We will be taking amateur photos of people for a graduation, and were wondering about light kits. Without the kits the photos can look dull- what kind of lighting should we be using? We want a cheap option and to not have to be connected to a power source. What would you recommend?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of What's a decent lighting kit for getting started with portraits? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 22:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ What matt said, and the obligatory Strobist 101 link. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 22:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Chuck Gardner's Tutorials super.nova.org/DPR cover portraiture pretty thoroughly [and a bit repetitiously] and are pretty good from a beginner's perspective. \$\endgroup\$
    – user50888
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 2:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say, "taking amateur photos of people for a graduations do you mean: 1) Portraits shot in advance of the event to be displayed at the event? 2) Shots of the graduates as they are receiving their diplomas from the schools faculty/administrators? or 3)Posed portraits away from the platform where diplomas are being conferred? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


If you can find a large north facing window, you can eliminate purchasing any lighting kit. This is a good place to start.

With a single flash and a white wall, you have a great lighting source.

Finally, put the flash into an umbrella close to the subject with a reflector on the other side.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good points, but natural light throug the window might be to unreliable here, considering that there is a bunch of people to be photographed in succession. \$\endgroup\$
    – Grebu
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 16:40

In my gear I have a Nissin Di866 Mark II with Power Pack PS-300, Yongnuo YN-622C along with a reflective umbrella.

I found useful suggestions on an article in Petapixel. I would choose for such an occasion to find a White Seamless in Hallway and give a bright feeling to the portrait as it is a happy day!

If you prefer to keep the background (banners, etc) as part of the photo I would suggest the use of an shoot through umbrella, in order to defuse and even the light coming from the flash.

More quick details on the umbrellas you could find on the following article, Umbrella 101 for Beginners: Bare Flash vs. Shoot Thru vs. Reflective Umbrellas

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    \$\begingroup\$ Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Please briefly summarize the suggestions in the linked-to articles. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see your point, and I didn't want to seem generalized. I chose not to get to specifics only because I didn't want to decide the style of her photos, for example high/low key, pattern/plain background, etc. I have edited my answer as per my preference. @sco Thank you for the feedback! \$\endgroup\$
    – Dio K.
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 6:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb sorry for misspelling your name on the last comment, I do not know how to edit a comment! so i had to comment again! \$\endgroup\$
    – Dio K.
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 6:26

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