Lights, Camera, Selfie! Meet the film quality lighting that’s upping your smartphone camera game
When Sydney-based TV commercial director, Al Morrow, witnessed his sister-in-law incorporating some “interesting” DIY lighting techniques for a selfie, it sparked a ‘lightbulb’ moment.
“Some of her tactics were much like what we’d do on a real film set, shaping and cutting light. I was impressed!” he says. “So when she mentioned that some people even have lights to make their selfies better, I got a picture in my head of what that would look like. But a little research revealed they were nothing like how I’d imagined.”
That was the day Al decided he could take what he knew about professional lighting on a film set, and bring it to life in a consumer product for the masses.
As a producer, director and cinematographer, working between Australia and the US for more than a decade, shooting and lighting scenes was Al’s bread and butter. And he knew exactly where to start.
“The cameras on smartphones have gotten better and better every year for a decade, but the lighting options for them haven’t evolved at all,” he explains. “I wanted to take the principles of film lighting and apply them to a small mobile light unit that anybody could use, beginner or professional.”
Armed with the lighting and photography theory, Al realised he didn’t have the technical design skills to bring his idea to life, so he enlisted the help of an award-winning team of industrial designers to develop a prototype. The result was BIGSOFTI — a portable LED soft-light that packs professional lighting principles into a sleek and ultra-lightweight design.
Adaptable across multiple devices — including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and DSLR or mirrorless cameras — it is the ultimate all-in-one solution for video call-regulars, selfie-lovers, backyard-video-makers and expert photographers alike, providing beautiful, soft lighting for photos and video.
It was a hit from the outset. “When COVID hit and my TV work suddenly dried up, I had the time to set up a Kickstarter and launch BIGSOFTI,” says Al. “We hit our funding goal in under 45 minutes!”
Fast-forward a few weeks and Al had had more than 7,500 customers from 79 countries chasing orders. “I was responding to 50-plus emails a day, all while finalising production, assessing samples from the manufacturers, signing logistics deals with third-party warehouses and launching a new brand!”
Hot off the heels of his debut success, he employed a small support team and embarked on the next logical step for the business: selling through Amazon Australia.
“We decided to sell on Amazon Australia because of the huge organic customer base and the amazing warehousing and fulfilling services,” he explains. “Once set up, we were able to save both time and money and focus on building the brand, rather than running errands.”
Al is already eagerly anticipating the results of Amazon Australia’s upcoming annual Prime Day — one of Amazon’s biggest sale events of the year.
“There’s nothing else like BIGSOFTI out there for a mobile-first audience, so we can’t wait to see how Aussie consumers respond during the event,” he says, excitedly. “Makeup tutorials on Instagram, food bloggers documenting their fancy dinners, white collar professionals in remote workspace scenarios — we sell BIGSOFTI to many different types of customers.”
“You don’t need to be a pro or spend thousands of dollars on high-end equipment to take a good picture or video,” he asserts. “Lighting is the key to 99 per cent of a beautiful shot. And with a soft light like BIGSOFTI, now anyone can look good on camera!”