How To Set Up Your Photography Lighting Equipment

By Amy

Apr 12

Stop fumbling and get your lighting equipment setup today!

Photography lighting equipment can be scary and overwhelming.

But it shouldn't be!

A little light, and your lighting equipment can drastically improve​ your DSLR, Point n shoot or smartphone photography instantly!!

photography Lighting Equipment

BTW...any link on this site that isn't linking back to my own website, is an affiliate link.  That means, you won't be charged anything extra (believe me I've tried to see if it'll make a difference but the price stays the same) if you decide to buy something, and my site may possibly make a SMALL commission.  So, THANKS!! Every penny we receive helps fund additional content for you!

Set Up is Super Simple!

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Lighting Equipment Will Improve Your Photos!

I am going to show you how to set-up and use your lighting stand and equipment.

You need to pick what light stand you are going to use. I have the Impact light stand. It is heavy duty light stand and basically this can be used outdoors or indoors. It is a bit bigger than a lot of the other ones, but ultimately this is going to get the job done.

If you're just using the lighting equipment for blog photos, you won't need something as rugged as the one I'm using.  I would suggest something smaller such as this one below from Cowboy Studios.

Or this one which comes with everything you need from LimoStudio.

How to Open/Close Your Lighting Equipment

Then you will see there are a knob here where the legs start and another one knob down there where the legs end. I have two light stands like this, some of them have a knob down at the bottom some of them don’t.

First step is you are going to loosen those knobs up and pull the legs out to get them started and then they are going to open up wider. Basically I set it on the ground and let them widen out so you get a decent base of support. The more you push down on the top; they pull up on the post itself, the wider it is going to go. I usually don’t go all the way wide unless I am going to be outside or there will be people running by where they make knock into it. That would be a good reason to open it wider. But you also need to remember the wider you go the greatly likelihood that people may run into it is. So I usually don’t go really wide.

I get it to a point where I feel comfortable with the base width and you tighten those down so they don’t close.

When trying to close the stand, you typically cannot just pull the legs together.  

You have to pull up where the legs are all connected at the top and push down where the inner supports connect at the pole towards the bottom. ​

photography Lighting Equipment

Once The Stand Is Setup​

Second step is you are going to pick the adapter. So this is the umbrella adapter for a CFL or LED bulb. The actual socket appears like any household lighting fixture socket.

At the bottom here is the hole that is where this adapter goes on top of the stand. I will screw it on to tighten it down.

The other option which you may see as well is this one. Obviously there is no cord because it won’t be plugged into anything. This kind of adapter uses the speed light or flash that you see a lot of professional photographers using. That will just slide on top and get tightened down.

It also just sits on the top of the stand like the other adapter.

For this example, we are going to continue with the CFL umbrella adapter.

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Add Lights

Third step is to screw in your CFL or LED light.

Be careful not to drop it!

Screw that in.

Add Your Modifier

Fourth step is to add the umbrella that goes with the umbrella adapter. Here is my white shoot through umbrella.

You’re going to have to get over superstitions! It’s ok to open these in the house.

Open it up and then underneath the light itself there is a hole here that you can take the end post of the umbrella and slide it through that hole.

It also has a knob here that you can adjust and tighten it down on the pole so it won’t slide out.

You can bring it back as far or further forward as you would like.

Doing a lot of blog post photos, I find that if I have the umbrella really far away, the angle that I need to tip this adapter at to get down at the table that I am working on doesn’t work very well unless I have the umbrella pretty close to the light bulb.

But, the further way you get will allow the light to spread out a bit.

So, you'll have to play around with it and see which ends up looking best for you.

Adjust the Height

Lastly, there are a couple other knobs here to show you. This lower one on the legs can be loosened to raise the stand up or bring it down and get it to close.

The adapter itself also has a knob on the side so you can push down and angle it up whatever direction you need.

This is what I was talking about earlier.

If you have it too far away, I can’t get it angled close enough because the umbrella actually hits. So play around and see what works best for you.

So there you go! A light stand, adapter, lights and umbrella ready to go for your next blog photos.

If you have any questions let me know. Drop me a line in the Facebook group or in the contact me page and I would be happy to answer your questions or even create a video blog post for you. Because if you have this question, guaranteed there are a ton of other people who have the same question.

Have a great day.

Happy snapping.

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About the Author

Amy is the owner extraordinaire at Learn Blog Photography and Amy Paris Photography. She's a single mom to an amazing teenage son. She's passionate about photography and skiing (downhill), the faster the better! Sign up for a FREE 30-min call to light up your photos & biz!