Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
Canon Speedlite transmitter
Damien prefers to use his flash off camera, so a Canon Speedlite Transmitter is essential. “I attach this to the hotshoe on my camera and it communicates with the flashgun so long as the infrared transmitters are in line of sight,” says Damien.
“I can then place the flash anywhere I like, which allows me to be more creative with lighting.” You could also try using a Canon OC-E3 flash synchro cable to work with your flashgun off camera.
Get a 50mm lens
“Don’t underestimate the importance of a good lens. The lens you use makes the image – the camera just records it. Whether you have six million or 22 million pixels, the quality of the lens will have the biggest impact on your final image.
“Everyone should have a Canon 50mm portrait lens in their kit bag (£59 from microglobe.co.uk). A good lens doesn’t have to be expensive; this portrait lens is the sharpest in the box. It flatters skin tones and creates intimacy.”
Richard was very impressed with Damien’s flash stand – he’d created his own ball-and-socket type attachment from various parts of lighting stands. “This stand allows me to position the flash horizontally as well as vertically and shoot single-handed,” says Damien. “Alternatively, the hotshoe stand that comes with your flash has a screw thread, so you can fix your flash to a tripod.”
Damien never leaves for a shoot without his trusted Sto‑Fen diffuser. “Sometimes using the flash on its own can be too harsh, so I slot the Sto‑Fen over my flash and it cuts the flash down to quarter power and sends the flash light out in all directions. It makes the light multi-directional, but doesn’t make the picture any softer.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Setting up to shoot off camera flash photography
PAGE 3: Final off camera flash tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
17 posing tips and in-camera slimming tricks for shooting curvy models
11 portrait photography techniques your subjects want you to know
Maternity photography ideas: 17 tips for pregnancy photos she’ll cherish forever
3 stupidly simple lighting techniques that will transform your family portraits