Using One Softbox Three Ways

Today we show how to create three different results with a single folding softbox. It's all about the position! You all know I'm a fan of simple setups. Let's get started.

First setup

For this first set-up, I used a single Link 800 flash unit with our 32 x 40-inch foldable softbox and placed the flash unit (main light) on the right above the model at a 45 degrees angle (slightly tilted downwards). 

That is a very standard setup for a softbox. Always lovely light on the subject with enough depth of shadow. That is why it is a Go-To setup for many portrait photographers. Check out the results of the photos of the first setup.

Flash lighting to create the shot - One softbox Three ways ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/8 | SS: 1/125 sec. 

Behind the scenes Setup 1

Second setup "Overhead setup

Now I place my Softbox about 2 feet above my subject and point the Softbox slightly downwards. That helps to fill in shadows on the face.  

I also combine this with a foldable reflection screen for even more detail in the shot. 

Behind the scenes 3

Final setup

Now I move the softbox to a 90-degree angle away from my model. Only the side of the model is lit, which makes for a dramatic shot.

Behind the scenes setup 2

So I like the versatility of a foldable softbox, ideal for location, and it provides a lovely soft and even spread of light. 

This lighting setup isn't complicated once you understand how it works. It can also be adjusted depending on the subject's position and how you want the final image to look. Check out this video made by Anthony Romano Photography Tutorial.

SETUP 1 – Light and softbox placed approx. 45 degrees camera right

SETUP 2 – Light and softbox placed to the side of the subject camera right

SETUP 3 – Light and softbox placed in front of the subject and boomed overhead

Now we want to see what you can create. Follow us on Instagram at @flitsenflash, and if there's a particular lighting technique that you're interested in learning more about, go ahead and leave us a suggestion in the comments below.

What we would like to see from you

•    (1) Behind-the-scenes image showing your setup

•    (1) Final image

Tag us on Instagram @flitsenflash or Facebook @Paul C. Buff Europe

Equipment Used


MODEL – Hayman Homer


About the author
Flits & Flash is a specialist in photographic and video equipment. On our website, you can find our entire range of Paul C. Buff. Flits & Flash works exclusively with its Partner Paul C. Buff, Inc
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