If you had to start all over again, what would you buy?

3 years 3 weeks ago - 3 years 3 weeks ago #646719 by tesnve
Hi everyone, 

I am in need of some good recommendations for artificial lighting. Long story short, I've never shot with artificial lighting and have a restaurant food photoshoot coming up this weekend. (There's no sunlight inside of this restaurant) - So I have been doing research on what type of artificial lights to buy - but with any new hobby, you never really buy the right equipment to start. So, I'm hoping for some good recommendations!

I will only be shooting food and cocktail photography. I am shooting with a 90mm Sony G macro lens on an A6000. I plan to use mostly stone colored marble or refinished wood backgrounds. I'm hoping to shoot with a style similar to Kayley Mccabe. And lastly, I am looking to make an Amazon order no later than tomorrow night, and hope to be able to use this equipment for at least a couple years as I pick up more freelance work for restaurants and bars. I have a budget of about $1500 though I don't need or want to spend it all for a tripod, softbox, honeycomb grid, dish reflectors, diffuser, fill cards, tethering cables, and anything else I will need to stage an artificially lit photoshoot. (I will want to shoot mostly chiaroscuro style so maybe a versatile softbox?)

They have lighting sets on Amazon for under $200, but I want to do it "right" the first time around, so I'm looking for the opinion of the experienced.

If you were to start photography again, what setup would you go with? Thanks everyone ahead of time. 


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3 years 3 weeks ago #646800 by garyrhook
I'll just say this right out: you're in trouble.

Using artificial light takes work (start with strobist.com now). Large, diffuse lighting sources. Those $200 kits won't do it.

You can do this with strobes (Yongnuo 968s would be just fine, and add a trigger), but you need things that will diffuse and reflect the light. People with experience could jury-rig whatever they need (Dan Winters does this) but that demands knowledge of managing artificial light.

I own 2 DigiBees, 2 large umbrellas, a large softbox, two small octoboxes, and stands. You might consider Godox if you want strobes instead of speedlights, but I'm a Paul C Buff fan.

Good luck.


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3 years 3 weeks ago #646830 by Nikon Shooter

garyrhook wrote: I'll just say this right out: you're in trouble.



In the days, I got myself a Speedotron Black line. Used it until
it died seven years ago. Then, I reequipped with Profoto. :P

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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3 years 3 weeks ago #646831 by tesnve
Garyrhook, 

You are a lifesaver. I was less than 30 minutes away from ordering a $200 kit on amazon. Instead went with the Yongnuo 968 EX-RT with a 622 Controller. I think they will work on a Sony A6000, please let me know if they do not! I also picked up a stand and softbox. 

And strobist...yessssssssss 

Thanks human!!!


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