In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
Some canvas backdrops include subtle patterns that provide an interesting but neutral background that doesn’t compete with a portrait subject for attention. Darker backgrounds can be used for low-key lighting, while a lighter, well-lit photo background can create a completely different high-key mood. Canvas backdrops at Adorama range in price from around $135.00 for a 5×7 to $270.00 for an 8×8-foot cloth.
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