You can use the softbox for portrait photography to create a diffused light that wraps around your subject. The softbox is especially effective when used with a single flash.

As you can see in the photos below, the quality of light from the softbox is very similar to that created by a large studio strobe.

A softbox is an easy way to control and soften the output of your flash.

It is a portable box that holds a diffuser panel and attaches to your flash with a bracket or velcro strips.

Unlike umbrellas, which have translucent white fabric that lets some light through, softboxes have fabric on all four sides and are opaque.

A flash attached to a bracket inside a softbox creates an even softer, more diffuse light than one on its own. Unlike umbrellas, softboxes don’t “bleed” light all over the place.

A flash in a softbox will create clean, crisp shadows and fill in shadows very well.

Softboxes come in all shapes and sizes, but my favorite design is the octa (8-sided) box.

This is because it has one large front panel that produces very natural looking lighting without hard or dark edges.

What Is a softbox used for

What Is a softbox used for in photography?

A softbox is a lighting modifier that is used to soften and spread the light from a flash or other light source, such as the sun. It can be used either on location or inside in a studio.

The reason that it is called a softbox is that the hard edges or the “edges” of light are softened by the materials that are used to construct the box.

Toning down the light is an important part of getting good lighting when you are doing portraits, although one does not usually have to be as concerned about this with product photography.

The idea with portraits is to get softer, more natural-looking lighting so that your subject looks better and less like they have been lit from below by some sort of strange lamp.



The softbox was first developed as an alternative to the umbrella.

The popularity of the latter is largely due to its low cost and portability. It is easy to carry around and set up.

However, one downside of using an umbrella is that the lighting effect can be uneven and very harsh at times.

There are many different types of softboxes available on the market today, each with its own unique style.

Some are made out of cardboard and some out of metal rods and fabric.


The most common type, however, is made out of fabric and has two sides – one side which faces towards your subject (the front) and one side that faces away from your subject (the back).

Softbox Photography

Softbox photography is a form of studio photography where the lights used are diffused by semi-translucent fabric boxes.

Many professionals use this technique. 

This article will not only provide you with some great tips for taking softbox photographs, but also give you a few examples of the possibilities available to you.


You can find soft boxes at most stores that sell professional photographic equipment. However, there are other ways to achieve the same effect if you don’t have access to such equipment.

Household items like aluminum foil and shoe boxes can be used to make home-made softboxes.

One of the most common uses for a softbox is as a background light in portrait photography.

Softboxes are often used in conjunction with studio lights to provide a soft, even light source. They can be used with flash units as well, although using them together requires careful planning to avoid heavy shadows.

There are generally two types of softboxes – large and small. 

Large softboxes are typically used for portraits and small softboxes for macro photography, where you’re working within a very close range.

For this article we’ll discuss the use of small softboxes with a flash unit. 

What Is A Softbox Used For In Photography?

Softboxes are great for shooting portraits or products because they provide even lighting from all angles. This gives you more control over the look and feel of the shot.

Softboxes are also available in a variety of sizes, but their uses may vary depending on how large they are.

For example, a large softbox would be used mainly for studio shots where you have more space to work with, while a small one would be good for location shoots where you need to move around faster.

A softbox is often used in conjunction with a flash. This helps the photographer create a more natural and appealing photograph.This method is very popular with portrait photographers.

The softbox is also useful when taking pictures of people and still-life objects..

Softbox Light Vs Umbrella in Photography

A softbox can be placed on a stand or held in hand. It is made of translucent fabric which diffuses the light.

A softbox produces an even light distribution with a softer fall off at the edges of the image. The size of the box controls how much light it produces.

A large softbox will need a larger power pack than a smaller one. For outdoor use, softboxes cannot be too large as they may blow away in strong winds.

An umbrella can be used outside but will produce less light than a softbox due to its larger size. If you are shooting portraits and need to control light spill, then go with an umbrella.

One advantage of using an umbrella outdoors is that, in windy conditions, it won’t blow away like a softbox would.. 

When using an umbrella outdoors you may want to add sandbags to your stand to stabilize it and keep it from blowing over.

An advantage of using a softbox outdoors is that it can diffuse direct sunlight while still allowing enough light through. 

Softboxes are also more budget-friendly and versatile than umbrellas.

What Are Softbox Lights?

Softbox lights come in different intensities, so you should consider the size of your softbox or umbrella before buying it. 

If you want to shoot products or objects close up, then you need to make sure that the softbox is big enough which means that its output will be bright enough.

The idea behind a softbox is to help diffuse the light from your flash.

Some softboxes have grids built into them, which can help further control how the light falls on your subject.

While you can use a softbox outdoors, you will get better results if you use it indoors with the help of an artificial light source.

You then place your strobe light inside the box to diffuse and soften the light. The materials used for softboxes are typically silk, muslin or canvas.

The exact material used depends on its manufacturer and its intended purpose. Some fabrics are better suited for outdoor use while others are ideal for studio work.

The box shape helps direct your light in one direction by bouncing off the sides and top of the softbox.

This produces a more even illumination than other types of modifiers where the light can spill unevenly over your subject.

When To Use A Softbox

When using a softbox, it’s best to use a strobe head with a 4″ or larger diameter. If you have an Apollo Orbis ring light, you can use their large strobe head with the ring light in order to achieve a similar effect.

The reason for this is that when a flash is placed inside of the softbox, it projects its light at an angle. This causes the shadows to be less harsh than they would be without softbox.

Softboxes are also great for making sure your background is evenly lit. 

When you shoot with a flash head on top of your camera, the light from the flash will hit your background unevenly, resulting in some spots that are over exposed and others that are under exposed.

The diffusion panel on the front of a softbox aims the light forward, helping to eliminate this problem and give you an even looking background.

Types Of Softboxes in Photography

There are many types of softboxes in photography, including strip boxes and octaboxes, but the most common type is a beauty dish. A beauty dish has a round shape and flat front surface that directs light in a more parallel fashion than other types of softboxes.

Tubular Softboxes: 

Tubular softboxes use a reflective interior surface which bounces the light around inside the box. 

This allows the light to exit the box at different angles, distributing it more evenly throughout the photo.

Softbox With Translucent Fabric: 

This type of softbox lights up the subject with a softer light than other types. 

They work great for getting light on your subject if you are going for a more natural look or trying to prevent harsh shadows from showing up in your photos.

Octa Boxes: 

These softboxes have an octagonal shape and can improve upon the lighting quality in any situation that is not too bright. 

They provide more even lighting than tubular or rectangular softboxes and are especially effective when used outside in bright sunlight.

Strip Boxes: 

Strip boxes are like opaque versions of octa boxes.

Umbrella Softbox: 

The umbrella softbox is the least expensive type, but it also creates a less-intense light source. 

This is great for beginners who want to experiment with lighting and learn the basics.

This type of soft box is made with a reflective material on one side, which bounces the flash back into a diffuser.

Flash Head Diffuser: 

A flash head diffuser is similar to an umbrella softbox, but it has a translucent material between the photographer and the subject.

The translucent material dissipates the light from the flash and prevents it from being too harsh or bright.

Boom Softbox: 

A boom softbox is also made from reflective material on one side, but it’s attached to an extendable stand that allows you to move it closer to or farther away from the subject.

This helps control how much light is hitting your subject and can be adjusted according to your needs.

Studio Softbox: 

Studio softboxes are designed for more complicated setups in a studio environment and are used in conjunction with professional-grade lighting systems.