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Online Photography Course
Studio Portrait Lighting

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: Studio Portrait LightingWhether you want to create compelling head shots, professional group or family portraits, or interesting self-portraits, you can learn how to successfully light subjects in an indoor, controlled studio environment. Vik Orenstein, a successful professional photographer (and celebrated author), will teach you how to make the most of studio lights. What's more, she will individually critique your photos!
Key Features

  1. Headshots on White Seamless Paper
  2. Lighting for Classic Mottled Canvas
  3. Basic Lighting for Dramatic Headshots
  4. Basic Lighting for Group Shots
  5. Basic Lighting for "Action" Shots
  6. Lighting Against a Black Backdrop
  7. Hard Light
  8. Re-creating Natural Light in the Studio
     

  • Step-by-step guide to studio lighting.
  • How to light various backdrops.
  • Confidence with controlled lighting.

What You Get

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  Benefits:
You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
 
 
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!

Instructor

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Photography Instructor: Vik  Orenstein Vik Orenstein
Photographer / writer Vik Orenstein owns and operates KidCapers portraits (formerly Kidshooters) and three Tiny Acorn Studios - both nationally recognized photography studios specializing in hand-colored child portraits. She has consulted as a child photography expert and shot for Nikon and Pentax.

Vik has shot commercially for such clients as Microsoft, 3M, and Hormel. She makes frequent television and radio appearances to give advice on how to make great portraits of kids.

She is the author of the Photographers Market Guide to Building Your Business and the classic Creative Techniques for Photographing Children (second edition).

Join Vik to learn how to make truly creative and wonderful pictures of kids or how to make the most of a studio lighting environment.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor


© Vik Orenstein 

© Vik Orenstein 

A Couple of Student Photos

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View photos by previous students. You can make pictures like this too!

Donna R. Leicht
© Donna R. Leicht
Donna R. Leicht
© Donna R. Leicht

Course Outline

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Week 1: Headshots on White Seamless Paper
Assignment: This week we will shoot a headshot against a white, high key backdrop. We will make three images using three different ratios.

Week 2: Lighting for Classic Mottled Canvas
Assignment: Make three head shots - each with a different Depth of Field. Try to get one that's too shallow, one that's too deep, and one that's just right.

Week 3: Basic Lighting for Dramatic Headshots
Assignment: You'll shoot this set-up without anything beside the subject; then with reflectors beside the subject,; and finally, with our nifty subtractive panels. This way, we'll really get a chance to compare the different effects.

Week 4: Basic Lighting for Group Shots
Assignment: Choose 4 to 6 people to photograph together. They could be a family group, a group of co-workers, child or adult siblings... Use your discretion.

Week 5: Basic Lighting for "Action" Shots
Assignment: Shoot a person running, jumping, dancing, and otherwise busting moves all over the place.

Week 6: Lighting Against a Black Backdrop
Assignment: We’re going for drama here again, but it doesn’t have to be all darkness and brooding. Sure, black clothing against the black drop can be GORGEOUS!!! But so can white on black, or brights, or jewel tones. Just don’t wimp out and use pastels or neutrals or what we used to call in the '70s "earth tones".

Week 7: Hard Light
Assignment: You will only need two lights for this assignment – one for the subject, and one to light the backdrop, or, in the event you choose to shoot against the black drop, one to light the back of the subject. Then follow the guidelines in the lesson - and the instructions in the assignment - and post your results!

Week 8: Re-creating Natural Light in the Studio
Assignment: Create a direct color studio shot that mimics a sunset on the beach using strobes, floods, or daylight.

Review: Voting on Best Work


© Vik Orenstein 

© Vik Orenstein 

Requirements

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  • Digital or film-based camera.
  • Control of aperture & shutter speed.
  • Studio lighting set-up: At least two studio lights. Access to various backdrops - seamless paper, canvas, etc. A flash meter (if you use strobes). The stands and umbrellas to support your set-up.  Your lights can be strobes or continuous "hot" lamps. (Note: If you live near a major city with a pro camera store, you may be able to rent everything.)



FAQ

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Who is this course designed for, and what kind of camera is required?
This course is open to anyone who wants to learn how to work with studio lighting equipment. As long as they work with your studio lighting set-up, this class is open to users of both digital cameras and film cameras. I recommend an SLR, but whatever the camera, it should have the following:
  • The ability to manually control aperture and shutter speed.
  • The ability to sync with your lighting system (a PC connection or a hot shoe).
 

What other equipment will I need to take this course?
I recommend at least one zoom lens, and a tripod, and a basic studio lighting set-up. This would consist of no less than two studio lights, a white seamless paper backdrop, a canvas backdrop, a flash meter (if you do not use continuous, "hot" lamps), and all the stands and umbrellas you need to make this system work for you. Remember, you might be able to find a local pro camera shop that will rent you this gear if you do not already own it.  

Can we use photo imaging software like Photoshop?
Yes, that is OK by me.  

Can we use photo imaging software like Photoshop?
Yes, that is OK by me.  


© Vik Orenstein 

© Vik Orenstein 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

Still have questions about this course? Ask Us


Get Started Today
Only $396.00 USD

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At a Glance
8-Week Photo Course
Category: People Courses

$396.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
Read all 52 reviews


Course Reviews:

4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Thomas C. Geyer
Thomas C. Geyer
member since: 11/14/2008
I've learned a lot from this class and Vik. All information was very clear and understandable. I have a new understanding of different ways to light a subject and can't wait to put it into more practice. Thanks!

- 1/11/2012 6:12:03 AM


4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
By
Juventa E. Vezzani
member since: 11/4/2010
Before taking this class I had never even turned on a studio strobe. I have learned SO much!!!! Vik was very patient and yet her constructive critiques were extremely helpful. I loved her humor and wit as well as her quick feedback. I would recommend this class to ANYONE who wants to learn more about studio lighting!!!! Absolutely wonderful!!!! Thanks:)

- 5/5/2011 3:13:24 PM


4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Shelia Earl
Shelia Earl
member since: 7/30/2008
This is my second class with Vik and as before, her instruction is top notch. She challenged me to do more with studio lighting than I ever thought possible. Her evaluations were clear and she always showed you how to make the corrections so that you could improve every week. I haven't worked so hard on a course before, but I started with knowing very little about studio lighting to being able to create shots that I can be proud of. I have taken lots of classes with BP and this one is definitely at the top of my list! I am a better children/family photographer because of her!

- 3/28/2011 6:20:14 AM


4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Holly Gedert
Holly Gedert
member since: 3/23/2005
Studio Portrait Lighting is an excellent course for those needing to go through a variety of lighting exercises with in depth and extensive critiques. Vik does a wonderful job of presenting the course material, and helping you with your assignments, making extended suggestions, and responding to any questions about all aspects of lighting and the studio.

- 3/26/2011 5:17:33 PM


4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Aaron Corn
Aaron Corn
member since: 8/19/2008
As with all of the classes I have taken with Better Photo, Vik Orenstein was fantastic. Her suggestions and comments were invaluable, and her observations and critiques have improved all my photo skills. I would highly recommend this class.
Aaron Corn

- 12/31/2010 11:43:31 AM


Read all 52 course reviews...





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More Delighted Customers:

"I actually feel like I know what I'm doing when I'm moving lights around, instead of guessing. And I finally understand my light meter!! Thanks so much Vik for your insight and great critiques. I'll definitely be taking another one of your classes." -Pat Wimpee 

"I loved the class... I learned so much. I never considered doing portrait photography before, but now that's all I want to do." -Raquel Stanton 

"Vik Orenstein's teaching style and ability to always find positive aspects in some otherwise mediocre portraits, gave me the confidence as one of her students to 'dig a little deeper' and express myself creatively, all the while gaining new perspectives and incredible knowledge... Never before have I absorbed so much insight and technical information from an instructor in such a short period of time." -Michele A. Katcher 

"You have been really amazing! The information you have shared, the way you have shared the information, the positive feedback (even on the 'dumb' questions), and your lighthearted, fun apporach - all make for a very knowledgable, fun course. Your critiques are extremely constructive - always positive and giving the ways we should improve and where. ... I personally cannot thank you enough for helping me!" -Lyn Russell 

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