Studio 101

with Zack Arias

Studio 101

(9 customer reviews)

The Craft of Portrait Photography

Award-winning editorial photographer, Zack Arias, gives you every tool and technique you’ll need to get started taking beautiful portraits with budget-friendly equipment – all while building your confidence and poise on set.

Included in this Bundle:

What’s Included?

7 Hrs, 44 Mins

Broken up into 9 topic-focused modules so you can learn at your own pace.


The entire course is available to download so you can learn on the go.

61 Videos

To help you easily navigate through the course. Watch them in order or skip around.

What You’ll Learn


Lighting Introduction

There are so many different types of lighting, and so many different ways that photographers can use light. In this section, Zack breaks it down to help us understand which type of light creates which mood, and how to use light to create the look you’re going for. Understanding these techniques will not only boost your confidence on set, but also completely elevate your portrait work.

Lessons in this module

01:32 Introduction
09:52 Lighting Introduction
05:26 Pros & Cons to Different Kinds of Light

Includes 1 Download

mp4 Lighting Introduction

Gear Essentials for Cameras & Lenses

In this section, Zack shows us the different kinds of cameras on the market today. He takes us through which specifications to look for when purchasing your own, and goes over which lenses you’ll need as a portrait photographer and why. Your search will become incredibly less overwhelming after hearing his recommendations and direction!

Lessons in this module

01:00 Introduction
05:13 Camera Bodies
06:56 Camera Lenses
02:27 Comparing Lenses 24mm-200mm Shooting Demo
09:44 Comparing Lenses 24mm-200mm Results
11:14 Lens Comparision Bonus Video

Includes 1 Download

mp4 Gear Essentials: Cameras & Lenses

Gear Essentials for Lighting

The moment you start searching for lighting equipment online, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and intimidated by how many options there are out there. Zack breaks it down to the essential equipment you’ll need that’s easy to find and doesn’t break the bank. Creating a basic kit that you can use on a daily basis will ease your mind and help you get started with taking beautiful portraits – instead of endlessly searching for the right gear.

Lessons in this module

00:51 Introduction
05:26 Hot Shoe Flash, Strobes and Continuous Light
11:45 Major Brands & Zack's Recommendations
05:11 The Different Mounting Systems for Modifiers and Why It's Important
03:45 Mounting Lights onto Stands
04:19 Lightstands, C-Stands & When to Use Which One
02:40 Gear Conclusion

Includes 1 Download

mp4 Gear Essentials for Lighting

Finding Your Exposure When Working with Lighting

Mastering the five aspects of exposure can feel like a daunting task to most new photographers. In this section, Zack shows us step-by-step how to find the right settings for our ISO, aperture, shutter speed, flash power, and flash-to-subject distance when working with studio lighting. These numbers will no longer feel confusing after you learn Zack’s system for exposure control, and your shoots will become fluid and painless.

Lessons in this module

01:17 Introduction
14:29 Five Aspects of Exposure Control
17:08 Flash Power
08:05 Inverse Square Law
04:32 ISO
06:00 ISO and Flash Power
03:11 Finding Exposure Demo - Part 1
16:23 Finding Exposure Demo - Part 2
02:17 Closing

Includes 4 Downloads

pdf Exposure Chart 1
pdf Exposure Chart 2
mp4 Finding Your Exposure 1
mp4 Finding Your Exposure 2

Understanding Modifiers

There is an incredible number of modifiers available for studio lighting, so how do photographers know which one to use when? Zack walks us through all the different types of modifiers, their similarities, their differences, and what they’re used for. He also explains how and where to place a modifier on set and how to use them to create completely different looks.

Lessons in this module

00:58 Introduction
02:57 Umbrellas
02:23 Mounting Umbrellas
08:19 Softboxes
06:57 Constructing Modifiers
08:20 Creative Modifiers
04:09 Shooting With Modifers
21:01 60” Umbrella Shooting Demo
08:03 Octabox Shooting Demo
10:30 Strip Bank with Grid Shooting Demo
16:30 Reflector with Grid Shooting Demo

Includes 2 Downloads

mp4 Understanding Modifiers 1
mp4 Understanding Modifiers 2

Getting Started with a Simple Light Source

In this section, Zack shows us the lighting set up he brings to every shoot: The 60 inch convertible umbrella. The best part? It only costs $30! Learn how to master Zack’s technique and watch as he creates a variety of different looks with just one simple light.

Lessons in this module

00:53 Introduction
14:34 Seven Looks with One Light
03:44 Sync Speed Explained
00:17 What You'll Need To Get Started

Includes 2 Downloads

pdf Field Book
mp4 Getting Started with a Simple Light Source

Building Your Confidence as a Photographer


It is no secret that embarking on a journey in photography is not easy. The best way to become a confident photographer is to know that you’re not alone in the struggles, frustration, and fear that can rise up while you’re on this path. In this section, Zack shares some of his own struggles and gives you insight on how to overcome what is holding you back.

Lessons in this module

00:46 Introduction
31:29 Confidence

Includes 1 Download

mp4 Building Your Confidence as a Photographer

Portrait Session Indoors


Watch as Zack executes a photoshoot in the studio using the techniques and tools covered in past lessons. See how he uses different lighting set ups and modifiers while putting the fundamentals in action to create incredible portraits.

Lessons in this module

01:17 Introduction
11:11 Interview with Subject
17:10 Simple Set Up
17:03 Two Light Setup Head Shots
02:46 Troubleshooting Main + Fill Light Ratios
05:24 Headshot with Pure White Background
16:32 Creating Dramatic Light
02:52 Full Body on White Setup
12:48 Full Body on White Demo
06:06 White on White Look
09:26 Retouching Backgrounds

Includes 2 Downloads

mp4 Portrait Session Indoors 1
mp4 Portrait Session Indoors 2

Portrait Session Outdoors

Follow along on location as Zack shoots headshots and editorial looks for his client, Jesse in the alleyways of Los Angeles. Learn how Zack uses natural light and studio lighting on location to create a diverse set of images any client will love.

Lessons in this module

00:32 Introduction
11:17 One Light Headshot
05:26 Using Natural Light & Window Reflections
06:24 Dramatic Outdoor Portraits with Flash
08:04 Outdoor Alleyway
03:17 The Effects of Exposure on the Sky
12:04 High Speed Sync Outdoors
12:17 Wrap Up

Includes 2 Downloads

mp4 Portrait Session Outdoors 1
mp4 Portrait Session Outdoors 2

The Craft of Portrait Photography

Award-winning editorial photographer, Zack Arias has built a portrait education series centered around understanding and mastering the foundations of portrait photography and laying the groundwork you’ll need to grow as a photographer. Whether you are in photography as a craft or as a profession, there is one thing for certain: you need to understand these basic principles in order to progress in your portrait work. This course will give you every tool and technique you’ll need to get started taking beautiful portraits with budget-friendly equipment – all while building your confidence and poise on set.

This fundamental series takes you through gear essentials for cameras, lenses, and lighting, including how to choose the right gear and why they are important. Master all the aspects of exposure control like ISO, aperture, shutter speed, flash power and flash-to-subject distance and never wonder about your settings again! Learn Zack’s techniques for shaping light to create different moods, and how to approach different modifiers to achieve the look you’re going for. Lastly, follow along as Zack executes two full shoots: one indoors, and one outdoors, and see these fundamentals in action.

If the staggering amount of information about photography, gear, and lighting on the internet has left you feeling overwhelmed and intimidated, you’ve come to the right place. When you reach the end of this series, you’ll find your skill level to be eminently elevated and your confidence behind the lens will be higher than ever before. Investing in this course means investing in yourself, your knowledge, and your success as a portrait photographer.

9 Reviews

“Great information, great class!”

Maria M.

“Excellent class. I learned a lot in a short period of time. I was particularly impressed by Zack's impressive communication skills and his 'you can do it as well', 'every camera is fine' and 'start step by step' approach. The session on 'confidence' was very honest and inspiring. Thank you very much, Zack!”

Pum B.

“Love the way he explains everything! Is like having a friend near by”

Stella I.

“Zack is really a tremendous communicator. I’ve followed him for years, and with a fair amount of lighting and studio experience, I still found many take-always from this. A well done, nicely paced and organised class by a master photographer and educator.”

James O.

“I've always loved Zack's teaching style. It's simple, fun and funny, the way he explains concepts. I've watched numerous other videos covering the same topics and I just wasn't getting it. Watching and listening to Zack's demos and clicked! I FINALLY got it and it's a game-changer!”

Tina Y.

“Zack you are an amazing teacher and photographer!!!”

Robert B.

“Thank you Zack for make it simple of complex subject with supereasy to understand explainations.”

Nur Hisham M.

“So much good information here, presented in a logical way. My personal favorite section was the snippet about post processing the background at the end of the indoor portrait sections. Pure gold as far as time-saving goes.”

Amy H.

“I had the pleasure of attending Zack's One Light workshop years ago. I was thrilled that he was a Portrait Master presenter in 2018. Zack is a talented photographer and instructor. Zack demystifies lighting and he give you the tools to run out and play. Once again, the value for money for these courses is incredible.”

Tanya M.