Unless you're located somewhere where the weather is always nice like California, it's that special time of year again! The sun is out, business is picking up, and you have outdoor shoots booked!
Whether you are shooting weddings or graduation photos, you're probably using the sun as your main light source. We all know the sun is harsh and isn't always the most flattering kind of lighting for portraits, unless you're doing high key style portraits.
But that's beside the point! You are doing conventional portrait work for the masses, so here are some essential light modifiers you should consider:
DLX Beauty Dish Softbox
Our DLX Beauty Dish Softbox is a quick-collapse light modifier that also doubles as a beauty dish and a softbox. It includes a deflector plate, which is the part that makes a beauty dish light modifier work. When removed, it acts as a standard double-diffused softbox that offers circular catchlights.
It also includes a grid attachment that narrows your beam angle and reduces spill. These softboxes are lightweight and easy to carry around. They also feature an interchangeable mounting system to work with the most popular flash mounts, such as Bowens, Balcar, Profoto, and more.
Using this modifier outside can help fill in shadows or act as a key light in the shade under a tree. All while offering the same quality of light as seen in studio.
In the example below, we compare what using no modifier under full sun is like versus our DLX Beauty Dish Softbox:
Our Sun Scrims are designed to modify large light sources such as the sun and artificial lighting. The Sun Scrim is lightweight and uses a quick-collapse frame. It is available in three styles with various sizes options:
Sun Scrim - Quick collapse frame with diffuser and a silver/white reflective fabric.
Boom Sun Scrim - Includes a boom arm to hold the modifier above your subject and includes a diffuser and a silver/white reflective fabric.
Giant Sun Scrim - Giant quick collapse frame with diffuser only. Designed to be used with light stands (not included).
We used the Giant 12x12ft Sun Scrim to diffuse the sun, giving us greater control over our outdoor shoot. From here, we are able to build up our lighting and get the results we want:
Our 5-in-1 reflectors come in various sizes and are an inexpensive light modifier for outdoor shoots. These collapsible panels have five different sides that include diffusion, gold reflective, silver reflective, white reflective, and black flagging fabric.
You can use these to add fill to your shot, block off light, or diffuse light. We recommend holding it up at a 45° angle to get the most flattering reflective light, as seen here with the white reflective side:
Another inexpensive light modifier for outdoor use are umbrellas, and we have options! Our umbrellas come in different materials such as diffusing, white reflective, and silver reflective. We even offer softbox-style umbrellas for more flattering light.
These modifiers are a classic go-to due to their ease of setup and low cost. Here, we used a reflective umbrella softbox with an off-camera flash. This style of umbrella offers the softbox glow without the bulk.
If you found this guide helpful or would like to add to the conversation, please comment below!