illuminate studio lighting for beginners

You’ve thought about adding studio lights to the mix.

But, the whole thing seems overwhelming. Too complicated. Or really expensive.

Maybe you even HAVE a set of lights sitting in your studio, collecting dust in the corner. You tried them. But you never could get consistent results. And it never looked natural to you.

Well, here’s the thing. I’ve been there. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

But honestly, lighting doesn’t have to be complicated (or expensive).

And when you join us for Illuminate: a studio lighting e-course for beginners, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Next class starts March 18

Hop on the VIP list to get an early invite to register.

This e-course will walk you step-by-step through the process of choosing your lighting set up + using them with confidence.

While it’s delivered over 3 weeks to prevent overwhelm, you have lifetime access to the videos and material

(so there’s no stress about ‘falling behind’ nor do you need to ‘show up’ online at a specific time…all the videos are pre-recorded so you can watch them when it works with YOUR schedule)

We’ve left out the theory and provided practical guidance to get you shooting in no time (and loving the results).

(ahem…so, if you are a theory-junkie, this isn’t the class for you!)

But, if you are tired of being scared around lights, missing out on sessions during dark winter days (or overcast days), or being limited to just a few hours of day that have good lighting, Illuminate could be the perfect fit for you!

Here’s what some of students have to say…

“These were taken with the same camera, lens, settings and lighting equipment.
Only real difference was HOW I used the light. Amazing to me.”

~ Illuminate alumnus Theresa Hermus Photography




Here’s what you’ll learn:

module 1: let’s talk studio gear!

We start from the VERY beginning.

  • Studio Equipment 101 -There will be written material and videos explaining the equipment, considerations before buying, and how they all work together.
  • Studio Set-Ups – How to make almost any space work for you. This is what surprises people the most – you really do NOT need to have a large studio space. And, while I personally am fortunate to have a large window (set of sliding doors) in my studio, we are going to show you how to make a window-less basement work for you too!
  • Shopping List (with vendors we love) – We will give you a list of the items that we think are ‘must haves,’ along with some suggestions on where to buy them. You’ll also discover how you can mimic similar results using natural light or studio light.

module 2: my favourite (and EASY!) lighting set-ups

This one simple style you will master within DAYS! (maybe even hours!) And, it can be achieved using natural or studio lights. I’ll show you my exact set-ups (through videos and lighting diagrams), and the images that result from each set up. Most use one light (whether a studio light or natural light source) and sometimes a reflector. You’ll also learn how to set up your reflectors (and when to use them).

module 3: adding drama with studio lights

In this module, we start to play around with some more dramatic lighting set-ups, that work beautifully with maternity and newborn session (along with boudoir…but that isn’t something we do, or teach – but the same principles apply – it’s all about shadow!)

module 4: dream lighting, high-key + putting it all together

In the final week, we’ll be showing the popular dream lighting + high key set up, along with behind the scenes footage of real studio sessions where we switch between natural and studio lighting.

NOTE: This course is also set up so that absolute beginners will feel comfortable and confident going through the course (so if you are really experienced with studio lighting, this might not be best bang for your buck!)

It is also important to note that I am going to show you how I do things. I’m not claiming to be technically perfect or an expert. There are most MANY other ways set up studio lighting. I am simply sharing how I do things and why.(also note: our videos aren’t going to be up for any Oscars anytime soon – so don’t be expecting some slick Hollywood production – it’s just me, Erin and our camera in studio!)


You have lifetime access* to the e-course lighting e-course, so if you can’t purchase equipment right away, no problem! You also have the support of your private Facebook group where you can connect with other members, offer support, feedback, and general good vibes!fay_testimonialBefore + After Illuminate, alumni Tulip Flare1560460_647696405291302_925593807_n(2)

Please do not let any of these silly thoughts get in your way!

#1. I don’t have time to take an e-course right now. We all have the same amount of time. If it’s important for your business, you’ll make time. Period. Plus, it’s all recorded and available to you for life*

#2. I’m new to photography, I think this might be over my head I guarantee it won’t be. Literally (I have a money-back guarantee!) Here’s the thing, I know exactly what it feels like to be brand-spankin’ new to lighting. That’s why I will ONLY speak plain ol’ English for the entire e-course.

#3. I prefer natural light in my sessions Me too! However, sometimes, there just isn’t enough light available. Or, I want to get a bit creative to try a new look. Wouldn’t you like to go into EVERY session knowing that you can absolutely guarantee you are going to get the results you and your clients love!

#4. I have no space in my house for a studio set-up I started in a VERY small studio space (it’s a bedroom) . We’re not talking about a garage full of studio gear…one light, one stand, one softbox…and WHAM…your world will change…seriously.

#5. I don’t have the money for this course. Change that statement to “HOW can I afford this?” and I think you will suddenly find coming up with $299 buck-a-roos is not that difficult (plus we now offer a 2 part monthly payment plan of $165!). Perhaps you run a weekend mini-special. Maybe you pre-sell some holiday cards for upcoming sessions. Ensure your clients have paid a deposit for upcoming sessions. If you consider the costs of taking an in-person lighting course, this offers tremendous value.

Worried about spending money on a program that doesn’t deliver?

We get it! We’ve been there and it hurts! That’s why we offer 100% money-back guarantee. If you feel the course doesn’t live up to its description, simply send us a copy of your completed homework within 45 days (because the course only works if you do!), and we’ll refund your money!


When does the next course start? How long do I have to complete it?
The next class will begin mid-March, 2015 It is a 3 week program but you will have access for as long as the course continues to run, giving you plenty of time to complete it! (you also are able to download all the components so technically, you have it for LIFE!)

I don’t have any studio lighting yet, can I still take the course?
Yes! In fact, you may very well be AHEAD of the game, as we are going to lay out exactly what we use (and don’t use!) in our studio. We’ll also give you tips on where to buy great gear for a low price! You will also have access to the course info for life, so you will be able to go back to do the lessons/exercises once you have the gear!

I already have some experience with study lighting, is this worth my time and money?
Honestly, this is hard for us to answer. We’ve had LOTS of students with lighting experience take the program and LOVE it! Many of our students have found they were just missing a few little tips to take their lighting to the next level, and after taking Illuminate, did exactly that. However, if you already have lots of lighting experience – this likely isn’t the course for you and you won’t get best bang for your buck!

How do I access the course materials?
After you register, you will receive a welcome email with all the info on how to get started. Each week, we’ll send you your lesson with a link to our members-only website which will include additional instruction and a video(s) on the topic.

Will I receive one-on-one support/mentoring during this course?
No. This is an online-group e-course, and as such, is a great affordable price! You will, however, have the opportunity to connect with other students and our lovely Grad Students in our private class Facebook group

*What is the price and currency?
The class is $299 USD or two monthly payments of $165. In 2014, (and beyond) we are thrilled to be working with various co-instructors and partners from around the world. As such, we’ve switched to the most widely accepted global currency – USD.

Note – your invoice will come from The Milky Way Ventures Ltd (aren’t we fancy sounding!)

Will there be tax added?
If you have the good fortune of living in Canada…yes, you will be charged GST. I know tax can seem like a bummer…but think of all the amazing things we get to enjoy because of it! FREE healthcare tops our list!

If you are tired of avoiding studio lighting because fear and confusion are holding you back, it’s time to get Illuminated.


If you have any further questions, please contact

I can’t wait to show you ‘behind the curtain!’

Lisa & Team Milky Way