Is a big ole flash really nessacery???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Addicted2Photoz, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Addicted2Photoz

    Addicted2Photoz TPF Noob!

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    I'm just starting out with a photography business, I plan on doing alot of beach portraits, now I'm scratching my head wondering if I should go ahead and buy a nice flash for my canon rebel xti. Would this really be worth it for just outdoor beach portraits? What if I'm just shooting 1 person, is a really big flash nessacery or can I just use the small pop up one on the camera? Any kind of help is appreciated.
     
  2. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Why would you need it? Will you be shooting while it's bright outside? If so, then you shouldn't need it. Will you be shooting during twilight but you still want to see your subject? If so, then you'd want a bright light that you could diffuse off-axis so that your subject will still be lit.

    It all depends upon your situation.
     
  3. Addicted2Photoz

    Addicted2Photoz TPF Noob!

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    Yeah but sometimes I like to shoot my photos at sunset with the sun in the background, I need a brighter flash for this... Nevermind I guess I just answered my own question..
     
  4. Mastino

    Mastino TPF Noob!

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    Read up on fill-flash and lighting your subject against a bright background. The answer is, in short, yes, you need a speed light flash even on the beach.
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Ditto. You need to learn how to use fill flash. The pop-up will be insufficent at telephoto ranges. You need a flash with a higher guide number. A lightstand is also a boon to get it off camera and place catchlights correctly.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    These two sentences worry me.

    I would hope that someone starting a business would have a better understanding of the craft. Don't take that the wrong way, we all have to start somewhere.

    Have you ever seen a professional photo shoot on a beach...Something that might appear on a magazine? They would trypically have a lot more than just a flash unit. They would probably have several lights, maybe even studio lights running off a battery/generator...and it would be very common to use either a large reflector or a large diffusion panel...or both.
    You may not need all of that, but careful control of the lighting is key for successful portraits...and the built-in flash is probably the last thing you should think about using.
     
  7. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    camera + likes photography + remote possibility of making money with pictures = starting a business (eek)


    like others have said...read up on fill flash.
    it is important ESPECIALLY for lighting situations where harsh shadows will be cast...like in direct intense sunlight...like on a BEACH.
    flash would be good...reflectors will be good too.
     
  8. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Well, many a entrepeneurs have made a business of less than what you have...TBPH, it all depends on the type of photos you would like to take, accepting the limitations of your equipment, and learning to find the point at which both can serve highest outcome. Shoot in RAW, learn some decent post-processing techniques, and you'll be able to achieve alot.

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  9. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    I would invest in a better camera body if u are gonna b doin anything comercial. Shooting at sunset with the xti your gonna have a lot of noise. I use to own that body and its great to start learning the trade but not so much for actually doin it. Ima tell u that if someone wants large prints your gonna have trouble getting quality with that body. On another note stay away from on camera flashes.
     
  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes
     
  11. CygnusStudios

    CygnusStudios TPF Noob!

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    You are not the only one. I understand how nice it is to want to be a pro photographer after some people begin telling you how nice your images are.

    Now that you believe you have the right to charge a person for your abilities, ask yourself if you have the three things that the pro's have.

    1. They have the correct equipment.
    2. They have the experience.
    3. They have the knowledge of what it takes to deliver a finished product to the client.

    Is your equipment good enough to deliver professional results? A true pro can deliver great images with any acceptable system.

    Do you have back up memory cards?
    Extra batteries for your camera and flash?
    Extra lenses?
    Extra camera?

    Have you thought about what happens if you can't make it to the shoot?
    What do you do if the client is unhappy with the final images?
    What happens if your computer crashes during the editing process and you lose all the images?
    What if the client gets hurt during the shoot?
    What happens if you get hurt during the shoot?
    What happens if you can't get the images to the client on time?
    What happens if you can't get to the shoot on time?
    How are you billing the client?
    Do you need a model release?
    Do you need a property release?
    Do you have a contract? Do you need one?
    What do you say to the client if they want the copyright?
    What kind of usage agreement do you offer to the client? And for how long?
    Are you offering the images on print? On cd? on dvd?
    Are you offering full resolution images?
    Do you place a watermark on the images?

    I am sure that if you have read this far you are starting to get the point. This is not meant to scare you, or keep you from finding paying gigs. It is however a beginning to the questions that you have to ask yourself before making the move to professional photography.
    Once you charge, you are professional. (if only for that shoot)

    You can be sued, you can have your budding photography career shortened by receiving a bad reputation. Simply because you were not prepared.

    If this were easy, everyone would be doing it.
    Insurance for your gear is not cheap.
    Liability insurance is not cheap.
    The correct gear is not cheap.
    However, all of these are cheaper than the lawyer who will defend you in a lawsuit.

    Keep in mind that in the states, getting money in a lawsuit is far easy than playing the lottery. Also keep in mind that your lawyer will charge you the same rate whether you are right or wrong.

    While it is cool that your friend is offering $50 to come out and shoot the kids, the decision has to be based on sound business logic.
     
  12. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    From everything I hear, flashes are second in importance to lenses. They're honestly more important than what camera body you pick (so I hear).

    Read strobist.com. I have been and I don't even have my own DSLR yet. What separates the great photographers from the adequate ones is mastery of lighting.
     

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