Bare Lighting Essentials For Breaking Into Portrait Shooting ?

This is a discussion on Bare Lighting Essentials For Breaking Into Portrait Shooting ? within the Flash forums, part of the Photography Tips category; I'm novice wanting to get into shooting portraits. I've got a D5200, 70" tripod, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lense, and a 50mm f1.8. I'm considering a ...


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  1. #1
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    Bare Lighting Essentials For Breaking Into Portrait Shooting ?

    I'm novice wanting to get into shooting portraits. I've got a D5200, 70" tripod, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lense, and a 50mm f1.8. I'm considering a directional shoe-mount flash for starters. Would this be enough to get me started? Anything else that I NEED? I'm on a fixed, and pretty small, budget. But, if really needed, I could find a way to get something else needed. Just might take awhile. Is there anything else necessary that I NEED to get me going in my operations ie. light-meter, studio lighting, diffusers, etc...? Are backdrops necessary? I understand that many of these are considered helpful, but not necessary. Anything that I could be overlooking? Thanks ahead to all who can contribute helpful suggestions.
    Last edited by mfosteri; 11-24-2013 at 10:07 AM.


  • #2
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    The single biggest 'need' for portrait photography is a method of controllable, OFF-CAMERA light that can be diffused. The best way would be to add a light-stand, cold-shoe, trigger and medium (~36") soft-box to your list, which could be had for ~$200, however, if that's outside the budget than consider reflectors; you can make large, effective reflectors from white Coroplast or posterboard. On camera light-sources are generally NOT suitable for photography. Backgrounds, light-meters and a million other things are useful, and helpful, but NOT essential.
    Visit my website: John's Photography Comments and critique always appreciated.

  • #3
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    Thank you, that is very helpful. It looks like I failed to mention that since I'm a novice & don't have a studio I would need to shoot on location. How does THIS affect those items needed for portraiture on location?. Or does it?

    Thank you.

  • #4
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    It really affects it not at all. More and stronger strobes are sometimes beneficial when shooting out of doors, however, with good planning you can usually work around that.
    Visit my website: John's Photography Comments and critique always appreciated.


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