My partner Michael Willems was shooting two lovely young ladies at the Toronto Island Beach and he’s put up a really excellent before and after shot that illustrates the proper use of flash. Now many new photographers will say they don’t like using flash (too artificial) but when pressed will admit it’s because they don’t know how to use it.
You can use an umbrella (difficult to do when shooting at the beech as the breeze will knock it down) or softbox (same issue only worse) or a reflector (better but needs an assistant or you can use smaller light modifiers.
In this category I can recommend the HONLPHOTO line of small modifiers for shoe mounted and wireless flash. If you’ve never used a snoot (concentrates the flash so the light doesn’t spill out all over and create theatrical type lighting) or a grid (narrows the beam of light again) you owe it to yourself to give them a try. When I did the Small Flash Big Results Workshop in Buffalo with David Tejada he used lots of small light modifiers to direct the light precisely where he wanted it or didn’t want it to go.
One of the best features of the Honlphoto system is the snoots and reflectors velcro themselves to a strap you put around your flash. So in this way, they’ll fit any flash. When not in use, they can be folded or rolled up and thus take very little space in your camera bag. It’s no good having light modifiers that are sitting back at home or in your studio when you’re shooting on location.