Photo Basics: Demystifying Off-Camera Flash with Simple Speedlights or Small Studio Strobes (VIDEO)

Many photographers shoot exclusively with available light because they’re intimidated by what they fear are the complexities of using supplemental light sources. And while complicated studio setups can require specialized expertise, shooting with simple speedlights or small studio strobes is actually quite simple.

In the video below commercial photographer Daniel DeArco teams up with the folks at Mango Street to demystify supplemental light photography and give you the confidence to get started. “A big misconception with studio lighting," he says, “is that you need large, expensive packs and flashes to do the job.”

In this tutorial DeArco explains how you can use one simple off-camera speedlight or small studio strobe to create some beautiful images in a home studio. He takes the simple approach of balancing natural light from a window with flash. By prioritizing his exposure for the ambient light, the flash is used for fill.

Using both a male and female model DeArco demonstrates hard and soft lighting setups and explains how simple light modifiers can be employed to achieve a variety of effects.

Bottom line: Studio lighting isn’t difficult if you keep things simple. You can find more interesting videos on the Mango Street YouTube channel, and be sure to check out an earlier tutorial we posted with tips for better outdoor portraits using off-camera flash.