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Capture Beautiful Portraits with This Easy Flash Photography Method

Mix ambient lighting with flash to produce stunning portrait results
Photo of stunning portrait lighting

If you’ve struggled to add flash lighting to your portrait shoots, pro photographer Miguel Quiles shares his easy flash photography method to use on location. In the video at the bottom of this post, Quiles discusses a simple way to balance flash with ambient light outdoors to capture stunning portraits.

“If you’ve been struggling to learn how to use off-camera flash on location, you’re in luck today because in this video I’m going to walk you through the entire process step-by-step, super easy so that you could use an off-camera flash for your next portrait session,” he says. “This is the same setup I would use if I just started shooting portraits.”

In the clip, Quiles photographs model Katelyn Tuck in an outdoor setting with trees and a small house in the background. The first step before you even start dealing with the flash lighting is to get your camera set to expose for just the ambient light in the scene.

“The most important thing you have to understand is that you have two different exposures that are happening when you take these photos with off camera flash,” he says.

“The first one is the exposure you get in your camera using your manual settings. Then you have the exposure you’re going to get from your off-camera flash. The first thing we’re going to do is dial in the exposure using manual settings on the camera. Once we get that the way we want it to look, then we’re going to add our flash and we’re going to use that to light our lovely model, Katelyn.”

The best part of Quiles’ simple technique is that you can use just about any flash to achieve beautiful results. Watch below as he walks you through the step-by-step process. After you try his tips, you should enter your best shots in our “People & Portraits” 2022 photo contest.

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