Light Modifier

Which Light Modifier Is Right for Your Portrait Shoot?

Which Light Modifier Is Right for Your Portrait Shoot? with Brandon Woelfel

As someone who shoots with any kind of light available to me, I’m pretty resourceful when it comes to incorporating external lighting within my shoots. A lot of my photoshoots are spontaneous, so I don’t like to weigh myself down with heavy gear or props. I often go out with friends to casually shoot, so I love having equipment that is easy to grab and go. I’ve found that most of my favorite images happen when I least expect them, so I always like to be prepared.

Throughout the years I’ve experimented with a lot of different light modifier systems, some that have worked for me and others that haven’t. But during this time I’ve most definitely discovered the necessity of incorporating light and color into my work. When I first started photography, I only shot with natural lighting, so I’ve gotten pretty used to managing my time with shooting against the everchanging sun. While I’ve become accustomed to timing my shoots with outdoor lighting, I quickly found that I was not in control of a large portion of my art. Shooting with natural light is always an exciting experience, but now I’ve found ways to enhance my shoots by adding external lighting to both my indoor and outdoor setups.

As I began to grow and learn in my field, I realized that I should start controlling the lighting in my shoots instead of letting it control me. While I still often rely on external elements like the weather, location or props, I no longer need to solely rely on the sun for my imagery. I started to experiment with various light sources to see what worked best for me personally. I tried everything from something you’d see in a photography studio to untraditional lights like a glow stick or lantern. I began to narrow down what was appropriate for my specific creative style. Through trial and error I found several ways to externally add light to my photos with an end result that I was much happier with. I began to add light in places it wasn’t before and take risks within the overall composition. My photos soon began to evolve and change as a result of these key decisions I was making.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the August 2021 magazine.