Working on location, you can find yourself in confined of situations. In the past, I have MacGyvered a few lighting setups from shoving speedlights behind wall sconces, to gaff taping a flash to a wall. You can sometimes be stuck in a small hotel room for ‘getting ready’ shots or put in cramped meeting rooms doing headshots for a local business, and in either scenario those instances can be difficult to get a Light stand in. Hell, even in a large venue it is difficult to get the strobe where you want, and due to all manners of circumstances. As such, below is a list of not-so-well-known supports that help you get that speedlight where I want it (or pretty close).
My basic travel lighting kit consists of two light stands that are just over 7 feet tall. About 90% of the time they will do the job nicely, but there are still few instances where I need that extra reach I have resorted to this GoPro mount. Clipping a flash onto the DJ light bar (with their permission) on a high railing has made the difference for some larger venues.
One of the more unique supports, the Scraper, can be placed into door jams or window sills to get that extra bit of light without being obtrusive the way a Light stand can often be. It can be used from anything from getting-ready shots to headshots.
Tether Tools makes two speedlight holders. One which is essentially a cradle with a bungee and a 3M strip, and this the RapidMount PowerGrip. The PowerGrip has a hand-actuated vacuum cup that allows a speedlight to be mounted to any non-porous surface such as windows, mirrors, or even DJ Speakers (again, with their permission).
PlatyPod Ultra with Multi Accessory Kit
The PlatyPod is about the size of a smartphone and just as useful. PlatyPod has been making waves in the photography industry for its unique ability to get angles that traditional tripod cannot, while being pocketable. The Multi Accessory Kit contains, among other things, a spigot adaptor and 3-foot tension strap allowing a flash to be attached to a street lamp or tree trunk.
Taking little room in your bag, in Platypod’s case takes almost no room, these small mounts can help you in a bind when you find that you cannot easily set up a Light stand.
Mini Tripod and Plastic Shoe
One of the most underrated accessories for flash already comes free with most speedlights. Of course, I am talking about the little plastic foot that, more often than not, seems to finds its way into the waste bin. It allows you to place your flash on any flat surface, but when combined with a mini tripod like the Manfrotto Pixi, it allows the photographer a little bit more control than the swivel head alone can muster.