Portrait Photography Essentials: Ring Light

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alternative gothic fashion portrait photography

One of my favorite investments in photography equipment has been the Neewer Ring Light!

Great Light for Photography & Video

This ring light is great for not only fill light, but serves as a wonderful key light for portraits and YouTube videos!

I have been using this ring light for years and have used it religiously for the videos on the BlessedShadows YouTube channel for makeup tutorials.

Let’s break down what makes this ring-light a great addition to any photography or video studio, and what could be improved on.

Pros:

  • Continuous Light
    • Because this light is not flash, what you see is what you get!
  • Adjustable Angle
    • This light is adjustable when fixed to a light stand.
    • Easily angle the light up or down
  • 7.5’ Cord
  • Lightweight
    • This light is under 7 lbs, however, I recommend a sturdy and heavy-duty light stand that’s weighed down to help avoid accidentally knocking it over or it otherwise falling over

Cons:

  • Light Cannot be Dimmed
    • One can buy a diffuser cover to go over this light, but I wish the ring light itself was dimmable
  • Runs Hot
    • This light is 75 watts, and when the model is standing close, it can get a bit warm as it’s a fluorescent light
    • I recommend turning off the power when not in immediate use, like when touching up makeup, changing the backdrop, etc

This Neewer Ring Light is a 8/10 in my studio, and is a great piece of equipment when you don’t want to shoot portraits with flash (exclusively or at all).

Because it’s continuous light, it’s perfect for filming YouTube videos.

What’s your favorite lighting equipment to use for portrait photography and video?

Studio Lighting vs Simple Lighting

I can never decide if I love the print results of ‘professional’ studio lighting or of ‘simple’ lighting…

The first portrait is shot using umbrellas and flash, and the second is shot using either a cheap floor lamp or a basic ring light with no diffuser/reflectors.

As much as I love the moody lighting and dark shadows that come with more elaborate light setups, I can’t pretend I don’t love the softness and ease of simpler lighting.

The Blessed Shadows portrait studio is now a lot bigger, but from the years of having to work within very tight studio space (where elaborate setups created tripping and broken light hazards) I got used to the speed that using a floor lamp and occasionally a ring light provided.

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What’s your favorite lighting setup in the studio?

Do you prefer flashguns and umbrellas, ring lights, or a simple floor lamp?