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One of the most common mistakes beginners make when they want to learn about studio lighting is diving into it all without learning the basics. They spend hundreds of dollars on lighting gear and immediately start using all of it with poor results.
The reason for that is very few of them take the time to learn lighting properly. If you want to become a good studio photographer, start with one light. Lighting gurus like Zack Arias have done extensive training on using one light, and other masters like Joe McNally can get the job done using a single flash gun.
(Success Tip:Take better photos with this simple deck of cards)
You can do a lot with one flash, you just have to know what you're doing. Light is something you need to understand first of all. How it falls, what type it is and what temperature it has are all part of what a photographer needs to know.
By changing the position of your light you will change everything about the look of the portrait you are taking. It only takes a few inches to the left or right to completely alter the shadows on someone's face.
Just because you limit yourself to only one flash doesn't mean that it's the only piece of the puzzle. Reflectors and mirrors are fantastic accessories that have a powerful impact in the overall look of the image. They're also dirt cheap making them ideal for learning.
The Slanted Lens have a great video about all the cool stuff you can do with just one flash Watch and learn!