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Tips & Tricks

Studio Lighting Terms For Beginner Portrait Photographers | Lindsay Adler

By Hanssie on February 6th 2015

Many photographers choose to use natural light only. Yes, there is no comparison to the beautiful texture of natural light, but more often than not, people chose to be solely “Natural Light Photographers” out of fear.

Studio lighting can be quite intimidating for any photographer. There are so many aspects to consider and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to master. Not only that, studio lighting comes with a barrage of vocabulary terms to understand; enough to make you long for the days of junior year English class and Shakespearean sonnets to parse for extra credit.



In comes fashion photographer, Lindsay Adler to save the day and define a few of the essential studio lighting terms for us in the short video clip below. Lindsay explains and defines the following 4 lighting terms: Broad Light, Short Light, Flat Light, and Dimensional Light so that you are armed with the proper lingo ready for any workshop or photo convention conversation.

Lindsay just completed a session on Creative Live called, ‘Studio Lighting 101‘ where she guides a beginner from natural light to indoor lighting with ease. She shows that studio lighting doesn’t have to break the bank. Using one or two light setups, Lindsay shows numerous ways to create light and covers shutter speed, exposure, white balance and more. It’s perfect for those beginner portrait photographers looking to learn studio lighting.


I was very fearful of studio lighting when I first started out in photography as well. Even now, I’m most comfortable with only one or two simple lights and modifiers; there is so much to learn and there can be so many components involved. Lindsay does a great job keeping things simple and easy to understand.

If you want to hear more of Lindsay Adler’s teachings, check out this article SHOOT BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS IN THE HARSH NOON SUN | LINDSAY ADLER or follow her on Facebook here.

If you want to learn more about lighting, join our SLR Lounge Facebook Community Group to keep up to date on Pye’s filming of our new workshop series, Lighting 101 and Lighting 201. He’s been posting teasers and tips weekly.

[Via CreativeLive YouTube]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kurk Rouse

    I’ve heard many people try to explain this before, but this is by far the best explanation yet.

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  2. Graham Curran

    Her CL class was very informative. It certainly inspired me to delve into this aspect of photography.

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  3. Bogdan Roman

    when I first started using off camera flashes I used 2 sb600 on light stands and triggered via CLS and later on triggered by radio, but since yongnuo started putting radio receivers in their flashes, I sold the flashes and the radio triggers and went with the this system and so far I have no complaints.

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  4. Stephen Velasquez

    One of my favorite educators.

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  5. Tyler Friesen

    great descriptions

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  6. Basit Zargar


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  7. Chuck Eggen

    I watched her cL class and she did a great job of explaining each technique and provided demonstrations that visually reinforced her points. She is a very good instructor in that she doesn’t get caught up in so much explanation as to make the session boring. I’m sure any beginner could take a lot away from the class.

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