How to Shoot Portraits on a Budget with Off-Camera Flash
4.6 (5 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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How to Shoot Portraits on a Budget with Off-Camera Flash

Learn to Shoot Studio-Quality Headshots and Portraits with Your SLR and Flash
4.6 (5 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
68 students enrolled
Created by Phil Steele
Published 7/2012
Price: $45
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

Here's what you'll learn in this video series

  • Learn how you can save money and take amazing photos with off-camera flash—the new, easy, inexpensive, portable way to take professional photos without expensive studio gear!
  • Discover the four crucial, inexpensive pieces of equipment you need to get the flash off your camera (and don't worry, if you don't have a flash yet, I'll tell you which kind to buy to avoid over-spending)
  • Watch me go through 4 photo shoots with live models, revealing all my off-camera flash secrets.
  • Learn advanced techniques using multiple flashes, colored filters, reflectors, and other optional equipment, for creating photos that make viewers say "Wow!"
  • Watch over my shoulder as I edit the photos in post-production, adjusting them to look their best.
  • Learn from my mistakes! I show you the reality of each shoot, including what goes right and what goes wrong and how to fix it.
  • Discover the foolproof 4-Step-Formula for choosing the perfect ISO, Shutter, and Aperture for your flash photos. Never wonder what to do in "M" mode again!

Plus you get two additional bonus videos if you sign up right now

  • Outdoor Portriaits Using a Reflector
  • The Glam-Blur Technique for Portrait Retouching

These bonuses are offered for a limited time and can't be guaranteed if you wait until later to register.


"Your videos are fantastic—the perfect balance between technical detail and simple explanation. I especially appreciate your shopping tips and reviews of the various products that are available, as that can be pretty overwhelming. Thanks so much!" — Beth M., Olympia Washington

"I've been a pro landscape photographer for around 5 years now and am moving into the portrait and wedding market. I soon realized that my knowledge of flash and how to best utilise it was pretty none existant. Until i came accross your videos! I've learned more in 4 or 5 videos than all the photography books i've read. Thanks, Phil, for advancing my photography in a matter of minutes which would normally have taken weeks!" —Martin Sanderson, Carlisle, England

"I just finished watching your speedlight class and I had to tell you how much I enjoyed it! As an instructor, I see a lot of this sort of material, and so much of it misses the mark. But yours offers useful, real-world information without the useful fluff. It's great to see such a clear and concise discussion. Home run, Phil! — Michael Corsentino—Award Winning Photographer and Author of the Canon Speedlite Digital Field Guide

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Curriculum For This Course
13 Lectures
Promotional Video
1 Lecture 02:05

Learn why you need off-camera flash to take professional-looking portraits without the cost of expensive studio equipment.

Preview 02:05
Introduction and Equipment
3 Lectures 21:44

Learn how new off-camera flash technology lets you take professional-looking photos anywhere, without a fancy studio or big, expensive studio lights.  Also why I shot this course in a small apartment to show that you can do it anywhere.

Preview 02:50

Learn the four crucial pieces of equipment you need to get started with off-camera flash photography.  I also recommend specific products for photographers on a budget.

Equipment Part 1

Learn about optional equipment to take your portrait photography to the next level, including reflectors, filters, multiple flashes, and more.

Equipment Part 2
Getting Ready to Shoot
3 Lectures 33:24

Learn how to assemble your off-camera flash setup and take practice shots to test your lighting setup any time (even when you don't have a model handy).

Preview 06:21

See hands-on details of how to set your Canon or Nikon flashes in manual mode, Master mode, and other configuations.

Flash Settings

Learn the four-step formula for choosing your manual flash power and camera settings (shutter, aperture, and ISO) to get perfect exposure.  This is the foundation of all photography.

The Four-Step Formula
The Photo Shoots
4 Lectures 44:44

Watch a portrait session using the built-in, off-camera wireless flash triggering system found in all Canon and Nikon flashes.  Includes post-production review of the photos.

Photo Shoot 1 - Master/Slave TTL Portrait

Learn the classic headshot lighting technique used by top photographers in New York and Los Angeles.  Also includes a post-production review of the photos.

Photo Shoot 2 - The LA Headshot

In this portrait shoot, you learn how to use manual radio triggers, the least expensive way to create professional-looking lighting. Also includes a post-production review of the photos.

Photo Shoot 3 - Manual Flash Trigger Portrait

Watch an outdoor fashion portrait shoot combining ambient light with TTL wireless off-camera flash. Also includes a post-production review of the photos and course conclusion.

Photo Shoot 4 - Outdoor TTL Portrait + Course Wrap-Up
Free Bonus Videos
2 Lectures 24:23

Learn how to take professional outdoor portraits using nothing more than natural light and a single reflector.  Also how to make your own budget refectors.  Also includes a post-production review of the photos.

Bonus 1 - Reflector Portraits with Natural Light

Learn the best Photoshop technique I've ever found for creating perfect, natural-looking, beautiful skin that will keep your portrait clients coming back for more.  

Bonus 2 - Portrait Retouching with the Glam-Blur Technique
About the Instructor
Phil Steele
4.6 Average rating
5 Reviews
68 Students
1 Course
Photographer and Instructor

Phil Steele is the founder of, one of the most popular photography training sites on the Internet.

Phil's photos have appeared in books and magazines around the world. His photography training YouTube channel has over 1 million views, and his popular online photography websites draw millions of visitors per year.

Phil says:

In my own attempt to learn photography, I became frustrated by what I perceived as an "information gap." On the one hand, I found plenty of free information online, but it was unpredictable in quality and completely disorganized. Seeking it out and separating the gems from the junk simply became a waste of time.

On the other hand, there were some great courses created by professional photographers—but the prices were too often beyond my budget. And frankly, sometimes a great photographer is not necessarily a great teacher.

What I wanted was well-organized instruction, understandable to an amateur, presented in a logical sequence, by a good teacher, at a reasonable price.

And it just didn't seem to exist. I ended up learning the hard way, often the slow way and the expensive way, buying books, online courses, seminars, DVD courses, everything I could get my hands on. And of course I spent a lot of years with the camera in my hands learning by making mistakes.

Then one day, after absorbing all the knowledge I could find and shooting for nearly a decade—I suddenly realized that I was now in a position to create the training that I had always wished existed!

The result is this series of courses. I want to give you the training that I always wished I could find.