Like most people, I would like this, and I’d like that, I may even ‘need’ something, but that list is pretty much endless and unfortunately my finances are not, (fairly far from it, and I like being married, and having a house)….

So what can I do ‘on the cheap’ to acheive the results I want… OK maybe not the exact results I want but a close approximation until “when funds allow…”

Now I love all sorts of photography, and really enjoy weddings, commercial family portraits etc, but I have a definite passion for headshots and fashion/beauty photography!

Now with these type of shots, especially close up headshots, it’s all about the lighting and the catchlights, (those little bits of light in people’s eyes), nice catchlights in the eyes can just ‘make the shot’… Now I have ‘toys’ like a Lastolite Tri Flector, which sits below a beauty dished Lencarta light and makes 4 little catch lights in people’s eyes, like so:

But I want a ring flash, and I want one now…. oh hang on the good ones are £400+ ( example PixaproRiko400) now then, I see a small problem (roughly £380+, I have £20 in the kitty), I want the shadowless shot with nice little ring catchlights… how do I get the ring flash without the cash? Well I suppose, I’m studio based for this, so I don’t need it to be portable and really I don’t ‘need’ it to flash, so I only need a ring light…. still £100 ish… so now I see a smaller problem (roughly £80)…. I guess it stops here….

Or at least until, as we all do, I got lost in IKEA…. on one of the many wrong turns and laps of the store I ended up in the Children’s section, and stood in front of the lights… where I saw LJUSNING “Frame with LED lighting” which is a circlular frame to go around a picture with LED lighting to light up the picture, (but importantly just about big enough to go round a face)… price £14.. (problem now -£6, I like that, there’s food in IKEA, might cost me £20 after all…)

So, purchase made I put the light on the desk in the studio, (I’d eaten the food and the wrapper already in bin), and left it there….  Now a few days later, I’m in SimpLee Studio, hosting our Portfolio Night, the light had just been sat there, but now I need a 3rd shooting area to have something to keep people interested…..

A quick test shoot by me, using only the light around and that produced by the frame itself…. (settings: best check)

I guess that works…. So, now I let the rest of the photographers loose…

A few examples by David Richardson who attended the Portfolio night at

Now I own a £20 Meike ring flash, which is great for macro, but small, now I’ll admit I still want a more expensive ring flash (such as the Pixapro Riko 400 but I’ve given myself time to save up and still enjoy the basic effect, of course I may have built a bigger DIY ringlight along the way, but for now, I’ll enjoy the ‘plug & play’ of my £14 IKEA light..)

Images copyright of photographers and words (and my images) copyright me… I’ve started moving model photography fromPumpkin Pictures (Facebook) to AWThurm Images (Facebook).

Models Ashley Robinson (Triflector), Alisha Cowie (my test shot) and Jazmine Nichol (David’s shots), Hair of Alisha and Jazmine by Gemma Lousie Douglas and make up by ELB makeup Artistry.


Credit: Adrian Thurm   Website

For further information regarding the RIKO400, please click Here