I’ve had a few photographers ask me why I often position my soft boxes away from the subjects. The answer is simple, at the edge is the nice light.

BTS lighting setup


Take this setup shot from a shoot with Emma from last year. You can see that the softbox, a Lastolite 90cm square Ezybox, is positioned in front of the seat, and aimed towards the camera more than it is toward Emma.

You can see that I propped a big reflector to bounce some light back in to the dark leather chair, though this was removed for the final picture.

There’s a really lovely quality to the light at edge of most soft boxes, though I’m often surprised at how far I have to turn the soft box away from my subject. Indoors or outside I keep lens hoods on my lenses to avoid lens flare.

Compared to the BTS shot at the top of the post I did spin the seat round a little bit to make a better angle towards the camera for the main shot above, but I didn’t move the light. The darkening of Emma’s legs is simply down to the fall off of the light. I have also placed a Speedlite 430EX III-RT on the floor behind her with a warm CTO gel on to give the rim light in her hair.


A short and simple post today, I’m off to Wales for some more videos for The Photographer Academy. Last week was the first EOS 5D Mark IV workshop and it was interesting to see how photographers were getting to grips – or not – with the camera after just a few months. My next EOS 5D Mark IV workshop is on 10th March.