15 Best + Free Photography Lighting Courses & Classes [2021 OCTOBER]

Best Photography Lighting course tutorial class certification training online

Lights, Camera, and Action – see how light comes first in creating any piece of art! Our experts scavenged the internet to find the right resources to help budding and professional photographers discover and learn light settings to glow up photos and videos. Explore the list of online Photography Lighting courses and programs below to see which one would help you advance your current experience and knowledge. This list also includes free tutorials that you can take up to learn the basics. You may like to check our compilation of Best Fashion Photography Courses.


15 Best + Free Photography Lighting Courses & Classes [2021 OCTOBER]

1. Seeing and Shaping Light by Lindsay Adler (Creative Live)

Lights play an important role in photography, and Lindsay Adler will help you make sense of lights through this Creative Live course. Through practical demos, you will advance in your classes to learn the ins and outs of lighting and shadows and how to use various lighting settings to your advantage. Lindsay is a renowned name in Fashion Photography and educates photography enthusiasts and aspirants around the globe through her experiences. Once you complete this course, you will be able to recreate the light settings from any image you see! That sounds like magic now, but it would seem simple to work with lights as you progress in your lessons.


Key USPs –

 – Learn how to use the traditional studio lightings.

– Be comfortable working with your light kit in any type of ambiance.

– Decode lights from any image you see to create a similar set-up for your photoshoots.

– Work with natural lights without using your lighting gears.


Duration: 4 Hours 50 Minutes

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: Glad I took some time to find Lindsay classes here on Creative Live as she has to be one of the best here. I have already had the chance to see a few teachers trying to explain lighting and light setups but none come even close to Lindsay. She goes through all the classic lighting setups in detail but comprehensive way. And my is she an encyclopedia on light. Do yourself a favour and watch or buy this class – Bruno Santos.



2. Speedlights 101 by Mark Wallace (Creative Live)

A camera with a portable flash can be the go-to equipment for any photographer who wishes to bring the Aha effect in their photographs. This Creative Live online class specifically focuses on working with speedlights to experiment with the subjects, background, and props. Anyone willing to dramatize their photos can take up this course and incorporate the steps shown here through Mark’s live shoots. If you are running low on time, you can access the Fast Class by having the Creator Pass subscription. The instructor, Mark Wallace, is highly known for his web series on Digital Photography that you can check on YouTube.


Key USPs –

 – Learn about different light settings in various modes on your camera.

– Understand light metering to have full control of lights while photographing.

– Explore how to light darker ambiances and work indoors.

– Learn light settings for dramatizing your portraits.

– Get lifetime access to the course with offline sync to return to your lessons whenever needed.


Duration: 15 Hours 20 Minutes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: Mark Wallace rocks!!! It’s pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about speedlites, exposure, metering and the like. His easy-going style and out of the box examples make the classes fun! I did watch the whole thing live, but bought the class as well, so I can go back to some of the technical stuff. I’ve been shooting for a long time… yet guide numbers? that was completely new! Continued thanks to Mark… great that he presented on Creative Live. I’ve been learning from him for years through Adorama – Beto Ramos.



3. Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography by Joe McNally (Creative Live)

Joe McNally, an acclaimed photographer, will teach the secret ingredient of becoming a successful photographer to all the budding artists willing to work in this field. With 30 years of experience in a wide range of genres, he will teach you the storytelling tactics of using lights. This course covers the technical aspects of lighting logistics that you need to know and apply with your creative instincts. Joe will walk you through the process of lighting your set for photographing different subjects in a variety of backgrounds to get the desired results. Apart from learning about lights, you will gain insights into client relationships to communicate effectively and get more accolades for your work. Do have a look at our curation of Best Adventure Photography Courses.


Key USPs –

 – Get insights into preparing your light kit to be ready for any type of shoot set.

– Master the technical aspects of lighting your subject and surrounding with your existing gears.

– Learn photography etiquette to prosper in your relationships with clients.

– Learn various posing techniques suitable to different genres.

– Prepare contracts to be on the same page as your client and keep all your business terms transparent.


Duration: 14 Hours 16 Minutes

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: Joe is fantastic! The wealth of information, experience and extraordinary talent he shares is invaluable! He’s also a very engaging, humorous instructor who keeps an audience a part of the “discussion.” Don’t miss a Joe McNally class, seminar or workshop opportunity! – dlevans.



4. The Art of Finding Light: Photography for the artist in you (Udemy)

Discovering the perfect light is half the process of photographing! Photographers will agree to this statement as they struggle to find appropriate lights while on shoots. But the type of light differs from one style to the other, i.e., from portrait shoot to street photography. This Udemy course is all about finding natural light and shooting without any high-end external equipment. You will learn the art of lighting your pictures by exploring the surrounding architecture too. Further, the tutor will also explain light tactics through his assignments around the globe. A unique aspect of this course is that Adam Marelli also presents lighting schemes through classic paintings!


Key USPs –

 – Develop your senses of finding the right natural light settings for any types of shoots.

– Understand three lighting schemes to capture your photos without the use of any gears.

– Explore the paintings of Jean August Dominique Ingres to understand single lighting schemes that he used and apply that to your assignments.

– Download images from each lecture to analyze the tools used.


Duration: 1.5 Hours

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I loved the approach of photography as an art of light rather than settings on a camera. Thank you! – Jeanette Kieff.



5. Bob Davis’ Professional Photography Lighting Techniques (Udemy)

Photography goes beyond the digital camera settings and is much dependent on lights. You can be a hobbyist or a professional photographer planning to take up assignments, then this professional lighting techniques class on Udemy can help boost your confidence and portfolio. With the step-by-step elaboration of techniques, settings, and equipment, explained by Bob Davis, you will understand the essentials of using lights, both natural and artificial, for your shoots. This course is designed by Wiley that has been around the world since 1807 and provides educational content in a variety of niches.


Key USPs –

 – Learn the difference between natural and studio lights and how to master each setting in a digital camera through additional gears.

– Understand the quality and quantity of light needed for different types of photography.

– Know the equipment that Bob carries while on a shoot and prepare your shoot gear checklist.

– Learn the use of camera settings, reflectors, modifiers, speedlights, etc..

– Earn a certificate of completion to have a swell photography portfolio.


Duration: 5 Hours

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: The concepts were very well explained followed by a demonstration of the particular lighting effect. Course material for a beginner photographer looking to learn about artificial lighting. – Harsh Bhoklay.



6. Studio Lighting with Rembrandt Style Photography (Udemy)

Seasoned photographers who wish to explore Rembrandt style photography are the ideal candidates for this online class. With a light and a reflector or two lights, you can achieve a setting that helps showcase your subjects in the perfect light. The instructor explains in easy-to-follow steps by highlighting the lights and camera settings to do the lessons practically. He also shares various tips that you can use to pose your subjects to have perfectly lit headshots. Jon H is an award-winning Udemy instructor and has already helped more than 75,000 students get desired photos. Check out our compilation of Best Newborn Photography Courses.


Key USPs –

 – Learn the tactics of setting up Rembrandt lighting with easy and quick steps illustrated here.

– Master post-processing to fix your images highlighting the subjects in Rembrandt style.

– Learn how to photograph men and women in your studio settings for high key headshots.

– Teach your subjects to pose in a way that can make them look picture-perfect.


Duration: 3 Hours

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I’m learning a lot about light placement for Rembrandt lighting! I’ve read books, but this is a lot clearer. – Tom Jones.



7. Conquering Crappy Light by Lindsay Adler and Erik Valind (Creative Live)

Light is under the spotlight when it comes to photography. Photographers are always hunting for the spots with the best light to get the awesomeness in their photos. But the results are hardly in alliance sometimes because lights keep changing. This is where this particular program on Creative Live comes into the picture – to help photographers overcome crappy lights and confidently work in any setting. In this course, the instructors will guide you to make the best of your surrounding light and existing equipment to get the visioned final output in your photos. The course has lifetime access once you buy it, so you can return anytime and watch the lessons if you forget.


Key USPs –

 – Work confidently in any light settings with just a few lighting logistics without compromising on the quality of photos.

– Learn to shoot in low lights, direct sunlight, or mixed lightings.

– Use your lighting gears to prepare your own set anywhere.

– Learn to post-process your images after a shoot to have immaculate photos.


Duration: 13 Hours 37 Minutes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I thought I understood about light before I took this course. How wrong could I be? I have re-watched this course over and over and I just love it. Quality of light, direction of light – so many crappy light situations. Learning how to actually set a white balance instead of purely relying on the camera presets and learning colour correction by the color checker was also invaluable to me. This course is so affordable. I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as you will get more out of it than you think. I love the way Lindsay and Erik work together. No right or wrong way – just showing the differences in their styles to accomplish the same end result. Well done guys. Now to have more courses by Erik would be great. Again, can’t’ thank creative live enough and Erik and Lindsay for this course. Love, Love, Love It!!!! – Julie Addison.



8. Studio Lighting 101 by Lindsay Adler (Creative Live)

This course is ideal for beginners and existing photographers who want to understand the intricacies of studio lights. Your class instructor, Lindsay, will familiarize you with the jargon of studio lightings, and you will proceed step-by-step to learn how to set up your digital camera for using lighting strobes and layers and other complex studio light concepts. After you complete all the 39 video lessons, you will have sufficient working knowledge of using light equipment to work confidently in studio setups. You can check the class trailer and a sample lecture to see if this course is the right fit for you before purchasing it.


Key USPs –

 – Learn how to use one light and one modifier to create a shoot set for portraits.

– Advance to using two and three-light gears for setting up your shoot environment.

– Develop different moods and tones for your portraits by using studio lights.

– Capture group photographs confidently with uniform light tones.

– Troubleshoot light errors to fix the issues in post-production.


Duration: 14 Hours 53 Minutes

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I just finished this course and can honestly say this was the best spent money yet on my photography journey. I have spent the last 44 years of my life as a practicing CPA and an now doing what I always wanted to do when I grew up. Lindsay Adler is not only an outstanding photographer, but also an extremely talented photo educator. Her teaching was so good, easily understood and sincerely delivered. I have purchased several courses from Creative Live and this was by far the best. It is 5 stars in my book. Thanks for a great course. – Steve.



9. Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela (Creative Live)

Picture Perfect Lighting is a course that encourages photographers to use light gears rather than photoshop for getting the most of the moment captured. The tutor, Roberto Valenzuela, is a photographer and educator who will take you through the journey of using lights to your benefit rather than investing hefty into gears. His lessons will throw light on the use of natural lights and studio lights to help you become better at the art of capturing photos. You can also access the bonus material that consists of a checklist for location recce that will help you find the picture-perfect locations with desirable light so that you spend less time retouching images. Don’t forget to check our list of Best Nature & Outdoor Photography Courses.


Key USPs –

 – Develop your lighting senses and creativity to spend more time in capturing beautiful results rather than on post-production software.

– Learn the art of using speedlights and studio lighting gears.

– Work confidently in natural light to make the most of available surroundings.

– Get insights into the five behaviors of lights laid out by the instructor to study your location and subject better.


Duration: 12 Hour 10 Minutes

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I knew within the first few sessions that this would be a good investment for improving my lighting skills and bought the course. To my surprise, there is an abundance of general AND detailed information about not only lighting but the ART of photography as well. I promise you that one session with this man is worth the price of the entire course. I’m watching 2-3 sessions each day and I’m on my second pass through the course. This man so humble yet brilliant at applying hard work to basic principles. BUY THIS COURSE … you will not regret it! Thanks Roberto and Creative Live! – Shutterclick.



10. Understanding Light by Mark Wallace (Creative Live)

A creative head that knows how to use lights makes a good photographer. Mark Wallace has tried to explain all you need to know to capture the perfect essence in any picture by lighting up the right way in this course. You can check the trailer to see what’s covered in this course and sign up to see the complete lessons. Mark has covered lessons on using natural lights with the right set of gears to shoot efficiently. Once you are through this course, you will be able to manipulate any type of light to put your artistic skills into good use!


Key USPs –

 – Learn the properties and science of lights along with its terminology.

– Work with natural lights and understand how to use modifiers to mind the moods and tones.

– Get bonus class materials along with unlimited access to the course online and offline on any device.

– Understand light better to capture brilliantly-lit images.


Duration: 15 Hours

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: This was an outstanding course! Mark presented TONS of quality information, starting at the very basic concepts and working up from there. He is interesting to listen to and very understandable. Great examples that expand the learning. Highly recommended! Thanks for bringing Mark’s class to CL…I hope there will be more. – Rose-Marie Gallagher.



11. Location Lighting 101 by Lindsay Adler (Creative Live)

Location Lighting course by Lindsay on Creative Live is tailored to help photographers in mastering outdoor shoots. Hard light, glare, and shadows are some of the problems that every photographer has to tackle while shooting in the open. In these classes, Lindsay has broken down the complex concepts of outdoor lights into practical, bite-sized lessons that you can refer to when the circumstances demand. This course will help you handle all types of studio equipment and work in any outdoor challenges without the fear of getting your images all glared up.


Key USPs –

 – Understand the technicalities of your digital camera along with the different types of lighting gears to use as per the demand of the situations.

– Get actionable lessons through live demos and Q&As to clear learned concepts.

– Overcome exposure problems and glare while shooting in sunlight using your studio toolkit.

– Master outdoor shoots by knowing your lights.


Duration: 16 Hours 6 Minutes

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter…I learned so much…..I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. – Jean.



12. The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze (Creative Live)

Two brilliant photographs and artists – Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, come together to teach the art of lighting portraits to clear confusions around lights. This masterclass highlights all the scenarios of portrait photography to help you choose the type of light you’ll need. Explore the different options you have with natural light, and artificial light as the two masters walk you through the lessons. When you complete all the classes, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently handle your lights and get stunning portraits with any model, prop, or the environmental setup. Have a look at our take on Best DSLR Photography Courses.


Key USPs –

 – Learn light settings through interactions between two photographers as they shoot and question each other.

– Explore a wide range of portrait styles using both natural and studio lights.

– Learn retouching to process your images after shooting.

– Get additional class material to overcome all your lighting challenges.


Duration: 10 Hours 13 Minutes

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I loved this course! I purchased it as a beginner photographer, unsure of whether to shoot natural or studio light and how to get the best results. After watching the course, I am fully confident in my ability to use both natural and studio lighting in my photography. And most importantly, I feel I have the knowledge base to be able to experiment with lighting in any situation. I am both grateful and inspired by these two amazing teachers sharing their technical knowledge and a personal piece of themselves. It is clear that they genuinely care about making their students better photographers. Thank you, Sue and Felix!!! – Aliah Husain.



13. Using Wireless Speedlights in Adventure & Nature Photography (Udemy)

If you are an adventure-seeking soul who also loves capturing the beauty of nature, then this online course on Udemy is perfect for you to get stunning memories through photos. Outdoors are difficult to capture with the amount of light not in your control at all. But these tutorials will help you understand and use flashlights to go beyond the ordinary while capturing your adventures. Charlie Borland, the course instructor, has over 30 years of experience in professional photography and is known as the Lighting Master owing to his work. You’ll learn to click marvelous pictures, including landscape, macro, action, adventure, and be able to tell stories through your photos.


Key USPs –

 – Learn the A to Z of outdoor light settings to have photos with a dramatic appeal.

– Control and condition light in your outdoor adventures using single or multiple flashes to have your subject stand out from the background.

– Create stories through your photographs while on adventures to go out-of-the-box with your craft.

– Get perfect action photographs while on expeditions like rafting or biking.


Duration: 6 Hours

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: I have learned so much about off-camera flash from this course! I am putting it into practice, and going back to review it – Tom Jones.



14. Creative Lighting for Interiors Photography (Udemy)

What if someone tells you that you can tame light and have it reacted the way you want it to light up your photographs? Well, the class instructor in this Udemy course, Fabio Bustamante, will teach you exactly this! Just as you create light from scratch in product photoshoots, these lessons will help you create and control light for properties’ interior shoots. Ideal for those artists who want to make their way into advertising interiors and real estate, you can advance your career in this commercial field with a lot of earning potential. Learn creative lighting and add superpowers to your camera kit by getting introduced to the professional gears in this course.


Key USPs –

 – Decode light to create and control settings for your interior or product shoots.

– Use your imagination to build light set-ups from scratch and create a dramatic feel for your commercial shoots.

– Add powerful tools to your shooting kit to have more control of the lighting parameters.

– Get certified in creative lighting to improve your career horizons.


Duration: 7 Hours

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: Excellent material, taught in a comprehensive, detailed and pleasant manner. Highly recommended! – Daniel Vandolph.



15. Introduction to Lighting for Videography (SkillShare)

Lights can tell stories that dialogues and emotions can’t. Light settings are crucial in videography as much as they are in still photos. This lighting course in videography on SkillShare will introduce you to the hacks and tools that you can use to have cinematically rich scenes in your videos. In this class, you don’t have to purchase any expensive mounts or tools, you can work just fine with natural lights or decorative lights at home. Jordy Vandeput, the course tutor, has over ten years of experience in video production, and you can find his videos on YouTube for additional tips. Here you will get actionable steps for enhancing your videography skills and add amazing clips to your work portfolio. You may want to check our list of Best Adobe Lightroom Courses.


Key USPs –

 – Gain insights into the use and importance of light in videography.

– Understand depth and layers for lighting in cinematic set-up.

– Explore the different colors that you can get with light settings.

– Learn how to light your scenes on location to prepare cinematic videos.


Duration: 29 Minutes

Rating:  4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here


Review: The lighting layers is one of the most crucial things I’ve earnt in this class. It has exceeded my expectations and I already feel ready to light up my interviews/corporate videos. – Pankaj Devarai.



We hope the above list of Best Photography Lighting Courses, Classes, Tutorials, Training and Certifications program will help you find your perfect light and give you incredible photos in your portfolio. Wishing you a Happy Learning and Lighting time!