If you do not have any lighting equipment for shooting portraits, we have complied a complete list of every you need to get started from lights, stands, umbrellas, and light boxes, to backgrounds, grids, wireless triggers, and more. You can pick and choose whatever  you need.

(The following are recommendations only and do not imply any endorsement by Great Photography Courses, any guaranteed price, availability of products, any guarantee regarding quality of listed products, or guarantee any warranty of listed products.)

LIGHTING KITS AND ACCESSORIES

Please know that that you do not need all this gear. These are just many options for kits and any accessories you may want. Listed below is a cheap kit and a more expensive and there is a quality difference as the more expensive are nicer lights. But the low cost option works just fine as well. These kits are not totally complete so I added a few items not in the kits that you will need.

You need three lights: mono lights or studio power pack. I recommend mono lights as the best option. You need light stands for each light but you will also see that I mention more lights stands and these are used for holding up backgrounds, clamping a reflector to and any use where you need to hold something up in some position. I have 10 lights and 15 lights stands of various sizes.

You will need a few white umbrellas and light boxes and they are mentioned below. Grids are a valuable tool for focusing light like a spotlight and they are mentioned. A lighting boom allows you to place a light above a subject and out of sight. You can get a background kit to hold your background or you can make a homemade one like I do using two large lights stands, to V clamps, and a metal pole from Home Depot.

I include reflectors but you can also use art board from the art supply store in sizes like 3’x4’ white and black. You might want carrying case to put all the lights in and another for all your light stands and umbrellas. I also mention a cart for hauling all this stuff around is you work on location.

LIGHTING KITS AND ACCESSORIES-COMMERCIAL

***Low Budget:

IMPACT MONOLIGHT KIT $700.00

This Impact Kit from B&H is low budget and includes most everything:

2 400ws monolights

1 100ws monolight

A radio sender and receiver wireless trigger to fire the flash

2 10’ stands

1 background light stand

2 umbrellas

Carry case

B&H part # for the above: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/640431-REG/Impact_VSLCD400_3KI_VS_LCD_400W_3_Light_Backlight.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Also needed with this kit:

1 more umbrella $13 each http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/362386-REG/Impact_S3243_White_Translucent_Umbrella_43.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Also needed with this kit:

GRIDS
You can have a low budget approach with one grid and clamp it to your reflector with a spring clamp. (I have done this a million times) or a complete kit with reflector.

Single 7” grid $29.95
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/588797-REG/Impact_8101200_7_Grid_10_Degree.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

OR

Complete kit: Bowens grid reflector and 2 grid spots $176
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/187034-REG/Bowens_BW_1865_Reflector_with_Grid_Set.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Larger Light Box: 36 x 48” $124

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/138243-REG/Photoflex_XT_3LLD293_LiteDome_Q39_Large_Softbox.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

***Higher Budget:

ELINCHROM MONOLIGHT KIT $1289

This Kit is higher budget and includes ALMOST everything:

2 250 ws monolights

Skyport Transmitter

2 light stands

1 silver umbrellas (not a good choice. Try to trade for white)

1 Translucent

Carry bag

B&H kit # https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1247569-REG/elinchrom_el20748_2_brx_250_250_umbrella_to.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

You might want one more:

1 more monolight Elinchrom 250  $500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/602684-REG/Elinchrom_EL_20460_1_Style_250_BXRi_Compact.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

1 more umbrellas $13 each http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/362386-REG/Impact_S3243_White_Translucent_Umbrella_43.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

OR I use SKB Hard Golf cases from the golf shop and it holds all stands, boxes, umbrellas.

CARRY CASE for light boxes, umbrellas http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/260787-REG/Elinchrom_EL_33221_Carry_Bag_for_Light.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Larger Light Box: 36 x 48” $124
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/138243-REG/Photoflex_XT_3LLD293_LiteDome_Q39_Large_Softbox.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

BOTH KITS NEED:

BACKGROUND SUPPORT

2 more large light stands for your background support if you want to use my home made system shown in lesson 1. Stands are $39 each: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/262758-REG/Impact_LS_6B_Light_Stand_Black.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

OR

 

This complete background kit $99.99

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/itemIncDetails.jsp/sku/437786/is/REG/type/acc/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

LIGHTING BOOM

Manfrotto Portable Light Boom $109

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546560-REG/Manfrotto_024B_Boom_Assembly_Black.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

OR

 

Manfrotto Super Boom $500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546565-REG/Manfrotto_025BS_025BS_Super_Boom_with.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

 

PAPER BACKGROUNDS

 

1 SEAMLESS paper background WHITE

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/45468-REG/Savage_1_12_107_x_12yds_Background.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

1 SEAMLESS paper background GREY

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/486246-REG/Savage_14_50_107_x_50yds_Background.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

 

CANVAS BACKGROUNDS

If you want a recommendation for a painterly canvas background I recommend something like this one as it is neutral in color. There are many options available. You just don’t want the colors to be over bearing.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/51878-REG/Studio_Dynamics_79LSEVI_7x9_Canvas_Background_LSM.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

 

LIGHTING GELS

You need color correction gels for each light so that means one of these kits for each monolight you have. $30 each

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/45233-REG/Rosco_RS090901210_10_x_12_25.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

OPTIONAL
A flash meter to measure your strobe exposures.
Sekonic L-308X-U $240
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1390250-REG/sekonic_401_305_l_308x_u_flashmate_light_meter.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Sandbags to hold your light stands from falling or blowing over. I have 8 of these. $19
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/421469-REG/Impact_SBE_18O_Empty_Saddle_Sandbag.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Multi Cart for hauling your gear around $169
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/751824-REG/MultiCart_CART_R10RT_R10RT_Multi_Cart.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

Interfit Reflector panels $87
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686550-REG/Interfit_INT271_Black_White_Flat_Panel_Reflector.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

PHOTOFLEX LITE PANELS
39×72” http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/132922-REG/Photoflex_Reflector_Kit_1.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

WIRELESS TRIGGERS

The above kits contain wireless triggers which send a signal to the strobes to fire when shutter is pressed. If you do not buy the kits but need triggers here are options:

Pocket Wizard Plus X
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1074537-REG/pocketwizard_801_329_pocketwizard_plus_x_two.html/BI/7592/KBID/8120

You need at least two: one on camera, one on at least strobe. If you have more strobes they should have a photo cell in them that will see the first strobe fire and they will fire. You can have a PW on every strobe if you wish.