Now that you've learned how to set up a home photography studio, let's delve into lighting it. Not too long ago studio lighting was really only for the professional photographer, or an enthusiast with lots of disposable cash. Today however, with a wide range of kits that are available on the market, enthusiasts are able to create home studios easier than it has ever been.
As with anything, you get what you pay for. There are basic kits that will get you started and there are kits that will run you into the thousands. But there are options available for every level of experience and budget.
Your very first choice will be to decide between two main options: continuous or strobe (flash) lighting.
Continuous, or constant lighting is created by lights that are always on. Strobe flashes are when the shutter is pressed on the camera.
The chief benefit of continuous light sources is that they provide instant feedback on how your lighting will look in the exposed image, allowing you to adjust the angle and intensity of the lighting quickly and visualize the shot more easily. They can also do double duty as video lights.
Personally I prefer continuous lighting. It gives me a constant light that I can quickly and efficiently adjust to get the model the desired lighting. I can also intensify or use the secondary lights, or kicker lights, to create the desired effect. Take the photo above. The constant lighting effect by the strobe behind the model allowed me to quickly diffuse the light from behind. If I was using a flash I would have had to take numerous photos and look at them on the computer to get the desired result.
If you're interested in lighting kits for your studio, I'd suggest entertaining the options listed below-- all from Photoflex. There are other manufacturers, but for comparison sake, I stuck to the light manufacturer, Photoflex.
Out of the aforementioned links, I would start with the three light portrait kit and the backdrop support kit. You can shoot both models and create a makeshift product set up with the backdrop.
You should do your own research before you make your decision on what lights to buy. Talk to photographers, do some research and go see a few sales associates at a retail store. Its always good to get as many different opinions before you make the investment.