Whether 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!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.