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Flash Photography Crash Course

Lesson 9 of 13

CAMP Framework

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

Flash Photography Crash Course

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

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Lesson Info

9. CAMP Framework
The C.A.M.P. Framework is our simple step-by-step approach on how you can incorporate flash into any scene.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Why Learn Flash? Duration:09:27
3 Flash Technology Made Easy Duration:09:24
4 Two Flash Setups Duration:09:56
5 Understanding Modifiers Duration:21:50
6 Flash Basics Duration:15:04
7 Setting Up Your Flashes Duration:11:55
9 CAMP Framework Duration:03:07
10 Natural vs Dramatic Imagery Duration:02:56
11 Dramatic Portrait Session Duration:17:27
12 Natural Portrait Session Duration:08:45
13 The Road Ahead Duration:03:52

Lesson Info

CAMP Framework

now we're talking camp. This is a simple acronym and framework that will break down the process of while shooting any photograph. Heads up for those that are going into lighting one through lighting for I had a more in depth version of this that was eight steps to get into the perfect shot, which is what you see in this slide. It's similar to camp, but it's broken out in kind of a more in depth view. Later on, I kind of simplify the process down to just the camp framework. So either way I want you all to understand the camp framework because it's a very simple way of incorporating flash into your photography. I'm going to do this in practice in the next several videos when we take you on location. But for right now, Camp stands for composition, ambient light modify and then photograph All this simply means is when you arrive at a scene and you have your subject there and you say to yourself, well I think I want to light this shot. I want you to stop. The first thing that I want you to ...

do is not touch anything when it comes to lighting. I want you to think of composition first. Where do you want your camera to be? Where do you want your subject to be? What kind of shot are you creating? What lens is the right choice? What is the story that you're telling everything? Then you're gonna move to ambient light exposure. That's the exposure that you're gonna set in the camera itself. This is your combination of shutter speed of I. S. O. Of aperture. Everything you're gonna set the ambient light exposure. You're going to take a shot for where you essentially want. What I want you to think here is what do you want your background to look like in the frame? Do you want it more on the bright side? You want to walk on the dark side, Take the shot and then look at your subject and this is where you get to the modify piece, you're gonna look at your subject and say do I need to modify the existing light? Are they just a little bit dark and they need a little bit more light? Or do I need to add light to the scene, modify or add light? You're always going to begin with one light. If you need another light, add another light. But for right now we're just gonna focus on one light because that's more than enough for most situations. Then with that light set up you're gonna photograph. Now. In practice this takes the process of lighting and it makes it a simple step by step process. Okay. The reason why lighting is complicated for most people because they step into a scene and they go, okay, I'm going to start setting up my flash, I'm gonna start doing this. They start messing with flash power before they ever decided on composition. They sometimes set up two or three lights at a time. They don't even know the basics of what they're trying to do and they incorporate all the gear that they've brought with them. This makes it very complicated. So I want you guys to think camp composition emulate, modify or add, then photograph simple step by step. You're gonna see in practice before we get there. I have one other video, we're gonna discuss intention. The intention piece is all to do with that ambient light exposure. So let's go to that video.

Class Description


  • Use flash to create dramatic portraits.
  • Use flash to create natural portraits.
  • Balance flash with ambient light.
  • Use and understand off-camera flash.
  • Understand off-camera flash gear and setups.


Let’s be honest, flash photography is intimidating. Many photographers never learn the power of flash because at first glance it looks complicated and overwhelming. This course is the exact opposite. In around 90 minutes, you will walk away not only understanding flash gear, but also having a simple framework to immediately begin using flash in your own work.

I’m going to show you how easy flash can be. From creating dramatic portraits straight out of camera, to using flash for a more natural and soft look. You will walk away from this course with everything you need to get started using flash. Should you choose to dive deeper down the rabbit hole of lighting, this course will also prepare you for the Lighting Series, a four workshop intensive that covers the ins and outs of location lighting for portraiture.


  • Beginners that understand their camera
  • Beginners that want to start learning flash
  • Beginners that want to learn how to use flash for portrait


LPye Jirsa is a photographer, educator, author, podcaster and lifelong learner. He has made a career out of creating frameworks that simplify complex subjects. Frameworks that have helped millions of people learn languages, creativity, photography, lighting, business, communication and even relationships.


Gary Hook

Pye is a talented instructor with a wealth of knowledge. He has an excellent technique of brining out the learning points and does an excellent job at the end of the sessions through summary. He provides some handy tools to assist the beginner to get out and shooting pictures with simple, easy to remember steps, e.g. CAMP. While I am a huge fan of building a foundation of theoretical knowledge, the majority of the first 8 sessions was more on an informercial for Profoto to the point of being painful. A few examples if I may. Pye tells us he is not familiar with the Godox menu system but then sings the praises of Profoto because it is so easy to use? Mmmm, maybe if you actually understood the Godox system you would find it easier to use? When it comes to modifiers, you stress that the Profoto is so much better because of its portability even though it takes more time to set-up than the competition; however when it comes to Menu systems the GoDox is not as good because it takes more time. So one is okay even though it takes more time but one is NOT good because it takes more time? No paradox here right I appreciated his chart to demonstrate the differences between Groups and Channels; however, when using the same identifier for both, e.g. letters, it can be confusing. From my perspective identifying Groups as Teachers using a # and Channels as students using letters (A,B,C,D) would reduce the risk of confusion. Instruction 101: if you are going to demonstrate something, learn it before you take up screen time! Profoto has the most counter-intuitive number system for power. How does 9 out of 10 make one think of 50% power? Session 8 – 2 minutes of actual information crammed into 15:40! With respect to terminology, Pye asks do we really need Master/Slave? I’d ask do we really need “Air” versus “Radio”? good tips on Trouble Shooting Overall the last four sessions made the whole session worth it. The simplified and structured approach of CAMP was brought out nicely with the dramatic and natural on-location shoots. Well done

Angie H

This is a wonderful class! I was able to apply these concepts right away for a senior portrait shoot. i was like, "Wow! Pye was right!" I have learned not to tweak 100 different things at once and get confused. His CAMP system makes SO much sense...clarifies everything. Thank you, Pye, for this. You're a wonderful teacher! Marry me! I'll wait.


I've been following Pye for many years because he has a solid skill for making complex subjects easy to understand. This short course is great value for all levels of photographers as a concise and actionable way to put wow in our portrait work by creatively (and easily) adding supplemental light sources. Highly recommended!