Online Photography Lighting Setup Course

Photo Setup

Planning a photo shoot can be challenging as you struggle to properly prepare while keeping the artistic juices flowing. In this online photography lighting course, you'll focus on the planning and preparation that lead to the successful execution of a photo shoot. You will develop a thorough understanding of different types of lighting, both natural and artificial, and learn how to work within varied shooting conditions. Working with a photography pro, you'll explore ways to effectively stage and style photographs to achieve your desired effect.

Photo lighting setup course

Learn how to stage and light your photoshoots like a pro

Instructor-Led Course

Feedback from design professionals

Creative Projects

Stretch your skills, grow your portfolio

Learn at Your Own Pace

Self-paced and scheduled programs available
Course Outline
Preview course topics and assignments.

1 - Before You Shoot: Planning for Success

Our job as photographers is to blend smooth execution with a creative product. In this first lesson, I'll provide an overview of the logistical preparations you'll need for any photo shoot: how to plan and what to pack. We'll also begin our exploration of lighting setups by looking at how to work with natural light.

2 - In The Studio: Continuous Lighting and Single Light Setups

In this lesson, you'll learn your way around a typical photography studio. We'll look at common lighting equipment used in studios and discuss ways to create your own studio affordably. We'll also focus on creating artificial lighting using simple light set ups.

3 - Using Strobes, Shooting Tethered, and Advanced Lighting

In this lesson, you'll investigate how to use strobe lighting and shoot tethered. By the end of the lesson, we'll be ready to look at some more complicated lighting setups: including loop lighting, backlighting, side lighting, and Rembrandt lighting. You'll have the tools to tackle sophisticated lighting schemes for portrait shoots.

4 - Shooting On Location with Strobes and Off-Camera Flash

Shooting on location can refer to either an indoor or outdoor shoot, as long as you are shooting in an environment. Certain shoot locations are simple; you pack and set up as you would in your studio. What do you do if your location doesn't have power or if your location is outside? You use battery packs, generators, or Off-Camera Flash units, as we'll discover in this lesson.

5 - Assistant Crew and Specialized Lighting

In this lecture, you'll learn how to work with various on-set crew members. Working with other pros such as second shooters, photographer's assistants, and digital technicians can help you achieve your project goals. We'll also continue our exploration of lighting techniques with a look at Avedon lighting, high and low key photography, and reflective objects.

6 - Professional Crew and Shooting in the Dark

This week, we will examine the people who make the magic happen in front of the camera: models, hair stylists, make up artists (MUAs), and prop stylists. Props are something every photographer should master, so we'll discuss the value of good props and conclude our examination of lighting techniques with a peek at the fun technique of light painting.

Course Objectives
Building skills? Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn in this course:
  • Plan a photo shoot that requires some coordination and requires human or animal subjects.
  • Scout a location and adapt your planning accordingly.
  • Utilize lighting modifiers to compensate for issues in ambient and natural light.
  • Plan in-studio photo shoots that require continuous lighting and light modifiers.
  • Utilize one and two light setups that combine continuous lighting and light modifiers.
  • Research and analyze professional examples of photographic lighting.
  • Shoot tethered, conducting on-the-spot image edits and file management.
  • Conduct a successful outside photo shoot with artificial lighting, on location without power.
  • Utilize OCF, studio strobes, or continuous lighting with a generator on location.
  • Plan and execute one or more photo shoots with advanced lighting techniques .
  • Present a polished portfolio of 5-7 images for a prospective client.
Course Registration

Interested in this course? Scheduled enrollment options are available. Ask Admissions about taking this course as part of a degree or certificate program.

Course LevelClasses startRegistration FeeTechnology FeeTuition
Degree course
3-credit course, 15 week
Jan, May, Aug$200$50/semester$475/credit
* Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for updates to course or program content.

Software and Supplies

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • A digital camera with manual control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance.
  • A range of lighting setups are discussed in the course. Students can choose professional or DIY techniques.

Who’s Teaching

Course developed by Felicia Kieselhorst

Student Feedback

The instructors have top credentials and experience and are always there to offer a new perspective, as well as valuable coaching and mentoring. - Myriam Keaton, Associate Degree in Graphic Design.

Student Gallery

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.
Chat with our knowledgeable admissions staff to select course and program options.
Complete your registration entirely online.

Related Programs

Did you know? You can take this course as part of an award-winning certificate or degree program.