Photography Studio Lighting For Beginners (Setups)

Published Categorized as accessories, Guide
Studio Lighting For Beginners

Looking for information on studio lighting for beginners? This article will address the setup and a basic kit for you to check out.

What Do You Need For Studio Lighting?

Interested in learning more about studio lighting? Want to find some options to properly light your photo shoots or blogging videos? 

Table of Contents

Studio Lighting Setup

The world of studio lighting is immense. There are seemingly countless light options, modifiers and setups that it’s overwhelming for a beginner.

A good place to start is to ask yourself HOW you want to light the subject. Think about your subject and picture how different lighting will produce different effects or results.  A flash mounted on a camera will generally not give the subject the best look.

This guide will be an introduction and entry into this world of studio lighting. As such, we’ll start with a basic lighting setup kit.

Lighting setups don’t have to be expensive to provide great light.  In fact, you could use some large white foam board to reflect a light source and buy some inexpensive ‘gels’ which are tinted clear sheets placed over a light to improve the color or quality.

Basic Lighting Setup Kit

Here we’ll discuss affordable studio lighting kits which contain everything you need to start.

You might ask what are the different types of studio lights? and, which is better softbox or umbrella?
So, most lighting kits come with two lights, umbrellas or softboxes, stands and carry case.


Umbrellas help to produce soft light by spreading out or reflecting the light source. A plain light bulb is harsh because it is more focused or directed, but by modifying the light with the use of an umbrella the light is softened.  As a note, place the umbrella close to the subject. This will create the greatest area of spread out light.

Studio Umbrella


A softbox also provides soft light but directs the light more which gives you more control. It also has a diffusion panel attached on front, making it like a ‘box’. You can direct the light mostly on the subject and less falls on the background.

There is not one solution to lighting, you pick the best option for the job. Using two light setups gives you incredible ability to take great pictures. Play around with moving the light stands closer, or off to the side. The more you experiment, the more you will learn about achieving great lighting.

Three options are listed below and are pulled from the Editor’s List at Amazon.  There are many more choices out there but these are good representations.  Note that these are my Amazon affiliate links.

softbox lighting

“Included in these kits are lighting umbrellas which are the backbone of many photographers toolboxes. These umbrellas are easy to work with, easy to transport and ultimately improve the look of portrait photography, video shoots, product shots and everything in between.
 Also included are two different size lighting stands, high-quality, energy-saving, continuous photo bulbs in different wattage and a durable carrying case that will easily transport all this equipment from shoot to shoot.”

There you have three options all in the $50 range.  Each kit comes with umbrellas or softboxes.  There are a variety of options out there but these three give a good representation of the market.

Would you use these lighting kits?  Do you prefer smaller options?  Let me know..