Portraiture, like any other photographic endeavor, requires that you have a good bit of gear.
Heck, even if you just have your camera, a couple of lenses, a flash and tripod, and a few other essentials, you're carrying quite the load.
It's a good thing there are so many photography companies out there making top-notch gear that's lightweight, small, and easy to carry.
That's what I meant in the title when I said "stealthy."
The products outlined below aren't going to cover you in an invisibility cloak...
But what they will do is help you travel lean and mean, which means you can work faster and longer, get more high-quality shots, and do so without lumbering around with a bunch of heavy gear.
Sounds good, right?
Here's some of my favorite lightweight portraiture gadgets...
3D Flex Flash WYNG
If ever there was a small, lightweight gadget that you need for your portrait photography kit, the WYNG by 3D Flex Flash is it.
Check this thing out...
It's 3D printed - which is just stinking cool in and of itself - and it's incredibly durable. Made of just a single piece of plastic, this thing is flexible so it won't rip or tear.
It's also super easy to use.
There's no buckles, no velcro, and no straps. You literally just slip it on your flash and start shooting. It doesn't get any easier than that!
What's more, this little guy is super lightweight, coming in at a mere 2 ounces. It's completely flexible, meaning you can fold it up and shove it in your camera bag without taking up hardly any space at all. See how the WYNG is made in the video below:
That means that no matter where your photo shoot is at, you have a highly effective bounce reflector with a curved surface that reflects flattering light towards the subject, resulting in even lighting with less harsh shadows on your subject's face.
As if that's not enough, the WYNG doesn't impair the movement of your flash, so you can easily switch from portrait to landscape mode, or turn the flash around for even softer lighting.
You can diffuse, bounce, and reflect light, all with one simple gadget that's affordable too.
If that's not flash photography simplified, I don't know what is!
A 5-in-1 Reflector
A 5-in-1 reflector is about as lightweight of a camera accessory as there is. After all, it weighs just a few ounces.
And if you've never worked with a set of reflectors before, they collapse together into a single, flat, circular package that you can slip in the back of your camera bag or even just clip to the exterior of your bag for easy access.
But the beauty of these reflectors isn't just that they are easily stored away and super lightweight - they are incredibly versatile too, as Eskild Fors explains in the video below:
Use the gold reflector to warm up the tones in the shot or the silver reflector to brighten up your subject.
The white reflector can be used to fill in shadows on a model's face while the black material is used to enhance shadows.
There's even a translucent reflector that can be used as a diffuser to soften the light, resulting in an image with less contrast and more even lighting.
And all that comes in a single, very inexpensive package. It's hard to beat that!
Portable Muslin Backdrop
A common obstacle that portrait photographers face is the occasional ugly background when shooting on location.
Some will argue that all you need to do to deal with an ugly background is throw it out of focus by manipulating the depth of field to be quite shallow.
The problem with that approach is that if the background has crazy colors or a ton of dynamic range, it can be distracting even if it's out of focus.
The solution is to have a portable muslin backdrop handy.
Like the 5-in-1 reflector, the muslin backdrop shown above collapses down to a small, easily-portable size so you can take it with you wherever you go. What's amazing is that when popped out, it's 5 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet tall, all from a package that's just 27 inches in diameter.
So, when an unfortunate background rears its ugly head, all you have to do is unfurl the backdrop, attach it to a stand as shown above, and place it behind your portrait subject for a plain white or black background.
This particular backdrop is made of high-quality cotton, so it's durable and will stand up to the abuses of frequent use. What's more, it's got a matte finish on both sides, so you get a nondescript background that won't have any reflections to distract the viewer's eye away from the subject.
Even better, you can pick up a portable backdrop on the cheap, so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank to get one.
Don't let shooting on location be a burden. Outfit yourself with the right gear, and you can work faster and more efficiently.
Besides, you'd be surprised at just how much these three high-quality, lightweight, and inexpensive products can positively impact your images!