— Mary Bel




About This Course

The course "Transform Your Portraits Using Creative Lighting" is a holistic educational program that strives to guide photographers through the fascinating world of lighting in portrait photography. Led by a seasoned instructor, the course is an in-depth exploration of lighting techniques and principles, providing students with a robust understanding of how lighting can enhance and even transform their portraiture.

Commencing with an introduction, the instructor outlines the course and discusses the content and objectives of the subsequent lessons. This sets the groundwork for the topics to be discussed, and provides a broad understanding of what the course aims to achieve.

The course then moves onto the application of gels, tools that can infuse color into lighting. Understanding the usage and impact of gels can significantly augment a photographer's control over the mood and aesthetics of their portrait shots.

With this foundation laid, the course proceeds to offer practical demonstrations on shooting with gels. The first such demonstration, titled "Hot in the City," involves a live model and provides valuable insights into the instructor's process when working with colored gels. Following this, the "Kiss of Teal" lesson continues the hands-on approach, introducing a change in outfit and gel color to emphasize the versatility and impact of this lighting technique.

Moving forward, the course explores the idea of creating colorful silhouettes by positioning a gelled soft box behind the subject. This creative usage of lighting can offer a unique, visually compelling element to your portrait work.

Beyond practical demonstrations, the course also delves into the theoretical aspects of lighting. It presents an engaging discussion on what makes light interesting and how to cultivate those qualities in your work. This theoretical knowledge is then coupled with the practical concept of carving light using a flashlight, enabling the photographer to control light precisely.

Building on this, the course discusses the technique of blocking light and employing bouncing methods to add intrigue to the lighting arrangement. This is followed by the concept of allowing some light to seep through material positioned in front of the light source, a technique that can add depth and complexity to the lighting setup.

The course continues its practical exploration by demonstrating how inexpensive plastic rulers can be used to allow colored light to reach your subject, reinforcing the theme of creativity and resourcefulness in lighting.

In conclusion, the course amalgamates all the techniques discussed into a final lesson. Here, the instructor discusses how these various techniques can be integrated into a single shot, encouraging students to experiment and find combinations that work best for their unique style.

This course serves as an excellent resource for photographers seeking to expand their knowledge of lighting in portraiture. By combining theory, practical demonstrations, and hands-on exercises, it provides a comprehensive and engaging learning experience. Through mastering the techniques and concepts presented in this course, photographers can greatly enhance the impact, creativity, and professional quality of their portrait work

Acquired Knowledge

Mary wraps up the class with a demonstration of how to incorporate several of these techniques into a single shoot for truly dynamic results


Mary Bel
Mary Bel is a Guru award-winning artist and KelbyOne student. She is a fine art photographer based in Orlando, Fl. Mary Bel specializes in self-portraiture and styled artistic portraits. She creates images of what she wishes to see happening and manipulates them into her own world through her work as a photographer and storyteller. She was recently awarded the Sony Alpha Female+ grant and holds a Bachelors and Masters in Arts from Fordham University.


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