Basics of Flash for Events & Portraiture

Basics of Flash for Events & Portraiture

150.00 200.00

This is a 2 hour 1-on-1 lesson with Mike Zawadzki at our Sarasota Studio covers the basics of on-camera flash photography for portrait and event photography.  Students will learn the basics of flash exposure compensation, TTL vs. Manual metering, bounce flash, modifiers, and color correction gels. Basic of Flash is designed for students who have not used a professional quality speedlight before. It does however require a strong understanding of camera exposure, ideally in Manual mode. Many photographers (even experienced shooters) have a bad impression of flash, but students will leave this workshop with the knowledge of how to take beautifully lit natural looking portraits using an on-camera flash. During the lesson you will get to experiment with different modifiers, gels, and techniques for improving your flash photography. If you are a fast learner, you may even be able to experiment with using a flash off-camera. 

Core Concepts Covered/Skills Attained

  • How to adjust flash power in TTL and Manual modes, and the pros/cons of each
  • Adjusting direction of light for more flattering portraits
  • How to get your flash to recycle faster 
  • Figuring out the best flash modifiers for a number of different situations
  • How to balance flash and ambient exposures for natural looking images
  • Correcting the color of flash using gels to match ambient light
  • A "homework" assignment that will be beneficial to all students, and can be reviewed/graded in a follow-up lesson
  • Addition to our exclusive "Camera & Photography Tips" group where you can ask questions and network with other photographers. 
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Everyone has taken a photograph using a flash before, and chances are you try to avoid it when you can. Most people prefer to not use flash. The small flashes on smartphones, and the barely bigger flashes found on DSLR cameras do not produce flattering light in any situation. Additionally many current popular photographic styles are based on using natural light, and avoiding flash at all costs. In terms of artistic merit, we totally understand this hesitation, and we do everything possible to shoot during peak natural light hours as well. However in professional photography, sometimes a flash is needed when the conditions just aren't favorable for natural light photography. Even with high-end full frame cameras and fast aperture lenses, sometimes the quality and direction of light just isn't flattering. This is when flash comes in handy. Creating flattering light with an on-camera speedlight is doable, and every student who takes this introductory lesson will leave with the skills to do so. There are many lighting tutorials and resources online, many of them are actually quite good. However we believe understanding flash photography is a skill best learned in an interactive environment where questions can be asked and answered immediately, especially for beginners.


A required basic contact form will be filled out upon purchase of this lesson. It helps give us a better idea of your current skill level, and allows us to be fully aware of your photography education needs and goals. While we request a "Date" that you would like to schedule your lesson on, it is important to note that we are working photographers and may not be available on the exact date you requested.


  • DSLR or Mirrorless camera with standard lens and fully charged battery
  • Flash Unit (e.g. Nikon SB-700/910/5000, Canon 430EXIII/580EXII/600EX, if you are unsure you can ask us if your flash is suitable. If you don't have one, we can suggest one for you to purchase)
  • Notebook or Laptop for taking notes


Tara Tomlinson Photography
310 Whitfield Ave
Sarasota, FL 3424