tom Newforge - *of…..autocorrect will ultimately be my downfall:/ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2014 - 11:18 pm

    Marta - This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 12:35 am

    LaTasha Jackson - I’m a military wife and a mother of four littles and I had given up on my art and photography for awhile due to frustration and lack of time. That was until I found you Brooke! You’ve inspired me so much over this past year and I am now back in college pursuing my BFA in Art/Photography instead of trying to get the degree I felt was expected or needed of me. I am drawing, sculpting and creating beautiful images with my photography. I am so happy and my family is inspired by my happiness. I watch your videos on a regular because you inspire me to not be afraid to try and not be afraid to fail… Because failure is a good thing too. One day I hope to meet you in person so that I can personally thank you for being you in a world that wants us to be like everyone else. Thank you a million times over!ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 2:16 am

    Ghis - C’est vraiment quelque chose d’horrible, magnifiques shots.
    Des images qui parlent c’est rare !ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 4:27 am

    nicole hoschke - thankyou so much for being you Brooke. Your artworks are brilliant, not just because of the storytelling or the photographic skill, or the photoshopping or the model choice, the costumes, props, composition, and heart felt desire to uplift the viewer that comes across in each shot. But it is all these things that you bring to your art. Your special way of imagining is what I love. so very inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 4:56 am

    laura - This is amazing. Love that you’re not afraid to appear vulnerable because you have gained enough perspective to realise what really matter. Even though there isn’t as much writing I think this may be my favourite blog yet πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 7:20 am

    Smriti - I love the story behind your every art piece. It’s really very inspiring πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 11:03 am

    Thea - Thank you for being inspiring, caring, loving and amazing!ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2014 - 2:39 pm

    Ailene - Always so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story Brooke.ReplyCancel

  • September 11, 2014 - 4:22 pm

    Mad Dog - I love love love this so much. It’s inspirational and thought provoking. Why is it, it’s only when we look back we can see just how far we’ve come, instead of enjoying each step every day. From now on I will really try to do that, thank you as always, big love xxxxReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    Ashley Olson - Thank you for what you give to the world, Brooke. For what you’ve given to me.
    You’ve inspired me. Helped me pick myself up, dust myself off, given me something to strive for and hope for during a time when I was feeling hopeless.

  • September 18, 2014 - 1:33 am

    beatriz guerrero - Absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I am on the same path, a photographer who has made the jump to live her passion. I will be honored to invite you when I launch my web in 2 moths or so, we are very much aligned in motivating others to follow their call. Thank you and congratulations, you and your work are fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Faith - I love your photos so breath taking.ReplyCancel

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