12 Ways for Lighting Your Subject in the Studio

3 hours

Lighting can be a daunting experience for newbies to studio work because while it is one of the most important tools for creating the image, it’s not the only thing to think about and control during a photo shoot. There’s also the direction to a creative team, creating the set, posing and directing the subject or model, composing the frame, scanning the subject or model for any necessary hair/makeup/wardrobe adjustments and capturing the image (occasionally reviewing the images if you tether while shooting). 


Lighting your Subject

Within the lighting task there’s not only deciding on how many lights and positioning them to achieve the result you’re looking for but balancing the power as well. Once you get a good amount of practice under your belt, all of these things WILL begin to come second nature to you, and then the fun begins! During this workshop, we will cover several classic and creative ways to light your subject to help you capture more interesting and creatively lit portrait and beauty images.


In this workshop, some of the topics we will cover are:

  • Working with key and fill lighting
  • Rembrandt lighting – short and broad
  • Loop lighting
  • Split lighting – short and broad
  • Under lighting
  • Doubleback lighting
  • Butterfly lighting
  • Clamshell lighting
  • Gelled lighting
  • And more!


We will have a model for this workshop and it will include presentation/lecture, demo and lots of “boot-camp style” hands-on practice.

Optional: Feel free to bring your camera, however if you do, you will also need to bring your camera’s USB cord for tethering to Lightroom. If your camera does not tether to Lightroom, you will need to use the classroom camera, which is a Nikon D750, and I will have it set for the studio settings. No exceptions as this is a learning experience for everyone in the classroom. Any photographs you take during the workshop, whether using the classroom Nikon D750 or your own, will be sent to you after class by Dropbox.

SPECIAL NOTE: Any student photos taken of the model belong to the photographers, however, photographers agree copies of the photos shall be released to the model to use for her portfolio only as a special thanks for her time. Photographers agree to sign a class model release prior to shooting providing such use by the model and prohibiting photographer from commercial use (selling the photos) without written consent from the model.


About the Instructor:

Dawn M. Wayand is a professional photographer, exhibition curator,+ photography educator and founder of NYC Digital Photography Workshops. Having published almost 100 feature photography articles and gear reviews since late-2015, Dawn has written for the Adorama Learning Center, B&H Photo and Digital Photography School. Dawn has been shooting travel, street and candid portraits since 2001 and has been working with models and actors shooting portraits, headshots and fashion through her own photography business, Dawn M. Wayand Photography, since 2014.

Dawn M. Wayand