Setting Up A Photography Studio & Lighting Masterclass
4.9 (15 ratings)
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Setting Up A Photography Studio & Lighting Masterclass

Learn how to create a photography studio space on any budget, and how to achieve the best lighting scenarios
Best Seller
4.9 (15 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.
894 students enrolled
Created by Sandy Dee
Last updated 7/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $125 Discount: 92% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 8 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand what you need to create a photography studio - whether in a rented room, or in your own home
  • Understand the main studio lighting principles and scenarios
  • Learn about backgrounds of all kinds - vinyl, paper, and more
  • Get to know the tools, gadgets and hacks that will make your studio life easier
View Curriculum
  • Familiarity with portrait photography
  • A desire to create amazing images

Do you ever struggle with wind, rain, heat or the wrong time of day at your photo session and think 'it would be so great if I had my own studio'?

Do you ever think 'I wish my client's location wasn't so cluttered or dark or ugly' and 'it would be so great to have my own studio'?

Or do you think it's time to create a wider variety of images with different backgrounds and outfit changes without having to search for restrooms or drive to a new location for each shoot?

Do you want work in a safe environment where you are in control?

Do you want to be the master of your light?

If you answered 'YES!' to at least one of those questions - then it's time for you to think about building your own photography studio space!

We’ve got you covered! We went through all those issues from battling rain when living in England to harsh Californian summer heat, so we understand you. If you want to bring your photography to the next level but are daunted by all the factors involved in building a studio, then with us you are in good hands. 

Learn from our experiences of building our own studio from scratch so you don't have to make the same mistakes or waste any money.

Think about how fun it would be not only to work in your own environment, but also to meet your client for the pre-consultation or sales presentation in your own professional studio rather than in a crowded coffee shop.

You will be able to produce a greater variety of images in a smaller time frame - which means more customers and more profit. Or if you are shooting for a hobby, you will be able to create your vision without being at the mercy of the weather or location.

In this course we will show you what you need in order to build your own photography studio and learn new lighting techniques to create stunning images. If you are worried that this will break your bank - don't be! You don't need a lot of equipment to create jaw dropping images, and we cover all budget options. 

This course will save you a ton of research time and money by cutting straight to the necessities with no fluff. 

After this course you will know what you need to get going with setting up your own studio space whether it's in a leased room, spare bedroom or basement in your home. 

Yes you read that correctly - for your great new photography studio you don't even need a huge space or super high ceilings. We will go through all our studio's limitations and how we found solutions so you can achieve the same results.

In this course we will analyze:

  • Studio location
  • Size 
  • Pros and cons for your own needs
  • Lighting
  • Modifiers
  • Backgrounds
  • Props and accessories

All augmented with lots of images and diagrams to give you an understanding of how it all fits together. 

You will even be able to create your own pros/cons list to give you confidence that you are making the right choice without buyers remorse.

1.5 Hour Lighting Tutorial

If you have never worked with studio lights, they are not as scary as you might think - we will guide you through the different brands and modifying options in the 1.5 hour lighting tutorial that covers all the different looks and lighting scenarios from broad and short lighting to split lighting and more. We will even set up a high key and teach you the important rules to create the right lighting ratio.

This course is for the beginner to intermediate DSLR photographer who is looking to step up a level into studio photography and understand more about lighting and concepts. 

So have fun and happy shooting!

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginner to intermediate DLSR Portrait Photographers
  • Photographers who are interested in lighting and how it can be controlled
Compare to Other Photography Lighting Courses
Curriculum For This Course
27 Lectures
Introduction and Location Considerations
5 Lectures 20:41

Welcome and overview of the course.

Preview 01:26

A run through of why you need a studio - the options it gives you vs natural light, how it will help you win clients, and other topics. Creating amazing images with full control of your lighting is just one reason!

So Why Do You Need a Studio?

A deep dive into what to consider when deciding on the location for your studio, whether it will be a rented room or your basement, garage or spare room in your own home. If your goal is to attract clients, run workshops or just to practice your hobby, this will give you all the help to make your decision.

Location Considerations

You don't necessarily need a huge space to create a photography studio. This lecture is a deep dive into the requirements of the room itself to help you weigh the options: size, ceiling height, type of floor, access... which is most important? 

Preview 04:19

You will learn how you can create a pros/cons list to evaluate the best place to create your photography studio. We will help you identify your needs so you can avoid the dreaded feeling of 'buyer's remorse'.

Making Your List
Lights and Backgrounds
8 Lectures 01:24:35

Lighting is critical to your success in the studio, and luckily there are many options to choose from. In this lecture you will learn about the different lighting options that are available to you for your studio project. Only have a small budget? No problem! You will get to know brand options that are suitable for any wallet such as Yongnuo, Paul C Buff. And if you want to invest more, we have you covered with higher end brands as well.

Lighting Choices

If you want to stand out from the 'natural light' photographers, you need to be able to modify you light - in this lecture you will learn everything you need to know about modifiers and how they will shape your light to give you full control. The differences in softboxes, hard light, soft light, beauty dishes and more are explained, as well as a bonus clip on how to put together a softbox. This way you don't even have to read the boring manual ;-)

Softboxes and Modifiers

Backgrounds are a crucial part of your studio. In this lecture you will learn all about common backgrounds such as paper and vinyl, and different choices of background stands: do you want to know which ones are easiest to handle? It's covered here. This will give you a head start on your studio setup and help you avoid making mistakes so you can get going quickly.

Intro to Backgrounds and Stands

Vinyl is the classic background material - here you will learn about different vinyl options and their pros and cons, to help you decide what kind of background you need. Do you want to hear about our biggest mistake? These tips will help you avoid wasting money on the wrong type of vinyl.

Vinyl Backgrounds

In this lecture you will learn about nylon polyester backgrounds and their benefits and disadvantages, as well as tips on how to shoot effectively on patterned backgrounds. A great variety of backgrounds will help you differentiate your images from the everyday studio photographer and make you stand out from the crowd. Sandy explains where you can purchase different backgrounds that don't break the bank.

Patterned Backgrounds

We're not done with backgrounds yet! There are many other types of backgrounds such as pop-ups, faux flooring and gel options that will give your images an extra dimension. 

Gels, Fake Floors and Pop-up Backgrounds

German efficiency at its best! Learn everything you need to know about organizing your studio and keeping things tidy. Also, you will get to know about a wide range of prop ideas to differentiate your photoshoots from the everyday 'boring studio photography'.

Storage and Props

If you come from natural light photography, don't let the idea of studio strobe scare you away. If you want to know what all those buttons and knobs are, Matt shows you how to operate a Bowens Gemini studio strobe, and how a softbox attaches to it. The principles apply to any type of strobe.

Overview of a Studio Strobe
Studio Lighting Tutorial
12 Lectures 01:36:32

Your studio lights need to be the main source of light so you can fully control the outcome of the shot. How? You will learn in this lecture all about light metering, why to shoot RAW, and how to balance against the ambient light that exists in your room (if any). This section is a walk through of different lighting options with the resulting images shown on screen to illustrate the examples.

Intro to Studio Lighting

You can achieve a lot of great results with just one light. Here Sandy explains how the light can be positioned versus the direction in which the subject faces, and the different effects it produces: short lighting vs broad lighting.

One Light

More options with just the one light: feathering and specularity, and how to change the light intensity on your background using the inverse square law principle.

One Light Part 2 - Feathering

The beauty dish is an oft misunderstood modifier that can help produce outstanding images when used correctly. In this lecture Sandy explains the beauty dish and how it works with a honeycomb grid and 'shower cap' diffuser.

Beauty Dish

Sandy's favorite modifier! Here you will learn how this narrow softbox can help produce dramatic images that will make your portfolio stand out from the crowd.


In the previous examples a small square softbox was used. Here you will learn why a large softbox can be a great addition to your studio.

Preview 08:52

The final example with just one light will take you through 'hard light' - using the kit reflector dish and the effect it creates on the subject's face.

Hard Light

Now that you have learned about what you can do with one studio light, you are ready to experiment with the second or 'fill' light. Sandy covers what to avoid at all costs and how catchlights in the subject's eye should be positioned in the most flattering way.

Adding a Second Light

Ever wanted to understand the typical studio set up? Here you will learn all about 3 point lighting.

Adding a Third Light

A quick fast forward look at how to mount a large vinyl background onto the stand.

Putting the Vinyl On The Background Stand

Putting it all together with 4 lights - here you will learn how to achieve the famous 'high key' effect with a white background.

Using Four Lights

Bonus hack - if you only have two lights and one big softbox, you can still get a high key effect for headshots!

High Key Hack With One Large Softbox
Wrapping Up
2 Lectures 09:41

No studio is complete without clamps, duck tape and a selection of other useful items - if you want to find out how to keep the studio running smoothly, this video is essential.

Useful Things That Keep The Studio Running

Well done, you made it! Now you are ready to put all this knowledge into action and get your studio up and running.

Thank You And Summary
About the Instructor
Sandy Dee
4.7 Average rating
63 Reviews
2,959 Students
6 Courses
Photographer/Owner at Sandyseyecatcher

Sandy is originally from Germany and studied Photography in London, where she earned a Diploma in Professional Photography. Following her passion for creative conceptual portrait photography, she moved to San Jose, California where she runs stylized portrait workshops, and wrote the book 'Posing Like A Pro' which covers all aspects of posing for the contemporary photographer.

Sandy loves teaching and helping photographers reach new levels in their technique and creativity!