Studio Lighting & Retouching for Athletes

Studio Lighting and Retouching for Athletes (I) 7 Videos (1:43h)
  • 01 - Tutorial Introduction
  • 02 - Athletic Headshot: Introduction
  • 03 - Athletic Headshot: Camera Settings
  • 04 - Athletic Headshot: Lighting
  • 05 - Athletic Headshot: Photoshoot
  • 06 - Athletic Headshot: Masking
  • 07 - Athletic Headshot: Retouching
Studio Lighting and Retouching for Athletes (II) 14 Videos (5:32h)
  • 01 - Action Photoshoot: Introduction
  • 02 - Jumping Photoshoot: Lighting
  • 03 - Handstand Photoshoot: Lighting
  • 04 - Jumping Photos: Masking & Color
  • 05 - Jumping Photos: Retouching & Graphics
  • 06 - Handstand Photos: Masking & Color
  • 07 - Handstand Photos: Retouching & Graphics
  • 08 - Athletic Detail: Introduction
  • 09 - Athletic Detail: Lighting
  • 10 - Athletic Detail: Retouching & Color
  • 11 - Portraits on a Black Background: Introduction
  • 12 - Portraits on a Black Background: Masking a Series
  • 13 - Portraits on a Black Background: Retouching a Series
  • 14 - Portraits on a Black Background: Coloring a Series

Topics   |   Photography   |   Retouching   |   Lighting

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Learn to Capture Strength, Definition, and Character

In this tutorial, we’re working with health and fitness coach Nile Bratcher to explore the ins and outs of athletic photography and deliver images that are both stunning and representative of the spirit of his business. We’ll take you into the photoshoot as we build four different studio lighting setups from the ground up. Then it’s on to Photoshop where we’ll teach you everything from masking and cutting out your subject to effective dodging and burning.

8 Sample Images   |   1 Custom Brush   |   1 Custom Gradient   |   1 Custom Action   |   21 Video Tutorials

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Athletic Photography

Picture an athlete. What words would you use to describe them? Fitness, action, energy, strength, and physique are all characteristics that need to be present in any athletic portrait. We’ll demonstrate photographic techniques to highlight muscle definition, form, and motion that will help you bring the spirit of an athlete to life.

Studio Lighting Techniques

Beginning with a single light, we’ll construct several unique lighting setups piece by piece – each ideal for capturing a different concept, mood, or pose. We’ll also demonstrate how to position lights to capture and enhance muscle definition and motion.

Photographing Non-Models

One of the greatest challenges a photographer can face is making an uncomfortable situation – a studio photoshoot – a comfortable one. See first-hand how to help your clients relax and get the most natural images possible.

Client Interaction

Having your client present at a photoshoot can be a huge advantage. See how to bring them into the process for ideas and feedback so you both can feel confident that you’re nailing the right shots.

Meet Needs & Deliver Variety

The best way to leave a client wanting more is by meeting their needs and giving them options. In this tutorial, we capture everything from simple portraits to kinetic action shots in several different colors, styles, and moods. Learn how to get a wide assortment of photos with only a few subtle changes.

From Capture to Export

See the creative process from end to end. Join us as we go in-depth during several photoshoots and then bring the images into Photoshop for retouching and styling. This is one of our most comprehensive tutorials to date covering studio lighting, client interaction, photography, and post-production.

Athletic Retouching

As important as it is to highlight the features of an athlete when capturing a photo, it’s equally as important to maintain and enhance those features in post-production. We’ll show you how to remove blemishes, increase definition, and add creative effects to ensure an athlete is at their peak performance.

Dodging & Burning

We’ll teach you advanced techniques to sculpt highlights and shadows around your subject, providing more shape and definition. This can be especially impactful during athletic retouching, greatly enhancing musculature and form.

Color & Style

Since we shot on three different colored backgrounds, we have three totally different perspectives when coloring and stylizing our photos. From a bright pink, brimming with energy and abstract shapes, to black, where we’ll make things a bit more intense and dramatic. We’ll show you how to capture and magnify the tone of an image.

This Tutorial Covers   |   Photoshop   |   Retouching   |   Lighting   |   Photography


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Super! Beyond a very good photographer you ar a Didactic Star! One of the best investments I did on photographic tutorials was to be a PHLEARN subscriber! Hugs from Brazil!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    My goodness. I’m so glad I discovered Aaron and Phlearn. I’m brand new to photography (I didn’t even own a camera two months ago, and joined Phlearn a week ago), and I feel like I have years of experience because of tutorials like this. Not only is Aaron a great photographer, but he’s an outstanding teacher! He covers literally everything. Every step, every click, EVERYTHING you need to know. This tutorial is just ridiculous. (I did indeed have my mouth open during the clipping section) Mind. Blown. I’ve messed with PaintShop Pro for years (I just downloaded Photoshop), so I’m familiar with a lot of things, just on a different platform, but again, Aaron points out exactly what buttons or options you need to click to do whatever so you’re not in the dark about anything. This is only about the 5th or 6th video I’ve watched, but being able to download all the files and do it yourself while following along to the video is just….it’s really the best thing ever! I literally schedule hours out of my day now for some Phlearn lessons, just like school classes, and can’t wait to learn something new every day. So Aaron, seriously, thank you SOOOOO much!!! I know you’ve helped a billion people, and I’m just another newbie, and you’ve never met me, but you’ve taught me more about photography and editing than I knew even existed! Best. Teacher. Ever!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was an awesome tutorial. Going so in depth it was hard to keep up. Going more in depth with the changes to Photoshop, really added some meat to it. Making one’s usage of the changes easier to accomplish. At times it was a bit hard to keep up, but that’s one of the good things about going ‘Pro,’ I can always come back and revisit. Then there’s always the possibility of purchasing it out right, so as to always have it on hand if needed!!! Great work, keep it up, cause I’m hungry for more :{)))


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This tutorial includes 8 sample images, 1 custom Photoshop brush, 1 custom gradient, 1 custom Photoshop action, and 21 video tutorials.

We start from the very beginning and cover all the tools and techniques you need to cut subjects out of their backgrounds. If you are new to Photoshop, we recommend watching Photoshop 101-301 or the Photoshop Basics Complete Collection

Yes! If you purchase via the "Buy Now" option, you can download the entire tutorial and watch it forever. PRO Subscribers enjoy unlimited streaming while subscribed. PRO Subscribers also get exclusive discounts on PRO Courses.