Hey guys! My name is Francisco Hernandez and today I’m going to be giving you ten tips for shooting portraits at night with flash. Since you’re gonna be shooting at night getting the focus on your subject is going to be a bit of a challenge. Unless you have night vision and really good eyesight for manually focusing you’re gonna want to use something like a flashlight and luckily enough most of our phones nowadays have a flashlight. one… two… three. *click* If you tend to shoot alone you’ll want to see if you have or might want to invest in transmitters like these where they have the auto focus assist beams so that you can get the focus on your subject. Yeah, I like it. That pose. Okay. Alright, one… two… The key thing that you’ll be aiming for when shooting portraits at night is bringing up those ambient light levels so that your subject isn’t in complete darkness. and one way you can do that is widening the aperture. The lenses you have determine how wide of an aperture you can go to. Some are limited to something like f/3.5 while others can go as wide as f/1.2 You’re also going to have to slow your shutter a bit to bring up the ambient light even further. So if you can use a tripod, unless your have some really steady hands, to avoid camera shake. I took this shot at a slow shutter speed and although I did nail the focus on the first try I did mess up the focus on the second and the third try. Some cameras and lenses even have built in stabilization to help reduce camera shake at slower shutter speeds. I bought the Sony a6500 not too long ago because it has built in stabilization and that was something important to me because every now and then I do kind of get shaky hands. Depending on the scene you’re in slowing the shutter might not be enough so you may also want to consider raising the ISO. If your camera can’t handle high ISO levels then you’ll want to bring it to the highest that it can go to before the grain starts to overtake the image and slow the shutter more. Noise reduction is something you can also consider just in case you absolutely need to shoot at those higher ISO levels. At night you won’t need that much power at all so I definitely recommend a speedlite like this as opposed to something like a strobe. You should also see which of the speedlites you have can go to the lowest output. Nowadays there’s even mini versions of speedlites like this little guy right here that have a little bit more than half the power of a normal speedlite so something like this is gonna be you’re best bet for shooting at night. In the case that your light is still too strong at the lowest power you’ll want to diffuse it. Let’s say you started the shoot with a bare flash. If you have a diffusion cap like this you’ll want to put it on so you can bring the intensity of the light down. I personally use an octabox and the octabox has two diffusion panels which is really helpful because each panel of diffusion cuts the light down one stop. If you’re still experiencing an overexposed shot then what you can then do is move the light further away. Depending on how much the shot is overexposed will determine how far away you’ll move the light. It’s important to note that the quality of the light will change when you move it further away. When shooting in the daytime you’ll have the sun as a secondary light source to separate your subject from dark backgrounds that might be around them. At night you won’t have that sun so you’ll need to have a second light or find lights in the area to create that separation. If your subject has dark hair or clothing it can easily blend into the night and you’ll want to avoid that. Right now I have a light that is separating my hair from the background. Once I turn it off you’ll see how my hair just kinda just blends into it. Unless you want to aim for that look you’ll need to create some sort of separation. Going back to when I suggested you should use a flashlight to get the focus I wanted to add that once you get the focus down you’ll want to ask the person that’s helping you to move the light off the subject before you take the shot. Depending on the settings the flashlight might cause an overexposure. You don’t want to experience that and mess up your whole setup when all you had to do was just remove the light. If you have multiple lights on your subject you might get an odd color if the color temperatures aren’t the same. This can create a look that you may or may not want. For this reason I recommend putting your subject in a scene where there’s little to no light on the front of them. In this shot I did have some light on my face so once I slowed down the shutter too much the light began to look too saturated on my face creating a look that I didn’t really like. In addition to being careful about the color temperatures of the ambient light sources you should also keep in mind how you want those ambient light sources to look. Let’s say for example in this shot I took I wanted the ambient light behind her to be less orange. In order to make that happen I could have just put a half CTO, that’s color temperature Orange, gel on the light. If you guys are interested in seeing a video based on gels hit the like button to let me know and I’ll definitely work on that. If you have a speedlite with TTL, definitely use it. Not many people realize this, but using TTL on your speedlite can help your speedlite go lower than it normally can. It’s able to do this because TTL itself uses a pre-flash and that pre-flash uses power so when you use TTL you’re able to go about 2-3 stops below what your speedlite normally can without TTL. So if you have two speedlites that are the same power, but one has TTL that’s the one you’re gonna want to use. That mini speedlite I mentioned earlier actually has TTL so it’s a pretty good option for shooting portraits at night. Alright, thank you guys so much for watching I really do hope this helps and you get some great night portraits after seeing this video. If you haven’t already done so please hit that like button and/or subscribe if you found this video helpful at all. Also feel free to comment to let me know what you guys want to see from me so I can make that content for you guys. I’m totally open to suggestions. Alright, take care and I’ll see you guys in the next one.=) Ryan! One, two, three! See? Ryan: Yeah. Look up there at the camera. See? Cheeeese! Okay *grunts* okay.