This shoot in Sayville, N.Y., involved a last-minute location change.

Lauren (the subject) is a chef and owner of a catering hall and market and she was participating in a farm-to-table style fundraiser in Patchogue Village, where I live on Long Island. I had volunteered my services, taking photos of each of the five chefs who were cooking special dishes for the Island to Table event.

I had planned on photographing Lauren at her venue in Patchogue, but she called me the morning of the shoot, indicating she found an amazing farmstand, and that she wanted the stand to serve as the backdrop.

It was only 10 minutes from my studio, so I went out to scout the location three hours beforehand.

On Location BTS with Ambient Light

The issue was that she needed to do the shoot at 3 p.m. and it was super sunny, with no clouds in the sky. Not only that, but the sun happened to be blazing right into the farmstand.

My first task was to soften the harsh light. So I used my 8×8 Scrim Jim with a 1 stop diffusion. An 8×8 catches all the winds so I made sure to use two C-stands each with a boom arm and Universal Clamp. I also had two sand bags to be safe.

On Location BTS with Scrim Jim Cine

On Location BTS with Scrim Jim

Now that I had a nice, even, diffused light, I wanted some directional light so it was not so flat.

This was the best time to test out my new Westcott 24” Rapid Box Beauty Dish on a Strobelite Plus. The new beauty dish has a white inside lining and a deflector plate. The white helps to cut down on any specular highlights and also gives a much softer light than a silver inside.

On Location BTS with Rapid Box Beauty Dish

The beauty dish is very compact and great to bring on a location. It takes less than a minute to set up. I did this entire shoot by myself, though I did have my journalist friend Mike from on hand because he was writing an article to acompany the photo. I used him as a test subject. Lastly, like all beauty dishes, this is round and gives a nice circular catch light in your subject’s eyes — much like the sun would.

On Location Rapid Box Beauty Dish Perfected

This on location portraiture article is courtesy of New York Top Pro photographer Benny Migs

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