Lighting stands and supports

Sturdy and reliable lighting stands are essential for any photographer working with  studio lights. To control light, we need to be able to get it in the right position, whether this be on a boom arm, floor stand or C-stand.

Building from the smallest floor stands to the towering giraffe booms, Karl reviews some of the supports he uses in studio while also providing valuable tips on how to make the best use of them.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Various size lighting stands
  • Lighting stand accessories and attachments
  • Speciality grips
  • Custom modifications and attachments
  • Working safely with stands and supports
  • What to consider when buying stands and supports

NOTE: This photography class is available with English subtitles.


  1. Hi Karl,

    I finally decided to join your courses and love them (as I do with your YouTube videos). They are exactly what I need to grow while starting my product photography business, so thank you very much.
    Only fear I have that I what to buy something new after every single video 😀
    At least for the stands I made good use of the old microphone and cymbal stands from my drumming days.
    Looking forwad to such much contant. Cheers from Germany!

    1. Hello in Germany! I’m glad you have made use of your music stands, you will also find me making or using things here to solve problems, there is always a way!

  2. Hi After watching this and taking notes to compare different options myself, I do have one question remaining (for now) : what is the main difference between the first Giraffe boom (Manfrotto Light Boom35 085BS) priced at 390 euro’s and the C-Stand boom (Avenger D600 Mini Boom at 200 euro + Avenger C-Stand 33 with sliding leg at 215 euro).

    In the video the first one seems the “bigger” solution, although the c-stand is more expensive. Which option is the one to go for if your budget only allows one (even if that one is more expensive af the other option).

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Benny, if you have the space the bigger giraffe booms with the orange weight on the ends are my preferred choice as you have more reach and height.

  3. Hi,
    Except for the very large ones, lightstands in the video are mostly black and all c-stands are silver. Any specific preference or reason to avoid a specific color?

    1. Hi Benny, no just C-stands most commonly come in chrome. This can be a nuisance sometimes due to reflections on the product but when this happens I just cover them with black cloth.

  4. I’m thinking of getting either a floor stand or floor stand with the extension pole or a mini stand. Which of the 3 would be more useful for food and product photography? Thanks!

    1. Hi Joycelje, floor stands are great for floor level lighting only in my opinion although often I just end up putting the light on the floor on a brick, they are not good with the pole in my opinion. I think you’re better with the mini stands as they are a little more stable.

  5. Here is a helpful bit of advice. I have several basic stands, but I wanted to add some booms and custom parts. One part I found in short supply were spigots. I started to look at buying some extra parts but I found they were going to cost me approx $40 Canadian each. As an option, my first thought was to use a metal work service to lath out the spigots. Spigots are really quite simple so I chose to approach several of my local high schools to see if the teacher could get some students in a metal work program to make me several from aluminum. As it turns out the metalwork classes wouldn’t run until September, but the teacher suggested that his industrial 3D class could use the project to 3D print them. He was happy to get the students to produce a half dozen for me to test out at no cost. The lesson: Think of possible solutions and alternatives within the new modern manufacturing framework.

      1. Not sure what is with Canada, but the same item Pounds to Canadian Dollars should be $25.58 Can .. (x1.71) from Manfrotto Canada they list at $32.95 plus shipping. They would cost me a little under $40 ea.

  6. Hi Karl
    You mention a short stand. Do you happen to know the model number as I need to order one and don’t want to make a mistake as I’m ordering from abroad.

  7. hi ,
    I will be a great help for the members if you can post what equipment brand that you show in the video and link to buy it.


    1. Hi Jaai, the equipment is all detailed in the equipment list on the right hand side a little lower down the page. 🙂

  8. Hi Karl, I’m loving watching these multiple times! I’m wondering with a para 88 (or 133) since I don’t have the massive stand that you’re using for those but am using a Matthews baby junior stand. Where is the sandbag meant to go for that type (or tripod style stands in general)? I presume this type of stand would be sturdy enough wouldn’t it (not super high extended), they’re within the weight limits so hope so !

    1. Hi Cameron, yes it should do the job but always apply caution not only for the safety of your equipment but also the safety of your subjects. I use the type of sandbag that has a handle and has two overhanging sides. On a stand like that if you can get it over the cross support over the leg but if not then just over one leg close to the centre. Also always try to have one of the three legs in the same direction as the Para which also helps prevent it tipping over.

  9. Hi Karl,
    what is the arm with the spigot connector (minute 12:00) called? I can’t find that one… thanks for your help! 🙂

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Jens, at 12:00 that is an Avenger (short) C-stand with a Grip. (it’s called a grip but it’s basically a metal rod and clamping system to the C-stand). Sometimes you can buy them together as a kit and sometimes separately. I’ll check in the studio tomorrow and see exactly which height etc it was as they do a few different sizes.

  10. Hi Karl, I think it’s worth mentioning that unlike tripods, C-stands can be placed side-by-side with the legs overlapping due to them having different heights.

  11. Hi Karl,
    Why don’t you use Foba system?
    I know that it is most expensive stands, but I also found them very convenient to use in studio.

    1. Hi Leonid, I’ve used Foba before they are very good. A bit pricey but very good. I use Manfrotto for nearly everything and they are superb too.

  12. I forgot top press the notify me button

    hi Karl , what stand is best for reflectors , to give good stability and the best freedom to adjust the direction of reflector etc , im using 95cm Lastolite 48″ White/Silver Collapsible

    1. Hi Steve, I find a good C-stand to be the most steady/strongest and then you can attach a Lastolite reflector holder to the C-stand. Just make sure the Lastolite reflector holder/arm is the right dimension/adjustable etc.

  13. hello Karl,
    What is the arm you put into the Avenger rotule grip
    D200 over the c-stand ?
    Thank you very much

  14. Hi Ben, the draft boom with the extension tubes looks really interesting, but I can’t find it at Manfrotto. Could you tell me the identification number please? Thanks in advance, Uwe

  15. Hello!
    I’m absolutely loving all of these tutorials, so informative and straight to the point.

    I was wondering, though, what C-Stand brands would you recommend? Are there any bad quality C-stands we should be avoiding?

    Thank you!

    1. Manfrotto avenger C-stands are the best, from our experience their items like these always seem to be the highest quality, plus you get the 15% off so being a member on here, I don’t think there is any particular brand you should overly avoid though

  16. Hi Karl: Two questions. What is the brand/model of the suction pump stand you showed, and where can I leave a recommendation for this entire course (not just this segment)?


    1. Hi Phil, the suction pump is Manfrotto 241 Pump Cup (thats a newer version, karl’s is old now) I’ve added it into equipment list as well, as for the recommendation for the course I’m afraid there isn’t away, however if you want to leave your thoughts on here we can add it as a testimonial, hope your enjoying everything ?

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