The type of light you need, either soft box or umbrella, depends on the type of photography you are going to perform.  If you are taking pictures of inanimate objects, such as items for advertising campaigns, then you will want to have the umbrella lights, to remove any shadows.  This allows your clients to see the complete product, and you do not have to worry about any part of the item being concealed.

If you are taking pictures of living models, then the soft box may be the better light.  This light softens the shadows, but does not eliminate them entirely.  Many times, when working with live models, you want to leave some shadows in the photo, to give it a specific look.  You can also use the shadows to enhance certain features of your models, while hiding others.  This allows you to work with models that are not perfect, and use lighting and angles to cover up those flaws.

I Have a Soft Box but Do I Need Flash or Continuous Light?

Again, the difference between soft box flash and continuous light is based upon the subject of the photograph.  Objects need to have continuous light, so that it can be adjusted to remove all of the shadows and put the product in the best light.  Live models work better with flash lighting, because this allows him or her to move their body and create or eliminate shadows based upon their pose.  Professional models know how to move their bodies to make the most of their assets and hide their personal flaws.  This also gives you more room to work with shadows, to create specific effects that can enhance the product that the model is selling, whether it is a handbag or a new dress.

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