Elemental Lighting - A Customer Service Review

Hamish Gill

Tech Support (and Marketing)
Around this time last year I started thinking about setting up my studio (yes it has taken me that long, and no im not finished yet... what can i say, I'm a busy man).
I was, and still am, a member of the popular photography site ephotozine, and whilst this forum was a mere twinkle in my eye i used to go there to seek advice when it was about a subject I didn't already have any experience of through working in the shop.

I posted a thread with a loose specification on what sort of size room i had and what i might intend on doing with the studio and promptly received a few recommendations toward various equipment. The company that stood out as offering the best equipment for my money was Elemental.


I'm quite an impatient person when trying to find out information on kit so i decided to ring them. The phone was answered by a chap named Danny, who as it turns out is the boss man him self. I asked a few questions and was very happy to have them responded with more questions ... in my books a good sign that i was, if i were to buy anything, going to be sold the sort of kit i needed, and not the sort of kit he wanted to sell me.

He talked me through a few things - the sort of power of light i might want, the various extras that they did etc etc... All with a huge level of enthusiasm for the products, and above all else an apparent vast knowledge of what i might need to get the best out of the sort of set up i would end up with.
After probably 10-15 minutes of chatting he suggested that i would probably be best just to pay them a visit.

Elemental, are a small company run from a unit set in farm land in Stagsden in Bedfordshire. The kit they sell is apparently speced by them, imported by them, and sold by them. This means that when you buy it, you are only paying for their mark up, not the added mark up that you have to pay when buying from a shop. This means to you or I that the kit you buy is much better value for money than when buying from the high street.... A bonus, before you even take into account anything else.


Shortly after Christmas, armed with a loaded debit card, we drove down to Bedfordshire to have a look at some kit and possibly part with some money.

We came unstuck slightly when we couldn't find the place, as i said, its set in farm land, i wasn't expecting that at all... We found the place in the end... And when we arrived we were greeted with offers of cups of tea/coffee and taken in to the office to discus what we might be looking for... a good start!

We had a chat with Danny, an even more enthusiastic man in real life, who then, through being quite busy him self introduced us to Jess. Jess then lead us out of the office, through a small warehouse area into a fully equipped studio. Jess was also incredibly knowledgeable, like Danny had originally done on the phone asked me all manner of questions ... none of which i really had any answers to.
She showed us a lot of kit, and a lot of examples (mostly of naked ladies) of what could be achieved with various kit ... in fact, id go as far so say as it was a bit of a crash course in studio photography.

The whole time we were there we had the full attention of the people we spoke to, and we were there for probably 2 hours... you don't get that sort of service in many shops.

After much umming and arring on my part, we were taken back into the office to see if we could strike a deal on some of the kit that had interested us the most.

A deal was struck when i realised I was going to end up spending less money than i thought I might and getting a lot more kit than I expected ... you cant fault that.

We loaded the car ... and off i went a very happy man

I wont go into the kit its self here, but suffice to say, i have been nothing but happy with it, I have also returned to them for more bits more recently (more good advice) and have even rung them for advice before ... they were happy to help!

All in all i couldn't have been happier with my dealings with them ... the only caveat being the place is in the middle of nowhere ...

they even recommended a local pub where we could get good food... they were even right there ... i had a lovely pie and a damn good pint! (I wasn't driving)

All in all, this is just the sort of company that i feel should be encouraged in this modern world of buying of faceless internet based companies and its just the sort of company that we, here at RPF recommend!
if we had sort of award system involving stars i would give them five stars out of five ... and they would be shiney and gold!

Keep up the good work Danny, Jess and Co at Elemental!!

When I do get round to getting some studio lights this will be the company I will turn to. I have heard nothing but good reports about them and even have them on my facebook.
i personally so badly want to try my hand at studio work.........portraits & that kinda thing for freinds & family........i wouldnt know were to start with what kind of gear would best suit my needs.....but i am going to have a look at this site, cheers hamish.
For those interested in studio lighting, I have done an illustrated tutorial on classic lighting to get your started. It illustrates and describes the purpose of each light. Of course, everyone develops their own setup, but this is a starting point.

I just added another brief tutorial on high-key lighting with soft-boxes. Link at the bottom of the above page, or directly at http://www.larry-bolch.com/portrait-basics/high-key/

Hope it will prove useful.