ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Budget One Flash Photography Studio Setup

Updated on February 10, 2013
"Taken on a Sony a200, lit by a lamp and a flashgun fired wirelessly."
"Taken on a Sony a200, lit by a lamp and a flashgun fired wirelessly." | Source

A D-SLR, a speedlight and a few accessories can go a long way in increasing your creative possibilities. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get great looking shots within or without an actual studio.

What do you need?

D-SLR: An entry level D-SLR is good enough. You may find that with certain entry levels, such as the Rebels up to at least the Canon T3i doesn’t have an inbuilt remote system for firing flashguns. Nonetheless, there are ways to get around this.

Speedlight: A flashgun that can operate in TTL mode is great. It’s ideal to use the same model speedlight like that of your camera. But even if that’s not the case, you can just make sure that the speedlight of your choice can work with your camera and also in TTL mode.

Mini Softbox: Softboxes make the direct light from a speedlight softer. It diffuses it somewhat so that your photographs will look more natural, and if you may, make your subjects more flattering.

TTL Flash Sync Cable/Off Shoe Flash Sync Cable - or - Transmitter/Receiver: When you’re using you flash off-camera, you may need an additional accessory. If your camera has an inbuilt remote connection to the speedlight, then you may not need these. However, the transmitter/receiver duo is the best to use. Alternatively, you could work with a long flash sync cable. The cord can get in the way, but if you're dealing with making headshots and close-up potraits, it should be fine.

Light Stand/Tripod: You could hold the flashgun or ask your assistant to hold it for you. But it may be more convenient to attach the flashgun to a light stand. If you don’t have a light stand, you can use an alternative -- a tripod, or even a self standing monopod. Light stands are still better than all alternatives, because with a light stand you’ll be able to raise the flashgun to great heights so that light can disperse downwards which resembles natural light.

Off Camera Flash Techniques

Use your flashgun off camera to increase your creativity. Either use a flash sync cable/cord, hot shoe sync cord or wireless receiver/transmitter. The cheapest way to use your flashgun off camera is to use a cable/cord. You could hold the camera with your right hand while you hold the flashgun with the left hand. Raise, lower and change the angle of the flashgun as you want so as to create different effects.

Use a Light Stand or Tripod

If you’re using a transmitter/receiver, or if you use a long enough off shoe sync cord, then you can use the flashgun on a light stand or tripod. This way you won’t need an assistant, and you can use both hands to hold the camera. The transmitter/receiver is better to use, because you’ll be free to move about while the flash exposure on the subject remains the same. This creates awesome possibilities. You can add a diffuser, softbox or even an umbrella to the stationary flashgun.

One Flash Studio Setup

If you are using a small studio, you may add to your setup a reflector at the opposite side to the flashgun. There are 5 basic setups for a one flash studio, which Mark Wallace from Adorama expertly demonstrates and clearly explains.

Wireless Triggers -- transmitters, receiver

CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Trigger for External Speelights with 1 Trigger and 2 Receivers (NPT-04+extra receiver)
CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Trigger for External Speelights with 1 Trigger and 2 Receivers (NPT-04+extra receiver)

Inexpensive alternative to pocket wizards. Use them to fire your flash simultaneously and wirelessly with your shutter release.


Small Studio Flash Tips

Practice Using Flashgun Off Camera

If you’re used to the popup flash of a camera, then it may be time to graduate and use a more powerful and sophisticated flashgun or speedlight. There are operational differences among brands, but the principles of lighting and setup are the same. Practice one flash photography indoors, outdoors or in a small studio when you can. You will start to see drastic changes in your work -- much to your pleasure.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)