Life as a Design Problem: Making/Do

Being attached to a photographer has its amusing moments - tripping over a forest of light stands is not one of them. It also comes with a unique set of project requests. Recently, Nils asked for a better way to transport and carry his beauty dish that he often uses on location for portraits. There are existing specialized bags to carry beauty dishes, but as he pointed out, they cost about 10x the cost of his modifier. This became an opportunity for me to use my skills to solve a personal-adjacent problem (and also get back to making things with a purpose).


  • Beauty Dishes are awkward to carry due to size and shape
  • Susceptible to damage that affects performance
  • Currently stored haphazardly in the closet, hoping for the best.


  • Easy carrying points so he can trust others to move gear for him
  • Protection against bumps and dings to the shape and surface of the dish - affecting the quality of the light bounce.
  • A home for the beauty dish that makes is easier to grab and go on location.


The bag was inspired by a hatbox and made use of repurposed materials. Coroplast boards were used to protect the dish and duck canvas to hold it all together. Along the way, the full circle panels became half circles that folded out of the way due to fabrication constraints - this had the added benefit of making the beauty dish easier to place in the bag.


I consider this weekend project successful. My sewing machine was pushed to its limits trying to sew through and around the coroplast boards. The beauty dish can now be stored vertically or hung on the wall, taking up much less usable storage space. Future iterations would include an internal pocket for the diffusion cloth. The panelling also provides an opportunity to get creative with styling. For now, function over form is satisfactory.