“One of the cooler lighting effects that we have left over from the 90’s era fashion photography is the use of Ring Flash as a primary light source. Ring flashes are often used in either fashion photography or in macro photography where the ring of light helps to eliminate shadows. When used in fashion or generally people photography it has the effect of creating a flat but almost iridescent lighting quality with a ‘halo’ effect around the subject. Cool yes, cheap? No. Flashes designed for macro photography generally will set you back about $400, while ring flashes for medium format and intended for fashion photography cost well over $1000!…Well fortunately, building your own ring flash is a fairly easy project with results that can easily rival professional ring flash assemblies for only a fraction of the price.” Link.
HOW TO – Build your own Ring flash