How to Create Stunning Lighting on Location Using Speedlights

Planning to shoot on location anytime soon? Get an idea on how to make those speedlights work for you with these lighting tips.

One of the things you’ll learn as a portrait photographer is that lighting definitely still has its place when shooting on location. If you want to give it a try soon, Trevor Dayley has put together a quick video with lighting equipment maker MagMod to help you get an idea on how you can use speedlights to achieve stunning outdoor portraits.

With a myriad of options for wireless lighting solutions now available, there’s no excuse for us to learn how to light our portraits even on location. As Dayley demonstrates in the video below, this lighting equipment not only enables you to tackle complex lighting situations, but also get extra creative with your snaps. If this is something you want to learn, go ahead watch the video below.

For this shoot, Dayley was going after mostly soft lighting, making sure to keep his subject adequately and nicely lit, while also working with the beautiful backdrop of the location. To achieve this, he underexposed his shot to bring out the blue skies and other details in the background. He also used a single light setup for most of his shots, so if you’re just getting started, this is definitely something you can try out. Just make sure that you get a big enough speedlight to produce the soft light seen in the video.

Dayley also discussed several portrait lighting techniques that some of you might have already heard from studio portraiture, like the Rembrandt Light, Paramount Light, Loop Light, and Split Light. So yes, you can definitely work with these techniques even in outdoor locations — which can produce beautiful and dramatic results when you integrate some elements of the location in your shots.

Lastly, don’t forget that shooting outdoors means you have lots of constant lighting at your disposal: the sun. You can definitely mix it up by going for full natural light for some shots, and a combination of both in others. One of the most popular way to do this is to use the sunlight as a rim light to separate the subject from the background. Simply put the sun behind your subject and let the flash balance the shot. In some of the shots, Dayley even demonstrated how you can use lighting to make your own “sunlight” in case you’re still shooting by sundown.

Check out the MagMod YouTube channel for more photography tips from MagMod Genius photographers like Trevor Dayley.


Screenshot image from the video by MagMod