There have been countless times where I show up for a wedding and see photographers who are afraid to use a flash. They either aren’t too sure how to use it, or they have a general idea. Even the ones with an idea, when they try to use it, tend to confuse settings. I can say that using flash for wedding photography is SUPER important. This can really make or break your overall product delivered for a wedding. flash photography
One of the most important aspects of using flash is using it correctly, not casting an unwanted shadow, and using a mounted flash with off-camera flashes. Seasoned professional wedding photographers will purchase off-camera flashes to use for the reception, night shots, and to create artistic photos at other parts of the day. GoDox AD 200 flashes have become one of the most popular strobes for photographers to purchase in the last few years. flash photography
I know many photographers who invested in the MagMod system, a magnetic flash modifier system that is used to create some amazing images. I have seen some of the most amazing work with the MagMod system. They make everything from colored gels to honeycomb grids to a pop-up softbox. These can be crucial when shooting certain aspects of a wedding day. flash photography
Manual vs. TTL
Many photographers are scared to use Manual mode but frankly don’t know how to use it. Think of TTL as the auto settings on a camera and, well, manual mode the same way on the camera. You can control the power of each light as well as the high-speed sync mode. Your images will come out so much cleaner when you use Manual mode over TTL mode. The light spreads more, and the images will be the same brightness from photo to photo. When I first started using Manual mode on the flash, I instantly saw the quality of my images skyrocket.
The lower the second number is, the more powerful the light is. 1/1 is considered full power, 1/2 is considered half power, 1/4 is quarter power, and so on, and so forth.
You want to remain between 1/4 and 1/32 power for shooting a reception with your mounted flash. I won’t go into too much detail with the Off-Camera flashes as most photographers don’t have those at the hobbyist or amateur level. flash photography
3 – Point Lighting
When you take a basic lighting course, they teach you something called 3-point lighting. Your lights create a triangle in relation to each other and fill the room with all artificial light. Think of your mounted flash as your key light and your two OCF (Off-Camera Flashes) as your fill lights. This way, you can capture the subject in full light, and then the OCF’s will fill the room. flash photography
It is SUPER important to use a bounce card when needed. Most of the time, you won’t need the bounce card built into the flash, but it is good to know it is there and use it when you need to. I use it more for outdoor weddings to send light forward because sending it up won’t do much.
Many companies make lower grade flashes, and honestly, I don’t feel a need for them. If you are going to invest in a flash, you want to invest in the best one they make. If I was investing in a flash, the GoDox V860’s are the best bank for your buck. They are inexpensive and are the best on the market. I used to shoot Canon and used their flashes, and when I switched over to Sony, I purchased the GoDox flashes and have never looked back.
There is so much that goes into flash photography but knowing the basics of how to use a flash and setting up your camera with the right settings will improve your quality of work instantly. You will need to invest in flashes if you want to shoot professionally one day. Please reach out if you have any more questions about flashes; I would be happy to dive deeper into flash photography and the do’s and don’t’s of using them.