You have the perfect camera that suits your shooting style. You have got the appropriate lens that takes the right picture that you imagine. Moreover, is it just the camera or a lens that fulfils your purpose? No, to make a true portrait you must have tools such as lights, modifiers, reflectors, gels and more.
Moreover, to proceed for your next portrait session, you must have the following essentials to ensure you have everything you need.
Modifiers are used to control light. We use beauty dish to create classic lighting which is ideal for portrait photography. However, it is big and inconvenient to travel and isn’t a versatile option.
Therefore, use softbox; which is the best general purpose lighting modifier. It is light and easy to carry. It folds like an umbrella for easy storage and transportation.
2. Light Stands:
Lights and modifiers are of little use without light stands. It is important to choose the right stand for your equipment. Heavyweight stands and boom arms are used for heavy heads and studio lights.
However, for lightweight heads and speed lights, light stands are the best. It is good for studio and location shoots.
3. Portable Flash Unit:
Flashes are the second source of light that helps the camera focus on the primary subject and not the different part of the frame.
Illuminating with flash is commonly used for portrait photography, weddings, event photography, concert photography and more.
Tripods aren’t a necessary equipment for shooting portraits. It is optional because the camera can be easily handheld during a shoot.
However, the tripods are useful when using a heavier system. Having a tripod for support becomes more important when using longer lenses without stabilization. It is also useful for shooting a series of portraits, school pictures or corporate headshots with a consistent framing.
5. Calibration Unit:
Calibrating your camera & lenses before & after the photo session. It is essential for focusing the subject otherwise your screen will display wrong colors.
The calibration kit enables you to calibrate every step of your capturing process.
6. Light Meter:
A light meter takes the reading of the incident light that actually hits your subject. However, your camera does come with a light meter but it reflects the reflected light that bounces off from your subject.
Therefore, use a light meter to get the empirical reading of the light to get perfect exposure every time.
7. Colored Gels:
Colored gels create stunning portraits. A classic portrait or a graphic expression embellishes with the subtle & vibrant colors that can be achieved with the use of colored gels.
However, getting cheap colored papers from local shops won’t give you the full creative control that you can achieve with gels.
Reflector is the supplemental lighting arrangement that illuminates your portraits. Sometimes, it won’t be easy to set up the light and stand at places that may be too windy. Sometimes, you won’t have the socket to set up the flash or you may not have any lights even. A reflector is the alternative of the light and flash.
Moreover, it manipulates the existing light, whether you’re shooting outdoors or indoors..
9. Gaffer Tape:
Gaffer tapes are used to tape lighting cables, backdrops, affixing gels, flash units, repairing broken light stands and more.
It is an absolute must for every photographer, especially portrait artists.
10. Crocodile Clips:
These are the handy clips that keep anything in place. It is used to dress a set with fabric or other materials.
Therefore, it is important to keep the important portrait essentials in your bag or in the studio wherever you shoot. Whether it’s a meter to measure light, calibration instruments or a tape roll for instant fitting in an emergency.