Equipment: Stands, Triggers and Receivers
All you need to know about your stand is that it is sturdy. It will need to support your strobe as well as your light modifier.
You may also want to invest in a sandbag or two to put on the base of your stand. This really helps when using large light modifiers!
Another great tip is to attach wheels to your stand so you can easily move it during a session. My studiomate Kim taught me this and it’s so helpful, especially when using a large modifier.
Triggers and Receivers
The trigger is what enables your camera to communicate with your light. The trigger is activated when your shutter is activated. It communicates with the receiver on your lights and fires your strobes.
When it comes to radio triggers and receivers, there are a ton of choices.
I use the Pocket Wizard Plus X. They are great and not super expensive.
Whatever system you use, just know that one (the receiver) plugs into your strobe, and the other (the trigger) goes on your camera.
The only other thing to remember is to make sure your trigger and your receiver are set to the same channel so your camera and lights can communicate with each other.
Most triggers will fit on your camera’s hot shoe and fire when your shutter is released.
If your camera has a leaf shutter you will need a male to male sync cord. The cord attaches the trigger to the lens (or camera body) so that your light will fire when your shutter is released.
Trigger on a hot shoe. Trigger on a leaf shutter.
Once everything is plugged in and your channels are set, you are good to go!
Sync chords are a great alternative to a radio trigger and receiver, and they work basically the same. You plug one end into a trigger on your hot shoe or into the attachment spot on your leaf shutter, and the other end into the back of your strobe unit. This will tether your camera to the strobe so the light will fire when your shutter is released.
I have a hard time working smoothly when tethered, so I prefer the wireless option.