Working with Flash Photography in Daylight

Shooting with a flash when photographing outside on a sunny day may sound counter intuitive. But, by placing the flash just right, you can get some beautiful results. In this video, professional wedding photographer Vanessa Joy with Adorama explains how you can shoot outside with an off-camera flash and make it look like you have two light sources:

As Joy demonstrates in the video, you can get some really nice shots by mixing the sun with flash. The trick is however to treat the sun as the secondary light, and your flash as the main light. So, position your subject so that the sun falls to their back and highlights their hair and shoulders.

Before using any flash, start by metering for your background. Then, use the flash to illuminate the subject from the side. If you’re not sure about what power setting to use, start by using TTL. You can then switch over to manual to adjust from there.  Having the subject turn towards the flash will help you to illuminate their eyes and facial structure for a beautiful effect. And also make sure that the flash is not harsh. Ensure that it’s subtle and melts into the scene.

“I made sure that the flash was pretty much to a 90 degree angle, maybe a little bit less to my subject so that shadow kind of goes down the middle of the subject.”

If you haven’t tried mixing flash with daylight, try out Joy’s method. You just might fall in love with the results.

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