Brooke Shaden

I began photography in December 2008, and when I say began, I mean that I went from 0-60. I used to have no interest in photography as an artistic medium and always preferred other methods, such as filmmaking. After graduating from film school I found frustration in the length of time it would take to complete one concept in a moving image, and so I turned to photography as a means of expressing many different concepts in more compact forms of art. Gradually my love for photography grew into an obsession, but even more, my discovery of inspiration and passion fueled my life from there on out.

My work is surreal and whimsical, always focusing on the concept above all else. My aim is to shoot with intent, always planning my shots before they are taken and finding meaning in everything. Because of my background in filmmaking, I learned early on about how to get the shot without wasting film (or time), and that became a valuable lesson in photography as well. I believe that everyone has a story to tell, and no matter what that story is, how it sounds, or how it looks, it is worth putting into physical form. Photography allows everyone to share what makes them special, and it is my aim to not only teach how to create that perfect picture, but also how to find that story within.

From Brooke:

After Dark is the best possible place to grow as a person and as an artist. In every teaching situation I have been in, the people who get the most out of it are the ones who are willing to learn not only about photography but about life as well. I will be teaching many aspects of my photography, from levitation and editing to inspiration, and it is my hope that you will join me on this journey.

How did you get started in the business? Who helped/guided/mentored you?

I got started in photography online. I often say I was artistically born online when I started sharing my photos on Flickr. I began to get good feedback and encouragement and from there knew that I couldn’t do anything else with my life – photography is it. I asked myself one day, very simply, “what makes you happy?” and the answer was simple: Photography. I draw inspiration from many painters, especially from the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. I love the classic painterly techniques. I also love surrealism and fairytales, and often create dark, surreal fairytales in my images. I love the photograph work of Jamie Baldridge and Tom Chambers.

How many After Dark Events have you attended and what’s your favorite moment?

I’ve participated in 4 AD Events. Favorite AD moment…Sneaking off with a group of women who missed my levitation class earlier in the day to a parking garage where we used a dirty and smelly trash can as a stool and levitated a model until 2am. Also, flying a prop kite through the ballroom of AD.

What are the top 5 skills you’ll be teaching at After Dark?

Underwater Photography
Business of Fine Art Photography and Social Media