Lighting equipment can quickly add up in cost, but you do not always need top-level equipment and multi-light setups with esoteric modifiers to get great results. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to get professional portraits using nothing more than a simple speedlight and an umbrella.
Coming to you from Mark Wallace with Adorama TV, this great video tutorial will show you how to shoot portraits using nothing more than a speedlight and an umbrella. The beauty of this setup is that it is incredibly cheap; you can get a third-party speedlight and a shoot-through umbrella for less than $100. This is a fantastic way to start out if you are new to artificial lighting, as it will give you equipment with which to experiment without breaking the bank, plus it is generally better to learn using a single light at first. This will allow you to more easily build an intuitive understanding of things like fall-off and subject-to-light distance before you move on to more complicated setups. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Wallace.
If you would like to continue learning about lighting for portraits, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"