Lighting suggestions for fashion


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Aug 21, 2010
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San Jose
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hey I'm tying to get into fashion photography and stuff. I'm wondering what kind of lighting I should buy. I'm new to lighting so I'm a beginner with it all. So far all I own is a SB-600 flash.

Should I buy an umbrella or softbox or something else? I want to be able to do some dramatic lighting and stuff. Something not too expensive. I don't know where to start.

Or any link to some good site with info about what equipment is best for what and such.

I plan on using the lighting in an outside environment at different hours of the day not in a studio.
Start small... you can do a lot with a single speedlight and a couple of reflectors. I would spend a few hours reading here.
Shooting outside is a great choice. You already have the sun. Most of my outdoor work is done with a couple of big silver/white reflectors and two cheap stands and clamps (check out B&H for all of the options).

The silver side is almost like using a soft mirror. It wraps around the subject and provides wonderful definition without the harsh effects of a flash. Oh yeah, I can also see the light and meter it in camera.

If you really want to buy flash equipment, then start collecting speedlights first. Buy a couple SB-900s and a set of Pocket Wizards or Radio Poppers. B&H carries a really inexpensive line of reflectors and stands called Impact - perfect for speedlights, not big lights.
I would have started with a softbox, prob. 60x60. As far as I have been told it's easier to control the light with a softbox than with an umbrella. The umbrella would spread the light to much, and it would be harder to control.

What kind of camera do you have? If you have one with built in commander I would think to get some sort of idea of your needs to start with a:

reflector (not to big)

If you use them right the reflector could be fill and the softbox give som start for you. I made the mistake of buying to much gear and not using it all in the start because I had no clue as to what it did or what I needed.

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