10 Do’s and Don’ts of Flash Photography

Flash photography or choosing to use the flash in photography can be tricky. Using flash can make a variety of images appear better. These can be stock photos, portraits or even product photography images. If you are someone who is starting flash photography, here are 9 Do’s and Don’ts of Flash Photography.

Do’s of Flash photography

  1. Recognizing the need: When you are planning to do flash photography, you should be able to recognize the need. You need to make sure if you are correctly able to recognize if there is a need of using flash at all. You can use flash when you notice natural light is not enough. Flash can also be used if you need to control the direction of the light. For example, the need with be different for stock photosas opposed to portraits.
  2. Difference between TTL and Manual light: Manual light allows you to adjust the settings. But, when using flash photography it is advisable to use TTL lighting. This will make it easier for you to change the lighting conditions when you rely on ambiance. The flash will quickly interact with the camera, checks the lighting, and determines the distance. This will ensure that the flash that falls while taking the picture, is perfect.
  3. Using flash gels: Using flash gels, can make your pictures more aesthetic and add an extra element to it. These can be added as a colored tint to your flash and brings out colors much more beautifully than it would with colored lighting placed in the room. You can add filters which suit the color of your background. These can add an X factor to your regular stock photos.
  4. Diffusing your flash: When people hear the word flash, they automatically assume unnatural lighting. Diffusing the flash will ensure that it is not harsh and thin, it will rather soften the light and create a larger circle of the flash. With optimized coverage it will appear that the object is in studio lighting.
  5. High speed flash sync: To take cool pictures with flash photography, you can enable high speed flash sync. This will help you to take pictures with flash when using high shutter speed and can be used for stop motion. The flash will enlarge in the exact moment when you need to click when high speed flash sync is switched on.

Dont’s of Flash Photography

  • Too much flash: While having too less flash would result in the photo looking bad, too much flash is not a good idea either. It will make the object look very flat and spooky. This happens when there is flash equal or more than the ambient lighting. Take 2-3 trial photos and adjust the lighting accordingly.
  • Harsh flat lighting on the subject: A common occurrence of flash photography is using direct flash on the subject that can make the lighting look harsh. Flat light means lack of dimension in the photo. Harsh lighting can result in hard shadows, which does not make the subject look good. This can shift the focus from the image to the shadow.
  • Red-eye: When beginning with flash photography, it usually results in red-eye. This makes the subject look like a devil and can ruin a perfectly good image. Here, the flash directly bounces back from the subject eye’s resulting in a red eye.
  • Black stripe over the image: Another common mistake that beginners tend to make is, when they see the image, there is a black stripe over the image covering it. This happens when the duration of the shutter speed is too fast as opposed to when the flash occurs. The black band visible, is the shutter. Check your flash sync speed and if it is possible, use high flash sync speed.
  • Not using flash during the day: Most people make the common mistake of assuming that you need not use to use the flash during the day time. Flash can also help you control the direction of the flash and sometimes you might need that. This way even shadows are created in your desired direction. You can use a smaller amount of flash when outside however, it does not mean you should not use flash at all.


Learning flash photography can be difficult at first, however once you are used to the features your camera has it becomes easier. These are 10 do’s and dont’s you can avoid when doing flash photography.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Share This

Share this post with your fellow geeks