Tips for Building a One-Light Portrait Kit - Trust Me Shops
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Tips for Building a One-Light Portrait Kit

Tips for Building a One-Light Portrait Kit

B&H explora - All posts
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The creative photographer can produce a seemingly endless range of images using just one light source. This article is designed to help beginners choose a one-light kit perfect for creating portraits.

Why One Light?

I completely understand why multi-light “studio in a box” kits are tempting to beginner and budget-conscience photographers. Why spend hundreds of dollars on one light when you can get three lights complete with modifiers and stands for the same price? The answer is twofold: quality and necessity. While I am all for finding budget-friendly ways to improve my photos, lights are right next to cameras and lenses as items for which I am unwilling to cut corners.

Durability and reliability are two of the most important qualities of any light. While budget kits may offer more in terms of quantity, they will never match the quality or feature set of a well-constructed light. This is true of modifiers, as well. If you have ever wrestled with a cheap softbox in front of a client, you know the value of spending a little extra for a well-built product.

The second reason to start with a one-light kit is simple: the best way to learn how to light portraits is one light at a time. While it may seem appealing and “professional” to start with a multi-light setup out of the gate, in many cases, you can achieve the shot you need with one light and a well-placed bounce. Learn how to use one light effectively. As your lighting skills evolve, you will know exactly what kind of light you need to take your portraits to the next level rather than relying on what a manufacturer says you need.

What Kind of Light?

First, you need to figure out what kind of light best suits your practice. What kind of portraits do you plan on taking? Event, studio, and location shoots all have slightly different requirements for their main light source. Don’t worry, though; there is enough overlap to find a light that can work for all three scenarios.

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