Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Desperately need lighting help!

TSM 7 7
9 Aug 2010 5:21PM
To tell you the truth, I have a very limited knowledge of studio lighting. I've taken part in a studio shoot once, and no, it did not go well. Therefore, I need A LOT of help since I have a very important studio shoot this month Sad It's a really good opportunity for me! I have to shoot headbands for a client who has opened her own headband store online. I really only do location shoots, but since this would be so great for me I agreed for it to be a studio shoot.

HELP? I don't even know where to start. I haven't even got lighting equipment, so I have to hire.

This is the sort of lighting set up I'm looking for:

I know it's very basic, but I want to be very professional on the shoot. I want to be confident but I know that I won't be unless I know what I'm really doing! I want to attend a lighting course before I do the shoot, but I haven't got any money at the moment.


Thanks in advance!


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Freefall 14 675 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2010 5:38PM
Not easy to provide advice - when you say you agreed to a studio shoot do you mean you're hiring a studio, or using a room you already have as a studio? If you're hiring studio space very often they can provide studio lighting assistance for a bit extra cash....worth looking around to see if you can get a decent deal....

The lighting in the picture you included should be fairly simple to achieve something close (probably just 2 lights - one for the model to immediate camera left through a soft box, and one to light the background and blow out a part of it to white thus hiding shadows). There a variants such as using a beauty dish, but I'd go for simple (and predictable).

Lighting is fairly easy to get the basics right, you just have to keep your eye on everything at the same time! For instance, if the model steps closer or further away, if you change the light level (either on the studio lights, or if the room lightness changes e.g. via sunlight), if you change lense aperture or ISO - they'll all impact the exposure. If things change, just take a couple of test shots to get things back to how you want them and start shooting again.
TSM 7 7
9 Aug 2010 6:18PM
Hi, thanks for your very quick reply Smile Basically, since we both don't have money money, we're using a living room and setting up a back drop. So I will need to provide the lighting. So, you think I would just need a basic lighting set up? I can borrow that from my old college which is good.

How is the soft look achieved in the picture? Is that through using a soft box? Also do I have to use a light meter?

Thanks for all your help!
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
9 Aug 2010 7:32PM
Nothing fancy needed, for a very basic set up, a large window and reflector.
Freefall 14 675 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2010 12:22PM
Hi again - agree with the above. If you're needing to do this on the cheap I'd go for a large window and a reflector (e.g. large window to model left, and reflector lighting the shadow areas on model right). Although if you want to use lights then go for it - just set up and practice a bit first.

The soft look I assume is either post processing, (e.g. using a gaussian blur in PS), or achieved by using a very wide aperture (f2 etc) so that only the face is in focus and the rest is slightly blurred. A softbox doesn't affect the focus of the picture - it's used to distribute the light from a strobe / flash (soften the light)
TSM 7 7
10 Aug 2010 2:17PM
Hi! Thanks for all your help! I have just one more question..............


What about this sort of lighting? I really like this cold cast colour involved in both images (one before too). And there's also this dreamy effect I really want to create. I think it also has a purple tint to it, am I right? Is this done with a filter?

Thanks again for all your help! Just really want this shoot to go well for me Sad
Grampy 8 507 71 England
9 Dec 2010 4:19PM
For the soft look ,I used to stretch a very good quality black stocking over the lens, I've forgotten which make but it was expensive and had a large mesh (very transparent) I seem to remember 15 dernier if that makes any sense, (My assistant always went out to buy it) by streching it you can have different levels of diffusion. Hold it in place with an elastic band.
22 Dec 2010 5:25PM
As your shoot is for the headbands, have you considered not using a model & shooting just the bands? They wont move so no problems with long shutter speeds if the light levels are low.
Less space needed & no need to hire lights.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.