Photography lighting equipment for beginners.

Learn more about the various lighting equipment you’ll want to have in your photography toolkit, so you can create natural and properly exposed photos.

Whether it’s natural or artificial, photography is all about light. As a beginning photographer, you’ll likely shoot in natural light settings. But as you become more comfortable with your camera, you may want to take your skills indoors or simply get more creative with your approach. This means you’ll need some special lighting equipment.

Softboxes.

Softboxes are essentially large boxes on tripods that diffuse light onto your subject from the light source (bulb) within it. They come in various shapes and sizes depending on your needs.

These are great for creating flattering portrait lighting as well as for product photography.

Reflectors.

While reflectors don’t technically create light, you use them to manipulate artificial light (from softboxes, for example) or natural light from a window. Certain reflectors will retain the qualities of the light they bounce around, while others will alter the light as they reflect it — changing your photo’s warmth or tone.

Diffusers and filters.

When you photograph with your camera’s flash, it can sometimes create harsh elements or washed-out details. Diffusers and filters are inexpensive tools that diffuse the light — and therefore the harshness — created by your flash.

Best photography lighting kits.

The great thing about lighting equipment is that everything you need is often available in kit form. Here are some popular options when it comes to purchasing your essentials in a single kit:

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