Trying to take outfit photos outside in the winter has been difficult. Since I take all my photos myself with a tripod, it can take awhile to get the photos I want. When it is 2 degrees out and feels like -20, that just isn’t happening. So for Christmas, I asked for a light kit and my husband obliged. I added a backdrop holder, and I was ready to set up my own little studio! Today, I’m reviewing all the parts and what I have learned so far using it.
Backdrop Holder: I bought this for $28 (it has since when up in price). I thought it would be perfect for what I needed. I have it set up in the basement so I didn’t need something that extended out really tall. This is supposed to go up to 7 ft tall, but the tallest I can get mine is about 6 ft. This has caused me some problems as I am about 5’8″, so there isn’t much clearance. I’ve actually had to prop up one side higher with a box to give it a little more height. Setting up the whole contraption can be a bit difficult too. The way the stands expand out seems to be the opposite of other things I’ve used (like my tripod) so I have to really think about which way to move the pieces. This isn’t as big of a problem for me since I just leave mine set up, but if you are looking to move it around a lot, it could be difficult. I also got these clips to hold my actual backdrop. For a backdrop, I just went to Walmart and bought a twin sized flat sheet. Right now I have one that is more of a cream color. I’ve found that it distorts the color of my photos a bit and plan on going back and getting a white sheet instead. I also have another sheet that was cut that I place on the ground so the background is more consistent rather than having the concrete of my basement floor showing in the images.
Light Kit: This kit includes 3 lights; 2 tall ones and one small background one. I place the small one behind my backdrop facing the wall. The two tall ones I place at about 45 degree angle from where I stand. It has taken some trial and error to figure out how close to set the lights. It is a little flimsy, especially the umbrellas. I accidentally tipped over one when I was pulling the cord to plug it in and I bent one spokes of the umbrella. I easily bent it back into place. I worry if I do it again, it could potentially break it.
My husband recently set up a spot right next to my backdrop to start his plants for the garden this spring. I’ve noticed that my photos have turned out a bit better since that was set up and I think it is because of the extra light it gives out. So I think my light kit would benefit from 1 more light.
Tripod: I really like this tripod. I’ve had it for some time now and it has held up great. I often bring it to and from work and it gets tossed around in my car. You can easily adjust the height and it operates smoothly.
Overall, my setup will get the job done until the weather starts to cooperate. I definitely would not use what I currently have for all my photos. Both the light kit and backdrop are not the best to move around. If you plan on keeping it all in one place for the most part, these will work.
I hope this helps anyone else that is looking for light kits. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!