Flash Masters Members Spotlight
Jeff and Alisha Wiswell
J.L. Wiswell Photography
Where in the world are you based? Where is the most exciting location you have shot at?
La Crosse, WI. I started in travel photography when I studied abroad in London as dSLRs were just starting to come out. Out of the 15 countries I've visited so far, I'd probably say Budapest is my favourite location. I was in Ukraine in 2019-2020 for an Army deployment and had two days off so I went to Budapest and covered 27 miles walking to get all the photos I wanted.
When did you set up your photography business and what genres of photography do you shoot?
I started at the end of 2020 (not the best time to start...). I love just about every type of photography but I think I'm going to niche down on family documentary and portraits. I've also been really intrigued with dog photography lately.
What would you say has been your most memorable photography job and why?
I do this as a small side business (my day/night job is as an emergency physician), so I don't get to do as many client shoots as I'd like. Probably my most memorable and meaningful work is documenting our kids. We have three kids under 5 right now. I'm constantly looking for photo opportunities with them and enjoy submitting to Fearless Family and This is Reportage Family. As for the truly most memorable experience, I delivered each of our children in the hospital and then tried to document the story afterward with my camera.
What is your all time favourite photograph you have taken and why?
My most memorable photo is just from my iPhone, but it's my oldest son holding my hand moments after he was born. Another of the photos I submitted is one we took the night before giving birth to our youngest child. I took the photo in our messy garage with two strip boxes providing backlighting. Lastly, the maternity photo of my wife in the red dress was taken in our yard in the middle of winter and it was so cold that we had about 90 seconds before needing to go back inside.
Reveal one thing you keep in your camera bag that people may not expect to be there. Why is it there?
A Platypod. It's the perfect portable tripod that's not a tripod. I've also used it to attach lighting equipment. I haven't publicized it yet, but I just became a brand ambassador for them. I especially love it for travel photography because I can shoot at a low angle and never get in trouble with the tripod police. I have long exposure photos from inside the Vatican and never had any issues.
What is the biggest reason you like using off camera flash?
I love the cerebral aspect of thinking about both the subject and ambient exposures at the same time. It exponentially multiplies the creative possibilities. Historically, I haven't been a great natural light photographer, so flash makes me look like a better photographer than I am.
What is the best part/biggest benefit of being a Flash Masters member?
I really enjoy the community. It's fun to be part of building something, especially amongst my heros in photography over the past few years.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out on their flash photography journey, what would it be?
Pye Jirsa's C.A.M.P framework. First get your composition, then ambient exposure, then modify the light on your subject, then take the photo. Also, the best things one can do are to practice on everything, learn how to shoot in manual, and use back button focus.
Thank you so much to Jeff and Alisha Wiswell for their spotlight feature, wonderful images and brilliant stories. We are so proud to have you as members of the Flash Masters community! You can learn more about this amazing duo on their Flash Masters profile.