To cast a perfect, uniform light on their subjects & eliminate shadows from the shot, more and more experts in the field are relying on ring light photography.
Using a ring light in your shoots is one of the best ways to optimize your lighting on a budget - while still getting the perfect shot you're after.
But if you're used to using professional lighting equipment and you've never tried to shoot through a ring light before, you might not be sure how best to use one of these.
Fear not - in this short guide, we're going to explain everything you need to know about ring light photography - including just how important these are for your work, how you should go about using them (and what to avoid), and which ones we recommend for photographers like you.
Before we get into all of that, we're going to start by explaining what exactly a ring light is for those who are unfamiliar.
A ring light is a special type of lighting equipment that can be used for all sorts of things - one of which is, you guessed it, photographs.
These are exactly what they sound like - a ring-shaped light. They have a hole in the middle, which is where you'd put your camera to shoot through.
Featuring ultra-bright LED diodes, these lights do an excellent job of handling your lighting needs - whether you're shooting macro photography, portrait photography, just going for basic product shots, you name it.
There are different types of ring lights, too. Some are small enough to attach to your smartphone, helping you take better shots on your phone.
Then, you have the studio-style light rings that photographers and makeup artists alike rely on to create the perfect lighting.
We'll take a bit of a deeper dive into just how good ring lights are for photography in a moment - we want to first familiarize you with some of the other use cases for this type of light.
While ring lights are exceptional when it comes to capturing picture-perfect lighting for photographers, that's not the only instance in which you may need one of these.
Perfect lighting is essential in a number of different fields - it should go without saying that these are essential for videographers too.
Even if you're just vlogging or streaming - these will be a key part of your arsenal. They aren't just for the professionals, especially when you consider the budget-friendly price point!
Aside from those who work with a camera, there is another instance in which you'd rely on one of these to help you put out your best work - cosmetics.
Whether you're doing your own makeup or you're working on a client, ring lights are a great way to accentuate the fine details of a person's face so you can best apply cosmetics to them.
Details are everything, and a ring light brings those details out.
With all this said, you're really only here for one reason today - to learn how to use a ring light for photography!
So let's take a more in-depth look at this use case.
Ring lights are not just good for photography - they are essential, especially if you don't anticipate investing in expensive, professional photography lights with their stands.
These are perfect for portrait photography & product photography - but work for just about any time of photography you can imagine.
Weddings, glamour shots, headshots, you name it - the ring light will be your best friend when it comes to achieving the glow & even lighting you're after.
So, without further ado, we want to describe exactly how you should use a ring light for photography.
Setting up your ring light is the first step (aside from actually buying a ring light, which we will cover after this section), and will directly affect how well your photos turn out.
If you don't use the ring light correctly from the start, you're not going to unlock all the benefits it has to offer. You'll end up disappointed, likely blaming the ring light itself.
To avoid any of this, we're going to break down the dos and don'ts of ring light photography.
First and foremost, you want to set up your ring light. Most of them are plug-and-play, so after you purchase yours, you'll just need to unbox it, assemble the ring light stand and plug it into the wall!
Even better, most ring lights have different color temperature options. This helps you fine-tune the specific lighting color you put out onto your subject. If you're doing portrait photography on someone, you can lighten or darken the color temperature to their skin tone.
Similarly, if your background is super dark, you'll probably want to complement it with a whiter light source.
Using a ring light will obviously vary a bit from case to case, depending on what type of photography you're shooting, where you're shooting it, and the type of camera lens you're using.
Most often, we see people using these being used as the primary lighting source for a subject. This means you'll be putting your camera lens through the ring light when shooting.
This ends up creating a soft, diffused light on your subject - which effectively eliminates any and all shadows, wrinkles, and other imperfections.
One thing to note with putting your camera lens through the ring light is that the light will be cast directly on your subject's face if you're taking headshots.
This is really, really good for drawing the individual's eyes out in the picture and can work exactly as intended most of the time.
But if you're not careful, this could harm the person's eyes - or create catchlights or glares, particularly if the person is wearing glasses.
To combat this, you'll want to avoid shooting through the ring light. You can configure it a few other ways, either by placing the light source above your subject's head or by opting for other light sources instead - studio lights, or even natural sunlight!
On the note of using other ring lights, we want to mention that oftentimes, you'll want to compliment with natural light anyways.
If you shoot in a dark studio with nothing more than a ring light, you'll end up with a great shot right in the center of the light, but everything outside the focus of your subject will be shadowed.
In some cases, this is exactly what you want. Headshots, for example, are perfect for this type of setup. But if you're taking macro photography, you'll want to complement your light with other sources, anyway.
We mentioned earlier that it's imperative for you to find the best ring light kit for exactly what you are looking to do. These are not one size fits all!
That's why we recommend you shop for your light ring at Luvo - an online retailer offering the best ring lights for just about any use case.
They offer ring lights that can attach to your smartphone, helping you take better photographs with just your phone! If you're a selfie queen or Instagram influencer, this is a must-have.
But they also have professional, studio-style ring lights you can choose from as well. No matter what type you're after, you'll find something for you at Luvo.
With budget-friendly options and professional salon-style ring lights alike, the only hard part is choosing which one you want to invest in!
Now that you know how to use ring lights for photography, all that's left to do is find the right one for the type of work you do.
These will be your greatest asset other than your camera itself, as you won't have to wonder how you're going to create the perfect lighting ever again.
With the best ring light in your arsenal, you'll find that the quality of your shots skyrockets - a dream come true for any photographer, whether you're in this space for fun or to make a living.
All that's left to do is head over to Luvo and find the right product for you. Once you have it, you can come back for a refresher on our do's and don'ts of using ring a light right.