Skip to main content

Picture Perfect Lighting

Lesson 3 of 41

My Progress in Lighting


Picture Perfect Lighting

Lesson 3 of 41

My Progress in Lighting


Lesson Info

My Progress in Lighting

My progress on lighting let me share this with you a little bit this is really fun for me this is the guy you came to see this is the guy first round off lighting this is where my lighting pursuit began but by pursuit this is what I noticed how bad I wass this's also what I notice that should probably change my job or keep my day job which but at that time was a high school economics marketing finance and accounting on entrepreneurship teacher only gone but check it out this thing is totally that is uh that is the beginning of my paid career jobs okay this's the lighting I was this is how I photographed amazing hot spots on the forehead it just looks fantastic. Okay bye fantastic and being sarcastic engage you in a country that doesn't take jokes very well um it's not good this is how I handle son I just thought hey, I was told that if you raise the chin you can get beautiful light on your face if there's because the sun is coming from a bus and you just go like this I was like girlfri...

end just raise your chin and she was like and smile and I was like, I mean, look at that it was yeah turns out there's more to it than raising your chin but who knew back then you know this is the beginning this is my circumstantial like handling all circumstantial light it was never mind the camera tilt I thought it was really like modern photography to tilt the camera, so I tilted it a little bit too much maybe yeah, but that's the way, wes um yeah, this is circumstantial light. Do you guys see that hot spot? You guys see all this super distracting elements in the background? These are the things we're going to talk about these next three days is how don't know what is everything on how they use it to your advantage. But back then I didn't really notice those things. I was nobody taught me lighting like the way I'm going to teach lighting this next three days I wish they would have. I would have been in a different place by now, okay, but this is what I was dealing with. Um, this is one of my favorites. I thought it was very good use of flash and I wanted to make her taller. I was told that if you know where your angle you make someone look more powerful. So I said, well, the bride is, like, supposed to be, like, featured in her wedding, so I said, I'm gonna lower my ankle and I went from this and I put the flash and I shot it, you guys like it yes very nice this is we trying to use like my ambient light um don't forget the set of the photos I gave the clients like this are not the pools I really didn't give this pull these photos from the client files with us when I was looking into my into my lighting here but this is the first round I didn't know any better I got to tell you thank you to these photos is what woke me up and I started thinking you know what I saw this is the way I handled I'm your light I mean there was this there was this awful looking lamp in the back of their heads and I didn't even notice it like I was just like oh look pretty good stable let's go there you know what what the most photographers do in situations like this they raised their risotto two point five billion right you're like hey my new camera has two point five billion eso let's go to this go there and then I'll light roommate and remove the noise this is why our industry is suffering because we keep we keep shooting in crappy situations and trying to make crappy light look good because we just raised the so it's never going to be a good strategy for you never this is when I try to turn on the flash you know so this is my flash this is why people run you know, I gotta admit I cannot run too, but I thought, you know what? At least you can see them. This is my sister in law. She just got married. She looks young, but she has a phd in biomedical engineering. That girl's crazy smart. Um, this's the photos. Look at that gazebo in the back. Look at that road. Totally the worst possible position to place her that's where I'd put her because I didn't know about circumstantial. Like I didn't know anything. Never mind the post and everything else it's all part of the deal. How about that armpit shot? I mean, that is right there on the shoulder it's like, hey, let's let's feature your army. That sounds amazing, you know, forget the face. I mean, what in the world was I thinking? You really have to wonder about my intelligence levels like you go in there you're like there's, an awful hot spot on the wall let's sit there and put your armpit right on it like I don't know what I was doing on dh this is after I bought my professional cameras and stuff, I was totally invested in photography. I was full on I had quit my job as a high school teacher to do this, and this is what I was producing and I had just gotten married so my wife was not happy she was not having it either just like this is what we're going to eat out off we're gonna eat and pay our bills with this I was like just give me a minute like that song by a pink just gave me I mean just a little bit enough just um I think it's just give me a second um what is up with the lighting on the left side of her face by her by her temple there like I just this is what I mean there was no adjustments whatsoever to this now we're going to look at those things and we're going to notice that this poor cheerleaders got all dressed up on a week and this is shut on a sunday the principal hired me to shoot yeah they hired me to shoot the pictures of the cheerleaders and so I show up on sunday they okay dressed this is what I produced I don't know what's going on there or there but there's no light there's half light on her she's in total shadow part of her forehead is late fantastic fantastic and this is this is my first attempt I was hired to do my first basis my first baby shoot I ever did um I was paid let me remind you for this baby shoot on this is the mom this is the way cropped very good composition lighting was quite excellent nevermind the elbow of the baby take get a lot of that tiger head I mean, that is like less illuminated tiger head on uh sit there by the tigers you can look fierce you know, what do you guys think of about this's? Actually, this is not a joke, but this is where the otherway wass but when I look at photographers on dh this is why I want discourse to be successful for everyone someone help photographers kick but I want them to be like, I'm not going to do this anymore I'm going to do something amazing if you're going to call yourself a photographer it's going to mean something you know I mean it's going to mean that you know your stuff I hope that's my wish um just a few more left I think everything is little better than her face. Um this is the second round this is when I started improving this is my improvement. This is my improvement photos. I was so proud of you, my copyright, like anybody would want to copy that picture, you know, it's like please steal it and don't put my name on its ever but I actually put my name this is when I used to put my name on pictures when I thought that was really cool for branding I was like roberta violence whether you know look like bigger than the picture you know doesn't work um check out that cool shot on the side of the wall on the side of his face then this is the other one with uh with his wife and they were they were like a team and they hired me to do that. This is the further cd cover. Yeah, I'm sure they were so glad they hired me. You know, this is what they did. How about that classy good stuff okay, second round it starts to get a little bit cleaner. You see that this is when I have spent I don't know quite a bit of time trying to improve my lighting this believe it or not it's an improvement to the first round of photos, right? I mean, before the armpit was eliminated now you actually see everything looks terrible no, just the armpit. Um this is the second round a little bit cleaner a little bit better no bad right starting to be starting to be balanced this is all these rounds and I'm telling you are like the first year shooting okay please do not think this is now shooting now this is I should a little differently now, okay, this is my sister in law with her now her husband ana you can see that the lighting is improving a little bit okay and this is the third round off still off my first year on this is my wife came totally awesome I miss this fight this is the first creative life class I teach without her being here because she couldn't come she has to work and pay the bill schools obviously somebody has to joke. Okay, joke um this is the third round this round represents when I sat down and I said something has to change her I'm just not going to make it like I need to start fixing things here because all these hot spots and this and that it's just not happening even the photo of the girl sitting in the grass that she looks illuminated fine it's just not it's not screaming are to me it's just like I'm taking a picture you know, there's nothing there here's another one of her this is like another photo shoot I did and this is when I was really trying and I remember telling my poor wife you know, she's been so supportive I said I don't care how long this takes we're going to make it so he looked good I don't know much but we're gonna make it work and she was like okay, she got all dressed up got her makeup done so cute you know, for this photo shoot with me was just terrible um this is another one there on, uh, you know, it's starting to get a little bit better. And this is what I love about photography. No matter how good or bad you are, you can always get better. And you can always improve.

Class Description

Don’t rely on Photoshop tricks to make your portraits pop – learn how to use light to capture the moment in a camera. In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto Valenzuela will teach you how to make the magic happen with on-camera, off-camera, and natural light.

Roberto is a photographer and educator committed to helping other photographers overcome roadblocks and produce their best work. In this class, he’ll teach you how to achieve perfect lighting in your portraits without always relying on bulky and expensive modifiers. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to handle Speedlites
  • The best way to use natural light
  • Studio lighting techniques

Roberto will demystify lighting and help you become a more confident practitioner of your craft. You’ll learn to embrace lighting as a source of creativity and expression, rather than a source of fear.

In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto will help you reduce the time you spend retouching in Photoshop so you can focus on what is really fun about photography: taking pictures. You’ll develop a better understanding of the principles behind photography lighting and learn about the gear that will make your work more beautiful – without weighing you down.

If your unedited images could use a little boost, don’t miss your chance to learn how create Picture Perfect Lighting with Roberto Valenzuela.


  1. Intro and Who This Class is For
  2. 3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios
  3. My Progress in Lighting

    It is boring when everyone shoots the same photos over and over. Roberto talks about developing a unique look.

  4. Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting
  5. Circumstantial Lighting Q & A
  6. Using a Reflector the Right Way
  7. 5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle
  8. 5 Behaviors of Light: Inverse Square Law of Light
  9. 5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size
  10. 5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size Continued
  11. 5 Behaviors of Light: Color
  12. 5 Behaviors of Light: Reflective Surfaces
  13. 5 Behaviors of Light: Q & A
  14. Location SWOT Analysis and 10 Things to Look For
  15. Location SWOT Analysis: Examples and Exercises
  16. Overview Q & A
  1. Speedlites: The Basics and TTL
  2. Speedlites: Manual Flash
  3. Speedlites: Zoom Flash
  4. Speedlites: Zoom and Rotating Flash Head and Reflectors
  5. Speedlites: First Curtain vs. Second Curtain Sync
  6. Speedlites: High Speed Sync
  7. Speedlites: Optical vs. Radio Systems
  8. Speedlites: Groups and Channels
  9. Location Lighting Upgrade Examples
  10. Indoor Lighting: Building on Ambient Light
  11. Outdoor Lighting : Speedlights in Direct Sunlight
  12. Outdoor Lighting: Using Speedlites in Shade
  13. Outdoor Lighting: Romantic Look and Patterns with Speedlites
  14. Indoor Lighting: Creating a Window with Strobes and a Curtain
  15. Indoor Lighting: Moody Light with Speedlites and Gels
  16. Indoor Lighting: Reflective Surfaces
  17. Indoor Lighting: Shooting Against a Window
  18. Indoor Lighting: Adding a Reference Point and Ambience
  19. Indoor Lighting: Shooting into a Mirror and Creating Separation
  1. Why You Need to Learn to Get it Right In Camera
  2. Location Photo Review and Analysis
  3. Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis
  4. Reception Lighting Setup
  5. Image Critique: Lighting Problems and Solutions
  6. Don't Limit Yourself As A Photographer



Im sitting in my office listening to Roberto with my earplugs on and I know I have already left 2 reviews but he's so funny…. my family comes into the office asking me "whats so funny" Roberto makes me laugh out loud with his jokes but at the same time, he is SO great at teaching. Im watching for second time to make sure all his good info is ingrained. HIGHLY recommend you take his workshop on Picture Perfect Lighting if you truly want to take your photography to the next level! WOW thats 3 reviews now…can you tell I am impressed

Maureen T.

I'm taking a portrait photography course at NYIP online. one of the mentors there recommended the posing book by Roberto. I ended up ordering at the library the posing and the perfect practice book. I fell in love with both books...ended up buying them and signing up here for the year membership just so I can take all of his photos courses. I spent most of my weekend doing perfect lighting course here I am in love with the way that he teaches! He makes something so difficult and challenging for me make sense. I also like that he challenges us photographers to be true professionals. I am thrilled to have discovered Roberto and already noticed my photography is better in the short time that I've been studying him.


Roberto has the personaliyy and gift to relate to others.He is honest and shared some of rhe disaters that occurred, even with high paying and important clients when he failed to follow his proven and tested approaches. He has shared from his extensive knowledge developed by hard work and effort to master his craft. His dedication in attacking his weaknesses and making them a strength is inspiring. I have purchased many CL classes and all have worth the investment so I hesitated to purchase this course because I didn't think there was much new information. However the clear teaching and extensive knowledge shared by Roberto in his unique style caused me to purchase it gladly and believe it is an exceptional value. Roberto has shared his extensive tools, but you will never be the master of the craft without putting in the hard work and testing that roberto testified to. Thanks again CL for bringing the best to us and Thank you Roberto for taking the time and preparation to achive excellance in in this class.