Behind the Scenes of a Beautiful Portrait Shoot with Just One Low Cost Flash

Great portraiture can be created with anything from natural light to a studio full of the most expensive equipment, but if you — like most photographers — are closer to the natural light setup than a high-end studio, perhaps this video might show you just what you can produce with one, cheap light.

I have a number of lighting setups that I always reach for as I know exactly what results I will get from them and I know that I like them. Though a few are reasonably complicated setups, one of my favorites is just a single light. With the wealth of modifiers and angles, if you pair a single strobe with some natural light, the creative possibilities are, for all intents and purposes, endless.

In this video, the fantastic portrait photographer, Irene Rudnyk, teams up with the stunning model, Nyakuoy, to create a variety of one-light portraits. The one light that is used is the Godox AD100pro Pocket Flash, which at the time of writing this, is just $299. This little light packs a serious punch, offers High-Speed Sync (HSS), and comes with a number of modes to aid your shooting.

The sheer number of beautiful images taken in this video ought to indicate how powerful a single light can be in the right hands, but my attention was drawn elsewhere. One of the real takeaways from Rudnyk's work here is the variety of images that can be achieved with one light. We have everything from headshots, to fashion, to beauty in this video, all of which are of the highest caliber.

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Neu Porabno's picture

I’s say 1/2 of the final result is the model, makeup, retouch and styling. 1/4 is photographer and 1/4 lighting.

With a random girl in some weird sweater, no makeup & basic retouch the results would be nothing close to that. So maybe you are missing 2 or 3 things from this list.

Oat Meal's picture

Model is stunning; Irene's technique, wardrobe choices, and posing are second to none.

Andrew Eaton's picture

Wall bouncing works really well, but you can get colour cast from the colour of the wall which can be problematic