Photo Studio Lighting Equipment: Tips for a Basic Set-up

When it comes to photo studio lighting equipment, there are many types of possible set-ups. If you are a beginner in the photography field, you should be good to go with a standard key light, fill light, rim light and kicker light. Of course, your budget will dictate how much money you spend on photo studio lighting equipment, but good brands to look into include Alienbees and Smith and Victor. This guideline will go over the main purposes of each of those types of lights.

Key Light

The key light is your main source for photo studio lighting. The key light, which is also known as the main light, is the star of photo lighting equipment. You will use the key light as the main light on a subject or scene.

Fill Light

The fill light is similar to the key light, except it is less intense. Generally speaking, the fill light is always half as bright as the key light is. Photographers typically place the fill light opposite from the key light so that they can generate light shadows.

Rim Light

In photography, the rim light is always placed behind the subject that you are photographing. By having the rim light behind the subject and facing the camera, you are able to illuminate the edges of your subject.

Kicker Light

The kicker light is sometimes referred to as the background light in the photography field. The kicker light is generally placed to the left of the rim light. The purpose of the kicker light is to produce a highlight over the subject that is being photographed.