Ring Flash for Fashion Photography?


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Jan 7, 2012
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I'm very very new to photography, but I have heavy background in graphic art/principles of design. I notice that a lot of designers (including myself) really gravitate towards using fashion-photography-esque photos in our designs. After a few days of heavy google research, I discovered that almost 99 out of 100 photos that I really loved, used a ring flash.

Are ring flashes commonly used? What other types of flashes/fill lights should I be looking into to accompany the ring flash? I've seen ring light flash adapters for speed lights, are they decent? Is AlienBees ABR800 a decent lower-cost alternative?

Sorry for my absolute n00b questions.

Keep in mind any ring flash will leave weird ring-shaped catchlights in people's eyes. Some people don't mind that look or willing to edit it out on every photo, but for me it wasn't worth the hassle when I was looking for a good flash for wildlife photography.

Here's what I'm talking about with the flash you mentioned: AlienBees ABR800 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Very distracting, IMO.
I have a Elinchrome ringlflash. I seldom use it. it´s a cool light but not that creative I think. But it could make a cool efekt but it depends on the nodel, location and set up aswell. it does not fit for al fashion absolutely not. 1 in 20 cases maybe.

Here is a video were I use the ring flash in one of the pictures. I´m acually thinking of selling it and my a elinchrom ringlfash for the Quadra it´s smaller and more easier to use. This ringlflash I have is BIG!!!

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I love that video - especially the photos taken in the window and the last photo - the one in the water - is stunning. :thumbup:
My opinion is the ring flash works better in the glamour/ swimsuit setting than fashion. Just my personal taste.

P.S. Check out the Moon Unit by Paul C. Buff. It's a beast but pretty cool to see in action.
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Thanks for all the replies!

I think I've seen the Moon Unit but I had trouble finding example shots with it. I'm assuming it's something proprietary because it doesn't seem like there are too may other examples of it (or equivalent devices) floating around?
Here's one that fits on to your flash, a beauty dish would be better for fashion

Ring flash will give you a creative lighting for head shot pictures, it will have a halo effect, and A semi circle effect on their eyes. Its nice. But you dont wanna do this all the time.

Myself, i have the Ring flash adapters that attach to your External flash. Its not recommend it. i dont like it at all. You will have the Halo effect. But wont get any effect on the eye.

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