How to Expertly Mix Strobes With Speedlights

As a portrait photographer, part of your job is to instill confidence in your clients, most of whom are relative strangers. To do this, you don’t want to be fumbling around with your lighting setup and looking like you might not know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. In the hour-long video below, Bob Harrington shows us some advanced techniques to seamlessly blend speedlights with strobes:

As useful and awesome as they are, not everyone can afford a light meter, and Harrington recognizes this. What’s great about this seminar is that he shows us how to make great photos without one. Sometimes it’s hard to even decide which settings you should start with. Fortunately, Harrington made this cheat sheet with a few key settings he considers to be great starting points:

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Using just a speedlight, it’s possible to capture great dramatic shots, but dramatic portraits aren’t always desirable. In the case of headshots for actors and models, bringing in a strobe can help fill in the shadows left by a speedlight for brighter, cheerier images.

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In addition to lighting techniques, Harrington also spreads out helpful tips about posing the model, approaching clients, etc. throughout the video. One of the most important things he stresses is to relax, enjoy, and have fun!

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