- Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it: learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image
- Photography Lighting: Ultimate Guide to Home Studio Photography Lighting!
- Photography Lighting: The Techniques of Creating Photography Lighting in Your Home Studio
There are a lot of ways to light a subject using studio strobes. Before putting anything into practice, the first thing you need to do is decide upon the type of light you're going to use in relationship to your subject. To be more specific, some subjects, particularly young models, look good in harsh light. For others, only soft light will work.
As a photographer, you should be able to create both types of light effortlessly and adapt to each situation. Creating a hard light is actually very easy and you can do it in more than one way. You can try shooting a bare flash, with no modifiers mounted. The most likely result will be a photo with very dark shadows. It's the kind of light many beginners avoid because they often use it with the wrong kind of subject. If you still want hard light, but not quite as edgy, you can use a small modifier just to make things a little bit softer.
On the other hand, if you're looking for soft light or something that will resemble daylight coming through the window, a large modifier is the way to go. Large octo domes and soft boxes are the most common and effective choices. They will give your subject more flexibility in movement and because the light source is so large, the light will wrap around them no matter what position they stand in.
(Success Tip #2:The secret to selling more photography with less effort)
The distance between the light source and the subject is also very important. If you want to create a softer light but you don't have a large modifier, you can adapt by placing your flash as close as possible to the subject. Remember, short distance creates softer light. The farther you will place your light source, the harder the light will be. By this rule, if you want to create a natural looking simulation of daylight, place a large light source farther from the subject. The shadows will look natural and you will still be able to see through them.
Here's a great demonstration by photographer Daniel Norton in a video by Adorama TV.