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What Is The Best Light Modifier For Fashion Portraits?

By Craig Beckta on March 10th 2015

When it comes to shooting fashion portraits, if you are like many photographers, you most likely struggle with the decision of whether to use a soft light source such as a Softbox or a slightly harsher light source such as a beauty dish.

Well, what if you could have both a soft light source and a hard light source with just one light modifier? Watch the video below for a demonstration, of my favourite light modifiers for shooting fashion portraits.

In the video above, I demonstrate my go-to light modifier for shooting fashion portraits: the Westcott 35 Deep Parabolic Zeppelin. You can use it in the studio or on location for a gorgeous wraparound quality of light.

Additionally, the Westcott Zeppelin comes in 3 different sizes: the 35 inch, the 47 inch, and the 59 inch.

westcott deep parabolic zeppelin


The Westcott Zeppelin allows you to use it with two layers of diffusion for a softer light effect which I demonstrated in the video or just with the inner baffle installed for a more focused light source. You also have a third option as well; you can use it as an adjustable focused bounced light source.

Fashion Portrait

The image above was shot on the Nikon D810 with the Nikon 70-200mm F 2.8 VR at 176mm F5.6 at shutter speed 200 and ISO 100.

The image below is from a location shoot last summer where I used only the interior baffle of the 35” Westcott Zeppelin for a more focused light source and more specular highlights.

Photographer Craig Beckta

The above image was shot on the Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 24-70mm F 2.8 MK II at F 4, shutter speed 200 at ISO 100.

[REWIND: Westcott Rapid Box Duo | Thoughts On This LightWeight Game Changer ]

For the image below, I used the 35” Westcott Zeppelin with two layers of diffusion in the studio for a softer quality of light. I shot this on the Nikon D810 with the Nikon 70-200mm F 2.8 VR at 116mm at F 5.6, shutter speed 200 ISO 100.

Craig Beckta Photography

You may be also wondering what the advantages are of a deep parabolic modifier compared to a regular Softbox or Octabox which is also round, but eight sided vs the 16 sides of the Westcott Zeppelin. The design of the Westcott Zeppelin allows for more directional control of your light and also added contrast compared to a regular Softbox or an Octabox.

Craig Beckta

I shot the image above on a Nikon D810 with the Nikon 85mm F 1.4 at F 5.6, shutter speed 200 at ISO 100.

If you are looking for a speed ring for your existing strobe, Westcott manufactures speed rings for popular strobe light brands such as Elinchrom, Profoto, Bowens and Alien Bee strobes.

westcott zeppelin speed rings

If you are looking for a versatile light modifier with added contrast and punch, then the Westcott Zeppelin would be a worthwhile choice. Although, I own more light modifiers than I care to admit, the Westcott Zeppelin is my go to choice for a majority of my fashion portraits in and out of the studio.

What about you? What is your favorite light modifier? Leave a comment below!

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Craig Beckta is a Professional Portrait Photographer based
out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada… Craig currently has over 65 Free Photography Tutorials on: YouTube

You can also check out more of Craig’s work at: Craig Beckta Photography on Facebook And on his Website

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice Pictures

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  2. Craig Beckta

    Thanks Rafael,

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  3. Rafael Steffen

    Great article with an amazing quality of light.

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  4. Garrett Allen

    What Graham said lol Until then, ill stick with my 22in beauty dishes. But this is now on my list of things to try. Good article!

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  5. Graham Curran

    I don’t think my house is big enough for one of these.

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  6. Craig Beckta

    Thanks Gurmit.

    Thanks Marlin.

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  7. Marlin Woodruff

    I have had my eye on this modifier for a little while now, great to see real world examples of what can be accomplished with it… that and a creative team. thanks Craig.

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  8. Gurmit Saini

    Loving the dress! and great video.

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  9. Craig Beckta

    Thanks Vince.

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  10. Vince Arredondo

    Very nice! I loved the pictures

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  11. Ian Johns

    I like the idea of it, but I am only getting involved with speed lights right now so this might have to wait until I can do some strobes someday!

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  12. Craig Beckta

    Thanks Lissette,

    I wish I could take the
    credit of it. lol

    It is my go to Modifier
    right now.

    Craig Beckta

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  13. Lissette Garcia

    Impressive light quality.

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