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Portable lighthing for client's home portraits

woosterwooster Member
edited October 2013 in home

I have a kit of Elinchrom lights I use for events but now I'm planning to photograph families in their own homes. I don't fancy lugging the einchroms around and trying to use them in confined spaces.

I'd like to know what sort of kit any of you who do this sort of thing use?

I'm guessing my best options would be a few speedlites, with a couple of small softboxes ie lastolite.

I have 2 x 600 EX RT and a 430 EX II with a couple of modifiers.

What do you reckon?


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    If you want to flood the place with light, then a shoot-through umbrella is the easiest answer.

    But it will depend on the kind of light you want, and are already getting.
  • I use off camera speedlights, on camera bounce flash, umbrellas (shoot thru and or reflective) or small apollo softboxes depending what look I need. All that stuff fits into two med soft bags for me. Very light and gives you lots of flexibility. I do find that going to the clients home with any gear is never fun...lol... make sure they have the room you need before go or plan on being outside lol.
  • woosterwooster Member
    edited October 2013
    Thanks for the comments folks. I already have Canon 600 EX RT x 2 and a 430 EX II. I was considering getting a couple of cheapo units to use on manual for occasions when I might want to light backgrounds or for the dreaded white background using the hilite!

    I've a couple of umbrellas for not very subtle lighting mainly used with the studio lights at events with groups. I usually just bang a lot of light 45 degrees at either side I'm ashamed to admit for groups and couples full length shots. I'm looking to do a bit better for family portraits. I'm not bad at doing the latter with pretty nice lighting in the studio using various modifiers but have always struggled in small rooms in peoples' homes using speedlites.

    Last month I had a nightmare using the two canon speedlites in a very very small living room with all white walls and a low ceiling. I need to work out an easy set up to control the speedlites
  • Have you considered (LED) video light?
  • No I haven't thought about that. I have no knowledge of it and would feel a bit out of my comfort zone. Is this something that's going to work without disadvantage ?
  • Neil has a whole section. I really like them for dramatic effect portraits, but you have to watch very carefully for positioning and the shadows (esp. around the nose).

  • I haven't read these, but I'm on it. Thanks for the pointer :)
  • I'm sort of leaning towards the flash solution still. I'm now wondering if it might be worth looking at the Cheetah lights or maybe even something like the Elinchrom Quadras. Any thoughts?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Video light would be tough to use for this kind of shoot …. I'd still suggest flash.
  • Thanks, Neil. Yes. As I say I'm going to stick with Flash. Would you suggest the Cheetah's would be a significantly good buy or something like the Elinchrom Quadras? Or should I just stick with my speedlites?
  • woosterwooster Member
    edited October 2013
    Oops sent the last one too soon. I thought the Cheetah's might work well in a variety of settings including smaller rooms but also with larger groups as in your large Asian wedding group tutorial. I can't afford to buy loads of lights but could manage either Quadra type lighting or Cheetahs. The latter are probably more portable, less hassle and would work for me in a variety of settings. Does this sound sensible?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Wooster …. whatever sets up the fastest, and still gives you plenty of juice for the aperture / ISO combo that you need.
  • Thanks, Neil. This is a new venture for me so I guess I should suck it and see. I am leaning towards adding the Cheetahs as I feel the quadra might be overkill. OTOH for larger groups the quadras could be the way to go. And they have modelling lights and TTL Doh! I'm confused again
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