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Tips & Tricks

Don’t Underestimate The Power of The Umbrella | Andrea Belluso

By Chris Nachtwey on June 24th 2014

There are many light shaping tools out there, from soft boxes to beauty dishes, the options available to photographers are plentiful. There is one light shaping tool that I believe every photographer should have in their kit, and that’s an umbrella. The most basic light shaping tool there is, umbrellas have never let me down and are relatively inexpensive.


In the Profoto sponsored video below, check out how Andrea Belluso keeps things simple and uses umbrellas for an advertising campaign.



Profoto B1 Strobe’s

Profoto Umbrella Deep Silver L

Profoto Umbrella Deep While XL



Andrea really kept his lighting simple and showed the power of the umbrella. Choosing to use bounce umbrellas vs. shoot through, he uses a simple silver lined umbrella as his main light, and a white lined umbrella to light the background. I like his choice of the silver bounce umbrella for the main light, it adds a little more punchy direct light that still wraps around his subject, and lights him beautifully.



This technique is super simple, portable, and can yield fantastic results. Don’t be discouraged and think you need expensive strobes, you can easily do the same exact technique with speedlights and a few inexpensive umbrellas. As I said before, I feel that every photographer needs to carry umbrellas in their kit. It’s hard to overcomplicate your shoot when using them, and they always get the job done beautifully.

Via: Profoto’s Blog

Images captured via screen capture. 

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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Lindsey Nolan

    Love love love this.

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  2. Anthony McFarlane

    Great article and video! Does anyone at SLRlounge have any reccomendations about monoblock lights if your starting out and want big lights? Or maybe a a good article with reccomendations?

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    • Keegan Evans

      Paul C Buff Alien Bee’s are about the best quality lights you can get for the money from what I have researched! I am trying to purchase my first strobes as well and everyone has been saying Alien Bee’s.

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    • Anthony McFarlane

      Thanks. I will check those out. So many choices!

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    • Chris Nachtwey

      Paul C Buff Einstein’s are by far some of the best studio strobes for the money for what everyone who ones a set has told me. Alien Bee’s are not to far behind.

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  3. fotosiamo

    Don’t forget that not all umbrellas are not created equal. This is particularly true when it comes to the better light-shaping capabilities that comes with Profoto’s new line of umbrella, as well as using a strobe.

    Can you get this look with a $15 umbrella and a speedlight? Maybe. It’ll surely take a lot more work. For me, I’d stick using strobes regardless of the modifier.

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  4. Pye

    Love seeing articles like this. Incredible results, with simple setups. Great write up!

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