Photography Lighting Inventor Paul Conrad Buff Dies at 78

by . March 24th, 2015

It is going to be a sad week for the photography community for we have lost not just a legend but a man who believes in the talent and creativity of photographers.

Paul Conrad Buff the brains and heart of Paul C. Buff Professional Photo Lighting has passed away at the age of 78. Paul and his company is known for giving the community high quality lighting solutions for photographers. Alien Bees, Vagabond and Einsteins are just some of the lighting systems Paul invented and forever changed the industry. His creations have become ubiquitous in nearly every photographers day-to-day equipment—not to mention must-have lists.


According to his website:

With great sadness we announce that our founder, Paul C. Buff, passed away this week at the age of 78. He has been living with his beloved wife of 16 years, Deborah, and their extended family in their secondary home in Mobile, Alabama for over a year and passed away in this home with his family around him. Those of us who have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Paul have lost an invaluable mentor, an inspiring leader, and a treasured friend. The world has lost one of its most creative and adventurous pioneers.

Known for being a maverick in the business, Paul was tenacious and a firm believer in providing and defending his customers and of the Golden Rule. Before he was in the photography lighting business, Paul was first an owner of an audio recording studio which he later transformed into a manufacturer of professional audio equipment. One of his notable contributions led to modern computerized recording console technology and he was known to be peers with Frank Zappa, Ray Dolby and the Beatles.

It was in 1980 when Paul turned his energy into studio photoflash. He believed that lighting equipment should be available for everyone and not just to the select few who have the financial resources. He wanted to get rid of all the middlemen adding prices and further isolating the customer from the manufacturer. Listening to the needs of the customers has not only launched Paul’s company but it also gained them a reputation in the photography industry as a not top notch companies that offers quality products and quality services.

In honor of Paul C. Buff and his beliefs, the company announced that they will carry on and do business as how Paul insisted.

You can read his obituary written by his wife Deborah here.



Patrick Jude Ilagan is a graphic designer/photographer hailing from the vast jungles of urban Manila. Always on the look out for visually appealing stuff he scours the internet and the bustling city in search of inspiration. His tools for mass creation is a Canon 500D along with a wide array of lights and lenses plus a 4 year old (but still fighting) laptop. Check out his work on Tumblr.

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