Your First Soft-box.

QUESTION: Hey Shawn I'm about to make that purchase for my first softbox. Should I get the new 24" Rapid box or a big 4' Octa/soft box? I'm looking to shoot lots of portraits, couples and some group shots. Will be shooting indoors and outdoors.

ANSWER: Not the easiest question to answer. One main thing to remember is the smaller your light modifier the harder your light source will be. The larger your modifier the softer the light. Something else to always remember is your maximum working distance from your subject should be no more than twice the diagonal measurement of the face of your modifier.

 So what’s you style??????

If you shoot lots of full length shots, like your images well lit and like loads of negative space. Then your initial purchase should be the larger modifier. You’ll be able to put that box way back and shoot and still have good quality light.

 If you tend to shoot tighter shots, more head shots and ¾ length shots. The Rapid Box would be more your fit. Perfect for working in small spaces and doing a lot of outdoor shoots.

 Another item you’ll need to consider is your current source of light. Do you have hot shoe flashes or strobes? The further away you position your light the more power you’ll need out of that light source. So here’s a scenario. Place a hot shoe flash in your large modifier and position that bad boy 10’ from your subject, chances are your need to put that flash at full power. However the most you can expect to get is f4 or f5.6. So if you want to be in the f8, f11 or higher land you’ll need to be using strobes.

 Understand I’m not saying you can’t place your small modifier far away from your subject, I’m just saying it won’t be that great soft light most of us strive to achieve.