Portrait photography requires studio strobes, softboxes, along with grip equipment like light stands, and C-stands, not to mention lots of money to acquire all the required equipment. Without this equipment, your images are going to look like your local police department’s Saturday night mugshots. Do you really need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get good portrait shots?
The quick answer is absolutely not. For eight minutes of your time, which is the length of this terrific video from our friends over at SLR Lounge, a few dollars and a little effort, you too can start making quality portrait images. Yes, indeed, beauty dishes, softboxes, umbrellas, and loads of grip equipment are used by top photographers in their portrait work to create incredible images. However, if you are starting out and don’t have all this equipment, you’re in luck and probably better off.
The best way to start with flash or strobe photography is to start with the most basic setup, which, of course, is the two light setup. And the good part is you only need to buy on light because the first light is free and better known as the ambient light. The video by SLR Lounge does a fantastic job of showing you how to control the ambient light and then describes how a simple reflector can be used to mimic a more expensive softbox.
With so many of us stuck inside during the winter months, this is a great exercise to keep our photography muscles in shape since this technique can be used outside as easily as it can inside.