A Budget Off Camera Flash Setup for Amazing Portraits

Take epic portraits with this cheap off camera flash setup

I recently decided to start shooting with off camera flash again to explore more dramatic lighting for portraits. I've been shooting natural light only for a few years after getting tired of carrying heavy battery packs and studio strobes on location, but the rise of brands like Neewer, Yongnuo, and Cowboy Studio have enabled photographers to create great light with a budget friendly and lightweight setup. This entire flash setup only costs $125, works with any DSLR camera body, and is a great starting point to add to later if you want to get into more elaborate flash setups with multiple strobes. 

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The Gear

Flash - Yongnuo YN560 IV - $68

Buy Yongnuo YN560 IV at Amazon

This flash body is one of the best values for any piece of gear on the market. It's powerful, the battery life is great, it recharges quickly, and includes wireless capabilities if you want to add additional flashes. It also includes an articulating head and bounce/diffuser attachments built in for using on camera for events, wedding receptions, or other similar settings. 

Wireless Triggers - Neewer 16 Channel Wireless Remote - $20

Buy Neewer 16 Channel Wireless Remote at Amazon

These flash triggers are super reliable and easy to use. The batteries last months and it comes with two receivers for additional flashes or to have as a backup.

Softbox - Neewer 24x36 Umbrella Softbox - $18

Buy Neewer 24x36 Umbrella Softbox at Amazon

This softbox Umbrella comes in two folding parts: the softbox portion that pops up with an umbrella arm, and the diffuser screen that attaches via velcro. It's lightweight and sets up in less than a minute. It includes a carrying bag that easily attaches to your camera bag or light stand.

Light Stand - Neewer 6ft. Light Stand - $16

Buy Neewer 6ft. Light Stand at Amazon

This light stand folds down to only 25", is made of aluminum, and extends all the way to 75"/6 ft. I like the construction of the legs because you can wrap your camera bag around or through them to secure the stand in case of wind or when shooting on a slope. 

Flash & Umbrella Bracket - Generic Flash Bracket - $5

Buy Generic Flash Bracket at Amazon

This bracket is how you will attach the flash, wireless trigger, and softbox to your light stand. It's articulating so you can rotate and tilt your light source to the angle you want and made of a durable plastic with metal fasteners. 

What's Next?

This is all the gear you need to get started with a great one light setup for portraits. The next article will go into detail about setting up and using the equipment, as well as settings for different lighting conditions, etc. If you have any questions about off camera flash, please ask below in the comments and I'll answer there or cover in part two of this series.

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