–I typed up this post several weeks ago before enrolling in my intensive lighting course! These are all of the super budget friendly OCF items I am starting with, mostly referred to me by Kylee Ann Studios! If you want to get started with OCF on a budget, these are good places to start!
I am hopping in to share one of SJP’s New Tricks in Continuing Education for 2018! This years technical education is all about light, off camera flash, and improving my studio newborn work. Learning more about the way light behaves and how my camera takes in the information has been awe inspiring. In 2017 I got pretty comfortable with my flash being attached to my camera. In that time I learned so much. I was comfortable taking quality portraits in nearly any lighting condition. But by pulling the flash OFF my camera and communicating with it via wireless transmission, a world of magic was revealed. I can manipulate my environment in so many new ways. I can control what’s exposed and what is not. I can picture something in my head, and communicate through the camera like never before. There are so many possibilities I know are possible…but am still learning how to make them a reality. This is what my year is all about!
Have you ever tried to draw something as an adult? Legit took out a pencil and tried to draw something in front of you? IT’S SO HARD! Taking a picture in your head or even seeing it with your eyes and trying to replicate it takes so much practice and knowledge. Any seasoned sketch artist will tell you…so much of that replication comes in your ability to accurately portray light. Possibly more than shape.
For my photographers, here is list of everything I’m starting with (definitely a budget friendly way to start!). I will not recommend the light stand I purchased because it is WAY too flimsy for the 60″ umbrella. Here is a lightstand I Love and will use forever! In the meantime, don’t buy a cheap light stand or stick with the magmod over umbrella! Eventually, I need to purchase a second magmod and mag grip so I can have one on camera and one off. When I need to double up on flashes, I put the magmod on camera and umbrella off camera.
This Canon Speedlite was my first ever professional grade flash. It was the only flash I used in 2017! It is fast and works great. Just be sure to change out your batteries as often as possible. The flash will weaken as the batteries lose power resulting in inconsistent results. Perhaps I will learn a way this year to know how to better deal with this problem. For now, I just switch out the batteries every chance I get. (Yes, that gets expensive.) Also, let’s be real. There’s a chance my experience with this flash is limited to my limited knowledge about the gear.
Transmitter & Receivers. These do need a line of sight but they are not too picky! I am still learning all these babies can do and they’ve been great so far! They function for both Canon and Nikon so they’re great for photographers who often shoot with assistant’s.
I LOVE these NEEWER flashes for their rechargeable lion batteries!!! My only complaint is they are HUGE compared to my Canon Speedlite. I use them on camera often but don’t recommend it. They are HEAVY.
The bigger the light source (umbrella) the softer the light!
After dealing with a tiny scrunchy soft box falling off my speedlite all wedding season in 2017, I am OBSESSED with MagMod magnet systems!!! I feel so much more professional with them and they produce far more beautiful results than my tiny scrunchy softbox! They’re also FAR less intrusive than the umbrella when you’re environment calls for something smaller. Don’t forget the grip and the sphere work together! Niether is useful without the other! Consider purchasing two grips if you have two flashes so you can easily move the sphere from one flash to another. The MagGrip is a TIGHT fit for the NEEWER flashes above, but they will fit!
–You’ll also need an umbrella bracket and a cold shoe elbow. I don’t have recommendations for those yet but take to Amazon and pick one to start with! This is what will hold the umbrella and flash on your light stand.
LAST TIP! If you’re nervous about starting off camera flash, start implementing it in low pressure moments during wedding days. I recommend the time you take to step away from everyone to photograph detail shots and when people are dancing during the reception! You have the ability to take all of the shots you need your usual way, and some time to get creative. This way, if your flash images don’t turn out, you still have what you need.