Using strobe equipment for the first time can be scary for anyone, however, once tried, it is quite easy. One of my assistants, Kelly Schulte of Simi Valley asked: “What should I buy and how much should it cost?” If you are interested in getting into studio lighting I recommend buying the Calumet Travelite 750ws One-Head Umbrella Kit http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CE1454/ from Calumet in Los Angeles. It is a perfect starter kit for $680. When using strobe lighting it is just like your flash, only bigger. Here are a few tips:
1. Strobe is controlled by your aperture, not shutter speed. (you should be at 1/60 – 1/125 and then adjust your aperture until you get the desired exposure)
2. When you buy your kit, disassemble your umbrella so it is just the diffused white material and not the black with silver lining piece.
3. Position the diffusion umbrella as close to your subject as possible without getting it in the frame. This will allow the light to wrap softly around your subject.
4. Try using your ceiling as a light source. Take the umbrella off, and point the light straight up but slightly in front of your subject. You will obtain great soft light over your subject. (great for shooting babies.) The above shot was taken with this technique. It works well when you have a larger group.