Creating Big, Soft Light in Small Spaces for Your Photos

We don't all have the luxury of a wide open studio space with 20-foot ceilings that we can fit any modifier into, no matter how massive and unwieldy. This great video will show you how to get big, soft light, even when you're working in small spaces. 

Coming to you from Miguel Quiles of Adorama TV, this helpful tutorial will show you how to create the look of a big, soft light in a small space. A lot of the time, you might not have the space for a giant modifier, particularly if you're doing on-location work. For example, you might be doing a set of corporate headshots and only have a small office to shoot them in. As you can see in the video, Quiles can only fit a three-foot octabox into the room, and while that certainly creates a larger and softer light source as compared to the bare speedlight, he still wants a larger source. So, he aims the octabox away from the model and into the wall, taking advantage of the white surface to create a bigger source. This is the same trick wedding photographers use when they bounce a small speedlight to create a broad, flattering source. Check out the video above for the full breakdown. 

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4 Comments

Daniel Medley's picture

The bigger challenge is a low ceiling; or at least a ceiling that is the height of your average house. That's the most common challenge I think.

Tony Burns's picture

That's certainly the most challenging thing for me at home, with 9ft ceilings (I think those are probably about average). I find that having the subject sit on an apple box oriented the tall way works enough to get a 60" modifier shoved up against the ceiling.

Daniel Medley's picture

Yes. I, too, utilize a lot of sitting down for shooting in my room with 9 foot ceilings; chairs, boxes, floor. I do almost all my head and shoulders shots with the subject sitting on a stool.

nice shot,,, thank u, tutorial good