Day 55: Bouncing a Flash Indoors

The first time I walked into a dim, yellow bridal suite, I thought “Shooooot.”

While our sun is up outside, we really would rather leave the flash for the reception, amirite? ¬†Sometimes you might stand resolute, bumping your ISO to 3200 and getting grainy orangey photos… and then you realize your decision is made for you. Your flash has to make an early appearance.

In this case, I bounce. Imagine you’re bouncing a ball off a wall and you want that ball to hit your subject smack in the face. Position yourself so that you can angle your flash like the image below and it will hit that wall at an angle. That light will bounce off the wall and light your subject with flattering, even light. I usually turn my flash like you see in the below image and find a wall/ceiling to bounce off of. Hopefully it’s a white wall.

Because I’m a control freak, I set my flash to manual and I don’t shy away from my flash power. If my image doesn’t look how I want it to look, I will turn that flash up. I don’t care if I’m sitting there dumbfounded thinking “It’s at HALF POWER, how is that not enough?!”, I will bump it up.

It also might take a few angles to get the look you want. I encourage you to be honest if something isn’t working and to take a minute to determine why. Maybe it’s that the wall you’re bouncing off is solid black and ten feet away. Maybe you need a white wall that reflects an ample amount of light. Maybe it’s that your subject is too far from the wall and the flash isn’t fully reaching her.

I’m including some examples of images below to show you that you can absolutely get clean, flattering light while using a flash, even in the most dimly lit bridal suites!

Friends, that was day 55! Join us tomorrow for day 56: Studio Lighting