April 13, 2021

How to Photograph with On /Off Camera Flash

Lighting makes a huge difference when capturing imagery but first and foremost it is important to know your style. My style is true to color so moody shadows are what I tend to turn from as I reach for bright and vibrant it’s important that my lighting supports that end goal no matter the lighting situation outside. Some people love to photograph on cloudy days, although I have had some success I find I love sunny days and can photograph clients no matter the time of day! Yes even at high noon , and find I love the vibrancy and lush color that gives my subject. The gray clouds make me have to work harder for the color I love in imagery. 

I believe my experience in the wedding industry for years threw me in with the lighting sharks and it’s sink or swim. It pushed me to learn how to manipulate lighting situations for the vibrancy and bright look I love. As wedding days and most shooting days don’t give you the option of sunny , 70 degrees and no wind with white walls everywhere, haha in a photographers dream right, you have to have tools that allow you to create light fast so that you do not hinder the days timeline. Audrie Tip: Do not be afraid to speak up!! If the location is not working take a few minutes to get the angle and shot that you are most confident shooting and offer a different option. It may delay 5-10 minutes but in the end well worth it. Do their way, then your way to offer both lighting option, it will come across in camera . 

Knowing what tools to use for each situation is helpful and so I am giving you insight on what I use for lighting in each situation that makes me a confident photographer in all lighting situations. 

Lighting Used to Shoot in Studio With a Person

Constant lighting, is my lighting of choice as I use the natural lighting approach and it’s easier to adjust my camera as well as quicker. You can use speed lighting in indoor situations and on high end fashion shoots that are a flash capture. As always, you want your subject to be facing the light source and using your reflectors and constant lighting to fill in the shadows behind the subject. 


 Nikon D850, pair this Camera with several options of lenses! Here are three of my favorites. Nikon AF-S FX 24-70 mm f/2.8 , Nikon 50mm 1.4Nikon 35mm 1.4 . Other Camera Brand Options that I recommend are –Canon EOS 5D Mark IVSony A9. This bundle is also an INCREDIBLE deal and goes out of stock quickly!


When it comes to constant lighting I find myself going to the cheaper ones. As I move locations every day, if one were to break or is over worked I am not out thousands of dollars for an every day mishap. Click here to snag these lights under $100! If you have a Studio that is your every day location where the lights are stationary and you do not pack your lights a lot I would definitely recommend purchasing your higher quality lighting like these by WestScott. These lights are great too, and if you’re looking for more of an umbrella shaped light, I love these! I love this light stand as well.

Lighting Used to Shoot In Studio With Product

The same lighting set up approach for products is as seen in the Indoor Lighting Set up graphic. We went into major detail of how I photograph products linked here.


Here is a backdrop option I use regularly. I also linked these backdrop options that would be great too.When it comes to shooting products I also absolutely love Replica Surfaces. They are great quality and make capturing the image easier. This backdrop is larger for bigger products. I always recommend the white.


I use reflectors to reflect the sun back on the subject and softens the light and pours fills the natural shadows / or as seen you can use the white to help with sun blotching and soften the harshness of the sun . I position the subject with their back towards the sun and place the reflector facing the subject bouncing light back at them to fill shadows. I also find shade and put the subject at the edge of the direct light and find the light to bounce the light off of the reflector. 


I love these handheld reflectors, especially if you are shooting alone. These reflectors are larger and great if you are shooting with an assistant.

Indoor When Moving Spots Quickly:

When photographing influencers and or moving to new spots I don’t find it efficient for time moving my constant lights for each capture. Lights are used if it’s dark outside with no natural light sources are available. If it is a large collaboration that needs a higher end look and time is accounted for then contact lights and off camera flash lights are brought in. Daily lifestyle shoots we opt for quicker options like the On Camera flash with flash bender. I turn the flash bender up into the air or backwards to get a softer flash on the subject by just bouncing light into the room creating a more life styled natural light on the subject . 


 Flash Bender

Smaller Flash Bender

Wedding or Event:

Lighting up a large event space when it has low lighting to create ambiance for the event or the event is outdoors and only luminated by accent lighting. It is important to have tools to help light the space for you to capture a higher quality image not only on your subject but on moving subjects that will most likely be dancing. Photographing movement in dim lighting the camera does not have opportunity to focus, as well as increasing your shutter speed to capture a fast moving subject doesn’t allow as much light in the lens so we have to offset it with lighting techniques. Do NOT make this process over complicated where you are unable to use these helpful lighting tool or it overwhelms you during the busy wedding/event your are photographing. Try practicing this at home or get there early to make sure it will be ready when it’s time to party! You will have your main On Camera Flash that has the flash bender attached, this will be the one that speaks and sends signals to lights B & C. Thus creating the dance floor into a night of flashes and fun!


This Flash Kit is compatible with almost all Nikon Cameras and has everything you need. This helps take my photos to the next level and make them crisp and bright when necessary.


For editing on the go, I use this MacBook and it has never let me down! If you are a photographer and only use a desktop to edit, I highly recommend purchasing a laptop to be able to edit wherever you are.

Photography is all about growing your knowledge and finding what best works for you! I have found joy in growing as a business owner and photography and hope this blog post allows you to take yours to the next level.



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