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1:27:40 Duration

Film Noir

Sue shows how to create dark, sultry, low-light Film Noir images using natural light. After this lesson, you will feel inspired to explore the dark.


  1. Quite by accident during a shoot the other night my lights didn’t fire so the only lights hitting the model were the modeling lights. I immediately thought of this video and they wound up keepers.

  2. Sue, it seems like there IS a bit of a highlight coming onto them from up above. Is this because your ceilings are so high? I have a 9′ ceiling so there’s not a ton of space for light to leak over the 8′ vflat…

  3. For some reason when I try to watch the retouching video it opens the shoot video so I am unable to watch the retouching component. Q and A and low light shot videos work fine

    1. Yes, it is possible to achieve the similar look; build the same set, and instead of a window place the strobes in the same place. It is very important, that the stropelight stands behind the v-flat and is not hitting the person directly!

  4. Hi Sue. I have a question after trying this lighting out. I have had two models. One with a visible Farmer’s tan and one with no visible tan. The first one had the visible tan lines when I shot so I did not worry. However, my second model didn’t have visible tan lines, yet when I shot two stops under I could see a difference there. It’s really weird – can you shed any light on the matter (lol)?

  5. Hi Sue, Have you ever done a tutorial on how you setup photoshop, alien skin etc for retouching? I was observing your setup in PS and it looked very simple to follow. You are truly a blessing to people sharing all your knowledge.

  6. Thank you Sue I am new at this type photography and just excited about what you are teaching, I have learnt so much in the last few nights of studying your work. Thank you so much

  7. ok so i thought of a question i have a guy who has lost over 140lbs and would like to do a body building session because he is going to be a fitness coach, i told him that film noir would be a good session for him but what poses or lighting or direction can i do to kind out hide any flab that he may have he’s not fully ready yet but will be by the fall what would you recommend ?

  8. Great class! But I have a question. Sue, on the video you told that you wouldn’t use that light set up for a men. How would you modify the light set up for a men?

    1. Oh sorry Laia i absolutely DO and DID maybe I just confused you with my accent? what part are you referring too

    2. Hello Sue,
      Minute 21:30
      “This light is not different form Cathelin from Jady which its really odd because normally
      I would change the light a lot for a girl or for a boy” –> Which one would you use normally? Harder light? More contrast between lights and shadows?
      Thank you again.
      Whith your educational site besides my photography and business skills I’m improving my English 🙂

  9. Love love love! Thank you Sue for this class, I always wanted to do something like this and I tried before but not quite there yet. You filled in the gaps and more! I am so thankful! Loved the nail retouch, I have done it so many times that now I have fake nails for the forgetful clients. xx