If you’re here it’s obviously because you need to learn flash photography.. and I’d guess that it’s been an intimidating topic to approach! Flash can have such a tricky reputation because if done poorly it can get very complicated and very expensive very quickly. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Flash photography is essential for beginning photographers and experienced photographers. If you haven’t had an experience yet where you were forced to use flash photography? It’s coming! And you’ll feel so much better and more confident if you can enter that situation fully confident rather than scrambling to set your ISO to 10,000 and hope for the best.
I want to make sure that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars like I did testing out all of these different lighting situations and setups. So whether you are here because you want to start shooting more studio work or you’re a wedding photographer and you know the clock is ticking before you have to start implementing flash, or maybe you’re just sick of crossing your fingers, knowing that there’s going to be hoping, there’s going to be enough string lights or the videographer will bring a light. Artificial light and flash is such a beautiful and honestly simplistic thing and it makes it so that you can walk into a wedding day or job knowing that you don’t have to worry about lighting! You’ve got your clients, no matter what.
Maybe you’re concerned that flash photography going to look like JCPenney or like Uncle Bob shot it in a field in the middle of the day. Let’s eradicate that fear for you. You can make flash photo look so beautiful, creamy, natural, and that’s what you’re going to learn next.
So artificial light appearance comes down to three things: intensity, distance, and settings.
The lower your flashes, the literal settings, the less light it’s going to be pushing out. This means it’s going to be a little bit softer while the higher it is, the more intense the light going to be and it will create a more contrasted look.
And this is a really important one when you are playing with wanting a more light and airy look or a more contrasted and moody look. The closer the light is to your subject, the brighter it’s going to be.But also the higher contrast it’s going to be. It’s not going to have as much time or room to spread out and so it’s going to be way more intense.
If you’re working with a speed light, which we do not recommend for weddings, your settings are going to greatly impact the way that your image looks overall. There’s three things to keep in mind when it comes to your camera settings and the appearance of your flash photography.
Shutter speed isn’t going to impact the flash, it’s just going to impact ambient and then ISO and aperture are going to affect everything as a whole. So you kind of want to think of these things like a balancing scale! They each have to be monitored, you need to be aware of them, you need to use them strategically in combination with flash intensity and distance from subject in order to achieve the look that you’re wanting to.
If you’re at the beginning of your journey, and you want to learn more about Flash so that you no longer have to be learning Flash for beginners, grab our free Flash Photography guide using the button below! Any questions? Drop them below!
Now if you want to scroll some dreamy flash photography in action, see some of our favorites below!
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