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4 Misconceptions About Flash and Artificial Light

Would you believe it if I told you that all the above photos were taken using flash? 📸 🤯

So many photographers have an idea in their head of what photos taken with flash look like: often that idea is harsh and uneven light. Maybe you even think of bright subjects with dark backdrops and hauling a big flash setup around outdoors midday. (Am I right?!) 😜

I’m going to change your mind about what artificial lighting can do for your work, even if you’re a “natural light” photographer and hope to never have to touch your flash gear!

Let’s start by looking at a few misconceptions about flash and artificial light…

Misconception #1 – Flash is too harsh for my soft and natural style

I hope that by seeing my work and glancing at the photos above, you have already found that you can make flash work for any style of photography, including “bright and airy” and “natural light” styles. You just have to learn how to approach and manipulate it to get the end result that you want! I’ve mastered my own technique for getting crisp, bright, and evenly lit photos, and as a result I’ve been able to feel confident walking into any lighting scenario. Plus, when you learn to get consistent results and a certain look, you can elevate your portfolio and attract larger and higher paying clients!

Misconception #2 – There’s a “right” way to use flash

Now, I haven’t been to photography school (all my degrees are actually in nursing), but I can say with confidence that there isn’t a specific way you have to use flash or artificial light. Once you learn the basics of light and how your equipment works, you can feel free to get creative to figure out what works for you and the result you want to achieve! Just because traditionally taught photographers use flash in a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to! Just like you find your own style with posing, composition, and editing in photography, you’ll find your own style with artificial light. Get creative and try something different!

Misconception #3 – Flash is too intimidating and technical

I know from experience that this part tends to stop self-taught photographers in their tracks. I know because I am one! Maybe you feel embarrassed because you “should” know more about how your equipment works or how to use flash, but you’ve built a successful photography business doing things a certain way and you’ve never needed to learn all the ins and outs of what your equipment can do. You know enough to get the result you want! (Except for when it comes to any less than ideal lighting scenario, where you find yourself panicking in the moment and then spending wayyy too many hours editing to try to get the result you want!) 😬

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know all the technical aspects of photography and all the things my equipment can do, but I’ve mastered the basics of what I need to create work in the style that I love. You can do the same with flash and artificial light! There are just a few simple things to learn and then you’re off!

Want me to simplify things for you? (There’s no technical talk here!) Make sure you’re on my VIP list to get all the easy flash education sent straight to your inbox!

Misconception #4 – You have to spend thousands of dollars on all kinds of lighting gear

Nope! I’ve used a simple setup with 3 speedlites to take all of my photos! They’re versatile, easily transportable, and often cheaper than other lights. I knew if I had to wade through and acquire all the different gear then I wouldn’t actually use it. Plus when you’re starting out you don’t have money for all the things, right? So I simplified my setup to the basics and what I actually need to get the job done. I’ve literally used this gear for the 7 years I’ve been in business! Curious what I’m using? Check out my gear guide where I list out all my favorite photography equipment, including camera bodies, lenses, lights, accessories, backdrops, and more!

Now that I’ve hopefully changed your mind about flash, I hope you’ll stick around and stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and education about how to make artificial light work for you! Start by checking out my free flash education video where I’ll walk you through my simple one light setup and show you how I use it to create my signature bright images! If you’re ready to finally ditch your fear of flash and learn how to make artificial light work for your bright and natural photography style, check out my course “The Flash Hater’s Guide to Making Artificial Light Look Natural,” and make sure to join my VIP list so you don’t miss out on the next freebie!

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i'm sarah (she/her) , your new quirky, color-loving friend!

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My goal with every client is to cultivate a fun, creative, and approachable vibe. All types of people, all types of bodies, and all types of love are welcome here.

Color and creativity fuel my soul, and whimsical details make my heart happy! I believe in finding joy in the everyday, that real emotions are better than perfectly posed, and that building real connections with my clients is what allows me to create honest photos and capture genuine moments.

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