4.4 out of 5
70 reviews on Udemy

Creative Portrait Photography Series: Magic Of Color & Gels

Bring Your Portrait And Fashion Photography To The Next Level: Storytelling With Gels, Props And Studio Lighting
Sandy Dee
1,722 students enrolled
Take stunning images using lighting techniques with color gels
Learn to analyze images and TV/movie scenes for inspiration
Instead of using techniques blindly, you will understand the "why" of your portrait shoot

Featured Review:

“I didn’t know color gels can be used to achieve so many different effects!! Sandy & Matt never disappoint. They delivered yet another great and informative photography video. This time on how to produce captivating photos which convey a certain story to the viewer and ones that have a cinematic color quality similar to what we see on TV/movies today. And, unlike Hollywood productions, the props and technique featured here are very innovated and accessible to anyone. I’m a huge TV/movie fan so I loved this video a lot. There’s also a detailed and thorough post-process walk-through at the second half of the video, which I found easy to follow. Lots of great tips/tricks here.” – Pocholo Pasicolan

One of the most important aspects of photography, is lighting. But it’s not enough to just know the theory – to take outstanding images you need to tell a story!

Welcome to our course “Creative Photography Lighting – The Magic of Color And Gels” – a new tutorial in our creative portrait series. 

Color Gels are an amazing yet simple tool to enhance the story of your image. But: Instead of just adding color for the sake of color, you need to think about:

a) How it changes the mood and result of your image and 

b) How it pulls the viewer into your world!

My name is Sandy Dee. In our photo studio we have led over 50 photography workshops, specializing in creating conceptual photoshoots and in this course we will bring your creativity to a whole new level: You will learn how to unlock the magic of color and gel photography! 

So why do you need to dive into Gel photography? Well there are many reasons.

Do you want to save money? A package of gels costs way less than buying rolls and rolls of paper.

Do you want to save time? Instead of changing heavy paper rolls that might require an assistant – just pop on a gel onto your light and continue with your shoot.

Do you want to have a less cluttered studio? A package of gels requires hardly any space in comparison to storing paper rolls.

Plus you can create an endless variety of looks fitting to your model’s story, outfit and fashion accessories.

And now comes the most important part why you should learn to unlock the magic of gels: 

We all know that there is an abundance of images flooding the web these days and to stand out from the crowd is more important than ever, which can be very challenging. Luckily – Creativity is also more affordable than ever! That’s were colors and gels come into play. In the olden days you would have to risk wasting money on trial and error shots to get the look of your colored gel right in camera – but not any longer, thanks to your modern DSLR and LED display.  

However: The scary fact still stands – working with colors and gels doesn’t really follow particular rules. Personally I love to take the guess work out of lighting and use a light meter – but with gels? It’s not that easy. Also: There are many different set-up possibilities, so how do you know which is the right one? And: Gels come in all sorts of thickness and colors – and do you use them on strobes or flashguns? And – how do you know that the color look fits to your story?

All these questions can be very daunting for photographers, so today we will answer all of them and walk you through the set-up, step by step. 

The only requirement: You do need an understanding of your DSLR (manual settings) and you should have some practice with basic lighting and access to lighting equipment. Though we do explain important beginner subjects such as the recipe of great portraiture and basic lighting diagrams, the majority of the materials covers more intermediate techniques. However here we include as many options as possible: We will show you set-ups that are easily achievable and affordable with simple props, flashguns and low-end strobes. 

Our promise: Creativity doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and: creative lighting doesn’t have to be confusing. You will see exactly what we are doing inside the studio with our “fly on the wall” videos. Furthermore Matt will walk you through the lighting diagrams to enhance your technical knowledge and my expertise will bring your creativity to the next level, quick and efficient, so you will be able to achieve these looks in no time:

  • How to set-up a “Hitchcock” inspired movie look with shadows, colorful gels and gobos

  • How to set-up a Tv-show inspired “Diner” scene (inclusive a fake milkshake, color and rain)

  • How to set-up your gels to achieve a romantic glow

  • How to set-up your flashguns to create an interesting “star” effect

  • How to set-up edgy Rim lights, colorful background lights and


At the end of this tutorial you will be able to set-up images that look like a movie scene or were featured in a fashion editorial. If you want to wow your models or clients – then this tutorial is for you!

Intro and Theory

Introduction To Gels
Quick Review Of Portrait Lighting Basics
The Number 1 Ingredient For Great Portraiture
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Starting The Shoot
The "Why" In Your Story and Why Shooting With Gels
Why Should You Do Gel Photography Right Now?
How To Approach Lighting With Gels
Lighting Gear And Preparation
Quiz 1

Test Your Knowledge...

Setting Up Different Film And Fashion Looks Inside The Studio

The "Hitchcock" Look Intro: Achieve A Movie Look With One Light And Some Blinds
The "Hitchcock" Look - Step 1: White Lighting
The "Hitchcock" Look - Step 2: Adding An Orange Gel To The Key Light
The "Hitchcock" Look - Step 3 And 4: Adding Separation (Blue Gel, Lightblaster)
The "Shadows On The Wall” Look - (Plus Green And Red Gels)
The "Neon Fashion Look" Part 1: Blue, Pink And Orange
The "Neon Fashion Look" Part 2: Blue, Red, Orange
The "Neon Fashion Look" Part 3: Blue, Pink And White Light (Key Light)
The "Riverdale" Look Part 1: A Simple Window Effect And Gels (Pink/Blue)
The "Riverdale" Look Part 2: Create An "Outside World" With Props / Reflections
The "Riverdale" Look Part 3: Alternative Diner Setups (Table, Milkshake, Props)
Let It Rain - In The Studio
Going Further - The Endless Possibilities Of Using Gels
The "Romantic Fashion" Look Part 1: Red, Green & Blue Gels With Phoebe
The "Romantic Fashion" Look Part 2: Color, Flare And Smoke With Nathana
The "Romantic Fashion" Look Part 3: Color, Flare And Smoke With Julia
The "Romantic Fashion" Look Part 4: Color, Flare And Smoke With Deepti
The "Jake Hicks" Look: Orange Rim Lights And Blue Key Light
Colorful Shadows
The "Madonna" Look : Orange, Purple, Blue
The "Stars and Flare" Look - Create An Amazing Star Effect With Your Speedlights
Amazing Bokeh And “Unicorn” Flare

More Setups & Behind The Scenes

"Special Effects" With Simple Ingredients
Review Of Various Gel Lighting Setups
Important Tips & Tricks

Editing Tips And Tricks

The "Blockbuster Movie Look" With Lightroom (Split Toning)
Creating A Preset With Your Favorite Look In Lightroom
How To Bring In Color To Your Image (Gradient Filter) In Lightroom
How To Enhance Your Image With The Right Crop, Adjustments And Color
Changing Color With The HSL Tool In Lightroom
Changing Color On Its Own Layer In Photoshop And ACR
Quick Image Enhancement In Lightroom
Removing A Boom Stand In Photoshop: Patch Tool, Spot Healing, Clone Stamp Tool
How To Enhance The Star Effect
Quick Edit Part 1: Basic Development In Photoshop
Quick Edit Part 2: Skin Softening In Photoshop
Quick Edit Part 3: Dodge And Burn In Photoshop
Thank You Image Reel
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3 hours on-demand video
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Working hours

Monday 9:30 am - 6.00 pm
Tuesday 9:30 am - 6.00 pm
Wednesday 9:30 am - 6.00 pm
Thursday 9:30 am - 6.00 pm
Friday 9:30 am - 5.00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am - 3.00 pm
Sunday Closed
Creative Portrait Photography Series: Magic Of Color & Gels
$124.99 $85