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Archive 2014 · What strobes for photo studio?

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What strobes for photo studio?


We're in the process of renting our photo studiou. We're Montreal-based, and it's primarily aimed at amateurs and semi-pro photographers. Sometimes students as well.

At the beginning, we didn't offer flash heads / lights but it looks like every shoot needs lights.

Here's what we are adding

- 1 400W studio strobe light with 80 x 140cm softbox

- 1 400W studio strobe light with 22" beauty dish with honey comb

The strobes are optically triggered so that means anyone with a flash on their camera could use the setup.

What do you think of this as a basic kit? If you rent a small photo studio, what would you need, as a minimum? We are discussing if we need a third light as a hair light or different applications. What about reflectors or blockers?

Thanks for your ideas,

Heri from StudioDuPlateau

Jun 02, 2014 at 06:20 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What strobes for photo studio?

I would expect at least the 3 lights mentioned plus 2 for the background. Remote unit to fire the strobes.

Jun 07, 2014 at 07:16 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What strobes for photo studio?

I agree w/ jefferies, A min of 3 light and at least 1 background light. If you have the budget Id get a couple a C-stands depending on your needs.

Jun 08, 2014 at 03:09 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What strobes for photo studio?

Thanks. We'll get a 3rd head then & remote units to fire strobes.

We actually already have a C-Stand - now's the time to see what accessories to go with the C-stands to get

thanks Kymira / Jefferies, much appreciated.

Jun 09, 2014 at 02:37 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What strobes for photo studio?


going down the path of providing grip to your clients can get pretty expensive (though I suppose that means you can also increase your rates).

Who is your clientele? If you are catering to portraiture/fashion, I'd think they would expect availability of at least 3-5 decent strobes, enough stands of various sorts for them all (including at least one beefy stand that can handle a decent sized boom arm if they want to use one strobe as an overhead hair light, oh, and the boom arm...). providing a remote trigger would also be good -it solves a lot of potential problems with ground loops, frying equipment due to incompatible trigger voltages, etc. I'm not sure about assuming they have a camera that can actually trigger the lights optically.

Don't know what to say on the monolight/vs pack thing or brand, other than to note you probably should also budget for a hot spare (all this equipment eventually has issues under heavy usage), and to check out the service organization as you -will- eventually be sending the stuff in for repair, and it sucks if they either can't be fixed (Chinese clone) or you have to wait a month to get gear back and they don't have a loaner program.

On the modifiers for the strobes, in addition to a beauty dish/softbox I'd probably also recommend getting some umbrellas of various sorts (often people want several lights to have the same characteristics). You could go broke trying to provide the the other modifiers people often want, though I suppose your clients would be happy if there was a box of reflectors (some of the multiple surface types (5 in 1?)) and some stands/arms/clamps/fingers/autopoles/etc. available, plus some black paper/cloth or something...

If they want to do product work, all bets are off on the grip - it seems like you -never- have enough - and actually the same thing with the lighting for product work - 400w/s often won't cut it for a key light when doing product stuff in a surprisingly large number of situations.

Good Luck with your venture,

(Richard George)

Jun 09, 2014 at 02:40 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What strobes for photo studio?

If you dont mind me asking out of curiosoity, what are your rates for renting the studio with and without equipment?

Jun 09, 2014 at 10:26 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What strobes for photo studio?

If I'm renting a studio and lighting, I would expect a minimum of a High key full body setup so 2 lights to blow out the background a Main and 2 keys at least. Also LIGHT METERS if you've got a lighting rig you should have some Light meters. I've rented a few studio and their light and you'd be surprised how many don't have a light meters available. Get a sekonic L-358 (or a couple) and you'll make your clients very happy.

Jun 27, 2014 at 04:13 AM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What strobes for photo studio?

Every time I rented a studio (abroad because I have my own studio) I went with the one with at least 4 lights and professional flashes and modifiers. ( minimum is 500W IMO)
Mostly these were high-end Prophoto's or 1 time a full Broncolor studio. That are the things that make people choose your studio over others.
Even if your goal is to attract amateurs, you need reliable gear.
It will be in your studio for at least a decade and is an investment. For your modifiers, go with big and medium softboxes and umbrella's, a beautydish, a few reflectors and done. Make a labeled case for your modifiers, like that it is easy to check if everything is ok after the shoot.

Jun 27, 2014 at 01:08 PM

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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What strobes for photo studio?

This really depends a lot on what kind of clients you're trying to attract, how big your space is, etc. Really for larger clients that will pay a decent day rate you'll need 4-6 Prophoto or Elinchrom heads and associated grip. For product photography and commercial still life even more in the way of grip and modifiers! It's an expensive business to get into kitting out a studio from scratch.

Jul 10, 2014 at 08:03 PM

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