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The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

Lesson 5 of 29

Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie

Sue Bryce, Felix Kunze

The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

Sue Bryce, Felix Kunze

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Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie

Lesson Info

Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie

this is exciting you know one of the things that I think it's so interesting is soo really knows light so I can't get away with not getting it right oh my god right should we start yeah that's guy I'm going to get macy to come back in you'll notice felix has moved away from the window maybe two three moment it see who has light stands guilty teo so basically I bought two light stands and I put it a vintage french lamp shade on one and the other one has got what's my other light stand sir it does something cool nobody knows it's a light stand so you have something yeah ok it makes you kind of come back in it was going to re create exactly what we did so if you look at the shots that we're going to recreate from the first segment yeah that's what we're going to do so we're going to shoot a nice flat we're going to do the first set up that you see on the screen there um the nice flat going try replicate that so I think niko is going to put up the the ball reference and the first thing so ...

we've moved the backdrop over because I wantto make it clear that we're not the window is now closed that's the first thing I want to establish there's no natural light coming in here at all we are going to set up with my trusty assistant john let's so I think we'll just start with this I'll run you through each bit as we do it soon would you hold my oh thank you so this is actually one of my favorite modifiers it's ah last alight skylight rapid it actually I wonder if you could do this it's thes joins they collapse and it packs up into little bag like this big on dh yeah that it's there over clipped in andi the modifier su it just clips in and some people have used the scrim jim have you ever heard of that no it's basically a posh silk all right it's a posh bit posh way of putting some fabric on the frame you could build one of these yourself this's this cost money but if you could achieve the same effect by just putting up hanging a silk that you know for me on a commercial job I it's kind of the way I've been taught us like you wanted to look really good if then you need to solve something you khun bring the fabric but I've seen your studio and it's so womanly and beautiful tohave these silks hanging everywhere that doesn't work with the sea off blah blah company so we've got you know people ask me about stands so I'm just going to cover everything doesn't matter what stand you have as long as it holds something up pretty much right there is no magic that the c stand brings buses another stands so just keep it simple they're amazing because they fall down in a really freaky way and the legal go in one direction so if you're traveling with them and say they're actually really only problem with that the plus point and the minus point on these is that they're heavy so they'll hold your stuff well but they don't travel very well I actually have so I have this in my traveling kit this is a see through silk which is just going to defuse the light diffusion means that makes it softer now you'll notice today we're not using soft boxes and the problem with a soft box is let's say that this is the soft books and your lights in here pointing at the subject and everyone has had this experience and you put those screens on it and then you pointed at the model and the same thing happens you get that hot spot it happens every time and that's why you get that studio look that just doesn't look right so what we want to do sue is we create soft oft light so all we have to achieve today actually is what's coming in that window and sews shooting her natural light set up is a soft light source we're in seattle so we have we're lucky because it's cloudy do you choose like a north facing window ever or just don't care but she puts that she'll put the silk on it if there's no if it's too harsh right if the sun comes in you put a silken so that's what we need to start with then we're going to end up just doing exactly she was going to end up doing exactly the same things just putting her fee flats in front of it so what we've got this is for people who want to know this is a two by two meter frame this is a john is it one point two five stops so that means it will it should cut out one point two five stops off the light all right simple so far so good suit yeah that's pretty interesting I just like hanging couldn't my kittens probably more like one stop two stops if I double it in clamber with a hick like you if you go to the fabric store they never know how many stops it is they just got here nothing nothing right we're gonna pull it that can show the light to everybody yes fine dining yeah exactly well I'll just pull the light out from behind so sue I'll show you this actually do you know what a pocket was it is now okay good there's a sink cord somewhere right we'll take these off take your thingamajig you off the top of your camera for me just take it off right so these things baffle people they're like magic so I'm going to give that to john because we're not going to use it for now right this so this is a light it's fly away called a strobe and itjust but delivers a burst of light right like like that it has I just turn this off for you it has sue look it has a bulb tungsten bulb and you see that circular can you not see that on the camera the circular bulb that goes around that that's the one that actually gives the flash and it's made to be kind of even or around that circle so that you get an even spread of light coming out of here it affected to technical it's a light it's a life but no but it is what happened if you were to use that just this it spills everywhere so you put this on and it just controls it a little bit that's a simple is that the tungsten bald in the middle is your model lamp and that's on when just like that that's just so that you can focus and you can see what the lightest doing look back so good yeah what we used to happen is you would have a cable from your camera do you know what a plug listen on your camera I'm sure I do somewhere there and you plug it into the back of your light teo is it in and when you press the shutter it should fire the light you take a picture to there we go and the lights flashed so what the pockets with its do is do that wirelessly pretty much so we don't sue loves tripping over stands let's not give her a cable to trip over a cz well okay we're going while we're going wireless coming to that whatever century when yeah uh for that so sue I'm already bored with lighting I know wasting my shape with the shirt the referee should just bear with me because it obviously it takes more time okay but you have some advantages right I will convince you of this so that's a pocket wizard this you khun set channel we've put on the same channel right because you can't talk to someone who's only speak english and chinese so put that on there and those too so if you click it now john if you connect that hang on there it is on dh they got light flashes right I'm not funny the soft boxes I said we're going to use that shoot through umbrella where was it oh yeah just leave that there for now I'll do all the setup over here anyone in the audience have any questions go ahead and use them don't use them what's the point I know lots of people that used the model amps to kind of do the same thing where you shoot with you know that the model light doesn't turn off sorry it doesn't flash just like the um stroked us but you end up with a really warm light source on dh there's technical reasons I won't bore you with why if you're shooting commercially you can't you really use that so yes or no yes like so right now I'm just kind of play around with this come actually not sure how exactly we're going to do this just yet but that's one of the things I said to sue I want to really show it this case stroke stroke over soft box for you and scream to diffuse strobe over soft bag how much is a stroke oh cost this idea anybody got any idea what a stroke costs I'd like to know what that costs if I'm gonna go buy strove I'd like to know like five hundred from my alien beings stand yeah that would work for this how are you finding it uh online video yeah I really like it if I had a cheapie bay set before this one so on that worked as well write it about something expensive this is what we've got ellen chrome b r x two fifty stripes yeah whatever that means so so you you trigger happy here I'm waiting to shape I know I know but give us time I want to show you this so you could do it okay yeah um so what I've done is so the soft books you know you get that half track and it's because the light this light is pointing straight at your subject and no matter what you put in front of it it will never get soft it's always going to have that focused I thought that burns out and that's what everyone runs into and that's what makes it look like studio so we're not gonna do that what I'm going to do sue is create ah large soft light so we're gonna bounce light around behind here already by put it shooting this into the umbrella I'm making it a little bit softer that little light source that's this big turns into a light source that this big on once it comes through here it's going to be a light source that's this big and when I was thinking about how I was going to do this this is actually the simplest set up the cheapest set up and anyone could do it and you all have walls at home and you have bed sheets or fabric you can all do this you know so let's see we're going to put it behind here so I've put it behind here I'm just kind of got a point it it's now let me walk this over actually suit just don't trip over this so I put it there pointing towards yu guys you can already see that it's now a little bit softer right I haven't put a soft box on here nothing it's a little bit softer going to put this back in place so you're following along I'm gonna make you set it up for the next set up tio all right now the other thing is su shot from the window that was kind of coming up coming from above so I'm going to raise this modify apple of it think about this fine right good and also the son is usually coming from above the light source where it is now it's like about here that's going to come across a little bit too dag what's the word horizontally so I'm going to make it just point down a little bit I'm gonna have to keep walking this I'm just gonna do this again sorry can see if they can see it I want the audience to see it as well that's my they're my test subjects over here so I'm just going toe get that to have a little bit of an angle so it's kind of mimicking where the sun would be coming from right bring this back over here can I ask a question felix hit me this's from fashion tv in singapore the question is when you assimilate natural light how what is the distance between the scrim and the light does that matter do place our strobes how do we where do we place our strobes in relation to this cram in orderto get naturally that's a really great question the thing is the further away you go if you're bouncing it off something that bigger your light source is going to get that doesn't make sense so in this room we have about three meters to play with if you're at home you might not have as much but I just tried to get as much distance as I can if I want to make it soft so if you want a bigger light source you moved the scrim away from the light but if you want the light to be less you move the screw in the light away from the model exactly so it stays the same same size of light but it gets further away from the model yeah right yeah it's if you had a small lights was far away would be really she some people would make the mistake of just going and moving the light not the scrim yeah to try and get the light away from the model but what they're doing is creating a bigger light source exactly but that should be softer exactly so that's we've put the umbrella on this in between to soften it up and that's essentially creating a bigger light source doesn't make sense and that bigger light sources are software softer smaller light sources are harsher and you're right it's a little bit counterintuitive because you would take if you take it away it really becomes a smaller light source but keep in mind this is really our light source in this situation this is where this is what's affecting the model all of this behind here it's just kind of bouncing back and forth does that make sense I just want to make sure I'm not going a million miles an hour and the sale of screams just went at worldwide on they won't know why on they won't know why I think they will hopefully they'll watch and john I just want to tell this the bottom of this over a little bit just because this is the direction that the sun comes in all right and then because the windows hi I'm going to just block this off with the flat so that that's not your not getting like from down here as well and let's see how that goes I've so what you have created is my rectangle window yeah but I can cheat it in any anywhere basically put it the other way then we just put up on these legs paga so I actually think that's still a bit of a large two large area compared to what we had so we're just going to drop this down a little bit thanks roy how do you do that on your own you're gonna do that but that but there's been a shoot himself yeah I um I know lots of people who want to help you see quite easy okay where's my light ball I'm just going to go on just obviously my obvious christian is the studio lights for creating live are on and they're not part of our lights or so do after ten emma we will find out and we're going toe this I'm going to work through this so this is what is this what you call the lighting test the lighting test you sounded do lighting test I just made and start shooting I'm kind of jealous but you know so this is when you always post like we did a lighting teeth yes I keep that spy behind the scenes producers oh look a lighting tests and that's all my assistants get the best profile pictures on facebook let's go get mine because you don't use the model to do the lighting team usually use your sister yeah or if I know the light's really good up we'll take a picture of may protocol picture right let's just come away from this backdrop would you hold this just in front of your nose for me thank you this way I just need you away from that backdrop so I went to the same distance issue we're okay good and just take a shot off that and I'll see this is like my heart's pounding right so we need to set your camera problem yeah yeah neutral density filter I'm okay so let me run them through that so we've dropped one of the things about shooting commercially is usually you want to end up a one hundred s o I add grain afterwards nice and shop yeah nice and every island every for every pore lots of retouching on the skin but you you know that's kind of where that commercial standard for clients they do kind of wanna have one hundred I still want to get to five point six that sorry f two point eight that's and if you've ever shot with lights you know that usually they're too strong so what we've done is soo's little trick on dh we've gotten a neutral density filter on this thing you can see it goes from one stuff to nine stops off cutting out the light that's all it is it's a nine stop indy filter so when you've got too much light you put the indie filter on and you block down the light no reason yeah the reason we're doing that is because I want him to replicate the look that I get with studio lighting and there's too much light so in order to cut it down I think I'll just use my indy filter so we're going to try it with that so we can still shoot wide open and get the same look yeah and everyone's gonna ask online I know what power did we set those that light on I have no idea I just turned it on and we're going to see what works and felix one quick question about the umbrella a lot of people are noticing that you did not that you're using it as a reflective umbrella to bounce right back toward the screen but you did not put a black cover on the back or anything like that is the reason you didn't do that good good very good question I'm actually bouncing some of it off that wall at the back and you can do this at home as well just I'm this is only partially shoot through it reflect a little bit back on the inside and some of the light will also fly out the back and then come back and soften the end result here again yeah good so the neutral density filter I want toe I think I'm going to end up at around five six if I I didn't put this on so I'm goingto is just getting too technical by the way I don't wantto lose anyone s o I'm gonna set this if you buy one of these it's very obvious what you do I've set it to two stops so I'm going to stick that on that right there about seventy five dollars it was actually a secret that a filmmaker told me he said when you're shooting with the cannon five doing you're making little films he said if you want to shoot at one point two in a bright room it's impossible and specially when you want to stay at fifty shut up speed fifty when you're shooting film it looks more filming myself well that's impossible and light to shoot at one point two or two point eight um or two point oh you know in a bright room and he s not with a neutral density filter so that's how they get their beautiful wide open look until I've had one for about two years I still amazes me when I spin it round and it goes dark and go slight ghost town was rising just do this I don't know much that's right so set your camera two point eight now do you know why I shot the speed doesn't matter in studios in the studio no all right so I need your permission to just make one diagram you'll hate it but you'll get when you just say it I don't live by diagram just tell me if these guys can figure it out I did I do have this prepared right oh I just have a white one I just have a little white war prevent here's one right so it's called sink speak right this is where everyone turns off but just bear with me because you'll get it it's very easy the flash is a minuscule little it's just it's a tiny little birthright manufacturers will tell you how long it is I don't care if your one hundredth of a second your shutter like this is the shutter closed it opens and closes and your flash goes off in this bit there if europe let's say one tenth of a second that's a little bit longer your shutter opens and it's going to be open longer but the light is still only coming in in that minuscule bit so it doesn't matter right and if you are then you got it but the camera has kind of um a limit so if you went to five hundred of a second it might open here and miss the flash so that's called a sink speed does that make sense is so if you have that's why the house size don't matter because we're gonna use that yeah on which is all you need to do is make sure open long enough that the flash and the camera could go way see each other okay good too fast and you could miss it too fast you could miss it yeah it's very fast so your shutter speed said it for safety sake at one hundred twenty fifth of a second keep on doing it and then what s o one hundred satisfied one one hundred twenty fifth of a second on dh your aperture is a two point eight so let's fire for test shot and with the ball and seeing natsu is this where you would have her in relation to your window um let's have a look I just did the bolshoi come forward a little bit more year around there about a meter and a half from here but yeah it's a bit disconcerting because for you you can't see it right yeah all right so we still have one of those studio lights now we need to bring in the white v flat would you do that john on the ball you can see that we're on the right there we still have one of those studio lights still affecting the image so what you can do is you would turn up your aperture to its f ate because you know if you were just shooting with natural light if you turn up your aperture you get less of that natural light that's the same thing we're going to do so but we still want to be a two point eight so I'm just going to change the indie filter so it cuts out another stuff of light and then john I'm going to turn up the the actual flash I'll do it yeah she's getting an even soft light right across your face now more like mine one stub felix yes there's there's some confusion in the chat rooms about the nd filter right so why wouldn't you most of the questions kind of say why wouldn't you just lower your power instead of doing you'll find that if you turn you even when you turn your light all the way down still still have too much okay that's kind of how they thank you all right let's try it on the bull or hear faith I'll let you just do it with the face and then see how you how you feel about it just push your chin down to us to take a more and interestingly enough it's really dark looking through the lens just a tiny baby smile just a little bit like a girl no so it's starting to approach that natural light look and look at this so there's two things I would change yeah one of them is this too much light hitting the background so I'd put another thief let there just to block it from hitting the background yeah we could do that or we can try another little trick if the camera can see me I'm just going to turn to come around the back have a look I'm just going to turn this over a little bit sorry away from yeah we'll do it this way I'm just going to try it on dh this also is called feathering you turn the light away from where it should be pointing so you're just getting you're actually communicating off the side technically they're your tuning it towards where I don't want to but it's coming back this way yeah I think it's this one must I think is more reflective to us than to the back so just push your chin down towards me a little bit more time with the family we're still getting a lot of spill in the background right okay so we're gonna do if john's gonna put a b flat back there so we want that flat light right yeah but look at the light that's hitting her cheers to any shoulders is almost exactly the same we can probably one thing I would do is I think the sun wraps a little bit more around the front in kind of like this okay you know how you said she sews always shaping bodies around the light and I am always shaping the light around the bodies I'm going to do exactly that so we're just going toe move it like that and it'll come rap a little bit more on the front of so interestingly enough this but here looks like my set up he just close the window and put a light behind that diffuser right I've never seen anybody shoot in studio like that to me they always have self boxes around them or lights around them firing straight towards their model like I've never seen a set up that looks just like mine but with lights and that's why I was so taken with what felix does because in new york when we shot there hollywood shoots I was watching him bounce all this light and I was like that's what I do but I just thought with sunlight and he even picked up a catering tray which was like a tin foil like a tea tray in bounced another modeling light into the back off the shot we did or brooke shade in when she was just to get a bit of life you know yeah and it was so a perfect how he did it and it's just like modeling light yeah the only difference is here you can't really see what you're going to get so you have to shoot a reference and they used to shoot polaroids let's see um this is like the moment of truth here sue yeah you can see my black b flat but I can pull it back and it's too much contrast on right I think you want to just sort of in that filter off a little bit but the back of my camera is beautiful and soft oh I see yeah what you're seeing there is not a very good example of what I'm getting looks great on the back of the camera so softness look at that yeah it's pretty cool right doesn't fool uses almost right so here this is your chance to say right this is what I don't like about it yet now I really love that I love that the camera looks amazing I can't wait to process it so see it's much simpler if you just just rock onto one happened in an ice in albert back a little weed bit just and bring it in this way just to touch that teo from there I just wanna take a shot here so can we do the reference shot I want to show the two shot side by side who you just get that all in there and then if nico if you can pull up the original reference shot we were using against this one and we'll have a look see if it comes up sue let's have it let's go yeah we've almost got the shape exactly the same shape I mean it's a tiny little bit different but soos shaping it around what we have and that's ok so we have that light coming in from the top here I would even say so you can go up in s so maybe to one hundred sixty or two hundred just because I feel like that's a little bit stronger coming in and we're getting that same shape from the b flat on the side and that's all we've really done there's a little bit of a difference because the light spilling onto the ceiling but it doesn't concern me that much it's a minuscule amount on their hair you know we're not suicide gonna work with the light she's given in that makes this really work that is that is that the studio you serious sal it felix I'm just happy this is you know just just remember when we did that shoot in new york and we spent hours just messing around and later I confessed to sue work of these lights before but it worked so right so then you're gonna shape your life around that okay so now my nique shot wass ending more contrast right so I went from that and I put the black tunnel on either side of her to cut down the light to the backdrop to make a backdrop darker to bring in more contrast around her body try that so if we go teo slide yeah yeah and that had the black on the other side yeah okay so we'll just turn that around so you going to do exactly the same thing you're gonna change the white reflected to the black yeah and we can use the same set up oh sorry I'll get that that's what happens with the flat so you want this b flat to be kind of a tunnel on this side yeah what do you want this one I want it back against the backdrop so I want it to block a signal that light needs to flatten down the light that hits the backdrop right yeah so were you were was perfect and then this one is really can be pulled back but it has to be against the backdrop otherwise it's leading in a lightly pulled back away from the model yeah put a band in it and push it right did you have her kind of here with right on the edge because of the tunnel and really what I'm doing is just bringing the contrast into the backdrop and into here right the edge so then yeah we might do a little change I want to see how it how it looks but I could show a little a trick for this I've taken my shoes off so I'm getting it here to take your shoes after us otherwise we'll be shooting up in ostrov alright you wanna shoot barefoot so I prefer to shoot barefoot if I can doesn't always look good but like I care you told you that we don't want you going the way of the v flat wouldn't you leave when there's good okay so maybe come over a little bit christian she does have here that is causing a shadow on her I would you put a little ok so white men and when I find the flesh huh are you getting that contrast look shall we have a look on here to compare it would you hold that for me thank you just in front of your face nico is gonna pull up both of those and we can have a look what's kind of not quite right it should be about similar so the only difference is the little white reflector that I bounce back to her face on this side to even it out okay yeah I want to also point up these are the studio lights but they make such a minuscule difference to this it's not really ok these are the creative live studio life not yes yes sorry make the distinctive make important distinction yeah those are lighting us yeah well that's something we didn't really talk about when we started this segment was the fact that when you are shooting with studio artificial lights you can have more light in the room with with suze we had to really lock down all the lights in here so that it was on ly the natural light so this gives you a little bit more flexibility if you can't turn off the lights in the room for exactly and if you were shooting with the model and only you know that was your question sarah you would have that same those lights all mixing up you know like soo mentioned or there's a shadow but those air coming from the studio light the creative lives to their lights but you don't see them when you shoot with this okay can I just say so now I've got the face right but now I'm not getting the dips on the background that I was getting right should we I think homeless krim and the light that way you're getting this oh and wow look down so I'm gonna find this without the whole studio swore you floyd thank you are you bringing that they're just going to bring this over john you're going to stay right there but that little reflector made a big difference to that side of her face right yeah let's just take him and I want to make sure that we're not skipping anything that you know because I don't want to presume that anyone there's anything go ahead has fluorescent lights on their awful I get like green hair is there were two cancel those out using I mean these shows yeah but doing the soft boxes that people are doing this now right I would just turn the strobes up andi maybe using andy filter to because then you're changing that ratio usually I can turn him off but if I'm shooting there at night I still need the light and so so that you have you can focus it yeah you know shooting in the dark yeah yeah make sure your shutter speed it's as high as your camera sink speed will allow to go it's it's really technical and boring suze rolling her eyes sure but you got that look in your camera manual you're no you're saying speed on if you go to the top of that there's a cameraman through fifty actually I think there's a good way of demonstrating what's going on right so I'm going to take that we're on the same settings if you take a shot of her now this is how I tested so now there's no flash going off and it should be almost black when it comes they go there's no ambient light hitting the subject at all does that make sense to you you're a good student themed comedic timing to the max right so now tricking the flashing in any other questions let's have a question from anna spain who was just asking about catch lights when you're when you're lighting from the side through a diffuser are you concerned about having catch lights at all or usually if if like her light is sorry her eyes are lit up in this shot she's gonna have a little catch light kind of a few if you end up without a catch like you you also end up with dark devil eyes so I don't worry about it too much I think she still looks alive we can I think you're in post you might I think you could say yeah always I like nice I think he did say that a lot of fashion photographers put a catch light light in just for a catch like yeah yeah yeah I've had just here just for a catch like that gets complicated the easier way I would do in this case and we're goingto move this set around a little bit anyway is I'm going to wrap this light around her a little bit because I can see in there the catch light is like in the very left of her eyeball and if I move this around a little bit it's going to come in a little bit you know if she's here the light kind of coming around is going to create a catch light in the eye so I feel like there's still too much light on the back so do a open up this fever I'm going toe I'm moving this promise over away from the backdrop okay a little bit and we'll try it on well let's work through into this because I this is what you're going to give me the reflector in cape you can have a balance so let's see you want no light on the backdrop for much less light on the backdrop to the side and just kick out the window so again philip you want less light on the backdrop yes place I wanted to look like that but I'm left image where I'm creating more contrast behind her right so we're gonna have to move this on the subject further off the background okay yeah say john help me with this please you need to come towards me but you do that as well when you're shooting in that friday so we're going more dick if I can get the more dark I can get behind here so the more of a tunnel and I call it a tunnel because it really is you're building a tunnel of light that is directing down that tunnel towards the background which gives you that beautiful separation and also can get you to change light right so soon I'm going to make one more change I'm gonna put this like he said like a tunnel bloody b flat it's always a fight isn't it yeah and john if you wouldn't mind just holding that there you see how when you did it on the natural light you blocked some of the window my dad the same thing so now she could be on that edge okay and it doesn't matter that I'm getting a hard shadow because of my thing I can't explain remember sue when we talked about just attach when we took the pocket wizard off you couldn't see anything yet from was black so it doesn't matter that light does not make a difference it just helps you to focus at this rate getting better getting better you see so if we kept doing that we don't have my reflector can I have my reflected that bounce up take she's got a dark take and I don't want that so so this is actually little bit tricky and that's where good strong model light it's important because you can't see this now I know but I can you know where it's going to go I say not just a tad gogo yeah nice soft of face background is getting darker so I'm obviously a lot colder on the temperature yeah yeah so we can fix that in post because you're shooting roll right right so we're getting pretty close now I'm impressed through well done what you did it you know yes john we're sending both to the computer yeah it's when we do the retouching that'll become clear yeah because one war and j pick and you're only saying that jay pig and you're only seeing the screen vision of the zhou pig but you're seeing the light which is the most important part right we've got six more shots today god yet so let's keep going because what I did then was what was my next shot nico I think I took macey out and I put katie in yeah I think we're pretty much on the same and I opened the blackfeet fled so you can go maybe that side this camera's on and if you come through you know would you just hear the hero shot of that so this is with the black b flat as the background yes okay so now um all I did was bring this around if my backdrop

Class Description

As a photographer, nothing defines your talent more than your ability to capture, create, and place the right lighting. Award-winning portrait photographer Sue Bryce joins studio lighting wunderkind Felix Kunze for a lighting for portrait photography masterclass covering the universally most-used portrait scenarios. You will learn how to work with both natural and studio light — so that you are prepared to walk into any environment and take a gorgeous photograph.

Sue, internationally-renowned for her ability to paint portrait subjects with the glow of natural light, will teach you how she sets up different lighting scenarios. Felix, who's worked with the top photographers on earth, will then take the reins replicating Sue's shot — all using artificial lighting techniques he has honed from experience. The two seasoned photographers will take turns shooting, each learning and asking questions of the other in real time.

By the end of this course, you will know how to shoot a variety of portrait styles, including the classic beauty shot, the silhouette, high-contrast glamour, the soft flat light portrait (master that back light!), and old-school Hollywood glamour — all with both natural light and artificial light.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 1

Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 2

Sue Bryce & Felix Kunze - Gear Guide

The Lighting Challenge Syllabus

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Aliah Husain

I loved this course! I purchased it as a beginner photographer, unsure of whether to shoot natural or studio light and how to get the best results. After watching the course, I am fully confident in my ability to use both natural and studio lighting in my photography. And most importantly, I feel I have the knowledge base to be able to experiment with lighting in any situation. I am both grateful and inspired by these two amazing teachers sharing their technical knowledge and a personal piece of themselves. It is clear that they genuinely care about making their students better photographers. Thank you, Sue and Felix!!!


This is the best lighting class I've done, including several in-person ones. Covers so much, and the contrast between and dialogue about the two styles (natural vs studio) was so helpful. I didn't think there was anything at all negative about how Sue spoke with Felix, which a few reviewers said. Clearly she has great respect for him, which she sincerely says at one point, and explains why. Wonderful to see specifically how they both shape light. So many topics are covered. Loved Felix's clear and specific explanations about studio lighting. This class is worth every penny.

Wasabi Ben Kenobi

This was a fantastic introduction to studio lighting, and one of the best courses I've watched on Creative Live. I've only ever done natural light photos, but I want to learn more about studio lights because I'm creating a basement studio. I'm already a big fan of Sue's approach to portraiture. Now I'm a fan of Felix's soft lighting approach, too. In this course, he demonstrates how to replicate natural light portraits with a simple lighting setup. With a big scrim, a strobe or constant lamp, and v-flats, you can do so much! I'll be watching this course again.