Skip to main content

photo & video

How to Shoot with your First Flash

Lesson 27 of 28

Shoot: Using an Octabox

Mike Hagen

How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

27. Shoot: Using an Octabox

Lesson Info

Shoot: Using an Octabox

Okay this is going to go back again to right here. And again I'm happy that I have a metal bracket here it's going to need to be pretty durable to hold that in. Alright cool there we go. Which light should we use? We'll use this one. Okay. Slide that in. Thanks for hanging out Andre, appreciate it. Okay so before I get this all set up again in terms of height I want to set the power output and from memory I'm remembering we were like one 16th or one eighth power somewhere in that range, so I'll do that, just going to hit the power output selector and rotate this until we get to, we'll just start with one eighth. I think that might work, well one 16th, there we go one eighth. Then I push OK to set it. And remember it's a speed ring so I can rotate this around as necessary. I want the bottom to be parallel with the floor. And for this I'm going to have you come this way just a little bit come move a little bit farther away from the background, yeah go ahead and pull the stool forward, ye...

ah right there, cool. This is a sandbag right here, it's just literally a bag filled with sand, it's just weight, it's dead weight and you just throw it here on the base. It's just such a small...(laughs) It may not even work on this stand. Okay it's not going to work we're going to change to a different light stand, no worries, it's what we do here at Creative Life, it's life, it's real life. So I'm going to hold this nice and strong with my left hand, hey Andre, unscrew that for me, take that off. Thank you just pull it straight up, yeah, sweet, thank you man. Okay don't whack Andre on the head. (laughs) All kinds of issues, so the bracket doesn't fit on the super strong light stand 'cause the diameter is off, but that's okay I think I can get it to sit on there just fine like this. Okay that's going to work and now we throw on this sucker. Can you imagine you're working for a client and you're going through all this stuff in their living room, that's when you say hey why don't you go fix that, I see something wrong with the makeup on your face could you go fix that for me. Okay I think we're ready, at least the camera's connected to Lightroom, that's awesome. Hey how you doing? Cool, awesome, happier now. Alright here we go, one, two, three. Let's see where we're at for the exposure. Okay we'll go to full frame a little bit hot, fortunately it's such a big softbox I don't have to bring it way down to readjust it, I'm at eighth power I'm going to bring that down to 16th power. Hit OK and we're going to take that same picture again. Yeah, here we go, one, two, three. Take one more on that one, one, two, three, cool. Oh that's beautiful, handsome, sorry, that's handsome. Love it, the light is fantastic, look at his wrap around his face, I don't even really need another modifier. I mean I could bring in another modifier but look at that catch light, isn't that beautiful? Or handsome, awesome, beauty, cool, sweet, I could soften it up a little bit more by bringing in another reflector, but do you want to see your own photo? Alright, cool, I'll move this away I think we got the shot. Yeah, so I think the octa for me provides the nicest light, the gentlest light, the best looking catch lights, really like the octas, but that is really expensive, so you get what you pay for. I saw her, I read her lips so she said I like that. (audience laughs) I like that, yeah, so spend some money, get some nice gear, but again to bring it all back to reality that is just one little dinky flash inside the octa so you can see that it's not really the flash that matters, but it's really about the light modifiers and even more so about your technique and it's all about your knowledge. People always say, what's most important this camera or that camera, this lens or that lens, this flash or that flash? Nuh uh, this, this is what's most important. When you understand how the light's working, when you understand TTL, when you understand manual, that's where magic begins to happen and that's why I'm happy you guys are here today to learn so thank you.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Every photographer encounters situations where the light on their subject is less than ideal. A small flash can have a huge impact on your photos and is easier to use than you think! Photographer Mike Hagen joins CreativeLive to show you how to use your external flash quickly and comfortably. Mike will walk through the different flash options available and how to sync your camera and flash. He’ll walk you through different scenarios and demonstrate how your flash can improve your shots. After this class you’ll walk away knowing: 
  • How to set up your flash with your camera and what to look for when shooting 
  • How to use a flash in scenarios like event photography, portraits, and tabletop photography 
  • Which light shapers work best for your work and how to utilize them 
  • How to use your flash off-camera, working with TTL cables, wireless triggers, and other gear
  • Techniques for using modifiers like umbrellas, softboxes, and reflectors with your off-camera flash 
Don’t get stuck in a low light scenario without the confidence and tools you need to produce an amazing image. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Single Flash Lighting Diagrams

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Single Flash Gear List 100 dollars

Single Flash Gear List 250 dollars

Single Flash Gear List 1000 dollars

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Yasemin Soyen

First of all I am very happy to discover Creative Live and since then I learned, enjoyed many classes! This week for the first time I was in the live audience and their sincerity, hospitality made the experience even more valuable. About this class, it was a pleasure to meet Mike Hagen. Besides his wide knowledge, creative thinking and information sharing, he was a very humble, nice teacher, with great positive energy. Thanks everyone!


Fantastic course - Mike is an engaging and entertaining teacher and this course was just what I needed to start using my external flash with confidence. I have had my external flash for a few years but have rarely used it as mastering all the settings was daunting and the results I got were inconsistent. This excellent course changed all that and I'm having great fun taking much better shots with my flash. I highly recommend!

Candy Smith

This class was fantastic. Mike is excellent under pressure when things don't go perfectly, love his style and grace and how encouraging he is to his models, great mentor. I learned so much about using flash, and my pictures are so much better.