Film Photography with Strobe Lighting


Lesson Info

Backlight Placement

Backlighting with strobes is really fun, and really easy to do, and again, is something I do all the time. And this is really just using that light in that 90 degree, kind of, position. So I'm gonna move it over here, and, this is that Wescott 50 by that I talked about at the beginning, that I used to love because it looked just like a window. Um, but when you are using any kind of a strobe with back lighting, I wouldn't do it with this obviously because we have the strobe unit right here. I mean, you could cover it up with your head, but, you just use it like a window. So you would bring it up. I need a model again, guys. Alright. Thank you. So you would bring it up so that they're positioned with it around them just like you would a window. The same rules apply. Light is light. And then I would be here. Now, with this image, do you mind just staying there for just a second? With this image, um, I shot this in my studio, and again, my studio has these big white walls everywhere. So, ...

I had her in the strobe, with the strobe behind her. She was here, I was here, wall was behind me. So all of that light then, let me grab my camera. All of that light that was coming out was bouncing off of that white wall and back to her, which is why she's lit so nicely in the front. And you know, I'm here like this. What's great about this sort of a set up is that you do get this pretty light that kind of wraps around. And you can see that here, where you get this light that's wrapped around. So it kind of gives you some fun things to play with. If you want to back light her, and you wanna see her face, then you bring in a reflector, and you meter for those shadows, right there. Um, where's my meter? And you meter for those shadows, in this sort of a situation, with black and white or color. If you want her face in the photo, so I would go down here, because that light's gonna come this way, and kind of wrap around. And you have a reflector here, it's gonna bounce that light back on her face, and you're gonna get this pretty back-lit photo, that looks like you took it in a window. So, there's a baby, same thing. Now, what's fun with back lighting with strobes is that you can get really dramatic with this. So, if I can turn you this way. Let's say you're working, this is really fun with maternity. Or you're wanting to do more of a dramatic, kind of, side portrait. And you can shoot this way to do some sort of silhouette, and if you meter for your highlights, so you're getting that light that's coming out, and you don't put a reflector or anything around, then you're gonna get this really dramatic high-key background that's really blown, with this really beautiful, dark silhouette in the front. And then you'll get this light that kind of spills out, so it's a really fun way you know like with collarbones, and belly bumps, and all that sort of thing, to play around with it, which is fun. Thank you.

To get the best portrait straight out of camera you need to control your light. Family and Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan, walks through how easy it is to use lights with your film camera for the most control over how your image ultimately looks. In this course, Sandra will talk about how to approach your photo shoot by thinking about not only your subject but also the film and the light you want to create.

You’ll learn:

  • How to sync the flash with your film camera
  • How to meter for your subject and the light you’re adding to the image
  • How to choose the best film based off what you’d like the final image to look like

Throughout history, photographers have been using flash with film cameras. In this course, Sandra will cover everything to give you the knowledge to start taking portraits with your camera and strobes.



  • Out of all the classes I own on Creative Live, Strobe Lighting with Sandra is my FAVORITE! She is an incredibly kind and gifted teacher. She explains everything on a simple level and then gradually build to more complex issues. I am 100% happy with this course. Thank you Sandra!!
  • Sandra Coan is a lighting genius! I loved watching her high-energy and super informative class. I learned way more about studio lighting than I ever thought was possible. I'd definitely recommend this class to literally any person in photography, not just studio photographers. Thanks Sandra!!
  • Do you own a film camera? Then you NEED this class. I knew I *kind of* wanted to try shooting with a strobe, so I bought this class as some encouragement. But honestly, I half expected to do the class and not actually buy the strobe (because strobes are scary!). But as soon as I finished this class I IMMEDIATELY bought a strobe, umbrella modifier, a backdrop, and seamless paper (in Storm Grey because I basically want to be Sandra.) I felt so empowered to shoot with strobes and film and suddenly what had seemed terrifying now seemed doable. My very first test roll turned out great after following Sandra's easy tips. Now that we're in the winter months, I can shoot indoors with my film camera and strobe! Thank you, Sandra, for so generously sharing your knowledge with us and for being such a great teacher! And to anyone even remotely considering this class, DO IT. There's no way you'll regret it.