The fact that you are here is key to the whole process. Strobist exists to help people to learn about lighting. So without you, there's no point. But I thought you also might like to learn about some of the other things that make this site happen.
Strobist does not accept ads from the auctioning networks that you see, well, pretty much everywhere else on the web. Which is why you will never get annoyed by pop-up and interstitial ads. Nor will you by tracked out the wazoo, which is the thing I particularly hate about the big ad networks.
Since it began in 2006, Strobist has been supported by a small group of people and organizations. The advertisers and partnerships are not associated by chance. They are hand-chosen, based on quality and appropriateness for the site's readership. Here are some of the people and companies who make it possible for you to get the site's courses for free.
Strobist's very first (and lead) partner, Midwest Photo, is exactly the kind of camera store you wish existed in your town. They specialize in lighting, are big enough to serve all of your needs, and small enough to offer a very personal experience. (Seriously, order something from them and you'll see what I mean.)
Midwest President Moishe Appelbaum has worked nonstop over the past decade to source the best possible gear for small flash shooters. And where he could not source it, he made it. And then went on to make better and better versions. That's why Midwest's small flash Jumpstarter kits are, item for item, the best small-flash kits in the world.
The included LumoPro light stand, umbrella and flash all contain innovations that no other models have. They've even spent the last six months fine-tuning a new flash swivel to make it the best version in the world.
Yes, obsessing over a flash swivel. I am not making this up. It's coming in March.
MAC Group US
MAC Group US is one of the largest photo gear distributors in the world. Among their many brands are Elinchrom and Phottix, both of whom are constantly breaking new ground in studio lighting and the speedlight-big light continuum, respectively.
But the thing that truly makes MAC Group stand out in the industry is their ongoing commitment to students and educators. Their EDU unit offers educational content—and special pricing—to students pursuing a degree in photography. This puts their mission squarely in line with that of this site, and they deserve a strong look whether you are a student or an established pro.
Formerly known as California Sunbounce, don't let that name fool you. Sunbounce is headquartered in Germany, and their gear is designed and manufactured there. They make a system-oriented range of super-light, super-strong collapsible light bouncers and shapers that are considered to be the best of their kind in the world. It is not cheap, but it is loved the world over by flash and continuous light shooters alike.
Even so, President Peter Geller will happily show you how to make your own DIY light shapers for free.
That they take the time to educate people who are starting out (i.e., light of wallet) speaks volumes about them.
Paul C. Buff
Strobist's newest (and oldest) partner is Paul C. Buff. As a company, PCB began their partnership with Strobist in 2016. But they are also my oldest partner personally, in that I have been using Paul C. Buff lighting gear for nearly 30 years. I don't think I can give a better endorsement that that.
The company was named for its founder, Paul Conrad Puff, who I was lucky enough to count as a friend until his passing in 2015. And Paul C. Buff the Company continues with his mission: to make innovative and reasonably priced studio lights that offer outstanding value for dollar, and to offer world-class after-sale support.
Only available in the US, PCB lights are the most popular brand of studio lights sold in this country—and for good reason. I am very proud to count them as partners in Strobist's ongoing mission of offering quality free lighting education.
So if you find the information on this site valuable and want to help to sustain it, you now know who to thank. And you could hardly ask for a more appropriate group of businesses to support.
Lastly, there is no monkey business going on at your expense behind the scenes at Srobist. We don't track you. We do not do paid posts. We don't do reviews in exchange for free stuff, etc. The sole mission at Strobist is to offer the best possible lighting education for free, and to partner with companies that work in support of that mission.
And that's it.
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