Last night we had the monthly meeting of the Chattanooga Photography Group and we talked about Do It Yourself lighting for portraits. It was fun and a bit of a challenge for me to make it interesting :) So I will tell you a little about the setup and then put in a few pics of the results.

I have used this setup in various forms a few times before I got my speedlights and it works really well if especially in close quarters. I started with 2 – clamp work lights with 10″ aluminum reflectors (Link) each with a 200 watt bulb. Ready three of these would work better but I forgot one of them at home so we had to make due with two! Added in 1 – white matboard for reflecting in some fill light. For a backdrop, I was lazy and used the nice Wescott dual sided folding backdrop that I bought later on but had I the time, I would have stopped and picked up a set of black sheets or something just to illustrate how simple this all can be.

For the setup I clamped the lights on light stands (again sub in a tripod or anything that will get the light at the height you like) one to camera right as close as I could get it to our subject without making her uncomfortable. Then for some I added in the second light around back on to camera left for a rim light. Then add in a reflection fill from the mat board to camera left and you have standard portrait lighting on the cheap.

The whole setup cost me like $30 using some stuff I had around and some stuff I bought. So here are some resulting pics.