Every photographer has had to face the headache of a hard-to-light situation and knows just how intimidating it can be. We put together a list of the top four tricky lighting situations and how to conquer them, so you can take your photographs to the next level. Let’s dive in!

1. Harsh Sunlight

One of the most difficult photography lighting situations that even experienced photographers struggle with is bright, unfiltered sunlight. Shoots at high noon result in harsh shadows on your subject, which can be artsy, aren’t typically the look that many people want for their outdoor portrait or wedding photographs.

If you don’t have any shade to shoot in, one of the best ways to work with harsh sunlight is to use a fill light. A small cold-shoe setup, such as the Frio Reach Kit, is perfect for on-the-go photographers. You can attach the flexible arm to your tripod, existing lighting setup, or even a tree branch, table, or chair to illuminate the shadowed side of your subject to create a more even lighting effect. With this setup, you don’t need another pair of hands, and instead, you get to be your own assistant.

2. Night Photography

As beautiful as night shots of a bright tent under the Milky Way are, these photographs take a great deal of preparation, patience, and well-planned lighting. If you’re shooting static scenes, you can get a great photo of the sky with just your camera and a tripod. But if you want any foreground interest or are shooting moving scenes at night, you need to bring additional lighting sources in to create crisp photographs.

To illuminate your subject, use a cold shoe lighting setup like the Frio Arch with a rotating, 360-degree base. The benefit of a cold shoe setup like this is that you don’t need to have the flash attached to your camera. This means that you can get creative with your lighting setup and shoot from angles that wouldn’t work with a hot shoe setup. Simply mount your speedlight to the Frio Arch, place it on an existing light stand, tripod, or monopod, adjust as needed to illuminate your subject, and you’re ready to go!

3. Reflective Surfaces

Photographing reflective surfaces like windows or mirrors can really set your photography apart because of the skill required. You need a polarizing filter and a lighting setup that can brighten your subject without being seen in the reflective surface.

cold shoe with a clamp or suction like the Frio Cling is best for this situation, as you can place it out of the shot but above or below your subject and light it as desired. You don’t need a light stand; just suction the Frio Cling with your speedlight attached to any flat surface.

4. Concerts, Clubs, and Sports

In many photography situations, your subjects pose as you direct them. However, there are instances where not only do photographers have to deal with tricky lighting, but they also have zero say in what their subjects are doing, such as at concerts or during sporting events. In situations like these, having a flexible lighting setup like the Frio Grasp Bigi turns practically anything into a cold shoe lighting stand. Use the Frio Grasp Bigi on a door, table, or door handle and get epic action shots.

Lighting Up Everything With Frio Cold Shoe Setups

As cliche as it may sound, photographers create beautiful images with light. Sometimes that light doesn’t cooperate so you need to bring in reinforcements. With Frio, you get to control those hard-to-light situations. Remember, no lighting scenario is too challenging when you’ve got the right tools.