5 Creative Ways to Use On-Camera Flash

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

On-camera flash creative techniques and tips

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How to Use On-Camera Flash to Take AMAZING Photos

Get Epic Flash Photos with These Tips!

If you want to learn how to use on-camera flash, you have come to the right place. There are a few different lighting sources you can try in photography. There’s natural light, continuous light, and flash. 

On-camera flash might get a bad rep sometimes. But your on-camera flash mount can be useful to take really creative and bright photos if you know how to use it!

In this video tutorial, Vanessa Joy shows you her top ways to use the on-camera flash. She’s using a Canon EOS Rebel T7 Camera for this tutorial. 

On-Camera Flash is Taking Off – Here’s How to Use it

What is on-camera flash?

One of the best lighting sources for photography is flash.

Flash is a light that is timed to go off just when the photo is being taken, hence the flash. 

You can use off-camera flash which is a light that is positioned somewhere other than on the camera but still connected to go off when the photo is taken.

On-camera flash is what it sounds like – a flash bulb that is mounted on your camera.

For this tutorial, you’ll need an on camera flash that is able to be positioned at different angles as opposed to a fixed flash.

For on-camera flash tips you need a pivotable flash head


Creative On-Camera Flash Tip #1: Outdoor Nighttime Direct Flash

Direct flash means you have the flash bulb pointed straight on to the subject. Vanessa is using this technique at night to get bright and contrasty photos.

Use direct flash outdoors in the at night to take flashy and bright images.

The direct flash will light your subject straight on and a bit harsh, but the contrast with the nighttime will give your photos a fun look.

Use on camera flash at night directly at the subject for bright photos


Creative On-Camera Flash Tip #2: Bounce Flash

For this technique, you need light colored ceilings and/or walls. 

You should point the on-camera flash bulb towards the light wall or the ceiling to get different lighting patterns on your subject. 

The different angles you point the flash will bounce off the light surfaces to create different lighting looks on your subject. The best angle if you are in a room with light ceilings is to point the flash up and a 45-degree angle back. 

To use the bounce technique, you need a light wall or ceiling and to point the flash up and back towards the light wall


Creative On-Camera Flash Tip #3: Outdoor Flash

Why would you need flash during the day outside?

Natural light is great, but flash will help to focus the light onto your subject. Shoot outdoors with the flash pointed directly at the subject.

You can use camera settings like aperture priority and autofocus which will help get the right photo options in the outdoor setting. 

Make sure you set your flash bulb to ETTL, which sets the flash to auto adjust the strength of the light. This will help the brightness of your subjects face to really come through. 

You can also try bouncing the light outdoors by adding a white card on the flash mount, pointing the flash up. It’s like an easy way to get the look of using a reflector.

Check out the difference between outdoor no flash and on camera flash!:

outside the difference is brighter subject than not using flash


Creative On-Camera Flash Tip #4: Indoor Flash

There is a lot you can do with indoor flash!

Direct flash indoors can create some great shadows if you have your subject standing in front of a wall. The flash gives a bright and highlighted look to the subject.

You can also get creative with different surfaces indoors with the flash like shooting into a mirror with the subject in view, and bouncing the light off of other surfaces.

direct indoor flash on the subject gives cool shadows and highlights


Creative On Camera Flash Tip #5: Budget Flash

Using the bright surfaces and other light sources like natural light, you can make it look like your on-camera flash is doing more than it is.

You can make the photos look like you have more lighting sources with one cheap reflector and using the bounce flash technique. It can look like your photos were taken in a studio with these easy creative tips. 

This is especially useful when you are on a budget and can’t afford to buy a bunch of lighting and flash equipment. 

Budget flash uses reflectors to get higher quality photos


Give your on-camera flash a try with these super creative techniques!

Hopefully you have some inspiration now to take awesome on-camera flash photos! Try these five different creative techniques to get the most out of your flash.

Want to improve your photography overall? Check out this comprehensive guide!


Which of these creative flash techniques will you use TODAY?

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