Be the master of your flash.
Flash photography can be daunting if you’re new to it, but by the end of this I hope to clarify a few lighting concepts for you that’ll give you the confidence to give it a try. I’ve been a wedding photographer for almost 20 years, but I spent half of that using primarily natural light. Man, was I missing out! My creativity and control have both benefitted from using flash, and they will for you too.
#1 Think More or Less Light
While there are modifiers that can change the shape of the light, and direction/location that can affect it, ultimately the control options on your flash are limited to giving you more or less light. So when you’re thinking about what power to set your light to, don’t fret. Just think, do you want your flash to be brighter, or do you want it darker?
#2 Start with Flash as an Accent
The easiest way to start using flash, if you’re an on-location shooter vs in a studio, is to use it as an accent light, not your main one. I enjoy doing this by “faking” golden hour. Here’s a full video on how to do it.
#3 Do One Thing at a Time
While the world of flash photography is endless, don’t try to absorb everything all at once. In fact, don’t even try to understand any given concept in your head until you’ve tried it yourself. A surface understanding is good enough to start trying and seeing how it plays out in real life. Try watching this video and do the lighting setups with me as I go through each one.
If you’re interested in flash photography, I’ve created these interactive Lighting Guides that you’ll probably find useful. They’ll let you search through my lighting videos as easily as you search through Google, fast-forwarding you to the exact part of the video that answers the questions you ask.
Finally, while great gear is amazing to have, don’t be concerned that what you have isn’t good enough. You can still learn flash where you are and build up your gear as you go. In my opinion, the most important part of learning flash photography is practicing it and learning hands-on. So get going and get flashing!
Want to learn more? Visit VanessaJoy.com or connect on social media. Check out our review of Vanessa’s book, The Off-camera Flash Handbook here on MacSources.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on May 10, 2021.