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Behind the scenes

We are so thrilled to be bringing you this part of the website. From the initial concept of ‘Flash Masters’ we were passionate that the value of the brand was not just through the awards it gave to you, our members but through our personal passion of education. Through our incredible ‘Hall of Fame’ Ambassadors to our talented members and award winners we will be collating, with your help a catalogue of behind-the-scenes work. We no doubt see images and think ‘I would LOVE to know how they shot that!’ This is where you can come and find out!

We are so excited to see this part of the website develop and populate with your incredible work. We certainly urge you that if you don’t already do so to start taking behind the scenes photo or video showing the light positions and where possible the flash power and any modifiers used.

As this part of the website grows, we will try and categorise the content based on the type of photography (weddings, seniors, portraits) so you can quickly find inspiration and education whether sat in your studio or out on location.

From January 2023 this part of the website will be moved exclusively to the member zone.

Kim and Jess Lawrence - Collection 12 Silver Award

Bare flash behind the couple and a gridded purple gel camera right to light up the rain.

Daniel Nydick - Collection 8 Gold Award

As we were walking to our cars at the end of the night, I saw this and needed to go for it! The groom-to-be held an orange gelled flash with a MagSphere behind him to light up the wall, and my out-of-frame assistant lit the columns from camera left with a gridded flash.

Maike den Houting - Collection 8 Silver Award

The camera is on a stand. I took 3 photo's and layered them. One AD200 is at the right, lighting the blue conveyor and the welder. You can see this flash in the behind the scenes photo. I put a grid on this one. For this photo I placed a second flash, around 2 meters behind the welder and pointing towards him. This lights up the smoke. I think that very bright spot where he is welding, might come from that flash. Unfortunately it is not in the bts photo, but let that bright spot guide you ;-)

Maike den Houting - Collection 8 Silver Award

This photo is shot in the studio. It is done in 1 shot, so not a composite.
Shutterspeed 1 second.
Flash in Multiflash mode: 3 Hertz (3 flashes in 1 second).
I had my friend turn her head in that time from left to right (for her from right to left shoulder). Very simple set-up: black background and 1 flash on a stand camera left. If you look close you can see it light up in her eyes.
I am not sure if the flash is bare bulb or with grid or sphere.
In the bts (also a multiflash shot) you see the studio setting with the black background, but unfortunately you don't see the flash.

Jesse & Dallin - Collection 6 Silver Award

Nikon z6ii and Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 S-Series. Two AD200 flashes. One of them was in a MagBox to light the couple, and another behind the couple for a backlight.

Eamonn McColgan - Collection 6 Silver Award

These neon style lights that hotels install are generally a nightmare for white balance during receptions but in this case they provided an excellent opportunity to photograph a framed silhouette! The couple thought I was crazy but as soon as they saw the photo (in-camera) they fell in love with the shot. :-)⁠

I used Godox AD200 and attached a Magmod Sphere as diffuser, Mag Grid to limit the light spread, and finally a Blue Mag Gel. ISO 125 | f6.3 | 1/250 secs

Christopher Kitchen - Collection 6 Silver Award

We are stunned and super proud to have received our first Flash Masters award! This location was really important to the couple and sunset was their favourite time of the day so we planned our timings with them with the hope of creating something special. This was a single light setup and began with us setting a base exposure to get good colour in the sky, the flash was an AD200 and was positioned high to camera left with the intention of the best light falling on the bride. We used our 24inch MagBox with the focus diffuser which does an amazing job of giving soft light that is also very directional. The secret weapon in this shot was a 1/2 CTO gel which allowed us to get the extra blues in the sky. For the final image, we got down low into the long grass to get some extra depth and layers. We were able to simply crop out the MagBox but did take a plate shot just in case we needed it.

Gretchen Troop - Collection 6 Silver Award

Despite the fact that this trick of using the phone to make a reflection has been in my bag for a while, I've only ever found one other place where the photo came out properly. I had to be below the couple and a considerable ways away. I used a walkie talkie to get my lighting assistant to place the light exactly where I want it. Besides removing my assistant in post-production, there wasn't much to do on the photo after I got it in camera.

Andres Casallas - Collection 5 Gold Award

ad100 with a purple gel in the front in a strip box, one ad200 from above in a softbox and one more ad200 with a snoot pointing at my model head. Mylar surrounds the Model

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 5 Silver Award

We used a Nikon Z6ii, 24-70 f/2.8 S lens, along with a 24" Magbox with a 1/4 CTO as a main light on the couple to help bring out the great colors of the sunset.

Zoltan Attila-Kecskes - Collection 4 Silver Award

Very simple set-up. One Godox V1 behind the model. No gels, because the ambient light was very warm, I could just cool the white balance in LR and make the light of the flash bluer ;)

Andrea Kühl - Collection 4 Silver Award

The girls are backlit with a 860ii.
From right next to me a 860II with red gel pointing to the stars in front of my lense. The stars are simple glittering christmas decoration

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 4 Silver Award

The perfect cloudless day at the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Utah. When we saw this tree in the middle of the dunes, we knew we wanted to use it somehow.

Photographed with a Nikon D750, 24-70 f/2.8, and two flashes. One flash was behind the tree with MagSphere, and the second is behind the couple with a Magmod 1/4 CTO gel.

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 4 Silver Award

It was a super windy day at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and after the wind died down we were gifted with this amazing sunset!

Photographed with a Nikon Z6ii, 24-70 f/2.8, and Magmod Magbox.

Michele Huntington - Collection 3 Silver Award

Two image composite. 24" MagBox with 1/4 CTO gel held by assistant, CTB gel 2 o'clock to separate moon from background.

Maike Den Houting- Collection 3 Silver Award

Shot against a black background. Only used 1 light: a Godox V860ii with a Maggrid.
This was placed camera right, as you can see in the photo.
The flash was in Multi mode: 10 flashes in 1/2 second.
Shot with a Nikon Z6 and Z 35mm f1.8 lens.
SS 1/2 - F9 - ISO 100

Ben Cumming - Collection 3 Silver Award

One light. Model in the fall off of light

Ben Cumming - Collection 3 Silver Award

Two lights for this one

Neil Ridley - Collection 3 Silver Award

I shot this on a Canon 100mm 2.8 lens at f9, 1/125 ISO 125. A simple gridded stripbox above and behind the model so the light would glance off her skin. The backdrop was a black sheet pinned underneath and sloping up at the rear to under the stripbox.

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 2 Silver Award

One flash with a MagGrid is placed about 6 feet behind the couple, and the other without any modifiers is placed a long distance away from the couple to backlight the ground. This photo was taken at about 1:00 AM at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. This photo was taken all in one shot, and is not a composite.

Taken with a Nikon D750 and a 24-70mm f/2.8 at 10 seconds, ISO 3200, f/2.8

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 2 Silver Award

It was a snowy blizzard in the middle of April in Utah and we decided to take advantage of the weather with one of our couples. This photo was taken at the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. We used one bare flash behind the couple pointed up into the silver underside of this black umbrella.

Shot with Nikon Z6ii and 24-70 f/2.8 S lens. Settings: 1/200, f/4.5, ISO 200

Maike den Houting - Collection 2 Silver Award

For this photo I used 4 flashes, 3 color gels and a white backdrop.

Flash 1, 2 & 3 are V860ii speedlights. These 3 flashes all have a colorgel: red, green and blue from left to right. They are all on a stand at equal distance and equal height. I placed the flashes higher than the model, so the shadows are at a lower position than the model itself. I chose this height of the flashes on purpose so you get the feel that she is the leading dancer and her colour shadows are dancing along. I think I held my camera between the stands with the blue and the green gel.

The 4th flash, an AD200, is positioned at around 4 o' clock (so camera right) with a very small softbox on it. I think you can see the shadow of this softbox as a yellow spot in the upper right corner of the backdrop (a shadow caused by the blue gelled flash).

Shot with Nikon Z6, 1/200, f5.6, ISO100 at 32.5mm.
I uploaded the SOOC shot for you, so not an actual behind the scenes.

Scott Tibbles - Collection 2 Silver Award

Shot this at quite the distance with a 70-200mm. It was around 4 pm. Had camera on a tripod where I took an initial "Plate Shot", where I had to underexpose to kill the natural light. Had my daughter position AD400 with 24" Box suspended over couple. Had to communicate using walkie talkies due to distance. Snapped shot, then removed my kid and soft box in post.... then assorted clean-up for final image. Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, IN.

Neil Ridley - Collection 2 Silver Award

A really simple setup here. One gridded stripbox on a Godox SK300ii, angled to spread the light from above and behind the model. Model is lying on an inflatable mattress covered with a black sheet which rolls up and behind the stripbox. Taken on a 35mm Sigma Art, F9, 1/125, ISO 125

Chuck Grosz - Collection 1 Silver Award

This photograph was taken at 6am in Malaga, Spain. I did not have an assistant or light stand available so I had to use what I had in the location and put a flash (Godox AD200) laying flat to the bottom of the tree. This was shot at f1.4 so I went minimal flash power but 2 stops higher than the ambient to avoid any cast from the street lights.

I used Magmod MagGrid and inverse square law to narrow the light to avoid spill on the environment, and Sphere to soften the light. Shot on my Canon R5

Jessie & Dallin - Collection 1 Silver Award

We knew that we wanted to find a different way to photograph this view of Mt. Timpanogos in Utah, and when we saw the sunset light hitting the peaks we knew that a silhouette would be a great way to capture the moment.

We used two AD200 lights for this image. One of the lights is placed about 6 feet behind the couple with a MagSphere and full Magmod CTO gel and is pointed up at the tree. The second light is about 15 feet away from camera right with a Magmod 1/4 CTO gel pointed at the long grass.

For this image we used a Nikon Z6ii with a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 S lens.

Neil Redfern - Off camera flash portrait with Christmas fairy lights

For this shot by Neil Redfern, Neil shot through battery powered Christmas fairy lights to create colourful foreground bokeh. The great thing about battery powered fairy lights is that you can keep them in your camera bag to use at any time! Neil shot this image on his Sony A9 camera with a 35mm lens. Settings wise, Neil shot this ISO 100 (as the low ISO reduced all the natural ambient light to leave a very underexposed background), f1.8 (the wide aperture softened the foreground bokeh) with a shutter speed of 1/125th. Neil lit the model with a Godox V860 speedlight, set at 1/4 power, with a MagGrid and MagSphere attached. The grid helps to narrow the spread of the light so that it only hits the model and not the background, whereas the MagSphere diffuses the light. There is a full behind the scenes video of Neil taking this shot on his YouTube channel

Arno de Bruijn - Green Bottle Wedding Setup

This image was taken by our Ambassador / Hall of Fame Member Arno de Brujin.

For this green bottle wedding setup we used the San Pelligrino bottles at the venue and lit them from the left side with a speedlite and green MagMod gel. We lit the couple with a zoomed = gridded speedlite (loop light/butterfly light). Behind the couple we aimed a bare speedlight towards myself for a super nice rimlight/hairlight/behindlight effect. That's all... super easy, awesome and effective. Camera settings: Canon EOS 1dX Mark II + Transmitter 1/160 F/8 ISO 640.

To check out more of Arno’s work and get an unbelievably generous discount on his Online Off-Camera Flash workshop visit his profile in the Hall of Fame!

Neil Redfern - Off camera flash portrait underwater

Neil Redfern shot this underwater portrait of Beth at the TankSpace studio in the UK. Beth was in what is basically a big human fish tank(!) whereas Neil stayed in the dry outside the tank and shot through the glass. The hardest thing about this shoot was that Neil and Beth couldn’t communicate with each other whilst Beth was underwater so there was lots of trial and error involved! Neil shot this image on his Sony A9 with Sony 16-35mm f2.8 lens. Neil lit Beth with one Godox AD200 speedlight with a MagGrid attached to limit the spill of the light and help concentrate the light on Beth as she swam towards the light. Settings wise, Neil shot this image at 1/80th (which is a slow shutter speed but the flash would ‘freeze’ Beth) at f5 (as it was difficult to focus on Beth Neil used a narrow aperture to give more depth of field) and ISO 320. There is a full behind the scenes of this shot on Neil’s YouTube channel

Jesse & Moira La Plante - Bridal Portrait taken in harsh midday sun

Taken by Flash Masters Ambassadors, Jesse and Moira La Plante at the Steamboat resort in Colorado - they all had to ride a chair lift to the top of the mountain for this image (how cool is that?!) Therefore, they had to carefully consider what equipment to take up with them.

As you can see, the sun was very bright and high in the sky but slightly behind the couple, which added a nice hair light to them. However, when setting the ambient exposure for the highlights in the scene (the clouds behind) the couple were almost silhouettes in the frame. Using 1 AD200 on full power with the MagMod MagBeam to throw the light at the couple, Jesse and Moira were able to balance the subjects with the stunning scenery behind. Also, by using the MagBeam it meant that Moira who was holding the light was able to stand out of the frame and therefore didn’t need editing out in post-production. It was also much safer than a softbox because it was a windy location and Moira didn’t fancy taking a flight off the top of the mountain, whilst clinging onto a MagMod MagBox!

Neil Redfern - Wedding day off camera flash portrait with fairy lights

Neil Redfern shot this off camera flash portrait by exposing for fairy lights which were running along a wall at the wedding venue. Neil lit the couple using one Godox AD200 set to 1/64 power in the MagBox Pro 42 Octa. As the MagBox is a large light source, the light it produces is extremely soft, which is perfect for portraits. Always remember that the larger the light source the softer the light. Plus the closer the light source the softer the light - so the nearer you can place your light source (in this case, the MagBox Pro 42) the softer the light will be. Neil positioned the MagBox around the corner of the wall, hidden from the composition, and placed the bride and groom just in front of it. Neil shot this image on his Sony A9 with Sony 85mm f1.8 lens. The low ISO setting of ISO 100 meant that the ambient light was very underexposed - leading to an almost black background. The shutter speed was 1/160th and Neil shot this at an aperture of f1.8 to make the foreground bokeh of the fairy lights go very soft. There is a full behind the scenes of this image on Neil’s YouTube channel

Jesse & Moira La Plante - Wedding Ceremony

Taken by Flash Masters Ambassadors, Jesse and Moira La Plante, we can see here how they have tackled the regular problem of our subjects being stood infront of a background that is much brighter than them. In order to retain the colour and detail in the sky and views behind the couple, Jesse and Moira set up 2xAD200s on opposite sides of the room. They are careful to feather the light across the room and not set both flashes directly towards the couple to avoid hotspots. They chose to use Magspheres on both lights to evenly diffuse and spread the light throughout the space. On this particular day, the sun was not so bright, but on sunny summer weddings they have used 4xAD200s on full power to light the space. In our Youtube interview, Moira said she has noticed an ‘unnecessary and limiting fear’ from photographers regarding the use of flash during ceremonies and said that they have never had any complaints from couples or their guests over the use of flash during the wedding ceremony. If you would like to know more about this image and many more from Jesse and Moira, their interview is ready to view on the Flash Masters Youtube channel.

Neil Redfern - Creating a fake sunset on a wedding day!

One of the best reasons for using off camera flash is that we can change reality. In this wedding day portrait, which was taken by Neil Redfern, Neil created a fake sunset by placing one speedlight behind the bride and groom with a full CTO gel and MagSphere attached. The reality was that when this photograph was taken, the sky was cloudy and overcast, but off camera flash can change that! The full CTO gel (which is basically an orange gel) means that the light which comes out of the speedlight becomes very warm - mimicking the warm light of the sun. The speedlight was set to 1/2 power and Neil shot this image on his 85mm lens at f3.2, 1/250th and ISO 64. When creating a fake sunset photograph like this one, Neil’s advice is to use a long focal length (at least 85mm) and to compose the shot so that the speedlight is just out of the frame - this helps to make the effect look realistic whilst also helping to create flare, which can look really cool!

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