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The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

with Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze

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  •   Trailer

  •   20 Post Process Q&A


Class duration: 10h 13m

See all 29 lessons
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  • 89% recommended

    57 student reviews

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About The Class

a lighting masterclass.

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.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie

  3. 03

    Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie

  4. 04

    Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan

  5. 05

    Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie

  6. 06

    Shoot: Studio Light Protraits - Katie

  7. 07

    Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - LaQuan

  8. 08

    Shoot: Natural Light Nude Maisie

  9. 09

    Shoot: Natural Light Nude Continued Maisie & LaQuan

  10. 10

    Shoot: Studio Light Nude Maisie

  11. 11

    Shoot: Studio Light Nude Maisie & LaQuan

  12. 12

    Studio Light Q&A

  13. 13


  14. 14

    Shoot: Natural Light - Backlight

  15. 15

    Shoot: Studio Light - Backlight

  16. 16

    Shoot: Hollywood Glamour Shoot

  17. 17

    Shoot: Low Budget Hollywood Glamour

  18. 18

    Post Processing: Sue's Style

  19. 19

    Post Processing: Felix's Style

  20. 20

    Post Process Q&A

  21. 21

    Shoot: Studio Backlight and Lens Flare

  22. 22

    Shoot: Studio Light - Strobe

  23. 23

    Nude Boudoir Retouching

  24. 24

    Contemporary Portrait 1

  25. 25

    Contemporary Portrait 2

  26. 26

    Contemporary Portrait 3

  27. 27

    Film Noir Male Retouching

  28. 28

    Film Noir Boudoir Retouching

  29. 29

    Nude Male Retouching


Meet Your Experts

Sue Bryce

Multi-talented Sue Bryce is a Master Photographer, Artist, Illustrator, and anthropologist. Her style of contemporary fashion-inspired portraiture gives her clients the experience of looking like the women in magazines and feeling beautiful. Sessions are designed to pamper and celebrate everything ... read more

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Felix Kunze

Felix Kunze is an editorial and commercial portrait photographer. Felix was born in Berlin, grew up in the UK and now lives in New York City. His goal is to show the beauty, grace, strength and enthusiasm of people. He ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 1
  • pdf Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 2
  • pdf Sue Bryce & Felix Kunze - Gear Guide
  • pdf The Lighting Challenge Syllabus

89% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Aliah Husain

    Aliah Husain

    September 2017

    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!!!

  • Geri

    May 2019

    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.

  • Creativelive Student

    January 2015

    This is such an amazing course. Felix and Sue are so generous with their expertise. I am coming away from this course with a wealth of knowledge and skills in not only natural and studio lighting, but also posing and editing. The Lighting Challenge Guides are beautifully composed and offer an excellent visual reminder to all the lighting setups they took us through. Wow! Can't wait to begin implementing everything I have learned in this valuable course. Thank you CreativeLive.

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