How I Would Use Three Different Light Modifiers

I've seen people learn photography and lighting from a technical standpoint and for me, it always went over my head. What!? There is a mathematical calculation to getting good light? I always went for what "felt good" and for the longest time I felt insecure about my process, even though I booked often.

In fact, photographers that went to a technical school loved to flex their knowledge and make me feel less with all of their technical facts. Why do people who go to film school or photography school do this? Just photograph the way you want and let me photograph the way I want. Meanwhile, the client only cared about the perfect photograph and the process was something I've never had one client ask about. 

I was in the studio which had some extra light modifiers laying around and thought I ought to make a video about how I understand lighting or how I would use these modifiers. The video talks about how I would use a giant umbrella, thin strip soft box, and a beauty dish. 

It talks about not ever using a beauty dish for newborn skin or that of the slightly aged, and where I feel a beauty dish belongs (fashion shoots). 

Once you understand how a modifier works, then you can start to make it your own and adjust however way it makes you happy. Learn the basics and then adjust the lighting to fit your brand of photography. For example, in the video, I tell you why you should never use a beauty dish for someone that's older. I'm adamant about that and you should know why I feel it's a bad choice. But the right choice for you is how YOU want to use that beauty dish. 

It's your photograph and your rules, never let another photographer make you feel less about the way you photograph. This video is to show how I would use the modifiers most often. 

Walid Azami's picture

Walid Azami is a Photographer/Director and creative consultant from Los Angeles. He got his start working with Madonna + Co by contributing to her many projects. It was then he realized his place in the creative world & began teaching himself photography. He has since shot Kanye, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bernie Sanders, JLO, amongst others

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This video is all over the place! Calling a shallow large umbrella parabolic, with hard shadows, and then soft shadows? And then a bunch of talk about a beauty dish but nothing about how to use and position a beauty dish so it has the beauty dish look instead of just looking like a 22 in reflector with a sock on it.