Light modifiers for newborn photography

Your options may seem overwhelming when you have to choose light modifiers for newborn photography, and you may not know where to start when deciding what to buy. And how do you even use these softboxes and umbrellas?

If you’ve been confused about your light modifier options for your newborn studios, this quick tutorial will go over your choices, and what the main differences are between them. This will allow you to narrow down your options based on your personal artistic preferences.

The lowdown on light modifiers for newborn photography:

When I first heard the word modifier in reference to studio lightning … in all seriousness, my eyes glazed over! I was already confused about what it was and what I should even be looking for!

The goal: soft lighting

When it comes to newborn photography soft lighting is the goal. That dreamy soft light that looks darn well near perfect straight out of camera.

soft light on newborn baby

But when you’re getting started with studio lights, the lingo when it comes to gear can sound pretty intimidating.

A modifier is simply the umbrella or softbox that will soften the light from your continuous or strobe light.

Having a big soft box or a big parabolic light modifier (which is a big ole fancy word for an umbrella!) will give you the result of soft, even light.

PLM umbrella and softbox shows as light modifiers for newborn photography
PLM (umbrella) on the left, and softbox on the right

Bigger is better!

Well, bigger is better for newborn photography where you want the light to be soft and mimic natural light. The bigger the light modifier, the more it will spill around the room with soft, even light, which is very forgiving.

Small soft boxes won’t give the same spill of soft light. Their lighting is directional and more suited for dramatic lighting like fashion photography.

showing size of two light modifiers
Choose the biggest modifier that will fit in your studio

Modifier shape = Catchlights shape

Catchlights are the little blocks of light that show up in your subject’s eyes. It is essential for making sure your subject looks bright and alive!

You can read all about this in our post about catchlights and why they matter!

A square modifier, like many softboxes are, will give you square catchlights, similar to a window. An umbrella will give you round catchlights.

There isn’t a right or wrong here, it’s all personal preference.

round catchlights
Round catchlights from an umbrella

I know how hard it is to struggle with studio lighting and how confusing and frustrating it can be – so we’ve developed the Studio Lighting for Newborns course, a step-by-step guide that will hold your hand through discovering they beauty and ease of studio lighting. Check it out!

share the love

related

Posts

divider

The Painterly Effect – The Creative Process of Fine Art Photography with Emily Williams

How to Show Up Authentically – Social Media Strategies for Photographers with Elena Ringeisen

Rock Your Family Sessions: Inspiring Advice from Some of the World’s Best Family Photographers

Show The Love: Capturing Connection in Intimate Couples Sessions with Ang McCabe

How Shooting From Your Own Heart Evokes Emotion in Photography with Jyotsna Bhamidipati

Advising Clients What to Wear for a Photo Shoot Using Style and Select with Holly Mueller & Melissa Grindstaff

Legal Advice for Photographers – Protecting Your Business Without Losing Your Heart with Rachel Brenke

No Compromises – Ensuring Newborn Baby Safety with Stephanie Robin

Finding Passion, Profit, and Purpose in your Photography Business with Dr Tomayia Colvin

Your Editing Style – Finding Your Voice In Photoshop with Morgan Burks

Knowing Your Numbers – Bookkeeping for Photographers with Tanya Hirschy

From Frazzled to Focused – Creating Photography Workflows and Systems with Iris-Works Founder Meredith Gradle

Magical Motherhood Photography with Sherida Rae Taylor

Staying Creative – Handling Slow Times in Business with Tamarind Spender

Creating Living Poetry Through Connection in Family Photos with Jodi Lynn Photography

Cultivating a Work Life Balance with Balance Coach & Photographer Jenna Henderson

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started with Newborn Photography

Worth Every Penny…with Photography Marketing Queen Sarah Petty

Finding Your WHY as a Photographer – with Denise from Appleseed Photography

The Luxury Fine Art Studio with Joanna Booth from Sanguine Portraiture

The Art of Storytelling Lifestyle Newborn Photography with Michelle McKay

The Business of Babies – Running a Profitable Photography Business with Erin Elizabeth Hoskins

Helping Your Clients Find Their Inner Goddess – with Natasha Ince

Sparking Creativity with Natalie Houlding