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Studio Lighting: To Kit Or Not To Kit

Apr 14, 2008
For those setting up a new photography studio of their own, studio lighting kits can be an attractive alternative to buying your lights in single units. Many people feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to choose between different arrangements and units. Kits often include a number of lights and other equipment at a lower price than you'd find them in you bought each separately. Yet, while kits offer some advantages, buying one isn't right for everyone.

If you are trying to decide whether to buy a kit or not, you should think about the decision carefully and make sure that you know what you need so that you don't end up with a kit that won't work for you. Before you rush into buying a kit, you need to sure that it's what you want and need.

Learn about Lighting

For those with little experience, you should learn as much as you can about the different types of lighting set ups and about the type of lighting that is best for different types of photography. You may want a different set up for portraits than you would to do product photography, for example. By learning about the different types of lighting and how each is used, you'll be a better position to evaluate the various kits. In addition, you'll want to know how to play with light with your camera. Taking a class on photography lighting can give you a great basis from which to plan your studio.

Try Different Lighting

If at all possible, try different types of studio lights and configurations to discover which you like best. You may find studios already set up at local schools that you can use while you are taking a class. Some camera equipment stores have small studios set up as well that you can rent for a period of time. In most cases, you'll need some practice to learn how to handle and manipulate lighting before you set out on your own. These can be great options for doing so.

Consider What You Need

Once you have some knowledge on what you like in terms of lighting, make a list of the equipment that you need to have for your studio. You'll also need to come up with a budget for equipment. Before buying, you'll need to consider the space that you'll be using, how you'll set up the lighting, and what you have money for. When you've got this information, you can begin comparison shopping to see if you can find a kit that will work for you.

Don't Forget DIY

You'll find many resources online that show you inexpensive ways to create a studio. You may find that you can put together some of the equipment that you need for less money than if you bought it. Some people may find that by doing some of the lighting work themselves, they will get a better deal by buying what they need separately. Whether this will work for you depends on the lighting you need and the time you're willing to put in.

Studio lighting will be an important aspect of your photography business. Some individuals will find the convenience and price of kits useful, while others will find that they will do better by going in a different direction. Before you buy, it's important to make sure that you know what you'll need and how to use the equipment.
About the Author
My Lighting Pro is one of the leading lighting information resources online. We have articles on everything from track light to progressive lighting.
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