Photographer Manny Ortiz took to the woods with his wife and model Diana during golden hour to film a comparison video that many amateur photographers on up will find useful: natural light vs off-camera flash. What are the pros of each setup, why would you choose one over the other, and how can off-camera flash make natural light photos look even better? Manny dives into all of this while performing a live shooting demo.
The video starts with a quick demo where Manny alternates between shooting natural light and off-camera flash to illustrate how each style changes his settings and the final product. Then, once he’s finished, he breaks down the pros and cons of each style.
Here are a couple of before and after pictures Manny shared with us from his demonstration, so you can see the difference between his natural light only portraits and the ones augmented by off-camera flash:
After the demo Manny discusses the reasons he shoots both natural light and off-camera flash, and when he chooses to shoot which style.
Traditionally a flash photographer, shooting natural light only is ‘liberating’ for Manny. He also appreciates the ability to stay mostly incognito when shooting on-location in a popular area—nobody wants to draw a crowd or unwanted attention during a portrait shoot.
On the other hand, flash photography gives Manny the option to create his own light when mother nature doesn’t cooperate or the time of day isn’t ideal. And since so many portrait photographers start out shooting natural light, properly using off-camera flash can help you to stand out from the crowd.
To hear more of Manny’s thoughts or see him in action, check out the full video above. And if you want to see more of his work, don’t forget to follow him on Instagram where he’s most active.