How to Create Imaginative Photos on a Low Budget

As a photographer, it can be easy to get caught up in the latest gear and equipment. Conceptual photographer Brooke Shaden wants to remind us that it is much simpler than that. She focuses on promoting an interest in the ordinary and making something out of nothing. Watch how she created three dark, imaginative pieces of fine art with just one trusting friend and a few skeins of red yarn:

Shaden expresses her idea of making interesting images from the mundane through this simple photo shoot in the woods. Her budget was just $20, which paid for the bright yarn she used. Her prep time was about three hours.

Start With a Concept

Before making any purchases or plans, begin with an idea. Shaden wanted to make a model look as if she was knitting herself. She decided red yarn would be used as a symbolic measure to illustrate her idea.

With a plan in place and props purchased, Shaden covered the tree with yarn, and then she wrapped most of her friend’s body in the remaining yarn.


Shaden’s only prop was red yarn.

 Don’t Give Up

When wrapping the yarn around the model’s body proved difficult, she improvised. She wrapped the yarn sporadically for a more feral look, rather than discounting the entire project.


Artistic work in Photoshop solidified the concept.

Use Post-Processing to Complete Your Vision

Once the photo shoot was over, Shaden used Photoshop to complete the look she had envisioned. It’s important to consider post-processing before you start shooting so that you know what kinds of images you’d like to capture.

Shaden gives us some final advice to make a day of it. Think of an idea and follow through. Get creative with what you already have or something you can buy cheaply. Even if your idea does not work out as planned, the experience or end product could make up for it completely.


Creative poses produced multiple images.

Amateur photographers might not think they have the budget or the time to produce a successful fine art shot. But Shaden shows us that working creatively with the surroundings you already have access to can save not only money but time and energy, as well.

 “If you build the life of your dreams, then you can live the life of your dreams. No one is going to do it for you, but if you do it yourself then it will be more meaningful and more personal.”

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