Peter Hurley: Illuminating The Face

An Obvious Progression From Peter Hurley's First Tutorial
In 2011 Fstoppers teamed up with Peter Hurley to produce the 4 hour video tutorial: The Art Behind The Headshot. Many people have claimed that The Art Behind The Headshot is the single best resource when it comes to coaching your subject and making any person in front of your camera look their best.

4.5 Hours Of Technical Lighting
3 years later Lee Morris and Patrick Hall from Fstoppers traveled back to NYC once again to create a completely unique 4.5 hour video tutorial named: Illuminating The Face. Peter's first tutorial only touched on the technical aspects of lighting but Illuminating The Face completely focuses on every detail that goes into lighting the human face.
4 camera angles

Filmed With 4 Cameras and Proportional Modeling Lights
Peter and the Fstoppers team spent 3 days planning and testing, and 6 days filming this detailed video. By using flash heads with proportional modeling lights, Peter is able to spend the first 3 hours shooting without strobe which allows you to clearly see every subtle lighting change he makes. The Fstoppers crew recorded the entire process with 4 cameras running simultaneously so that you will be able to see the shoot from every angle, including a video camera that mimics Peter's still camera. Every time Peter moves a light or changes a power setting, you will be able to see that change on the models face.
proportional modeling lights

Lighting Modifiers Tested On Male And Female Faces
Flattering light differs on men and woman and so it was important to have both a male and female model. By using the same models for the entire 6 day shoot, Peter is able to compare images side by side that were taken days apart. You will be able to study these models faces and by the end of the tutorial you will have a completely new outlook on lighting cast on the human face.
male vs female

Learn Different Genres Of Lighting
For the first 3 hours Peter goes over the basics of lighting and individual lighting modifiers. You will be able to compare hard light to umbrellas to softboxes to beauty dishes to ring flashes and other light shaping modifiers. Once you have an understanding of the available tools, Peter designs 6 completely different images using all of the modifiers at his disposal. By the end of this tutorial you should have a solid understanding of classic, beauty, fashion, and edgy lighting.

illuminating the face

Learn To See Light
This tutorial is not a lesson in camera settings or ratios. Instead of teaching you to mimic light and camera settings, Peter teaches you to see light in a new and detailed way. After watching this tutorial you should be able to view images taken by other photographers and be able to understand exactly how that image was lit simply by looking at the shadow angle, depth, sharpness, falloff, and catch lights. Instead of teaching you to recreate Peter's shots, Peter will teach you how to sculpt the light and notice subtleties so that you can create your own unique images and personal style.

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*All refunds are outlined in our terms of service.

*No refunds allowed for bundle deals.

Download this 4 1/2 Hour Tutorial
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Previous comments
Ivana Milchanska's picture


Will it have subtitles and translation?

Patrick Hall's picture

No unfortunately it will not. We did translate the Art Behind the Headshot in Spanish but it wasn't a big enough hit to warrant doing that again. If you are interested in that version, you can find it at

I'm afraid it wasn't a hit because they forget to translate price tag ;) U$D300 is above minimum wage in Spanish language countries.

Well its too expensive for me since im unemployed, but can understand that you get what you pay for...and it should be accessable for everyone thats not willing to committ money for valuable time saving info.

Anthony Woodruffe's picture

It's a shame you feel disadvantaged because of your current situation. It does come across as expecting something for nothing and sadly the western world just doesn't operate that way. That said there are many tutorials on Youtube from Mark Wallace, Slanted Lens, etc, plus the many articles posted each day here on FStoppers all given for free. Illuminating the Face is very informative but FStoppers and Peter Hurley are not operating a public service and sadly sometimes payment is required, whether that be in the for of workshops, video tutorials or webinars.

Well its fine since i do not have a studio nor the funds for the lighting equipment. Just my Cannon 70 d . There so much insecurity in the photography industry for upcoming photographers. I know some that are so fearful of any collaboratopion for fear of competition. Like this one guy on my facebook, i was invited to work with him by the designer for whom he takes pictures her dresses- but he refused. He only wants to work alone despite the designer inviting me on the photo shoot. I can only classify someone like that as a selfish jerk. And its bad Karma. I didnt want to make trouble so i didnt complain. Im hoping just to get other opportunities since i believe in God and dont believe in forcing others against their will .

Anthony Woodruffe's picture

It's unfortunate some photographers take this attitude. Still; best advice I could give is get someone to shoot and spend $10 on some white chip boarding and use them as reflectors. And when you tell people how you did it, they'll be even more impressed than if you'd shot with a load of Profoto gear. :)

David Leyland's picture

Great video but Patricks eyes looks a little alien like in the first clip! Thanks

Anthony Woodruffe's picture

When I purchased this I took the offer of Fstoppers' Peter Hurley bundle and bought 'The art behind the headshot' as well for what some say seem a hefty $450. Let's just forget the content here for a second. This is over 8 Hours of invaluable information given by an international Photographer at just $53 per hour, that you can watch again and again. The biggest thing I learnt was that Peter isn't just a great photographer but a person that understands people. I've had a few 1on1 consultations at $350 for 4 hours and not one has come close to what you will take from this video 'illuminating the face'.

Actually both videos go hand in hand, you really need both and you can use the information for studio and on location. If you want to get outside during that golden hour and use the sun as a kicker, this video will guide you in understanding what you need to do. I actually feel like Neo, when he wakes up and says "I know Kung Fu". I really feel like I know light, I now need to practice and shoot, and shoot and shoot some more.

However as negative this may sound; It's a waste of time buying this video if all you want to learn is the technical aspect of lighting a model because without knowing what to do with your subject you may as well shoot a mannequin. It's why I would recommend anyone considering buying this video, do yourself a favour and pay the extra $150 and get the Peter Hurley bundle.

Illuminating the Face will teach you how to take great photos no question and worth every cent. The art behind the headshot will teach how to bring those images to life...

is amazon going to sue peter hurley for the white background

Erwan Ermel's picture

A friend offerts me that dvd ... Seen all at once.

What can i say ? ... Just amazing. I enjoyed every bit of it. One of the best way to learn how to master light and make it ours.

Even if english is not my native tongue, this dvd was easy watching and learning :)

"Et voilà"

Seoirse Brennan's picture

The Art Behind The Headshot was an awesome DVD. The first Tut that I watched.

I just finished this course right know, This is a best lighting course I ever seen.

Hello, I made the purchase and didn´t recieve any link for download the tutorial, very disapointed.
It has been more than i week now, and nobody answer my e-mails!!
Still waiting for a response!!

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