Online Real Time Zoom Class

Learn to Capture Dramatic Imagery Using Strobe Lighting 

Advanced Conceptual Lighting: five weeks online class is designed for masters and intermediate photographers who believe in lifelong education and want to master artificial lighting skills. The course focuses on the manipulation of ambient and artificial lighting to capture your dreams.

Thursdays, 5:30pm - 7:30pm PST

Next Class TBD


Let me teach you

How to illustrate an idea, advance your artificial lighting skills, collaborate with other artists, produce a shoot, and work with compositing in Adobe photoshop.

Space is limited to eight students.

Requirements for the class

Camera with manual mode, strobe lighting (two heads) with any modifiers, stand, reflector, a pack of gels, remote light trigger, basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and access to Zoom.

Real time Zoom class

Each class is 120 minutes lecture + homework discussion time, once a week  in real time meeting and includes lectures, video demonstrations, exercises, and immediate homework feedback.

One-on-one sessions 

Additionally, we'll meet one-on-one via Zoom once a week at the time convenient to you to go over your homework progress.

What you'll learn

You'll learn how to plan and execute your ideas, work on location combining strobe lighting with ambient light, compositing in Photoshop, and deep dive in to Conceptual Photography. 

Session 1: Soft Strobe Light

Master soft strobe lighting on location and how to set up a studio anywhere and get a soft portrait.

Technical lecture, video and real time demonstration.

Real time Q & A.

Guest Speaker.

Demonstration of Image Compositing.

Creative homework Assignment.

Session 2: Hard Strobe Light

Work with hard light on location. Get introduced to gels and it's surreal effect. 

Technical lecture, video and real time demonstration.

Real time Q & A.

Demonstration of Image Compositing and color adjustment.

Creative homework Assignment & Critique.

Session 3: "Night" Light

Learn to create "night" images working with multiple strobes and gels. Learn "piggy back" lighting set up.

Technical lecture, video and real time demonstrations.

Real time Q & A.

Creative homework Assignment & Critique.

Session 4: "Surreal World"

Conceptual Photography:  shooting for composite.

Technical lecture, video and real time demonstration.

Real time Q & A.

Demonstration how to shoot for composite using miniature props and artificial lighting. 

Creative homework Assignment & Critique.

Session 5: "Finals"

Final Presentation will be reviewed live by three guests, well recognized photographers in the industry. 

Class Structure 

Five classes are live zoom streamings from a photo studio with live equipment demonstrations and pre-recorded on location shoot tutorials. Creative assignments are given after each class and would take up to ten hours a week to complete.  You meet one-on-one with an instructor once a week for 30 minutes to discuss your progress. Additionally, you have access to a highly skilled light technician at the end of each class.  As an option, you can be partnered with another class member for the purpose of working together. Instructor is reachable by phone or text if you need help while doing homework. Final class presentation is critiqued by three other well known photographers in the industry.  

Recommended equipment for the class based on your budget.

all images created for the class assignment

Class Review by Stefano Campanini

This is an expensive class, with the same amount of money I could have flown to Italy, have a couple of coffees, eat dinner and take a selfie or two in front of Milan’s cathedral. Still, I’m very happy I went for it. At the end of the first class I understood that what I was learning was worth a lot more that what I paid. Elena opened the bag on all of her tricks, skills, lighting sets and more. The class morphed immediately from four sessions to an entire one-month long course. We became so involved that we were exchanging 60 to 80 messages a day. Elena modeled for those of us living in the Bay Area, lent her equipment, helped everyone constantly, always available over the phone, or on zoom or text messages. It was a one month full immersion. I think we lived together under a zoom tent for a month. I picked up some incredible new skills and ten great friends that I am already missing and I would bet we would be all in if she were to organize another course.  

Class Review by Veronica Hsu

This class was "to the moon and beyond" adventure for me. Elena helped me grow a lot as a photographer and first of all be confident about my ideas and vision. I definitely excelled my lighting skills and boosted my creativity. I had so much fun and excitement meeting professionals in the field as well. So if you are looking for mind-blowing experience join Elena's next crew, fasten your seat belts and enjoy your flight!

Class Review by Katya Kuznetsova

I went through two levels of the teaching Lena offered: intro to Pro-photo and Advanced Conceptual Lighting. Despite the experience I have already had by that time, Lena taught us a lot of new things about camera and lighting. We also had an opportunity to learn about artistic and technical aspects with Masha and Robert. Moreover, we learned how build the creative process from the scratch. One of the important sides for me was the communication: between Lena and us, students, and also with the other students on the courses. All of it was the incredible and amazing experience where I was surrounded by so many talented people! All of it was like a journey. You start with fears and unassertiveness, but Lena gives you so much knowledge and comfort, so that by the end of the classes you feel yourself enriched, enlightened, confident in your photography skills. If I could do it over and over again, I definitely would come back for more:))

Class Review by Gwendolyn Withrow

This class helped me look at myself with professional potential. I learned useful, efficient, versatile lighting set-ups. I learned how to view and critique my work and others. The community of the class was supportive and encouraged each other to respect our highest potential. The blend of technical and creative input helped me push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Before this class, I had never touched a strobe, by the end, I was talking about how to start booking clients.

Class Review by Yana Mostitsky

I have enjoyed this class a lot and can recommend it to any photographer who wishes to improve his/her artificial lighting skill and get a creativity boost. Elena readily shares her knowledge and experience in commercial photography, gives great advice and pushes you to create distinguished imagery.

Class Review by Kate Fim

Absolutely amazing class! It is full of professional info about lighting and technology, creative approaches to photography and personal touch. I was eagerly waiting for every class because each of them was packed with new techniques and new names. Maybe the most important is that Elena works individually with every student and helps with technical questions and guides through conceptual interpretation. Very great thank you for sharing with me/us your knowledge, passion and vision, Elena! And above, Elena’s classes magnetize such brilliant students that the fun we had in class was very productive and contributes to growth of your professional network.

Class Review by Tati Scutelnic 

I was following Elena on Instagram, and I remember the moment that blew my mind. It was an image of her being on the escalator with the camera over a colossal crown of men in white military uniforms spreading in many lines. That was such a powerful image! I was amazed by her bravery!  I was like: Oh, this person can teach me something! 
I have been taking two classes for over a year and going to come back cause I end up with so many powerful skills as technical and conceptual. Elena is giving a lot as a teacher. First of all, she was giving the assignments to us she was doing by herself from scratch. It's so encouraging when you see that your mentor struggles for ideas and their performance as much as you do. As a teacher, Elena always pushed my boundaries as an artist cause she is constantly pushing her. The contents of the lessons are always 100% trustworthy.

Class Review by Natalia Nazarova

Elena, thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone and encouraging to create more; prepare for the photoshoots at the same time leave some room for the spontaneous ideas. Thank you for spending extra time with us: teaching light in person, modeling, additional online meetings, and thank you for introducing us to each other!

Class Review by Bailey Cashio

At first, I felt overwhelmed, I had never worked with artificial light aside from a small Speedlight. Even then, I had little to no experience. Elena met with me one-on-one and guided me on how to use the new equipment. I am so thankful I was able to contact her whenever I needed help. I had pushed my comfort level in Elena's first-class and the inclusion of studio lighting helped further overcome my imperfections. My favorite assignment was when we started to incorporate colored gels. The added color helped set a mood for the scene that otherwise would not have been there. Elena made this a less stressful and more enjoyable learning experience. I am thrilled to have learned these skills through her class. I highly recommend others take this learning opportunity and expand on their understanding of conceptual photography.



Elena Zhukova designed this advanced lighting class based on years teaching photography at UC Berkeley, Academy of Art University and doing workshops and guest lectures around the world. 

Guest Artist and Set Designer

Masha Kechaeva, costume and set designer for theaters, is a collaborator on all video tutorial productions for the class and a guest speaker. 

Technical Assistant

Robert Meares, a NY based fashion photographer, educator and a lighting technician, is an additional help in the class.

Contact me if you have questions or need advice about equipment for the class. 

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