Studio room setup-Help needed


TPF Noob!
Feb 27, 2007
Reaction score
NW Ohio
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have decided to dedicate a room in my house to do some shooting for headshots and other female poses. I need some of this for my school portfolio and I love shooting! My room is 10x15 and I have my room and my dslr. I need to know what kinds of lights I need and someone to explain what strobe lights are and hooking to my camera. I appreciate all the input though I will warn you since I'm in college I'm going to buy a cheap setup and replace each piece with high end one at a time.

I checked those out but I still don't understand what a strobe light is, does it work off flash or is it constant? There is no light whatsoever in this said room so I'm starting from scratch.

The words flash and strobe are pretty much interchangeable.
So if my logic and common sense are right then the following should be correct, right?

I need some constant light from an umbrella and the strobes will be a flash but when they go off they will blanket with light instead of directing and washing everything out.

Where does a softbox come in?

what? :scratch:

You don't need constant light, except to see by...and that could be any type of light you want...a lamp, a lightbulb in a socket etc. It most likely won't affect your shots if you are using flash/strobes.

What you need are lights for your subject...1, 2, 3, every many you want or can afford etc. (It's often recommended to start with just one (or maybe two) and learn that first) These should be flash/strobe lights.

Now, there are two main types of flash/strobe lights. The first are small 'flash' units like in the kit I linked to. They run off of AA batteries which makes them very easy to take on location.
The other type is what we would call a 'studio strobe'. It runs off of AC power (needs to be plugged it). Example

There are pros and cons to each type.

One pro of the studio lights, is that they have a 'modeling lamp'....basically they have a regular light bulb to give you constant light...which gives you a preview of the flashed shot at can also give you light to see by.

Now, with either type of light, you will probably want modifiers. These could be umbrellas, softboxes, snoots, grids etc. Something to put over the light to change it's characteristics. Although there are differences between softboxes and umbrellas, they basically do the same thing...and that is to soften the light.

If you are using flash/strobe will need a way to trigger them. The kit I linked to, comes with a cheap radio trigger that would work. Most studio lights have a built-in optical slave, so you only need to trigger one of them from the camera, the rest will fire along with the first one.

You may also want/need a flash meter to be able to measure the flashed light...because your camera's built-in meter will not be able to do it. Although, you can get by with some trial and error if you don't have a flash meter.

As for where to put the lights, how to use them, what type of modifiers to use...that is all up to you...and for you to figure out.
Dear check this link and you might find best help to set up light for your studio.


The Pent House Studio

Thank you so much for this link, it answered a lot of questions, help me understand things more and gave me direction!

I am looking at buying strobes now and I will start with one and go from there. I am looking at profoto and alien bees but I don't know which brand or system to buy into. I am not rushing into any of this until I am positive. I know alien bees is a favorite on this board but the profoto stuff looks really professional.

I ended up buying a cheap 2 constant light setup for $50 to get some practice until I make up my mind on the strobes I want. I am buying a light meter this week and I'm upgrading my camera. I am looking to buy photoflex lightboxes to go with my strobes.

I think this is a good direction to go in but I will listen to anyones opinion.
Of course, don't forget the KING of all internet based knowledge groups on off camera lighting when it comes to strobes:


Most reactions

New Topics