Want to up your blog photography game? Ready to take the plunge and invest in some lighting? Here’s everything you need to know about Ring Lights vs. Softboxes.
Earlier this month, my friend posted in a blogger’s support group asking for lighting recommendations. Having spent the past few years running an awesome blog, one of her goals for 2019 was to push her photography and invest in some lighting that would make her photos pop.
Her post in the support group was met with a bunch of suggestions for different types of artificial lights; the most common being a Ring Lights and Softboxes. Somewhat blogging staples, these two types of lighting have been some of the best told to take your photography up a notch. But, which one is better? More importantly, which one suits your style of blogging better? I thought I’d delve into the topic of lighting a little further in today’s blog post and explain some of the differences between the two types.
Let’s have a look…
What’s a Ring Light?
A Ring Light is a circular light that’s lined with LEDs. It is often used in portraiture photography or by photographers who are framing one subject matter. Due to the way a Ring Light diffuses light it creates what some call a halo effect. This can enhance facial features and highlight eyes without creating harsh shadows.
Who uses a Ring Light?
Due to the way a Ring Light can enhance facial features, it’s ideal for beauty bloggers who post make-up tutorials or other close-ups of their face.
YouTubers might also find this type of lighting useful as well as other bloggers who spent a lot of time in front of the camera.
The Pros of a Ring Light
• It’s great for bloggers who spent a lot of time in front of the camera.
• The light takes up little room and space as it can be mounted on a wall, desk or adjustable arm.
The Cons of a Ring Light
• It can be one of the pricier types of artificial lighting and costs £70+ on Amazon.
• Some models won’t allow you to replace the LEDs in the light.
• The light can be of limited use to bloggers who aren’t frequently in front of the camera.
What are Softboxes?
A Softbox is a pop-up box that is positioned around a bulb. It features reflective panels on the inside of the box and a piece of diffusing material that covers the front of it.
Unlike a Ring Light, Softboxes are often sold and used in pairs. Each box is mounted on an adjustable stand and can be positioned at a variety of angles when you’re taking photographs.
Who uses Softboxes?
Due to Softboxes being sold in pairs, it means that they’re a flexible type of blog lighting that will suit a variety of bloggers. Rather than focusing on one subject matter (like a Ring Light does) with Softboxes, you can use the lights to photograph more than one item. This mean that they’re ideal for lightstyle bloggers who photograph styled flat lays or product shots.
Bloggers are able to move the lights around, to suit the scene that they are photographing. Moreover, they also have the option of lighting a scene from above by increasing the height of the Softboxes and using the extendable arms.
The Pros of Softboxes
• They’re great for bloggers who take flat lays or photograph a wide range of objects
• They are slightly more affordable with pricing starting at £45 on Amazon.
• Softbox bulbs can be replaced in the lights and are easy and affordable to purchase.
The Cons of Softboxes
• Due to the scale of Softboxes, it takes time and room to set-up the lights.
• Experimenting with the positioning of Softboxes can take some getting used to.
• The bulbs inside the Softboxes can be fragile and require storage.
I hope this guide was useful to those looking to invest in artificial lighting for blog photography. Personally on this blog, I use Softboxes to light all my flat lays. If you have any specific questions about them, feel free to ask them in the comments below.
Alternatively, if you already use one of these types of lighting, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell me how a Ring Light or Softboxes has helped your blog photography. Until next time.