I have big news, gang- I have been named a Light Leader by Photoflex! Photoflex is the company that makes the softboxes, umbrellas, octodomes, reflector holders, and the tons of other lighting gear that I have been using for over thirty years. As described by Photoflex: “Photoflex Light Leaders are shaping the industry as top photographers, videographers and educators. Big fans of Photoflex gear, they are innovative, creative and pushing the limits of the photographic industry.”
Watch the VIDEO…
Important Questions answered
After I posted the announcement on Facebook, one of my subscribers messaged me and said, “You know, I like your videos and you’re a good photographer and all”- I was a little disappointed he didn’t say great, but I’ll take good – “but what’s the big deal about being a Light Leader? Do you have to advertise their stuff now?”
Let’s take the second question first. NO, I don’t have to advertise their stuff. I don’t get paid by Photoflex. Just in case you don’t know… the overwhelming majority of photographers that you see promoting cameras or different products aren’t paid to do so. YES, we get certain considerations and rewards from time to time but a majority of the time it is because we truly believe in the gear that we’re talking about. I really have been using Photoflex gear since the 1980s. I really do own a ton of it. If you’ve been following me on my blog, my Youtube channel, or my Facebook group, you have seen me using it for years now. Sure, I will mention the name more often now, but I have done that in the past.
What I do get from this relationship is access. Access to the people who design the equipment. Access to new equipment before it hits the market so that I can test it out, give them feedback, and create videos to show you how to best use it. This relationship gives me the ability to do more, show more, and teach more to you. In other words, we all benefit from this.
So what does this mean for you?
Going back to the first question -“What’s the big deal about being a Light Leader?”- I honestly had to think about that for a minute. After I got over the gut punch party pooper tone of this guy’s question and tried to give him an answer, I realized something that I hadn’t considered before. Anytime we are recognized for what we do – it is a big deal – it’s rewarding and it sure as heck feels great! But I realized the big deal about being a Light Leader is you guys– all of you who read my blog, post in my group, watch my videos, and subscribe to my channel. I have a nice portfolio, I use their product, but more importantly I have more than 80,000 of you who subscribe, watch, read, and learn from me. Being named a Light Leader is a confirmation that the work I am doing has value and means something and I have all of you to thank for that!
So let’s not get any sappier than this or we are all gonna need a big group hug.
What you can learn from Photoflex
I will tell you that you should bookmark Photoflex.com – there are a bunch of really good lighting lessons on their website from past Light Leaders and there will be a lot more coming, including some by yours truly. Also, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. I am trying to convince them to let me take over their Instagram for a week and show off images and lighting lessons. Now that I put it out here on the internet, I think we will be able to convince them to give me the password.
Tog Tips using Photoflex
Ok, so I promised you some tog knowledge, so I’ll be showing you a few of my favorite shots and lighting arrangements done with Photoflex light modifiers. Check out the video at the top of the page or click here for more examples, plus behind the scenes footage of all the shots below.
Clamshell lighting is a go-to arrangement for me because you really can’t go wrong – as long as you do it right. The mistake that a lot of people make is to put the bottom softbox closer to the subject’s face, but still set it at the same power as the top box. This causes shadows on the top of the face.
Remember: our brains expect to see light coming from above, so you still want to have the top box slightly more powerful than the bottom one so that you have a hint of shadow and definition under the nose and chin and all the places where you would expect to see shadows.
I will also frequently back my lights up to a good three to four feet away from the subject. My result:
The five foot OctoDome
Another of my favorite setups is done with the five foot OctoDome. To create the shot below I have it above and fairly close to my subject so that the light will fall off quickly behind her and also start to feather off at the bottom of my frame.
It’s also a lot of fun to mount this big Octodome above a model when shooting fine art nudes for results like this:
Shoot Through Umbrella and Walmart Reflector
Here is a simple headshot lit with a Photoflex shoot through umbrella and a Walmart reflector on the bottom to create a soft clamshell effect.
Yes, I said a Walmart reflector in a video about Photoflex. I told you, I am not getting paid to say things. I am going to keep sharing what I do, and that means what I really do. The Photoflex LiteDiscs are great – I own two – but sometimes the Walmart reflector is just a quick and easy solution. In this case, it is smaller than my LiteDiscs, which was perfect for this setup.
Three Light portrait shot
The frame below is a three light portrait shot with the main light on camera left being diffused with a 39” x 39” LitePanel Frame and white diffuser. A subtle rim light on camera left and a background light with a yellow gel aimed low on the orange background.
So there you have it. If you haven’t seen it yet – be sure to either watch my video or read my blog about the Inverse Square Law. Master the inverse-square law, throw in some Photoflex modifiers and a lot of hard work, and you could be on the next team of Photoflex Light Leaders!
So until next time, gang, go pick up that camera and shoot something! Because your BEST shot is your NEXT shot. So keep learning, keep thinking, keep shooting. Adios!