Couple of people asked me “How many strobe lights should my first studio lighting kit have?”.
I’d say that you only need one strobe in the beginning. Why? There are many reasons to consider one strobe studio lighting kits. Here are some of them: (Please let me know if you can think of something else…)
We naturally are used to have only one source of light (the Sun). When we have more sources of lights we may become a little bit confused. We nay get even more confused when light is coming from different position from above the subject. Imagine light coming from bellow. The shadows produced are so unnatural that the picture may even become scary. Anyways, this is another story and I will try to provide some examples here in the near future. Another reason to consider studio lighting kit with one strobe is the fact that it is much easier to find the proper position of your light. When you have multiple light sources it’s not obvious how to position them. Also, if you are like me you will always want to use whatever you have. My studio kit has 3 strobes and to be honest I sometimes feel like I don’t want to setup so much equipment just for “few shots”. Of course there are some cases where you definitely will want more than one strobes. The first (most obvious) usage of a second light would be to lit the background. And also you can use third light source as “hair” light, so that you will achieve nice separation of your subject and the background. This is long discussion and we have already discussed some studio lighting techniques, but in general I really recommend starting experimenting with only one light. In my opinion it is better in the begging to become more used into using light modifiers like umbrellas, softboxes etc… Also, positioning your subject is very important. I remember my first attempts in studio photography – I was so focused on my equipment that in some cases I completely have forgotten my…
Next time I’m planning to talk a little bit about light modifiers. Have you ever tried to use your studio lighting kit without assembling the softboxes and shooting just with strobes? I almost always use some modifiers, but I recently realized that some great results can be achieved with hard light.