Camera & Flash Settings


Introduction to Flash for Children and Family Images


Lesson Info

Camera & Flash Settings

Real quick, I wanna go through your camera settings just to kinda get us prepped for the next segment, which we're gonna actually start taking pictures. Camera settings: I want you to set your ISO for about 200. In the studio, typically with these smaller flashes, we need to help out the flashes a little bit, so we're shooting with a little bit higher ISO than maybe you normally would. Today, I'm gonna be between 200 and probably 400. When I go to the big family shots this afternoon, I'll probably up my ISO to 400 because I need, that flash is gonna have to be pumping out a lot of light for the whole scene. Apertures, I'm at about f/5.6 for my single portraits. Shooting kids, kids are a lot more wobbly than adults. Brandon's pretty good about sitting here still, but his kids may not be, so with kids, I might actually go to f/8 to get even a little bit more depth of field. We'll see how that works. With families, you gotta shoot a smaller aperture. You got to, that's bad English, you mu...

st. Be at f/11, be at f/16, the reason why is because you've got depth now, you've got a kid in front, maybe on the lap. You've got mom, and then you've grandma behind all of that. You have to get some depth of field there so we'll be more like f/16 in those scenarios. Shutter speed, like I said before, around 1/200 of a second, 1/200, 1/250. Why, why are we doing that? We're doing that to cut out all the ambient light. We don't want any ambient light to show up in this photo 'cause we did all that work on white balance, now we don't want any weird color casts coming in. Flash sync, front curtain flash, and then white balance, custom white balance, I showed you how to do that, and then, file type, please shoot RAW. You're gonna be so happy you shot RAW, especially with these big photos. Sometimes you make an exposure mistake, and it's the only shot you got with grandma smiling, or the kid looking at the camera. You're gonna wish you shot RAW. For your flash settings, make sure that the remote is working, so make sure it's all speaking on the same channel and group. Set your flash power, well, that's all over the map. You saw with Brandon earlier, I was at a quarter power. That's a good starting point for most of your portraiture. Then, if you do shoot TTL, if you do, then your TTL range is all over the place. It may be down to minus two EV, 0 EV, or plus 2 EV. I'm not recommending shooting TTL for this class. This sounds kinda funny, but as your skills improve, a lot of times you can get away with TTL because you know exactly what's happening in the TTL mind, but if you don't, then sometimes TTL can send you for a loop because you're like, why is this photo so bright? Why is that photo so dark, what's going on? TTL can be more trouble than it's worth sometimes for fixed scenarios like this in the studio.

Class Description

When capturing images of families and children, you preserve memories for generations. Learning how to use flash opens up so many options, as you now longer have to be constrained by weather or location. Photographer Mike Hagen will help you incorporate flash into this genre of photography to create family heirloom images that also capture a moment in time.

In this class, Mike teaches you how to:

  • Create looks that wouldn’t be possible in natural light
  • Use your flash to freeze action
  • Use reflectors, modifiers and other lighting equipment to enhance your flash

Learn to harness the power of flash photography to make their memories last a lifetime. Give clients those special images by using flash photography to preserve their special moments.


Jayne Fletcher

Amazing class! Lots of information


Love the natural way Mike has to explain and to work on the studio. Plenty of tips and clear knowledge transfer for me that I manage quite well natural light but that I still mess with the on-camera flash.

Robert Spencer

The class seems great, but my connection - even at 20MB still give me 20 seconds and then butts out for a minute :(