How To Create Stunning Portraits Using a Cheap on-Camera Flash

The best portrait photographers always use the most expensive lighting set ups — right? This great video from photographer Irene Rudnyk shows you how to create stunning results from a single on-camera flash that costs only $50.

Rudnyk has carved a reputation for creating beautiful, ethereal portraits and it is perhaps testament to her skill as a photographer that the results from shooting with a single, on-camera flash doesn’t look all that different from her other work.

If there’s one thing to take away from this video, it’s that Rudnyk spent an entire day testing and tweaking her setup in order to create these images. Preparation is key.

If you don’t have a blank wall available to bounce the light (or some white blinds in Rudnyk’s case), see if you can rig up a white bedsheet or something similar — ideally something a bit more reflective. Bedsheets might also work for creating your backdrop which in this situation is critical for producing clean, minimal images and avoids having the bounced flash fill everything in the background of the shot with light, taking the focus away from the subject. Bedsheets will inevitably have some creases but these can quickly be removed during your post-processing.

What other tips would you add? Let us know in the comments below.


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