A few weeks ago, I wrote about a really fun (and helpful!) photographers group I joined that is dedicated to the growth and knowledge of others in the industry. Each month the topic varies, but this past session was of particular interest to me: Mastering Off Camera Flash. The reason being? I am shooting a wedding at the National Press Club at the end of September and the ceremony starts at 7:00PM! I’ve come to know sunrise and sunset times like the back of my hand, but for all the non-photographers reading, let me just tell you that the sun sets well before 7:30PM so our portraits will all be after dark as this couple is opting not to do a first look. They are, however, doing a “day after” session which means there won’t be quite as much pressure, but I still want to give them some incredible portraits from their actual wedding day.
Stephen Gosling, of Stephen Gosling Photography, was our guest speaker and came in guns blazing, asking how many of us considered ourselves natural light photographers? I raised my hand. “Well, that just means you don’t know how to use flash.” Gulp. Oh, in case I didn’t mention it, Stephen is very blunt, which I blame on his British descent. Personally, I loved it — it helps me when people don’t sugar coat things! But he didn’t stop there. He spent about an hour explaining and demonstrating the ins and outs of off camera flash, then set us loose to try it on our own.
All in all, I wouldn’t say I left being a pro — like all things in photography, the only way to truly grow is to practice! A huge thank you to Stephen for giving up his evening to teach us a little bit about his specialty; it went a long way! I took the “test” time really seriously, probably a little too serious — see the results below!