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Lighting & Studio Equipment

Strobes and Flash Triggers

I love the Westcott FJ series strobes, as they are battery-powered (great to take on location), of excellent quality, and reasonably priced.

Westcott FJ80 Speedlight - https://geni.us/FJ80_speedlight

I purchased the battery-powered FJ200 Strobe listed below in lieu of this FJ80 speedlight, as the FJ200 was not that much bigger than the FJ80 speedlight, and I wanted the extra power of the strobe. However, if you are in the market for a speedlight, the FJ80 is an excellent choice. An especially nice thing about the FJ80, is that it has a universal wireless flash trigger built in, so you can use this speed light as a trigger for the FJ series strobes and Canon RT devices. It is compatible across many different camera brands, and is capable of high-speed sync up to 1/8000s, as well as front and rear curtain sync.

Westcott FJ 200 Strobe - https://geni.us/FJ200_strobe

Surprisingly powerful for its size! I really love this strobe. It is capable of high-speed sync up to 1/8000s, as well as front and rear curtain sync.

Westcott S-Bracket for FJ80 Speedlight and FJ200 Strobe - https://geni.us/Westcott_S-Bracket

This bracket is a must-have if you purchase an FJ80 speedlight or FJ200 Strobe, and would like to attach heavier light modifiers or umbrellas.

Westcott FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger - https://geni.us/Westcott_Flash_Trigger

Westcott Sony Adapter for FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger - https://geni.us/Sony_FJ-X2M_Adapter

The key word here is "Universal," as this trigger is compatible across many different camera brands. It supports high-speed sync up to 1/8000s, and normal front and rear curtain sync, and it can be used to trigger all of the Westcott FJ series lights as well as Canon RT devices. If you own a Sony camera, you will need to purchase the adapter as well.

Westcott FJ 200 Strobe + Universal Trigger + S-Type Bowens Mount Bracket Kit - https://geni.us/FJ200_strobe_kit

All three of the previously listed products: FJ200 strobe, S-bracket, and Universal Flash Trigger, in one kit.

Westcott FJ400 Strobe - https://geni.us/RBS_Bowen_Insert

Another powerful and budget-friendly battery-powered strobe. This strobe has more juice than the FJ200. It is capable of high-speed sync up to 1/8000s, as well as TTL and rear curtain sync, and it has a really impressive 0.05 to 1.3 second recycle time.

Westcott FJ400 2-Light Strobe + Trigger Kit - https://geni.us/FJ400_strobe_kit

Westcott Optical Spot by Lindsay Adler - https://geni.us/Adler_Optical_Spot

I don't own this... yet. It is at the top of my wish list!

Westcott M6 Multi-Mount Tripod Plate - https://geni.us/tripod_to_lightstand

Great little gadget. Turns a tripod into a light stand. How many spare tripods do you have just sitting around? :-)

Light Modifiers

Light modifiers can play to a photograph's style just as much a lens and camera settings do. I tend to prefer edgier light most of the time, but when I am looking to create an image with softer light I go with big round modifiers. As such, I prefer to use small round light modifiers (beauty dish) and large round modifiers (Large Octa, 43" parabolic, and 7' parabolic umbrellas), at the small and large end of the modifier size spectrum. I prefer rectangular modifiers in the middle, as they are very versatile, and I can position them horizontally for more wrap, or vertically for more top to bottom coverage. I also think about catch lights when selecting a light modifier. A round beauty dish creates classic round catch lights in the subject's eyes. A rectangular modifier creates catch lights that look like the light is coming from a window. One can even place gaffer's tape on a rectangular modifier, to create the illusion of window panes. Here are my light modifier picks:

Roscoe Cinefoil - https://geni.us/cinefoil

Cinefoil is great to have around as it can be molded into non-flammable (important!) barn doors and flags. I don't recommend taping any type of flammable material to your lights for obvious reasons - use this instead. Also great for blacking out windows.

Gaffer Tape - https://geni.us/gaffer_tape

A must have. Just Google "Gaffer Tape".

Westcott Rapid Box Deflector Plate XL - https://geni.us/RBS_deflector_plate_XL

This plate helps to eliminate softbox hot spots by diffusing the light from within the softbox. Compatible with Rapid Box Switch 1x3, 1x4, 2x3, 3x4, and Octa-M and -L modifiers.

Rapid Box Switch Bowens Mount Insert - https://geni.us/RBS_bowen_insert

You’ll need to purchase this insert if you use any of the Westcott Rapid Box Switch light modifiers with an FJ80 speedlight, FJ200 strobe, or any other studio light that requires a Bowens mount. (Note: The FJ400 strobe comes with this insert, so you don't need to purchase it separately.) If you want to use the Rapid Box Switch modifiers with a non-Bowen mount strobe, Westcott makes several other types of inserts. If you have any questions about which insert you need, just give Westcott customer service a call - they are great!

Westcott Beauty Dish Switch (Joel Grimes) - https://geni.us/RBS_grimes_beautydish

The first modifier I purchased. It creates beautiful light, is versatile, and it is collapsible and easy to transport.

Wescott Beauty Dish Switch Egg Crate Grid - https://geni.us/RBS_eggcrate_beauty

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 1x4 Stripbank Softbox - https://geni.us/RBS_1x4

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 1x4 Stripbank Softbox Egg Crate Grid - https://geni.us/RBS_1x4_eggcrate

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 2x3 Softbox - https://geni.us/RBS_2x3_softbox

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 2x3 Softbox Egg Crate Grid - https://geni.us/RBS_2x3_eggcrate

This Westcott Rapid Box Switch 2x3 modifier is another great first or second softbox purchase if you are on a tight budget. Consider spending the money on a softbox such as this one, and then purchase a couple of parabolic umbrellas to use as round modifiers. Umbrellas are inexpensive, and the light can be softened by bouncing the light through a diffusion cover, or by shooting through the umbrella. I often prefer the light I get from umbrellas as it is softer than that of a beauty dish, but a bit edgier than that of a softbox.

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 3x4 Softbox - https://geni.us/RBS_3x4

Westcott Rapid Box Switch 3x4 Softbox Egg Crate Grid - https://geni.us/RBS_3x4_eggcrate

Westcott 43" Collapsible White Parabolic Umbrella with Removable Black Cover - https://geni.us/parabolic_umbrella_43

This umbrella can be used as a bounce umbrella or a shoot-through umbrella, as it features a removable black cover.

Westcott Rapid Box Switch Octa-L Softbox - https://geni.us/RBS_Octa_L

Westcott Rapid Box Switch Octa-L Egg Crate Grid - https://geni.us/RBS_Octa_L_eggcrate

This softbox is 48" in diameter and is very versatile. It can also be used as a large beauty dish by adding a Westcott XL Deflector Plate (sold separately.)

Westcott 7' White Diffusion Parabolic Umbrella - https://geni.us/Westcott_7ft_Umbrella

Works great as both a strobe light modifier and a scrim in mid-day sun. Creates beautiful, diffuse light.

Westcott 7' Silver/Black Parabolic Umbrella - https://geni.us/7ft_silver-black

I prefer the Silver/Black Parabolic Umbrella to the White/Black Parabolic umbrella. But again, my style is a bit edgier, so if you like a softer light, you may prefer the white/black 7' umbrella.

Westcott 7' White/Black Parabolic Umbrella - https://geni.us/7ft_white-black

Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella Diffusion Cover - https://geni.us/7ft_diffusion_cover

5-in-1 Light Reflector - https://geni.us/5-in-1_Reflector

I like the Neewer light reflectors for both their quality and price. Impact and Westcott reflectors are good too, but they can be a bit more expensive. You can purchase 5-in-1 light reflectors in several different sizes and shapes, and I suggest purchasing them in matching pairs. Some of these reflectors also have handles that make them easy to hold and allow you to attach them to a light stand or tripod arm via 1/4" screw threads.

V-Flats - https://geni.us/v-flats

These light modifiers are rather expensive, but they fold and are therefore quite portable given their size. They are also super versatile, and convenient. A nice-to-have that can be roughly reproduced for less money with foam core and gaffer's tape. If you can't bring yourself to spring for V-Flats, check with local art supply stores, sign companies, or grip equipment companies to see if they carry large pieces of black and white foam core.


Westcott 2-in-1 Black and White Collapsible Backdrop - https://geni.us/Westcott_2-in-1_bkdrp

Works great as a portable backdrop, but can also be used for fill light (white side) or negative fill (black side). Very handy.

Savage Seamless Paper - https://geni.us/Savage_Seamless_Paper

Great backdrop paper with endless color options. For neutral gray, I like #27 Thunder Gray, but #74 Smoke Gray is the closest to 18% Gray (RGB 127-127-125). Fashion Gray #56 is a good choice for compositing in overlays during post-processing,

Gravity Backdrops - https://geni.us/gravity_backdrop

Pricey but amazing. These backdrops are an investment for sure, but wow!


Savage Porta-Stand Backdrop Stand - https://geni.us/Savage_Port-A-Stand

Impact Heavy-Duty Cushioned Light Stand - 9.5' - https://geni.us/Impact_Lightstand_95

Westcott Mini-Boom Arm - https://geni.us/Westcott_Mini-Boom

Savage Multi-Flex Light Stand - 10' - https://geni.us/Savage_Multi-Flex_10

A bit more expensive than the Impact light stand, but this stand has a really unique leg design that allows for easy setup in uneven terrain and tight spaces.

Avenger Roller Stand 34 with Folding Base (Chrome-Plated/Black, 11') - https://geni.us/Avenger_Rollerstand_11

While this stand can be taken on location, it is heavy and not as portable as the Impact and Savage light stands. But it is a great addition to a studio as it is on wheels and therefore can be easily moved.

Avenger D-600 Mini-Boom Arm - https://geni.us/Avenger_D600_Mini-Boom

This is another mini boom option. Pairs well with the Avenger Roller stand.

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