I recently began the process of updating to strobe lights. The strobe lights kit I used on this photo shoot consisted of two lights I purchased from Adorama during their year-end sale. I began with the Flashpoint 320M 150 Watt AC/DC Monolight, and then the Flashpoint Studio 300 Monolight with Built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System. Shortly after, I purchased a Promaster 72-inch umbrella with Silver lining, a 32-inch impact portable beauty dish, and most recently a Promaster boom stand. My purpose with this post is not to do a product review of any of these tools I mentioned; instead, I only indicate them to document the tools that currently I'm working with. My strobe lighting kit is not portable at all, it's heavy, and it's cumbersome to carry around. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled to get consistent exposures as I continue experimenting with editorial portraits. My recommendation to anyone wishing to upgrade to strobe lights is to be smarter and save up some money and invest in a setup that's more portable, like strobes that come with an integrated battery, etc. Nonetheless, this is what I've got and I'm willing to make the best out of it.
Photo Session 1
In this session, I used the 72 silver umbrella with the 180 watt strobe unit set at 1/4 power. The portable beauty dish was mounted on the boom stand with the 300 watt strobe also set at 1/4 power. Though my initial goal with this session was to create hard lighting and evoke a flair of glamour, I was not too pleased with the hard shadows, so I directed the large umbrella so the shadows would be out of the frame.
Photo Session 2
In this session, I used the portable beauty dish with diffuser and silver reflector to fill in on the shadows. Next time I get to experiment with this technique, I plan on adding more diffusion, along with light subtraction to add more definition, and perhaps use a white reflector rather than silver. Shooting with this type of setup proved to be harder than I anticipated. Using the modeling light from the strobe units makes positioning the beauty dish to sculpt the cheekbones and get specularity in the eyes much easier.