How to Light a Portrait With DIY Lighting for Under $50

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Lighting doesn’t need to be expensive, and in fact it can sometimes be really simple to use. Aaron Nace from Phlearn recently demonstrated this in a video that they posted where they purchased a couple of fluorescent lights from Amazon for around $15 a piece and then use gels to change the way that the lights look.

Aaron states that they needed a three light setup–the same three light setup that most strobist portrait photographers talk about. In the scene there is a main light, fill light, and an accent light. The main light is providing the main source of light while on the other side you have the fill to add extra details to the shadows. But then a third light gets added called the accent light but traditionally known as the hair light. Aaron’s subject is a male, but this light is really important when photographing females.

While this works out really well, we should let you know that dollar for dollar, continuous lighting is significantly weaker than strobe lighting. However, it is easier to work with.

Aaron’s video is after the jump, and demonstrates a really thrifty way to use DIY lighting on the cheap. Be sure to also check out Aaron’s guest post for our Creating the Photograph series. Also be sure to check out this softbox hack also done for around $20.