One of my favorite techniques for capturing a person on film in a studio is to use only a single light source. This simplified approach suits me well. It is quick to set up, less intimidating to inexperienced models, and easy to accomplish in any indoor situation, at home or abroad. In addition, for those on a limited budget, it is easy to afford.
More importantly, though, with a single light I can create dramatic illumination that seems to reveal a person’s character more so than with other types of lighting.
Any kind of single strobe or photoflood can be used for this technique. Both types of lights can be controlled to achieve the desired effect. They can be diffused, focused to a narrow beam, and easily repositioned. The decision you have to make has to do with three factors; cost, light output, and heat.
Any flash, no matter how inexpensive, will cost more than a reflector and a light bulb. The latter can be purchased at a hardware store for under $10. Flash units range from less than $100 to a lot more if…