Many photographers shy away from the one accessory that can make a huge difference in their images, both indoors and out. What we’re discussing here is supplemental light in its most basic form; namely the affordable and easy to use electronic flash.
Sometimes the reticence is due to a misconception that even a simple flash requires confusing settings. Other times photographers think that more expensive and complicated gear is required for good results. As you’ll see in the video below, neither of these objections is true.
Brought to you by Adorama TV, this behind-the-scenes episode features portrait pro Vanessa Joy. She’s not only an excellent instructor, but she knows how to make beautiful images with very simple equipment. And the seven basic tips she provides will allay all your concerns about using flash in the future.
As Joy explains, “Flash isn’t just about adding more light to a photo, it’s about molding the light to your photo.” While photographing pretty model Juliana, Joy provides before-and-ever images illustrating the difference between portraits taken with flash and those using ambient light.
Her first setup is outdoors under light shade—a situation that many photographers would consider ideal for an available light shot. She also makes some indoor portraits with and without flash. In all cases she explains everything you need to know about flash and camera settings, and she provides exposure information with her images.
So take a deep breath, watch the video, and then dig out that flash hiding in the back of your photo cabinet. Then head over to Joy’s YouTube channel for more helpful tips.
And check out another tutorial we posted, explaining an easy portrait-editing technique that will also improve your work.