Being a full time photographer, part time educator, and all around lighting nerd, I’m often asked by those venturing into the wonderful world of off-camera lighting to clarify how many strobes they need to buy when starting out. My answer is always the same…one…yep…ONE.
You can do A LOT with one light, especially when you factor in the massive selection of modifiers available, as well as the infinite amount of light placement options. Even if you find a smoking deal on a lighting kit that comes with two or three lights, put the other lights neatly back into the case, grab one, and learn it for the next 6 months.
Why? Why do I say this? Because if you have no idea how to control one light, adding two or three or more into the mix is just going to frustrate the hell out of you. Eventually it will frustrate you enough that you’re going to give up, and shortly after that you’ll change the tag line on your website to say “Natural Light Shooter“. The whole scenario to me is heart breaking because you’ll be missing out on one of the best parts of photography, crafting and shaping your own light.
I’ve compiled a quick selection of photos taken in the last couple of years that are all examples of using just one light with various modifiers and light placement to achieve different effects. Scroll through if you’re feeling fancy.
I also teach this stuff, so if you want to learn how to light this like, CLICK HERE.