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Brooke Shaden + creativeLIVE = Happiest Time Ever!

Oh honestly now, how am I supposed to start writing about an experience as massive, life-changing, and jaw-dropping as creativeLIVE? I am truly stumped, as I have been for days, hence my putting off writing these words. I thought something brilliant would come to me, but since it hasn’t I decided to write from the heart and share my experience, even as it still sits jumbled in my mind.

I said it while live but I’ll say it again: A year ago I wasn’t on the creativeLIVE train. I didn’t see the benefit in it and rejected the notion of being on the show. Granted, no one asked me to be on the show, so these were all internal thoughts. Nonetheless, it took a swift kick in the butt from others telling me to be more selfless and to help those who don’t have access to education to make me jump on board. And when I jump on board, I jump full-force. I was excited and enthusiastic about creativeLIVE ever since.

Now that I have actually been there teaching, I can say, honestly and truly, that they are now an extended family for me; they are people that I love and adore, and who are completely unpretentious with their mission and goals in the studio. They want to help others, and I want to be just like them.

There was a lot of planning that went into the show. I planned for many months beforehand, and every single day in some capacity in the month leading up to the event. I wanted to take a different approach to teaching than I normally do during a workshop, and that was to make my process relatable to a more commercial market. I wanted to show how fine art sensibilities can be applied to any photography business.

I shot a senior portrait session, a wedding session, an environmental portrait as well as an elaborate setup. Images from those segments, save the elaborate setup, are contained here. And since you either saw me shooting live, or have the option to, I have included before/after images here to give a refresher as to what they looked like in my camera.

From being gifted a 1-foot tall metal ferris wheel on my first day (a reminder of the sets we built, and an extension of how the crew envisioned me) to the in-studio audience who I adore like family, to the crew who made me feel like part of the team even though I was a stranger…it was all a dream. I went shooting until well into dark with anyone who wanted to play each night, and I laughed and cried with so many people I can’t count. They even brought in a massage therapist…like…what?! I felt like a princess! It was unreal.

Creating a live show is something that I have tons of respect for. I felt secure in their hands, whereas when I teach workshops typically (95% of the time) I am the only one putting on the show (planning, organizing, teaching, etc…). I tend to worry (or freak out) about things like organization and making sure I produce the day correctly. At creativeLIVE, there was none of that fear. It all melted away because I had the most amazing producers helping me, a fantastic sound team, set design team, and tech crew. They all had my back. They made me feel okay about it all. I had just about zero nervousness, because all I had to do was get in front of the camera and be myself, which I vowed to do for better or worse.

Normally when I arrive home from a trip I am glad to be back, but this time feels different. I am beyond excited to be with my husband, who couldn’t come with me on this trip, but I definitely left a part of my heart in Seattle. I can’t wait to get back there to pick it up. Until then, take care of it for me, my new family at creativeLIVE, as well as you rascals, my amazing in-studio audience…and of course, to those who watched, it means MOUNTAINS to me. It means the world. The love I received, which I am doing my best to respond to, has been overwhelming. The sobbing kind. The kind that makes me step back and wonder how this came to be my life, in the best way possible. I owe everything to you.




{ 39 } Comments

  1. mark boucher | May 22, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos. I like a lot the the couple in the nest.

  2. Julie Ray | May 22, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Brooke, these are truly amazing! I can’t believe I witnessed this in person. You have changed me…for the better…in my journey. Thank you for letting us be a part of your work, your life and letting us in to know you. This amazing experience will never, ever leave me and I will treasure it for a lifetime.


  3. Christian Webb | May 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Brooke, you are absolutely SPECTACULAR! Loved your CreativeLIve workshop. Incredible! You’re an ARTIST, period! Photographer, digital artist, mixed media artist…whatever! At the end of the day, you’re a master of creating impactful images and THAT’S WHAT COUNTS! We can’t ask Picasso “What brush did you use to paint that?” It doesn’t matter what camera or what developing technique Avedon used to create a portrait. When you see the final image, it’s how you feel and how impactful the image is. All the best to you!

  4. Brandee Leafty | May 22, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that I was watching creativeLIVE and was absolutely amazed by your ability to create such beautiful images with such simple resources. I am absolutely in LOVE with what you accomplished! I am so glad that I was able to soak up all your brilliance! Thank you for taking the time to inspire me! I am grateful for your knowledge and joyful spirit :) I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  5. dana dane | May 22, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    These images are gorgeous. I really enjoyed watching you work on Creative Live. I was very inspired and learned alot. I have been having fun in photoshop the past few days trying out some of the new techniques that I learned from you. Thank you so much.

  6. Yvette Aubusson | May 22, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I think everyone ahead of me has said what I hoped to convey. Thank you for an awesome workshop. It’s been a privilege to be a part of it.

  7. peejay terrado | May 22, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    your segment in creative live is really life changing as well, to me as one of your online audience…apart from your immeasurable talent in photography, the way you share your passion to this art is truly inspiring…being an aspiring artist/photographer, i do hope that one day, to be part of your class and meet you in person to thank you for your selflessness and willingness to share…im proud to say, that being part of your upcoming workshops, moving forward is part of my bucketlist. more power and congratulations miss brooke

  8. Dani R | May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I love the finals Brooke…truly b e a u t i f u l. I watched the 3-days and all that you’ve shared has been enlightening and inspirational. Your authenticity shines through… From one who’s old enough to be your mom, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see such talent and to have learned so much. All the very best to you and your very bright future…

  9. Russ Turner | May 22, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Brooke – It sounds like the experience teaching the course was as rewarding on your end as it was for those of us watching it. I’m glad because your enthusiasm was visible and your passion for you work was very contagious. I have yet to watch all of it – the day job got in the way but I’ve purchased the course to get the rest of it. Even in the moments when I could just tune in for a minute or two I learned something new or was inspired to try something new. There were quite a number of “lightbulb” moments when concepts and ideas you were explaining just clicked. The new images are very cool – even more so seeing how and where you started and understanding the process. LOVE the water image!

    I can honestly say I have a much better idea of where I want to go with my own work and a more involved and deeper understanding of how to conceptualize, plan and execute the ideas bouncing around inside my skull.

    For this I can’t thank you enough!

  10. Michelle | May 22, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I am crossing my fingers that you are planning to post final before and final images related to the last segment on Creative Live with the boat. I really enjoyed the three days and I learned so much. And, yes, like so many thousands of your fans, I feel inspired. Thank you!

  11. Scott | May 22, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Incredible images, Brooke. It was so inspiring to watch you work. You’re truly a craftsperson with a unique vision. You made an instant fan of me!

  12. Marc C | May 22, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the Creatlive workshop. Your excitment and inspiration has really opened my eyes and made my mind race with ideas. I have already begun to drop ideas into my notebook and looking for easy everyday props to use to bring these ideas to life. I am not going to stare at a “tissue box” for hours, but I have found myself thinking and looking at the world in a more inspiring way.
    Thank you again Brooke, keep your visions coming……..xx


  13. Nika Witkowski | May 22, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    It’s so great to have watched your broadcast and seen the final images. I admire how simple your process is (in some respects because I know it can be very complicated in others) and how effectively you produce art on such a budget! Art needn’t be expensive; it need only enrich the soul! Great work :)

  14. Lisa Edwards | May 22, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The amount of creativity and accomplishment at such a young age, blows my mind. I enjoyed watching you create and share your whole process…you were so genuine generous. You are like an enchanted princess right out of one of your fairytale…well, I guess you actually ARE in a lot of them since you do self-portraits, lol. Anyways, I found you enchanting. Thank you so much! I look forward to purchasing in the near future.

  15. Lisa Edwards | May 22, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I meant to say: you were so “genuine and generous”

  16. claire | May 22, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much for getting on board the creative LIVE train! I love the work they do and the people and techniques I’m able to learn because of them.

    I really enjoyed your workshop and will be referring back to it for inspiration and business tips.

    I love how the overhead shot of the beach turned out! Very cool!

  17. Gina | May 22, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Wow, this turned out amazing! Well done, Brooke!
    I watched all the three days, despite the time difference from Seattle and Norway. When there was moring in Seattle, there was night in Norway, so I had to stay up really late – but it was SO worth it!
    I really love your work Brooke, and your CreativeLive show inspired me to take more photos with story and meaning, and not just a regular photo. Hopefully, I will be as good as you one day. :)
    – Hugs from Gina, Norway.

  18. robin s | May 22, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I wanted to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for doing creative live. i reccently got back into photography but i don’t have the funds at all to take workshops, mentoring, etc. i recently found creative live and love it and when i saw u would be on it i think i had a heart attack. you are my fav. artist i can’t even express the connection i feel looking at the worlds you create. i saw a post you wrote about how someone mentioned to you not everyone can travel and attend to workshops and how that inspired you to do this and to give back. i am floored and speechless and in tears how much you gave on creative live to those who could watch it. and i could because it was free! i learned soo much from you but not just photography, your personality and the way you live your life and try to inspire others was a little life changing lesson i didnt expect. you refueled the spark in me and showed that i can overcome anything (even financial setbacks) to pursue photography. thank you.

  19. Judy graham | May 22, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    You are just what I’ve needed to find some direction with my photography art. I’m 65 years young and hope to be just like you when i grow up. You are amazing.

  20. anu | May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Im from UCOL school pf photography in NZ, most of us follow you,I follow you, your so humble and honest and your work is outstanding, thank you for the gifts I receive from you daily. My work and my strength in what I do as a fine art photographer grows because of you.

  21. Karen Johnson | May 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Stunning images! I can’t thank you enough for appearing on Creativelive! I was inspired and learned a lot watching you from the comfort of my home! It was amazing!

  22. kate hailey | May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Brooke, so lovely to have you at creativeLIVE. I’ve enjoyed your work for many years and was so excited when I found out you would be doing a course! It was a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to have you come back!
    ~ kate

  23. Sachin | May 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    You’ve taught this story teller how to tell stories with images. Thank you!

  24. Eva Ricci | May 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful work you create and with such passion. I did love watching you in action and taking a simple image and turning it into a magical artwork. I just love how you make the light pop even where there is little light. A true inspiration for us who have no studio or resources. I will surely have to try my hand at portrait work but most of all telling the story. Amazing!!!!

  25. Cynthia Kannan | May 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I happened to run into an ad of Fine Art Photography CL while in Facebook. I started taking college courses of photography last summer at a local college, mind you I had never held a camera in my life! I had decided to take the summer off from photography because I felt burned out and felt something was missing… I tuned in all three days to have to most amazing experience of my life! Ever since I have not stopped creating, shooting, watching photoshop tutorials, reading books. I have done more learning in the past week than I have in an entire year of photography! I have found what was missing! Thanks Brooke for helping me find my inner voice, being an amazing human being, and may God bless you in everything you do!

  26. Matthew | May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing creativeLIVE! I have been putting your name on their wish list since I first saw you. I didn’t get a chance to watch live but did catch the rewatch.Two of my favorite things together, cL and Brooke! Thank you for sharing yourself and your knowledge with the world. You are an inspiration to me and I am sure many others.

  27. Scott Kindred | May 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    loved watching the shoot. The pictures are great!

  28. Chris Buechner | May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing, loved watching the making of these images and your thoughtprocess.
    very inspiring!

  29. Allie Miller | May 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    With such gratitude, I am writing – forever indebted to you – for you have open one door that I thought had closed shut decades ago!
    Thank you Brooke.

  30. SYLVAIN-PIKE | May 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    beautiful pictures

  31. Your fan | May 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    You inspire so many with your visions and creative images. Your calm and careful instructions aspire others to create with passion, too! Thank you for giving us those three days, I am so grateful. Your reach is worldwide…. writing from Costa Rica.

  32. Julie Perez | May 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Brooke – I feel so honored to have been able to join your class at creative live. These images are stunning!! I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned and go get creative. You are a blessing to the photographer community, and to the world. Love you!!

  33. Isabel | May 23, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the three days course, for your generosity and inspiring form to show your talent. I really love your work, and after this, I´m sure all the ideas running in my mind and my camera are going to be better expressed.

  34. Mamad M | May 23, 2013 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    So so creative. Thank you creative live. Thank you Brooke Shaden.

  35. Anna Irving | May 23, 2013 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Everyone’s said it all already! It was an amazing experience that I was soooo looking forward to. I spent all morning (I’m in the uk) squealing about how excited I was! I wasn’t disappointed! You are one of the few photographic artists that I really wanted to learn from so this was a magical opportunity and an amazing experience!
    It’s doubly nice to know that you enjoyed the experience as much as we all enjoyed watching it!
    Thankyou x

  36. Anna | May 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Really beautiful and creative photos… You’re so young and you already have your own, gorgeous stile. Many greetings from italy!

  37. Sue | May 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Brooke, thank you so much for doing this. I’m one of those people who can’t get out to attend workshops. I’m currently watching each episode and taking notes and I’m enjoying your process so much. It’s an honor and privilege to finally get to see you teaching a workshop.

  38. Jazz | May 25, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The images are just amazing watched you do it all in front of my very own eyes but still find it hard to believe what you created in such a short space of time with little or no budget at all i am still gob smacked by the end results simply awesome Brooke

  39. Yolande | May 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    You have been incredibly inspiring and make it look easy. To me the most important thing I learnt was “use what you have” and has been very liberating. Thanks you so much xo

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