This question took me by surprise when I was asked it recently. No one had ever asked me that before, and I had never really thought about it. I briefly ran through a checklist in my head of what makes a photographer a “studio photographer”.

I use lights. Check. My lights have softboxes on them. I rarely shoot outdoors. So how am I not a studio photographer?

Maybe I should call myself a continuous light photographer? Or is it someone shooting outside in the sun? So many unanswered questions!

Well, let me answer a question. Here’s why I love shooting with continuous lights so much.

Use continuous lighting

Steady light is a permanently on light that never blinks. These types of studio lights are similar to a house light. Turn on the switch and the light comes on. Turn it off and the light goes out.

There are three main types of continuous light bulbs: Fluorescent, tungsten and LED. There are even continuous lights that can do multiple color temperatures.

Benefits of Continuous Lighting

First, I can see the lighting effect with real-time continuous lighting, which makes these kinds of lights perfect for beginners. Seeing the light in real time allows me to quickly adjust my light placements and power. Giving me the advantage of moving quickly around the board.

Continuous light kits tend to be much cheaper, which makes my overhead more affordable for me and my client.

When shooting with continuous lights, I don’t have to worry about additional remotes or shutters. Continuous lights don’t need it. It saves me the frustration of having to make sure all my lights on set turn on the same channel or sync together.

A continuous light kit not only works for photography lighting but can also double up if I need to shoot video. Video lighting is almost always done with continuous lighting. Making these light sources so versatile. My client can easily take cool pictures or videos behind the scene without disturbing the filming.

Disadvantages of continuous lighting

That said, there are a few drawbacks when shooting with continuous lights – the main one being that you have less control over your light. This means that you are limited on the amount of energy your light emits. You’re kind of stuck with a certain fixed light intensity. You tend to have a small power band and very few power stops to work with, which doesn’t always allow you to master the ambient light.

Continuous light kits require an outlet or battery to operate, which makes them a bit more difficult to transport.

In the world of strobes, your choice of modifiers is endless. However, with continuous lights, you don’t have the same selection. Especially as more and more continuous light kits become light panels.

I have noticed that some of the continuous light kits tend to overheat a little faster than the strobes. When left on for too long or used at full power.

Continuous or strobe lights…it doesn’t matter if you love your job!

Even after all these inconveniences, I still love the continuous light and will continue to use it. I doubt most people can really tell the difference by looking at my work. And to be honest, I don’t think it really matters if you’re using continuous lights or strobes. As long as you love your job!

So yeah, I’m a studio photographer who uses continuous lights and I’M VERY GOOD AT IT! #micdrop

My favorite lamp is Wild RGB Portrait Kit. This kit has been a staple in my studio for a good three years. Check out my first review here.


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