Is This The World's Best Inexpensive Portable Lighting Modifier?

In this video I will be talking about the advantages of the Cheetahstand QBox 24 portable softbox which works well for location wedding and portrait photographers.

This light modifier is 24" Square and has a double layer of diffusion and comes with a honeycomb grid as well as a circular mask to attach to the front of the box. This modifier works with speedlights such as the Sony HVL-F60RM or the Godox V1 and the Godox AD200 and Godox AD200 Pro super speedlight.

To best use the AD200 Pro you need the Pro-S bracket which also works with speedlights. You may purchase this modifier from cheetahstand in the USA by going here:

The Pro S bracket is available at:

If you would like to use two AD200s or two AD200 Pros combined to create a 400 w/s strobe you may use the Godox AD-B2 from B & H

Five Steps to Having an Awesome Portrait Session

For some people, they simply LOVE the idea of having a portrait session whether it’s a family session, a senior portrait session or a business branding session.

For some, though, they’d rather drive spikes through their eyes WHILE getting a root canal.

I get that.

I’m not too thrilled with getting in FRONT of the camera (that’s why am mostly BEHIND the camera!). Though I am getting better at it.

Still though, it’s important to do it because I want to be seen in photographs FOR my kids and family and WITH my kids and wife so that they have photographs of us AS a family.

“It’s an annual thing and I’m always Glad to have done it (but I feel your pain!)”

So how to make it as painLESS as possible? (Gees! That’s not right! — Of course I don’t merely want it to be painless, I want it to be fun and something you’ll look forward to again and again!

Here are my five tips to help make your session amazing (or at least enjoyable!)

  1. NO STRESS. Try not to stress about everything being perfect. Let’s face it, life is Imperfect and I kind of like that. When I worked as a photojournalist and would be sent on an assignment, there was often the ideal or perfect photo to shoot. That was often what a photo editor, back in the office, might visualize before the shot. Of course, it would often NOT be perfect and yet for almost all of it, it would almost always be better. Funny how that worked. So after that happened a few times, I realized it was going to perfectly imperfect and that was, well, kind of … perfect. Have fun, smile, laugh and try to relax. It shows in the photos — unless that’s what you want to show?? And just think, in ten years you’ll look back on that photo and think “Damn…I looked pretty good! Why was I so stressed about the way I looked then?????"

  2. VISION. How do you want to look on the wall? And I’m not talking about the wall of the post office. Just kidding, I’m talking about the walls on your home. Big or small, how you look will be on there for a while and you had better love it or it won’t work. Do you want to be serious or fun? Where do you want to do the session? Studio? Home? A special location? All are valid and all work. Do you have any special place IN your home that you think is crying out for a portrait. Let me know. Let’s try to find that. It’s not about what’s biggest it’s about what is appropriate for the specific photo in the specific place and that’s what I can help you with.

  3. OUTFITS. Clothing - yeah or nay? Seriously, clothing causes so much stress for so many people and it really should not. When you think about the feeling you want the photo to have, do you want it relaxed (blue jeans, comfy shirts, flowy dresses?) or more formal (suits, tux and gowns?). I’ve shot them all and trust me they all look great. Even clothing that looks like Ray Charles picked out the wardrobe will often surprisingly work. We had our own family shoot that had me in light blue, Nicki in Navy, Kate in a light blue print, Sparky in a blue striped shirt and Nicki’s Mom in another shade of blue and I think it all worked great. Think of working within a family of colors and try to wear solids but it often works without them. Just being real and authentic for YOU and YOUR FAMILY makes it all the more special. Trust me in twenty years we won’t be looking at the clothes (unless of course they REALLY went out of fashion). Instead it’s all about faces, emotions and expression and closeness. And how much Mom and Dad have aged since the kids were born!

  4. LIGHT. It’s all about the light when the session is outdoors. Think about the timing…basically it’s Really early (like we’re talking dawn) or Late (we’re talking an hour before sunset and after (assuming it’s a nice day). I get it, sometimes, especially during summer when kids are really little, they simply won’t make it to sunset. In that case try to juggle nap time so that they can go longer. My goal is to put people in the best light of the day (as close as we can get to it). It was easier in California since there were like 300 days of sun a year but oh well…there’s drama in the variety of weather patterns in Wisconsin and I’m finding it surprisingly refreshing. And beautiful.

  5. PHOTOS ARE “THERE". Trust me, I’m a professional. You’d be surprised at how many great photographs we are going to create from a session — even one as short as an hour or even third minutes! My motto is that wherever people gather there is the potential for great photographs — especially when you’ve been photographing as much as I have over the last 36 years (yes, I said it — I’ve been working longer than the age of many of my clients!)

    So there you have it, my five tips for having a super amazing awesome stupendous and fantastic and fabulous portrait session.

When was the last time you had fun at a portrait session? What??? You didn’t? Let’s fix that. Call us at 920.728.6185 or Contact us below.

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Happy June 1st!


It's June 1st! Summer is upon us and it's graduation time and Father's Day is coming up.

Speaking of Father's Day, be sure to check back on Monday as I will be showcasing my Father's Day Portrait Promotion Video that features FOUR Lake Mills Dads, including Cliff Hagedorn with his newborn daughter Kynlee. Who are the other three?? You'll have to stay tuned to see!

Have a great weekend!

Kids of Wisconsin 2019 is officially launched!


Nicki and I are excited to announce that our charity photo book project, The Kids of Wisconsin 2019, is officially launched! One hundred percent of the $100 session fee (per family) will go directly to American Family Children’s Hospital.

We are donating our time to plan a custom session with each family that participates, take the portraits (typically an hour session in the studio or on location) and then prepare and showcase the images for viewing and purchase via an in-studio presenation.

Each child will then be featured in the beautiful, custom-designed coffee table book that we produce at the end of 2019.



This morning here at the studio, Jamie Perez with Channel 3 in Madison interviewed us about this project.

This is the inaugural year for the project here in Wisconsin, but we have 9 years of experience doing the project when we lived in Orange County (CA).

What started as “The Kids of Ladera Ranch” in 2008 grew into “The Kids of Orange County” and that project raised almost $70,000 for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).

We are very proud of the work that we did for this project.

The beauty of a project such as this is that it is a total Win | Win | Win.

A win for the charity because they benefit from the good will of our clients (btw, our goal is to raise $10,000 by photographing 100 families that donate $100 to AFCH.

A win for our subjects because this project gives them a reason to schedule a portrait now in order to participate. Portraits are something we intend to do, but often don’t “get around to it”. This project is that little nudge that gets people to plan a session.

Finally it is a win for us because being new in this market, we are looking to become known for the work that we produce. The people who participate in this project are people that really value the giving spirit, value family and value the heirloom quality of our portrait sessions. You will be thrilled with the portraits now and years from now and they will be a treasured heirloom to pass down to your children and grandchildren (I know, heavy stuff!)

Do you have any questions on how the project works?

Send us a note, call us or reach out to us on our social networks! We look forward to having you in front of our cameras soon!

Ayla and Ry Ry were part of this morning’s Channel 3 interview as Jamie video taped me as I was photographing these two gorgeous Lake Mills kids.

Ayla and Ry Ry were part of this morning’s Channel 3 interview as Jamie video taped me as I was photographing these two gorgeous Lake Mills kids.

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Bethany Pryor Photography Behind The Scenes Newborn Photo Shoot Promotion Video

Before we left California, my friend Bethany Pryor and I worked together to create this behind the scenes video of one of her sessions for a client.

She primarily photographs families, kids, and newborns and this session was to showcase how she works with the family on a newborn shoot.

Bethany brings in a make up artist to pamper Mom before the photographs and she has a wide array of clothes and props for the baby as she works from her studio in Orange County.

It was a pleasure to photograph Bethany and help her to promote her amazing work.

You can find her online at

This video was made for her on the Sony a7RIII and the Sony a9 and a variety of lenses, including the 12-24G, 24-70 GM55 1.8 and 90 macro lenses plus a Zhiyun Crane 3 axis gimbal and Sirui video monopod.

"Infinity" by 100 Years is licensed through Music Bed.

Are you a photographer or a business looking to create a video like this to promote you and your business? If so, please send me a message below

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