The key to awesome photos is using and creating light to really convey emotion, or just to draw people in to the photo. I love light. Natural light is awesome, but the more I learn how to better use my off camera flash, the more I take my photography to the next level.
Not gonna lie, it adds a little bit of the “wow” factor to the photos that really get a lot of attention! My very first time I used off camera flash at a wedding, I got this killer photo:
Then, recently at an engagement session after going to the Get Lit! Workshop in Boston, I got this photo:
Using my off camera flash a lot times is just a “let’s see what happens” kind of thing, but now, it’s more intentional. I have an image in my mind and I know how to make it happen. It doesn’t always turn out as good as I think it will, but the point is that I have an understanding of it now, and that’s a really powerful tool for all photographers to have! I just wanted to share two things that can start to help make a difference in using off camera flash.
I learned this from the Trevor Dayley workshop, and then again at the Get Lit! Workshop.
#1. Shutter speed.
Your shutter speed controls the ambient light in the photo. This means all the light in the background. If you want more of the background to show up in the photo, you would need to slow down your shutter speed. If you want less light in the background, then you would increase your shutter speed.
Your aperture is the f/stop on your camera. On your flash, you will have it set to the power of your choice, but the aperture controls the flash exposure. What I mean by flash exposure is the amount of light hitting your subjects. If you want to have more exposure on your subject you would open up your aperture (have it be a smaller number) and if there is too much flash exposure on your subject, just close your aperture (so make it a larger f/stop number).
Beginning to learn how to use your off camera flash will help prepare you for any lighting situation on a wedding day, which is really beneficial to you and your clients!
These two pieces are where I started with off camera flash to help control the light and understand the elements of the photo. I hope these are helpful to you! I will be doing more posts on off camera lighting and the types of equipment I use for my lighting setups.