Fashion Photography Lighting Equipment For Photographers
What is the best fashion photography lighting equipment for beginning fashion photographers? The following are the best photography lights recommended to create great fashion photographs.
If you are just starting to do studio photography for both beauty and fashion, these lights work great. Take a look at the results and the lights and decide, which one fits your budget and works for you.
Short Answer: The CowboyStudio Mettle 300 W is the best fashion photography light for starting fashion photographers.
When I first started to embark on the journey to learn more about fashion photography, I wanted to build a portfolio with studio work.
I thought it would be more expensive overtime to continue to rent late so I did some research at the time and found these lights to be the best at the time.
However, the one that I chose for like that I would shoot with is the cowboy studio lights. It was the light that was in my budget at the time, but there were a few instances where I rented the Bowens light set that I will be sharing with you below.
There is so much that you can do with just one light source when it comes to photography.
For a long time I only own one light and managed to use it really well because I also invested in the right soft box and beauty dish for my work.
Another crucial element was light reflectors that I would use for some studio shots to bounce the light. Continue reading to see the lights that I recommend if you are just starting out and looking for photography lighting equipment.
CowboyStudio Mettle 300W
When I first invested in the light I believe it was the best thing I could do at the moment. The light is portable and easy to travel with. I shot with the 400 W model before utilizing the 300 W. When the brand was selling the lights the 400 W did not come with a rechargeable battery.
This enables you to be able to shoot outside if you want to create some outdoor fashion photographs. You can buy the light separately or you can get them together as a set. It comes with a 150 halogen Madeleine, the 7 foot reflector and one sync cord.
The best value you can get for less than $400 on a complete set of strobe lighting kits.
It’s tough to find a strobe light kit that has 300 W lights and Comes with a ton of extra assessor he’s like stands, soft boxes, and reflectors. This is by far the best deal you can get from any brand for a total like it.
The only thing that is not included in this like it is the Barn door and 4 color gels, but this is the best deal that you are going to get for a light kit that is reliable for less than $400 in total.
Freelance Fashion & Editorial Photographer
Doing photography is fun. However, fashion photography all can be extremely rewarding after you’ve completed the shoot and even done the post-editing that you want to the photographs can cost you some money.
When I started shooting I did not do a lot of work with agencies in Omaha or the surrounding area, but I ended up getting a lot of work doing other things like commercial events, weddings, and portraits To keep me going.
If you reside on the West Coast, North East, and even towards self Florida you can very well build a portfolio of fashion photography really quick and then start making money doing it. Now, this will depend on your hustle and you’re goal to go and get it.
In 2014 I resided in an artist community that allowed me to have the space to create. In this community I had a loft space with 20 foot ceilings, which allowed me to be able to coordinate photoshoots at my loft.
When you have photography lights you can experiment with many things. I know how excited I was when I got my first lights and I had concepts running through my mind that I wanted to bring to life. However, I knew that I could not do it alone and needed a team to create something great with.
I was fortunate to have found a local stylist and designers who were also looking to build their portfolios and like the work that they saw from me previously. Recruiting a makeup artist, stylist, hairstylist, and model become easier when you already have something to show for it. I did not start out reaching out to people until I had already landed my first fashion magazine cover, which at the time was Midwest Black Hair magazine.
Part of the process that I enjoy the most when doing fashion photoshoots with a team is the day of the shoot. I love having the extra eyes available there to maybe catch flaws that I would not catch, but even with the additional I that I have to catch maybe lipstick that got on the models teeth or a slight wardrobe malfunction.
Catching as many mistakes as you can during the shoot is essential and to develop the habit because you don’t want to spend too much time editing out things in Photoshop. When it comes to working for even more professional brands whether that is local or in the industry, you really don’t have a lot of time. Things have to happen fast and get done as effectively as possible.
Further down I will discuss durability of lights and Photography brands I trust.
Photographs Captured With The Cowboystudio Mettle 300 W
Durable Brand Photography Lighting Bowens Gemini 400RX
This next light is from one of the most trusted brand names used in the fashion photography industry. Bowens lights can be a bit more expensive, but are highly reliable and powerful.
I managed to find this kit that is on sale right now for less than $900. A good amount of their lights range from $1,000 and up. However if you have the money it is well worth it if you are going to be using a lot of lights for a while to shoot.
If you’ve been doing photography for lower you know exposure is extremely important, and your light also is. How much like you have to work with can make your life easier to get the greatest exposure you can without boosting the ISO up to get clean and sharp images. The Bowens are powerful and great to capture strong images. Take a look at the examples below of a shoot I did utilizing a Bowens light kit I used.
Bowens Gemini 400RX Photos
Model Nancy Pham
When I shot these photographs of model Nancy Pham, at the time I did not own a lighting kit of my own. So I rented the Bowens set which was recommended by another photographer and it worked like magic. The light was great and it allowed me to capture what I still believe is one of my best collections of works in my beauty and fashion photography portfolio.
Bowens lights are powerful and I can attest to that after testing out the light kit. We shot the photographs at my loft while living at the Harvester Arspace Lofts. I have a specific vision to capture something that was classy and elegant.
My friend and highly skilled makeup/hair stylist Rachel Irika styled the hair and makeup.
Take a look at the results.
I’ve on my studio lights from cowboy studio for over four years and still use them. They function just fine; I’ve only had to change the bulbs twice during that time. However I don’t shoot every day, which may differ for a photographer shooting weekly or an abundant amount of times.
I learned with fashion photography that from my experience I wanted to put projects together which required time and planning. However the cowboy studio is a reliable and affordable way to go if you are starting out using lights or looking for a light that would serve your purpose.
Some of the more reliable but slightly expensive brands include Alien bees, Bowens, and profoto. If you have the financial overhead to invest in the best light go ahead invest in a bowl and light set or pro photo light set, which will be satisfying for you because they are highly durable.
However, if you are on a budget cowboy studio provides the most economical studio light out there. And no they are not garbage, they are quite reliable. You may not have as many features or as much power as you would like your lights, but to capture your vision with adequate lighting they are suitable for any work.
Types of Lights for Different Needs
Light Type: Continuous Lights
This type of light is normally used for product photography and still life photography. Continuous lighting is also use for video. The benefit of using something continuous is that it’ll allow you to have a clear vision of what your light is already on your subject before you start shooting. Therefore it becomes easier to adjust your light on your subject to get the shadows and highlights the way that you want it. The type of bulbs that are the primary selected for continuous lighting are as listed below.
Here are a few great options to consider if you are looking for a continuous lighting kit.
- Imagemaker fluorescent kit
- Flashpoint 3 fluorescent Light kit
- Lower ego fluorescent 2 Light kit
Light Type: Speedlights
Speed lights are popular among external flashlight usage. Over the years I discovered that this was a popular source of light that photographers used to do senior portraits and even some nighttime photography.
These lights are faster than the regular flashes and can be more dynamic. Although, it is best to use speed lights on still product shots, live action photography, and even events. The great benefit of these type of light or that they are extremely easy to carry around which makes them the best portable options.
Here are two options of speed light flashes for both Canon and Nikon.
Light Type: Monolight Strobe Lights
The last type of light our mono strobe lights. Although I prefer these type of lights because of the power they are primarily use for studio work. They can be portable, but require a power source like a battery pack. These are the best lights for fashion, beauty, model, and product photography.
Examples of My Work Shot With One Light
Hope you found this article useful. If you are going to choose a strobe light for your fashion work, I do hope that you consider my references. Whatever light you decide to go with make the best of it creatively.
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