Case studies

Stories from students who have taken their photography to the next level with studio lighting.

Cheryl Smith


This class taught me the importance of light in my photography – not only how to light my subject, but how different lighting styles can change the mood and impact of an image. I definitely see light differently in the photographs I take, and I now know how to manipulate light to get my desired result.

I love how this class is very hands-on. You get to work with the studio lights and equipment quite early in the semester, so you have a long time to learn and improve each week. It was also great to try different areas of photography – still life, portrait, black and white, color gels. I’ve never worked in a studio before so I appreciated the amount of time and freedom given to experiment with the studio equipment.

The main challenge was figuring out which lighting systems to use to generate my desired image. This was the case when I tried to mimic a photo I had seen online. There is so much equipment that it could get overwhelming. But the more we worked in the studio, the more I got to know the different modifiers and was able to achieve the looks I wanted. Plus it was super helpful to have my classmates offer assistance and Professor Overby there to provide troubleshooting recommendations.

One word: light. I see light totally differently when it comes to photography. And also I look for the light even when viewing other photos and forms of art. Definitely knowing how to light food and people is something I will take away, and also the knowledge of different light modifiers and how to use them.

I will reference the lighting outdoors setups and the 3 light setup in the future. Before taking this class I had only shot natural light portraits, but now I have the confidence to try to incorporate flash outdoors. I will also reference how to shoot with solid white and black backgrounds and how to effectively light my still life and food scenes. Finally, I will continue to try to do color gel and rear curtain sync – something I experimented with during the last few weeks of the semester.

This course is an absolute must for any photographer. You learn so much about light, and it really makes you pay attention to how you are lighting your subject to get the desired mood – whether for portraits, still life, products, food, or creative shots. Plus, you get access to the studio which has a variety of equipment to utilize. It is a great space to just experiment and learn about different areas of photography that you might not know about or try otherwise. If you do take this class, just be confident that you will learn the equipment and be open to trying new lighting techniques. You will be surprised with how much your photography will improve throughout the semester.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Elijah Diaz

It help me a lot. I learned a lot of different lighting positions. It really impacted my career path because I want to learn all the skill in photography. It was very fun taking this class and it really help me with my career.

Learning the different equipment that are use in photography and in studios. The lesson help me to be papered in the future of photography.

There was a lot of challenge I faced and over come them, especially the still life. The still life was a challenge because I have to change the position and the subject and change the lighting as well but later on I got better with it.

This class help with style and the techniques of fashion. After I learned so many techniques in this class, It help me that I can use it for fashion.

I’ll continue using color gels. It was really fun using the color gels and it will put the mood into the photos and I would love to still use it for my fashion photography.

Take this class if you want to be a photographer. This class is really fun and it will help you to become a better photographer for the future.

Studio Lighting Outdoors

Studio Lighting Indoor

Adamary Jaramillo


A way it has now impacted is that before when I shot in natural light, I did not see small defects like filling the shadows or the light being too harsh. Now that I know a little bit more of lighting techniques, I could now see that some of the shadows need to be filled when shooting in natural light.

Something beneficial was definitely the labs in other words practicing the different lighting techniques after the demonstration. It is beneficial because you are shown in which way the lights are supposed to be moved if you want your subject lit a different way

There were some challenges I faced like learning how to place the lights, but other than that I had a great group to which we would all help each other.

This class has definitely made me think differently or allowed me to be in a way more decisive over my photography. The reason is when shooting in natural light you just which time of the day you chose, and in the studio, you decide where you want the lights

Some of the resources to which I will continue using will be the notes I took of the multiple lighting techniques we have used in the class.

Advice I would give future students considering taking this class is to not be scared try out new things, for example ever since I got into this class, I was a bit afraid because I did not have much knowledge on using lights and missed on doing more creative ideas. I would say to remove that fear and try new things, as this could be something helpful for your future.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Mireya Sanchez


Although this class has been challenging because of learning new equipment and using a lot of lighting, I got to learn how to manage the lighting equipment in the studio and how to set up lighting in different ways. For example butterfly lighting and using the beauty dish, using a lot of materials in the studio to help me successfully capture a good photo shot. This has helped me a lot to comfortably learn how to use studio equipment in the future so this will help in my career path in photography.

The most beneficial part is learning how to set up and just practicing how to shoot in different lighting like, Rembrandt lighting or split lighting and also using different equipment to make lighting better and also having classmates help each out as well and critiques were beneficial to get advice from our class mates.

The challenges I faced was figuring out how to set up the lighting to get a better quality picture because sometimes while shooting the shot, it could be to dark or to bright or the background can be a uneven color so we had to find different ways to make it work like using a diffusers or using a white board to bounce light etc.

Being in a studio lighting class, gives you an opportunity to be more open on being more creative. You would have to think outside the box on how you want to shoot so it did influence me to be more open on being more creative in shooting.

I will remember the light setups that we learned in class because it will help me use light better when I take future photographs.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, be creative and have fun at what you do.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Anthony Razo

One of the ways that this class has impacted my journey and career path is that it opened a door to many more options when it comes taking portraits. It allowed me to learn the right ways to use and when to use certain lights. Most of all I think it gave me a boost in confidence that I was lacking too.

Its a bit hard to choose just one thing that i found beneficial in preparing me for my success in photography, since i found every thing i learned and did in this class, was something that i either did not know or if I did know it I needed a lot of improvement on.

most if not all the big challenges i faced while taking this class, were more in the personal life department, and having to do with scheduling i did however have the regular issues we all have with learning a new subject. But i think that the class was so important for me and knowing that its something that everyone in photography has to know and learn. I was able to put it at the top of other things in my day, and once you see just how much it changes your work, it gives you this confidence and desire keep wanting to go and so I did. how I did it I couldnt even tell you, but I ended up sticking around and with every assignment came more knowledge and I think my photography shows it.

One of the ways that this class has influenced my approach and style, is that I learned and saw the difference between using lights and not using them outdoors. I learned the need to have it even on the most sunniest day.

I definitely will be using the lighting outdoor tecs. lot, its something that i will for sure continue using thru out my photography journey.

The advice i would give to any one thinking about taking this class or even those that are not thinking of taking would be to do it. not only is it a class teaching something that I personally think, you cant call your self a photographer with out knowing these things, but even if your self taught like I was, you still need to take it, to be able to learn and use the right vocabulary when working with others. And you want to be better at what you do. and that is what this class will make you, better. Put it this way the worst that can happen is that you get better then what you are now, it may sound hard at times but with the teacher who I can tell you personally is someone understanding that will take his time to explain and help you should you just let him know your having troubles in class. There is no way you can fail here, unless laziness is an issue then yeah I dont know what to tell you then, really theres no way around it, its a class that has to be taken in order to really say you know photography, try it youll be surprised to see just how much you really needed it (those who think they learned it all self taught).

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Marci Llamas


The knowledge and skills acquired had impacted my journey in photography because I have learned that there are so many different roles when shooting in a studio setting, it has opened up more jobs in my mind. I also learned a lot of tips and tricks to getting better lighting for the subject and background, like adding distance between the two, which sounds very obvious but little things like that are helpful to know and keep in mind that I didn’t pay much mind to in the past.

I liked learning about what goes on behind the scenes and learning the different types of equipment that is used in a studio setting, those lessons made me feel more prepared for a future in photography. I wish we covered more on the different roles in the studio.

A lot of the challenges I faced were getting even lighting on the background, which I feel more confident in doing now, but it is something I often look over because I am more focused on the subject itself.

This class has influenced me more to experiment with colored lights and to even buy my own lights because I do have a lot of my photo shoots in my own house but I use very DIY lighting set ups that could be improved.

I would probably reference the different facial lighting set ups in my future work. I would also reference the lighting outdoors topic because a lot of the time, my family takes group photos outdoors and I am the one who helps with that, so it was nice to get some help with figuring out more ways to make it look better.

Some advice I would give is to take the class, lighting is a lot in photography and through taking the class, you will learn to consider it more and find ways to make it be better in your photographs.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Brianna Cepeda


From everything I acquired from this class help me gain new skills and improve in my photography. It has helped me gain new techniques and explore a new type of photography using studio lighting. This class has also helped gain more photos to have in my portfolio, be able to share more of my work to others.

Some aspects of the class that were the most beneficial in preparing my success in photography is simply learning how to use the equipment in terms of setting it up and knowing what each equipment can be used for to help me create the best photos. Not only that understanding the lighting positions and stuff like that to achieve the correct lighting and has helped me a lot to be successful in my photos.

Some challenges is just setting up the whole setup and getting the correct lighting. Having some classmates help out and just simply taking my time with it helped me to face this challenge easier and be able to overcome it. It was such a process and time-consuming in achieving the shot you wanted but once you got it, everything was easy from there.

This class has influenced in me trying a new type of photography and understanding more about photography in a studio work environment. It has influenced in me trying new equipment and gain new skills.

I think the most I found interested in doing was the food and product photography, it’s simple and fun to take shots of with everything involve in it. I would definitely reference from all the lighting tips and tricks I learned from this class and incorporate that into my future work.

Some advice I would give to future students is to never be afraid to try new things and come in with a creative and open mind. This is the perfect place to be yourself and be very creative with your own ideas. Never take anyone’s critique too personal, everyone is there to simply help you and help you improve better in your work. Everyone is there to help everyone else to be successful in their work.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Gloria Martinez Cruz

I already knew some basic information about lighting due to my jobs in photo studios, but with this class I learned a lot of new things. One thing I learned is how to light a subject better outdoors.

I think presenting my work in front of my peers. Due to being shy, I tend not to know how to present my work or express my work in the way I want to.

One of the challenges I faced was product photography, it was difficult for me to take pictures of white products in a white background. My peers gave me some tips that helped me along the way.

I did not like taking portraits of people, since I mostly do street photography. I tend to shy away from portraits, but this class has influenced me to create more pictures of people.

Some resources from this class that I will continue to use in my work is the overall lighting techniques I learned. In other words, the school’s equipment is different from what I use in my job, so it is great to understand the differences in equipment.

Yes, I will definitely advice students to take this class because it is helpful and fun.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Alexis Bautista

 This class has made me want to make another journey with pursuing fashion photography!

I believe doing our labs were really beneficial when coming to my learning with studio lighting!

I did not have any challenges during this class! it was truly a fun class and I am happy that I took it!

With this class I would want to start photographing fashion photography I was grateful to get the opportunity to photography fashion and I loved it so much.

I would totally keep using the studio while I am a student here at chaffey!

I would tell the student to not feel afraid of doing something different! Trying new things won’t hurt! It could truly will beneficial for you, And you can have a lot of fun. Also to not break a more LIGHTS.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Jacob Ford


The things that I have learned from this studio lighting class were far beyond what I would have imagined myself learning. I always found myself far too intimidated to work within a studio environment. Now I feel prepared to further my career with the added layer of professionally incorporating lighting into my photos.

Getting the basics of how light deeply effects each image, and how different scenarios call for different techniques was what gave way to the foundation of lighting for my photography. Once you understand how light can be shaped to meet your subject is where the fun begins!

Absolutely, most of them were based on my approach to lighting my subjects. I had the vision but the results just weren’t there. Being able to ask my classmates and especially Professor Overby on any recommendations was what I needed to solve my challenges, by seeing through another pair of eyes.

This class has certainly made me see light differently, and for the better! It’s not just that light is in every image that you take, its that you have the ability to craft or shape the lighting is what’s important. Even when your lights are fixed in place, you can still adjust your other elements to meet your ideas.

I find myself pursuing product/food photography, and with the understanding of how certain subjects require a certain type of lighting is what I will be taking with me. Knowing that it doesn’t take an entire studio to create a wonderful shot, only the essentials are needed like a good key light with some bounce lighting can make all the difference in the world!

To any future students looking to take studio lighting, do not be intimidated by the vast tools that can be used for your photos. See it as an opportunity to try each one out, study the differences they make on your subjects. Even if your photos aren’t spectacular, you have learned something new for the next shot! Studio lighting is a photographer’s playground and it’s there to help you be the best photographer.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

Alexa Ramirez

Your class has impacted my journey in my career path because I was able to learn things I have never learned before until I enrolled in studio lightings.

The aspects of the class I feel were most beneficial in preparing me for success in photography were learning to use equipment I have never used before, thus giving me more experience in the photography field. That and the different types of lighting techniques that will for sure be helpful in the mere future.

One of the many challenges I faced was having to not make the photos too bright or pitch black that show up on the computer, but thanks to my classmates (along with my professor), I was able to figure out the problem and fix it all on my own once I got used to it.

Ever since I took this class, I’ve been using different types of techniques that I’ve learned in school that I’ve never used before. They really improve both my point of view and skills, and for that I am ever so grateful.

A specific resource from this class that I would reference in my current or future work will most likely have to be soft lighting. Soft lighting is commonly used in wedding photography, so I’m very thankful that I was able to learn how to properly use it.

The advice I would give to future students considering taking this class is to be extremely careful with the equipment, mainly because of the other day where me and this other person accidentally broke the hot strobe glass. I was lucky it wasn’t the strobe itself or else I would’ve had to pay a lot in compensation.

Before Studio Lighting

After Studio Lighting

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