If you want to capture the best indoor flash photography photos or improve your indoor flash photography skills it is important to use the right equipment. This is all well and good but with so much flash equipment available, what is the essential indoor flash photography equipment and what are the essentials you should have in your photography bag? Perhaps this may be of some use…….
Indoor flash photography equipment – Speed lights
First on the list of indoor flash photography equipment is a speed light or two. Now then, there is an argument that strobe lights are the best for indoor flash photography however this is not always the case. If you have your own photography studio and only take photos in that then I agree that a strobe light is best.
If, however, you don’t have your own specific studio and do indoor flash photography in multiple locations speed lights are essential to provide the light. Speed lights are small, light and easily transportable. You can also set up speed lights wherever you want, unlike a strobe which requires a mains power supply. Speed lights are by far the best solution in this situation, and if you have lots of them there are numerous lighting set ups you can use.
The speed lights I use for my indoor flash photography comprise the Godox Ving speed lights. These speed lights are powerful, have full manual mode and ETTL mode, HSS mode and are very user friendly. My first speed light was a Canon 600EX but when this went wrong I didn’t have the funds to replace it, so I had to buy a budget speed light – which ended up being the Godox Ving. I was so impressed with this flash I ended up buying three more of them to gang together as a single light solution. If you want a cheap but exceptionally good speed light you won’t go too far wrong with the Godox Ving.
Indoor flash photography equipment – Flash triggers
If you are serious about your indoor flash photography you need to take the speed lights off camera and position them around the model. In order to fire the speed lights when you press the shutter button you can either use an off camera flash cord (which is cumbersome and leaves trailing wires everywhere) or wireless flash triggers, and this is what I use.
There are various makes and models of flash trigger on the market and they vary in price from really cheap (like the unbranded Chinese models) to the stupidly expensive (like the top end Pocket Wizards). There are times when you need to spend a lot of money on indoor flash photography equipment, but this is not the case with flash triggers. Pocket Wizards are very good, but there really is no need to shell out hundreds of bucks for them.
The flash triggers I use are the Yongnuo 622 flash triggers combined with the Yongnuo transmitter on my camera. The Yongnuo 622 transmitters have ETTL technology, which is very useful for those times when setting the flash power manually isn’t feasible. The Yongnuo 622 flash triggers aren’t super cheap but they aren’t really expensive either, so they are affordable. I have never had any problems with misfires and the Yongnuo 622 flash triggers are very reliable. The Yongnuo TX transmitter isn’t actually needed since you can use the 622 flash triggers as transmitters as well as receivers. I use the Yongnuo TX because it allows me to adjust the power of every individual speed light from the camera position, i.e. without having to walkover to each individual speed light and adjust it individually.
Indoor flash photography equipment – Light modifiers
Flash light is harsh and can leave nasty hot spots on the model. The best way of dealing with these hot spots and eliminating them in the first instance is to soften the light some type of light modifier.
I own and use several different types of light modifiers, including shoot through brollies (which are my personal favorite), soft boxes of various sizes and small diffuser caps. Some photographers use reflectors for bouncing flash back on to the subject, however I am not a fan of bounce flash so I don’t use reflectors.
Indoor flash photography equipment – Light stands
Light stands always seem to be at the bottom of the list of indoor photography flash equipment which I find surprising. Light stands are important to hold the speed lights in place and must be strong enough to securely support the speed light, the flash trigger and also the light modifier being used.
It is worth remembering the light stands will be holding equipment costing a lot of money so you should never scrimp on lighting stands and always buy stands that extend taller and are stronger than you think you are going to need. There is nothing worse than buying a light stand that is just the right height for general use, and then find out you need a taller one for a specific shoot. It is better to have one that is too tall (when fully extended) and use it at half or three quarters height for general use and then extend it all the way when you need the extra height.
If you are looking for some strong and sturdy light stands Amazon is a great place to source them, and the search box below may be of some use.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.