It’s no secret by now that my journey with Flash photography was birthed out of embarrassment and desperation. Something I’ve never shared; however, is my reluctant switch to a multi-flash setup. For years I swore by a one-flash setup, and was thrilled with the results (I’m still extremely proud of what we can do with one flash when needed – we still use it often in our work!).
Today, I’d like to share that transition. I’ll share my hesitations about making the jump, what finally pushed me over the edge, and how you can know when or if it’s right for you to make the jump to a multi-flash setup yourself! Watch the video below to learn WHY I changed (and when you should too!).
As I mentioned in a previous blog about the Flash Tools that make my life way easier, I only like adding gear that stays out of the way and keeps me focused on serving people. Adding an additional flash not only complicated and cluttered my headspace throughout the evening (figuring out one light seemed tricky enough!), it was more “stuff” to have to pack, unpack, setup, move around, tear down, pack, and take home. To me, this sounded like a bunch of time that could be spent with our couples and their guests!
I finally made the jump to a Multi-Flash Setup in 2018. I brought the setup with me to a wedding, and decided I’d give it five minutes on the dance floor. If it clicked for me, great. If not, I was returning everything!
Thankfully, it clicked.
So, why did I make the jump to multi-flash?
For me, it came down to style. I was taking images all day long that were bright and soft and beautiful. Once the sun went down, I loved the images I was getting, however there was a problem. The images were definitely soft and beautiful, but they were not bright. I wanted to be able to light the whole scene of a reception, and not just my subject. Switching to a multi-flash setup has allowed me to do just that!
The biggest challenge with the whole process was that the confusion of my flashes’ menus made setup a pain in the butt. But, once I took the plunge and bought a flash worthy of my camera body and lenses, setup was a breeze!
The first question to ask yourself is: “what style am I going for?” If your style is dark and moody, a one-Flash setup is honestly probably all you need for your receptions – you WANT the darker background! If, on the other hand, you are light and airy photographer, someone who has learned from photography educators like Amy and Jordan or Katelyn James, you might find yourself in the same spot I was in, wanting photos that are are bright and natural and fun!
The next question to ask yourself is: “have I conquered shooting with one flash yet?” If you haven’t conquered shooting with one flash on your camera, do yourself a favor. Don’t start adding more flashes, at least not yet! It’s very important to understand what each light in your flash setup contributes to the scene. If you don’t know this, you may find yourself making mistakes with your flash without even realizing it!
On the other hand, let’s say you feel like you can take brilliant, consistent photos with one flash. You know what to expect from each shot before you take it. And yet, you find yourself still not loving the consistency of your flash images with the bright shots you’re getting earlier in the day. That’s a good sign it’s time to add a flash to your setup!
I used to dread the thought of adding additional flashes to my setup. Once I conquered shooting with a single flash on camera, however, I grew frustrated with the darkness of my reception images. Switching to a multi-flash setup allowed me to have the extra light I needed to capture bright, fun reception images that took my gallery consistency to a whole new level… and it can do the same for you!