This course shows you how to shoot outdoor portraits using flash and to effectively do that you need a few items to use with your flash such as light stands and umbrellas and brackets as well. The following list shows all those items.

(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.)

When lighting portraits we use two devices; umbrellas or light boxes and both have their advantages. Umbrellas and light boxes both have their advantages. Umbrellas thro light everywhere while light boxes control light better. It is useful to have both. 


$9.95 umbrellas

Light box with mounting hardware

Brackets to mount flash to the light stand and so the umbrella can then be attached. Need one for each flash unless you use the light box above which has its own bracket to attach to the light stand.

Another option:

Light Box Bracket for Pocket Wizard and flash

16×24 Light box (optional)

Speed Ring for above bracket

Samigon Pro Bracket

Photoflex umbrella bracket 

3 Flash Bracket if you want to use three flashes together

For each flash you wish to use in a lighting setup you need a light stand to attach it to and a bracket to attach the flash to a stand. You can use the brackets mentioned above in B and you choose the one for umbrella or light box. Here is a light stand:

Light stand:

C) Grids are a very useful tool for lighting. They attach to your flash and focus the light emitted like a spotlight and here are various options depending on your make of flash.

Grid Nikon SB900

Grid Canon 580

Grid Olympus

D) MISC- if changing the color of your flash for creative effects is of interest here is a kit with a variety of color gels to attach to your flash.

Strobist lighting gels kit:

We talk a lot about wireless flash photography and some students purchase wireless radio triggers. This is what we recommend. If this does not interest you or your budget does not allow, then consider this 33’ TTL cord which allows you to move the flash 33’ away from camera and still use all its features.

33’ TTL Cord for all Flashes

33’ TTL Cord for all Flashes


Wireless triggers send a signal to the strobes/flash to fire when shutter is pressed. You can first, use your Infra Red ‘Commander Mode’ setup with your flashes, but you may find that the ‘line of sight’ or ‘bright sun’ issues make them difficult to use. Radio transmitters don’t have that problem. If you want TTL features there is the Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5. If you like manual flash then the triggers mentioned below will work fine as well and are cheaper. You can also wait to learn more before deciding.

Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5.

The TT1 goes on camera and TT5 on the flash. You need a TT5 for EACH flash.





Pocket Wizard Plus III Transciever

Pocket Wizard Plus III

You need at least two: one on camera, one on a 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.

Note: If you plan to incorporate a Flash unit like a Canon 580EXII or Nikon SB800/700, etc. into your lighting setup you need a PW for that as well AND appropriate cables to connect. If you use the SB900 it has SU4 mode built in and no PW is needed. 

Photoflex Triggers

Photoflex is a very reputable company and this flash trigger is a lower cost alternative that fires flash and strobes. Make sure you order correct cables.


There may be times when you want a flash for the background or a hair light and you don’t want to spend much money. Here is the Bower, a low cost unit that can be your second, third, fourth flash, and not your main on-camera, even though these work on camera. And they have a built in slave so no wireless trigger needed. They are around $125.

Slave Flash (not meant to go on camera, any camera, rather as background, hair light)




Canon (bigger better)