photography lighting setup, photography equipment,

Are you interested in learning about studio lighting photography? It might be challenging for a beginner to manage the setup correctly. If there is improper lighting, it might cause some severe imbalance and result in a poor-quality image.

In photography, natural and artificial light is the primary light sources. However, artificial lighting is essential for creating a different atmosphere in photography. 

When preparing for a big project, lighting, studio setup, cameraman, and producer must sink in together and deliver their best quality work.  Let’s discuss how you can learn studio photography in detail with the help of a complete setup of equipment. Read this article to learn the “photography lighting basics.”

lighting setup in studio, lighting setup in photography
In the commercial studio, a model poses for a photo

In the art of photography, what kind of light is utilized?

Natural and artificial light are the primary light sources in photography. The realistic option is always my go-to, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose it too!

We suggest using the LED light to prevent any uneven things while doing art photography. At present, soft LED lights are the best source for artistic photography. 

Therefore, it is a talent worth investing in to get you started. You need to be patient and try to portray the scenario carefully. 

lighting setup in studio
Have a look at the lighting setup!

In the realm of photography, I believe that studio lighting is the single most significant component. No matter how well the shot is composed or how crisp the image is, they will not accept your work if the customer cannot make out what is in the photo.

Do you have the best camera to capture a fantastic photo? If not, do not get frustrated. Try hard and focus on how you can make the best of this setup. 

If you have an older model camera that struggles to perform effectively in low light, you should plan your picture sessions for the hours when there is plenty of natural light.

If you don’t have the appropriate settings for your camera, even images shot in the middle of the day might look terrible. What some less experienced photographers may refer to as “bad light” is an issue with exposure.

Spend time studying how the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings interact to get the desired level of exposure in your photographs.

What kind of lighting is ideal for capturing photographs?

The gentle light that appears during the golden hour is, without a doubt, the prettiest natural light there is! As photographers, we will try to capture the scenic beauty of that time. 

The time just before sunrise or just after sunset is known as the “golden hour.” The light will frequently have a subtle orange, pink, or golden yellow tint, flattering to your photographs’ subjects.

The light during the golden hour is also diffused, which helps light your client’s face far better than the direct light that is present during the rest of the day.

If you cannot meet with clients during the golden hour, the next best option would be to select a venue with shade. Because the sun is at a lower angle in the sky during golden hour, you have more options for where to take photos outside.

You may take your shots on a wide-open field or by the side of a lake. There is no one correct answer when choosing the best artificial light for capturing photographs; instead, it depends on your style.

What are the many options available for lighting an indoor studio?

To begin, I will discuss some of the more prevalent lighting equipment. It will aid you in learning the various functions. Several pieces of lighting equipment serve it. In the next part, I will discuss several different approaches to lighting in a photography studio

Lighting kits for studios are straightforward or complicated for the users. They desire to implement them in their professional lives. Every continuous lighting kit can illuminate a distinct portion of your subject. It will allow you to achieve a variety of effects.

Many successful small business photo studio setups utilize just one or two lights or a light stand. They will not look for a continuous lighting kit. It is an important distinction to make. 

Therefore, unless you have a lot of spare cash lying around, I would not advise you to purchase all of these individual pieces of lighting equipment. However, you can buy a small lighting package within your budget. 

Additional Tips

A studio will either have strobe lights or continuous lighting. It means that the subject will constantly be illuminated by the light (which goes off at the press of a button).

Many lights have a diffuser attached to them, so the impression they have on your subject is less harsh. As a professional photographer, you have to keep your eyes on them. Softboxes, octa boxes, strip boxes, and umbrellas are all examples of diffusers. 

When researching lighting kits, it is essential to pay attention to the components included in each one. Other devices will restrict the path. 

The Key to Light

We want to add additional lighting in the studio to highlight the product.  This one is considered the “primary” source even with other light sources. The leading light is responsible for most of the effort in continuously lighting up your subject’s face if not all of it.

The additional lighting will highlight the targeted object, and eventually, we will receive an intellectual output from it. This light is often positioned off to the side and focused straight on the subject of your photo. 

additional light in studio photography
Figure: Setup Additional lights

Fill Light

In combination with the key light, this light is what you should be using. The fill light brightens the shadows cast on your subject by the intense light.

Fill light is as intense as crucial light. In most cases, you want your subject to have a little amount of shadow on their face so that the photograph has some dimension.

This process is done for a realistic photo. In this way, it will prove its originality to the users.

using the sidelight in studio for photography
Using the sidelight for highlighting the subject

Hair Light / Separation Light / Kicker

Although they serve the same objective, these lights have various names depending on whether or not the subject of the photograph is a person or an object. This light should illuminate a tiny portion of your subject, such as the hair. Because of this, the laser beam is relatively narrow so that it does not strike a significant part of your topic.

Naturally, the highlight will become more pinpoint-like as you move your hair lightly closer to your topic. Do you want the light to illuminate a somewhat bigger area? You will need to place the light source further away from the subject. 

This light’s intensity should be increased until it exceeds your essential light. This light’s purpose is to assist your subject to stand out from the backdrop of the photograph, and it also has the potential to focus your attention on a specific portion of the picture.

Background light 

Because you have so many lights focused on your subjects, the backdrop may occasionally come out, seeming overly dark. It will happen when the light from the backdrop can be of use. 

The use of background lighting can also assist in removing shadows that your subject casts on the backdrop of the photograph. Sometimes we have noticed that it shows the same intensity as, or somewhat lower than, the leading light.

white background for studio lighting setup
Using a studio lighting setup with white background

Camera Mounted Flash

A flash attached directly to the camera isn’t necessarily the same as continuous illumination in a studio. Because of artificial lighting, I will discuss it here as one of the several ways you might illuminate your scene. As other cumbersome light stands, the mobility of a flash placed on a camera is a significant advantage.

Events such as concerts, wedding parties, and ceremonies enable you to move among the crowd in a somewhat covert manner while still maintaining a rapid pace. You may also quickly modify the direction the flash will go in when it goes off.

Before the light is directed at your subject, you may soften it by reflecting the flash off the ceiling. We can use a flash diffuser to mitigate the harshness of the effect in situations when the ceiling is extremely high and does not allow light to reflect down. 

Flash diffusers are available in various sizes, styles, and materials, including semi-transparent plastic domes, small softboxes, reflecting flat cards, and more. Their primary function is to soften the light. The flash is also frequently used outside as a fill light. The flash’s brightness should be adjusted so that it merely illuminates the shadows. You also get some ideas on this stuff when you want to know about studio lighting. 

Here we will talk about other technical kinds of studio lighting photography. 

Lights that stay on all the time

Strobe lights serve the same purpose as continuous lights, except continuous lights do not flash. Instead, they are high-powered lights that produce steady light and may (typically) have modifiable attachments added to them. 

Even though they are more commonly connected with video, continuous lighting may be helpful in still photography.  There is now a flood of LED lights on the market for continuous lighting, and many of them are suitable solutions for photographers who take stills.

Please note that continuous lights are sometimes referred to as “hot lights” since they have a propensity to become hot. The reason for this is that they always stay on. Modifiers placed too close to the light source risk starting a fire; therefore, use caution when using them. (This does not apply to lamps that use LED technology.)

Flashgun/Speedlight

Flashguns are handheld illumination devices that attach to a camera’s hot shoe. They are quite portable, and some come with relatively high power outputs. 

They are a beneficial tool for any photographer interested in off-camera illumination. In addition to this, they are more affordable than specialized studio strobes. It will automatically fire when the picture is taken. 

speedlight photography equipment for models
Using the speed light in the photography studio

Umbrellas

Photographic umbrellas are often made of silver or white material and have a bracket that allows them to be mounted to a light. Directing a studio light into the umbrella may generate a much larger and softer light source. 

studio umbrella light setup in photography
Using a studio excellent umbrella setup

It causes the light to bounce back to your subject, as shown in the shot below. Although umbrellas are theoretically directional, they often have many spills. 

Umbrellas constructed of a material that diffuses the light rather than one that reflects it does not have the same effect as the umbrellas covered in this section. 

To achieve a stunningly beautiful and uniform outcome, you need only focus your light source on a translucent umbrella (though with practically zero directionality). 

Check Out The Our Latest Article About Photography Lighting Beginners Guides

Softboxes

There is a wide range of possible configurations for softboxes; after erecting, the softbox mold diffuses the light, resulting in a more pleasing illumination. 

black and white striped box
Using a softbox in the photography studio

Additionally, softboxes have a propensity to direct. They are simple to command and may even be modified using supplementary lighting devices (such as grids). Softboxes are one of the most commonly used items in studios. 

softboxes lighting studio
An Excellent softbox lighting setup

Boxes cut into strips 

Long and rectangular softboxes can also be subcategorized into “strip boxes.”  They provide a very focused beam of light. The result is ideal for illuminating a subject from behind to get a rim-lighted look.

a guide for octaboxes in photography lighting system
Using an octal box for photography lighting

We use it frequently for fashion and product photography. It is becoming a mandatory issue when we would like to highlight a specific subject. 

Reflectors

We should not confuse reflective modifiers with handheld reflectors (which will be covered in the following section). They are attached directly to a studio strobe. 

using reflectors in photography
Using a reflector in the photography studio

They guide the light in a precise direction. Later on, it will produce highly directed light. Reflector light is highly challenging to work with. We know that most reflectors are built to accommodate various grids. 

Snoots

Snoots are a type of light modulator that may concentrate the output of your light source into a very tight beam. They work wonderfully as lights for hair and backgrounds.

snoots in studio for photography
An Excellent snoot for photography

Barn doors

Barn doors often come with two to four flaps that may be used to control the amount of light coming in and the form it takes. 

photography lighting barn doors
An Excellent lighting barn doors in photography

For example, barn door flaps direct the light to a specific part of your subject. 

The finest meals

Beauty dishes are directional modifiers that lie between soft and harsh light in terms of intensity. They work particularly well for portraiture, as well as beauty photography and fashion photography. They frequently include grids and diffusion socks to provide you with additional alternatives in their packaging. 

Gobo

A “Gobo” is the stenciled circular disc used for lighting fixtures, and later on, it will create the projected photo pattern. When placed in front of a light source, a gobo will alter the pattern that is cast by the light. It’s possible for a gobo to only make the beam narrower, or it might make intricate patterns.

gobo effect lighting, gobo photography effect
Adding Gobo effects in the photo studio

(Confused? Imagine a Venetian blind with openings that allow light to pass through. Imagine the design being painted on the wall now. The blind is functioning well as a gobo, and it is directing the light!)

Gels for Color

Normally, we use it when working with multiple colors and light sources. Gels are colored sheets that are transparent and may be placed over your light fixture. 

color gel lighting, color gel lighting photography,
Using color gel in the photography studio

It will allow your lights to generate virtually any hue, which opens up a whole world of creative possibilities. There will be a plethora of light sources near the object. 

CTO Gels

These are known as color correction gels and are utilized whenever it is necessary to adjust the color temperature of a particular light source. If you want to use a second, more extraordinary light as a hair light but have a gridded beauty dish on the warmer side, you will place a CTO gel over your hair light. 

Another example would be if you have a beauty dish on the cooler side but want to use it as a beauty light. In this manner, you will be able to coordinate and harmonize the color output of the two lights.

cto color correction gel, CTO color gel
Using CTO color gel with color temperature

Portable Reflectors

Reflectors are not to be confused with reflecting modifiers (discussed above). They will allow you to focus light on the subject of your photograph.

They are available in various forms, from the commonplace 5-in-1 glasses to the elegant tri-flectors occasionally used in beautiful pictures.

portable reflector photography, portable reflector for studio
A portable reflector used in studio photography

Fill light is generated with their help without requiring a second light source to be specifically committed to the task. 

Diffuser/scrim

A piece of transparent material is known as a diffuser. It can be positioned in front of a light source and used to improve the light’s overall quality while dampening its intensity. Some diffusers are capable of doing both.

light diffuser for studio photography
An ordinary diffuser that we frequently use in the photography studio

Flags

It is common practice to use flags to prevent light from penetrating particular areas of a scene. Whether you should use a flag to prohibit extra light from falling on your backdrop, or you can use a flag to lessen the exposure to select sections of your topic.

modify your product image with flag, product image with flag
Using the flag in the studio

Both of these uses involve using a banner. For instance, when taking close-up portraits of someone, I occasionally use flags to underexpose everything below the neck. It helps to guarantee that the subject’s face is the primary point of interest in the photograph. 

The light is on

Be sure that your light stands can sustain the weight of your heaviest light (it is essential to remember that a high-powered, specialized strobe requires far more support than a Speedlight!). Dolly A dolly is similar to a lamp stand, except it has wheels instead of legs. Dollies are pretty helpful.

dolly system in photography
Dolly in Photography

Boom arm

A light stand known as a boom arm allows the light to be positioned at any angle, ranging from totally horizontal to entirely vertical. Using boom arms is an excellent way to elevate your lights to greater heights and position them at various angles. This method will be impossible with more conventional light stands. 

There are many boom arms, and you may mount them on other light stands, walls, or other permanent installations. As a professional photographer, you must remember that natural light is the best for photography. 

boom arm mic stand, boom arm
Photography Boom Arm for studio lights

Background or backdrop

 Various materials may be used as backdrops, including paper and vinyl rolls, painted canvas, and plain or adorned walls.

photography background backdrop, photography backdrop
Using Background Backdrop in a photography studio

Other | Studio lighting equipment

The following is a list of a few extra pieces of studio lighting equipment that would be beneficial to acquire, as well as a couple of essential terms to know:

The arrangement of the lights

A lighting pattern is a specific arrangement of light sources that will create a space to produce consistent and recognizable outcomes. 

5 portrait lighting patterns, 5 light patterns
Different types of lighting patterns for photography

Lighting patterns such as butterfly lighting, Rembrandt lighting, and split lighting are examples.

Cable and socket for PC Sync

Using PC sync, you can link your camera to a flash. We can use it in the place of triggers if you like.

Triggers

A camera’s triggers allow it to connect with external lighting and make it possible for flashes to fire even when the shutter is open. They might be as simple as models with a single function or as complicated as devices that give the user complete control over several lights’ settings.

wireless flash trigger for studio, wireless flash trigger
Wireless flash triggers

Wrapping Up | Photography Lighting Techniques 

I firmly believe you got the lighting equipment list from this tutorial. We have tried to discuss this topic in detail. Do you like to learn “photography lighting on Amazon?” This tutorial will also help you to know that.

Studio lighting is a complex task, and you must practice a lot as a newbie. 

Check Out the Our Latest Articles 

FAQ 

What is ambient light? 

Ambient light will provide illumination within a room. The ambient light aims to create a uniform light level within the space. With the help of LED light, ambient light will help us decorate the room conveniently and attractively. 

Will you tell me the top 5 studio lighting kits? 

What is a video light? 

A video light is an exciting tool to use for photographers. You can easily set up this item within the camera bag. It will provide a dramatic and exciting look to the portraits. 

Can you tell me the best budget continuous lighting kit? 

  • Aputure HR672S
  • Neewer Dimmable Bi-color 480 LED
  • GVM 800D RGB Video Light Kit 
  • Dazzle D50 LED Video Lighting Kit
  • Fovitec Bi-Colour 600 LED Panel Kit

What are the strobe lights? 

It is known as the rapid flashing light. The light source comes from the specialized lamp, and the exciting thing is that you will notice a series of shots. When we arrange a big party or ceremony, this type of light is highly influential to the audience.