Top Lighting Gifts for New Photographers

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Top Lighting Gifts for the Photographer

Lighting is one of the most important tools a photographer can have, which is why lighting accessories can make excellent gifts for photographers of all skill levels. But if you’re a new photographer or giving a gift to one, knowing what to get can be difficult. We have assembled a list of lighting gifts we'd recommend, especially for newbies, so you can hone your lighting skills with some of our favorite introductory accessories.

The Intro 2-Light Kit

Lighting kits are a great choice for new photographers because they include everything you need to hit the ground running. A great lighting kit will even provide a strong enough foundation to build upon as you grow. For ambitious new photographers, we recommend monolight kits because they offer a great mixture of power, control, and convenience.

You could opt for a top-of-the-line product like Profoto’s B10X OCF Flash Duo Kit, which includes everything you need for a two-light setup besides the stands. This choice is not too intimidating to beginners, between the simple radio connectivity, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and compact size.

Profoto B10X OCF Flash Duo Kit
Profoto B10X OCF Flash Duo Kit

They also have the unique advantage of being able to sync with smartphones through Profoto’s app, so you can enjoy streamlined controls.

If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, we like the EX-100A 2-Monolight Kit from Impact, which bundles a pair of 100Ws monolights with softboxes, reflectors, sync cords, and light stands. This practical, reliable kit provides everything you need to shoot like a pro.

Impact EX-100A 2-Monolight Kit with Softboxes and Stands
Impact EX-100A 2-Monolight Kit with Softboxes and Stands

Read More: Recommended Lighting Kits for Photography

The Radio Transceiver

If you already work with lights, you are likely looking for ways to optimize your process. We recommend incorporating a wireless trigger or remote, which will remove cables from your setup and provide more freedom to position your lights. Radio and IR systems are also conducive to multi-light setups, allowing you to create more complex configurations.

We recommend PocketWizard’s PlusX 2 Pack to beginners for its simple user interface and accuracy. More advanced photographers might consider a TTL-enabled trigger like Godox’s XProS TTL Wireless Flash Trigger, a popular option that gives great range and power control.

PocketWizard PlusX 2 Pack
PocketWizard PlusX 2 Pack

Read More: Guide to On-Camera Flash

The Flash Modifier

For speedlight users, a flash modifier is an essential accessory and an amazing gift. These accessories are a simple but effective means to alter your light’s output for practical and creative effects.

We recommend the Vello Mini Softbox, which attaches directly to the flash head to diffuse the light and produce softer shadows. You might also consider purchasing a MagMod Flash Kit system to enjoy a range of on-camera flash modifiers with ease. Finally, if you’re just looking for a bit of color to distinguish your photos, something like the Rogue Gels Universal Lighting Filter Kit is an ample 20-color set of gels and a band for adding dramatic splashes of color to your strobe shots.

Rogue Photographic Design Rogue Gels Universal Lighting Filter Kit (Set of 20 Gels)
Rogue Photographic Design Rogue Gels Universal Lighting Filter Kit (Set of 20 Gels)

Read More: The Best On-Camera Flashes of 2023

The Light Stand

It’s true, the light stand might not be the most exciting gift, but it is one of the most essential pieces of lighting equipment. Much like a tripod is the surest way to get sharp, shake-free shots, a light stand is the best way to hold your lights securely and safely and position them in a way for consistent use.

Impact’s 8' Air-Cushioned Light Stand Kit is certainly a favorite of ours, and it includes a pair of versatile stands for holding a variety of strobe types. Matthews Hollywood Century C-Stand Grip Arm Kit is another great option if you’re looking for a studio stand to hold heavier lights. There’s also Manfrotto’s 5001B Nano Light Stand, the perfect lightweight and portable option for location lighting needs.

Impact 8' Air-Cushioned Light Stand Kit (2-Pack)
Impact 8' Air-Cushioned Light Stand Kit (2-Pack)

Read More: The B&H Light Stand Buying Guide

Collapsible Reflectors, Panels, and Butterflies

Light modifiers extend far beyond a simple softbox. There are also tools like collapsible reflectors and butterflies/panels that you can hold to shape your light.

We like Raya’s 42" 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc for portraiture and product shoots. Its five separate surfaces provide many light quality adjustments, and it folds up into a small pouch that travels easily. For studio applications, V-Flat World’s V-Flat helps control unwanted reflections while reflecting light via its hinged pair of boards with one black side and one white side. Finally, there is Westcott’s 6 x 6' Scrim Jim Cine Kit, which can be used as a large diffusion or bounce panel and is suitable for strobe or natural-light use. As simple as it is effective, the Scrim Jim system is a versatile and portable means of gaining better control over your light.

Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (42")
Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (42")

Is there a lighting tool you think would be helpful for a new photographer? We want to hear your recommendations and tips in the Comments section, below.

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