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Flash, strobe, or continuous light sources?


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Hey, everyone. A friend of mine suggested that I should add some lights to my outdoor portraits in order to improve them. However, there is so much information available that I am uncertain about what to invest in. What is the best way to begin? Should I use flash, strobes, or continuous light? Do you have any recommendations on videos for beginners?



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Hi Jenna, continuous light is easier because you see what you are getting. The problem is, if you are shooting outdoors in daylight you will need more light than basic continuous lighting will give you. My advice would be that if you are shooting indoors in low light or at dusk you should try continuous lighting. If you are shooting outdoors in normal light you should try a strobe. In either case, just do it you will learn a ton and become a better photographer in the process. 

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Strobes are my go to for stills, but for video continuous is the way to go. Since you mentioned you do both, you would need a hybrid. I know Scott Robert Lim would agree to this suggestion: Stella Pro Reflex S. It's a powerful light for video and stills, light and portable too. I believe you also get a large number of triggers that can be used.

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continuous light helps you understand what you'll be able to achieve, but i prefer the look of speed light or strobes.  Sony speed lights are great, but they're a little more expensive compared to godox.  If you have money to burn and want powerful, adaptable and something that will last a long time, then look into profoto.

For on camera flash when I'm out at an event or family parties... I generally use an HVL-60rm.

For off camera flash for both head shots and on-location lifestyle, I'll use 2 HVL-60's and an HVL-46

60's generally for the subject and filler and the 46 as a kicker or to hit the background.

Also careful with cheaper continuous LED lights. They oftentimes won't recycle at the same frequency and causes SERIOUS banding issues when shooting... it's prevalent if you're doing video.

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