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Are you confused about strobes, softboxes, sync cords, and triggers? This introductory studio lighting class will start from the ground up as participants learn how to position their lights and take a handheld meter reading. We will learn about how to use light ratios and various lighting styles to create portraits to flatter our subject. Accent lights such as background lights and hairlights will also be taught during this online workshop. Detailed lighting diagrams and sample photos will be shared to help participants create stunning images, including Jes’s recipe for perfect high key every time. Whether you are just getting started with studio lighting or if you have been working with lights for awhile but still don’t feel totally confident and in control of your results, this is the class for you!

What We Cover

  • Basic studio lighting terminology.
  • Overview of basic studio lighting gear.
  • How to use a handheld meter in studio.
  • Setting up and positioning your studio lights.
  • Using a reflector in studio.
  • Various lighting styles.
  • Using light ratios to set the tone of your images.
  • Multi-light setups: Using hairlights and background lights to enhance your images.

What You Get

  • One week for gear Q&A prior to the first lesson.
  • Four weekly PDFs with a lesson, lighting diagrams, and a shooting assignment.
  • Videos of Jes demonstrating lesson concepts in her studio.
  • Detailed and personalized instruction from Jes.
  • Assignment feedback and critique from Jes as well as teaching assistants.
  • Access to a private virtual classroom where you can post questions and Jes will answer daily.
  • Share ideas and questions with other participants. See their shooting assignments and read their questions and critiques to learn even more.

What You Need

  • DSLR and a portrait lens
  • Two studio strobes (with modeling light, variable output, and constant power supply)
  • A large modifier for your main light: Softbox, octobox, or brolly box
  • A smaller modifier for your accent light: grid or stripbox
  • Two light stands
  • Method to trigger strobe (either sync cord or wireless trigger)
  • Gray card, zerbra card, or another method to set CWB in a strobe situation
  • A large reflector, approximately the same size as your main light modifier
  • A handheld meter that records flash readings. Recommended meters are the Sekonic L-308S or L-358.

Click HERE for more information about this gear list.

INSTRUCTOR: Jessica Gwozdz

START DATE: April 20, 2015

Class is limited to 30 active participants.

“This is a fun, informative and well-structured class. You will learn so much about light placement, metering, lighting ratios, artistic techniques and so much more. This was my first CM class. I was reluctant at first because of the cost, but the information I have gained has changed how I look at everything. I was watching TV with my husband and he said, “hey, hair light.” Jes is a wonderful instructor. She speaks very clearly and to the point. She is kind, helpful, patient, and oh so knowledgeable. Her examples are breathtaking. If you are interested in learning more about studio lighting, and want to learn from the very best, don’t hesitate to take this class.”

“I want to thank Jes over and over again for this workshop. I learned so much! Do not hesitate, if you are thinking of taking this workshop, take it. It was so worth it. I finally understand studio lighting. Whenever I had a question, Jes or one of the members helping with the class answered it so quickly and thoroughly. I could not be more happy with this workshop, it was high above my expectations. I would take another class with her any day. I can’t say enough nice things about this experience. I am so sad that it is coming to an end. Thank you so much Jes and everyone else who helped with the workshop.”

Pricing Options

  • Ability to upload photos for instructor feedback
  • Ability to post and communicate with instructor and participants
  • Access to view all course materials (videos, PDFs, tutorials, etc…)

Student Photography Examples

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Student Reviews

  • Jessica says:

    This class was totally eye-opening! What I thought I knew about studio lighting was just the small tip of the iceberg. Jes was so amazingly helpful right from the start with answering all of my equipment questions so that I could update my gear to make my studio more efficient. Each lesson was explained so well with awesome documentation, videos and photos to make what I initially thought were difficult concepts, much easier to understand. I feel so much more confident with using a light meter and adjusting my setups to get the looks I want that I can’t wait to keep practicing and playing instead of always getting frustrated. And the CC from the helpers/mentors were invaluable as well. I definitely recommend this class for anyone who loves studio lighting as much as I do!! Thanks Jes, this was a wonderful experience.

  • Liana says:

    Before this course, I thought studio lighting was beyond my capability. And truthfully, I didn’t think that I would find the studio shooting much fun, but I was determined to learn how to work with lighting in case it became necessary. Well I can say with complete transparency that Jes totally changed my mind about studio work!

    I learned so much in the course that I have decided to build a studio in our basement when we begin renovations! Jes made it so easy to learn the basics and was so helpful with my myriad questions. I found that lighting is not so scary at all!

    Back when I was in med school, we had a surgery attending physician who was so inspiring, he almost convinced me to become a surgeon during the month I worked with him…and considering how much I hated the OR, this was no small feat. But this was an *almost.*
    Jes, however, did this doctor one better. She gave me the tools and training I needed to learn thus allowing me to fall in love with something I didn’t think I would get into at all. And that is utterly fabulous!

  • Luci says:

    I started this class with nothing but my camera, light meter and a desire to learn studio lighting. Every word and piece of equipment was foreign to me, but with Jes’ gentle guidance I walked away with a strong base in studio lighting. Her lessons are detailed and full of information but so easy to understand. Jes is always willing to answer questions and really wants you to walk away with confidence in the studio. Highly recommend this class!

  • Anne says:

    I’ve taken numerous “short” courses in varying aspects of photography but this course is by far, the most comprehensive, well-explained, supported, and practical that I’ve taken. It is more than worth the financial investment. I’m hopeful for a second follow-up course. Jes is wonderful, as as her assistants. All questions were answered in a timely and professional manner. We all felt supported and encouraged along this journey. What was promised during the first week came to fruition by the end of the course. Give this course a try, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Camille says:

    The course covers the foundations of studio lighting so it equipped me to do different lighting styles. Jes explains everything well and in easy to understand language. She and the teaching assistants answer questions promptly and do not hold back information. I did not know much about studio lighting before I took this course and I must say that I am now very confident with using studio lights. If you are thinking of taking a workshop, I highly recommend this class. Thank you, Jes! I really loved this.

  • Dominique says:

    I’m still exploring where I want my photography to go. This course has been on my radar screen since I took a class on OCF. The things you can do with light (natural, flash and studio lighting) has just amazed me. Jes’s workshop took me from not having a clue about studio lighting to being able to maneuver a 3 light set-up with ease. The materials are full of examples and easy to understand. The first week is a “get your gear” week where she helps answer questions about what you need. For me, that was extremely helpful since this was my first experience (even contact!) with studio lights and didn’t really know what I needed and what was “nice to have.” Starting with the second week, Jes explains the concepts and takes you from a one light set up to two, how to calculate light ratios and how the inverse square law can help you separate your subject from the backdrop. I am so glad to have taken this class, it’s added so much to my bag of tricks! It is definitely worth the investment!

  • Liz says:

    I absolutely loved this class! I actually joined TPW in anticipation of the class since I’ve been a huge fan of Jes’ work for some time now… and it was well worth the wait! I was brand new to studio lighting and didn’t even know where to start in terms of gear. The first week (and even weeks prior to starting), Jes gave us a very thorough list of potential equipment. She is so knowledgeable about the different brands and products out there and made the selection process so much easier. Once the class began, we learned everything from metering light, using light ratios to create desired effects, adding hairlights and background lights for separation, feathering light, high key, and how to position your lights in general for desired effects. It was such an “aha” moment in the last week when we tied everything together. Beyond the class material, Jes was great about answering questions and helping us achieve different looks, whether they were relevant to the material or not. I had the most fun in week 4 as we played around with high key lighting. Long story short, I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in getting into studio lighting. I am so impressed with the knowledge and experience that we gained in the past 5 weeks. Thank you Jes!

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