My New Photography Lighting Kit

March 19, 2013 | by Jocie (email) |

YAY – I got a new lighting kit! *insert excited gasp here!* Let me preface myself…this is not a how-to article. I have no wisdom, no great project. I’m not trying to sell a product or plug a company. I am just super excited about my new photography lighting kit and wanted to share it with you! I would also love to hear your experience and tips, too!

Awhile ago, Heather from At the Picket Fence shared on FB that she purchased a lighting kit and loved it. I pushed it to the back of my brain and forgot about it. Then recently, I my camera broke! AHHHH. It is currently out for repairs, but in trying to learn a DSLR, I have been struggling to get great pictures. Not that my pictures before were amazing, but they pass for decent.

Either way, I want better pictures because regardless of how great a project is, if the pictures stink, no one can tell just how great it is! So, I asked around about a lighting kit and Jacque at the DIY village recommended this continuous lighting kit with umbrellas from for $59.99. Included is:

  • Two(2) Tripod/Light Stands, 7 Ft Max Height
  • One(1) Tripod/Mini Light Stand, Maximum Height is 2.2 Ft
  • Three(3) Light Sockets
  • Two(2) 33″ Soft Umbrellas
  • Three(3) 45 Watt 5500k Daylight Balanced Photo Light Bulbs Lighting Kit

In my book, that’s pretty darn cheap. They are good lights for tabletop photography or very small studio shots, which for me, most of my blog photography is done on a small-scale. Plus, with amazon Prime, it shipped for free in two days. woot woot!

After it arrived, I set it up and did a little practice run with the help of my lovely assistants. Now, again, I am no professional photographer. This is not meant to be a pat on the pat for my photography skills – so just enjoy the pretty smiles. lol.

Little OPC Photographer

Obviously, Lucy didn’t want to be left out as I set up the gear. Oops, no pants, better do something about that! haha

OPC The Better Half

Baby also wanted her picture taken, which was much easier since she likes to sit still.

Baby - OPC The Better Half

In my rush to try things out, I didn’t set up the third light. I probably should have because it would have been nice to have even more light to account for my wiggly girls!


Photo Shoot - OPC The Better Half

I also did a real quick, 10-minute photo shoot (at night, in my basement) with my cute Framed Easter Jelly Bean Nest. I wanted to test of the practical difference between using no flash, bounce flash, the lighting kit with umbrellas, lighting kit with no umbrellas, and also figuring out how much photo editing needed to be done. Again, everything would look better if I had shot the pictures during the day, but for nighttime, it was pretty good.

First, I tried taking a picture with no flash, bounce flash or lighting kit, just the crappy overhead light in our basement.

WithoutFlash - OPC The Better Half

Then, I used the bounce flash, but no lighting kit.


Next, with the lighting kit, but no umbrellas, just the naked bulbs.


And here, with the umbrellas on the bulbs, reflecting the light back at the frame – a much softer, better light and coloring.


And finally, I increased the exposure just a tad on the photo editing software and it becomes a good picture!


Here’s the side-by-side progression!

LightingCollage - OPC The Better Half

Obviously, knowing my camera better would also go a long way – I am definitely a novice! And I am realistic that good pictures still take work, but with better lighting, I’m hopeful that it will be a bit easier!

What do you think? Any quick photography tips for this beginner?

Thanks so much for sharing in my excitement about my new lighting kit! Also, be sure to check out our feature over at Dollar Store Crafts on Dollar Store Easter Decor.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and Pinterest!

17 Responses
  1. Very cool. Does the whole kit break down and store easily?

  2. Gwen says:

    Wow. That is awesome! I love how you showed us the progression of lighting… Now I really want a lighting kit!

  3. Just purchased for my wifey’s birthday. Looks like decent kit for the money. Way cheaper than a speed light.

  4. Jacque says:

    You know this is one of my favorite kits! So glad to see it’s working out so well for you!

  5. Chris Paulis says:

    Nice, Joc! You can see how much better your colors are now that you have 5500K lamps (and, hopefully, your camera set to the daylight white balance setting)!

  6. Chris Paulis says:

    You would probably find it even more useful if you had bulbs with higher wattage. Play around with using one light without the umbrella, and placed fairly close to the subject but off to one side; and place one with the umbrella above your camera as fill. This would give shape to objects and people and control the contrast from highlights to shadows.

  7. poiboybf says:

    Wow what a difference. Amazing that that’s the quality you can get at night in a basement. What kind of camera were these taken with?

  8. Ann says:

    Oh Jocie now I want this more than ever! I think it would be so helpful with my food photos…which are such a struggle for me. I think I will have to just do it…and soon!

  9. Eek565 says:

    This looks like a great gift for my wife. She likes taking the kids Easter and Christmas pictures herself to save us money, but lighting is always an issue because you as said, kids are squirmy and a lot of the good shots are blurry.

  10. paintergal says:

    I had no idea these were even available! Smart investment.

  11. mom2kaelyn says:

    fabulous. I’ve also been learning my dslr and have been toying with taking a hobbyist class so I can take better pictures and feel more comfortable with my camera.

  12. Mary Sue Paulis says:

    Great photos to show the difference the different types of lighting makes!

  13. JustME says:

    Jocie, thanks for this wonderful and timely post. I’ve debated about this before back when I was doing a little photography on the side. I’ve been an amateur photographer for pretty much all my life since my folks were big into photography of both stills and movies, as we called them back then.
    After reading the above I’m thinking I’ll buy myself this set up for my upcoming birthday. I hope it’ll pack easily in my suitcase so I can take it to Hawaii to get great shots of our soon to be new granddaughter Khloe. I don’t need so many clothes since we’ll be in warm Hawaii, right?
    Again thanks so much for taking the time to show all the differences. All the words in the world couldn’t have told a better story. <3

  14. Allyson says:

    I have been wanting to get some of these, but never know which ones to get. I am going to pin this set for feature reference! Thanks so much!

  15. trebor says:

    Are they all standing lights or do/can they hook up to your flash? Depending on your camera you could hook those plus your shutter up to a remote to make taking pictures even easier.

  16. DeDe says:

    Wow, what a great deal! I was truly expecting a higher price tag! I love how it stores up too! I am adding this to my want list!

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