Off-Camera Lighting Made Easy | Nashville Workshop Recap


(iPhone Only image from David Molnar)

If there is one area of shooting that can seem to be intimidating, it is off-camera lighting. There are 50,000,000 options with gear, modifiers, power-supplies and the list goes on, then we have to figure out where to put the light, how to balance it with the ambient, and at this point many of us just give up. But all of us know that sometimes we just need off-camera lights to get the shot and sometimes we want them to create a certain cool look.

This workshop solves all of those problems by showing you a simple system for shooting off-camera lit images that makes it so easy to do that you will never have to be afraid of off-camera lighting again!

We started off the day learning the system and looking at the tools and scenarios we need to be able to overcome to get the shots we want. We had a sold-out crowd of 18 students for the day and had an awesome time eating together, learning together, and getting to know each other at our home in Franklin, TN.


We then headed off to our shooting location and I intentionally found a spot with a cool looking background, but that didn’t have the best natural lighting. When you bring great lighting with you, you can shoot in places that normally you would never dream of!


I first walked through the systematic steps we take to get perfect results with the very first image and zero guess-work.



I pulled back after going through our system and then took 5 images. Here are two of them below.




After shooting these images I showed the students just how simple this whole thing is and then we all started shooting together. It was now the students turn to use the system and it was amazing to see them getting the exact same results as me!




This was one of my favorite shots that I took that day with Micah (the studly husband of Elly our bride). I shot this at 2.0 on my 85L lens. When I shoot guys, I always side light them at 45 degrees to add that high contrast which looks much more manly.


This was a set-up that Jody took the students through. It was a tricky spot for lighting with the hot spots on the wall, but once we added light, it made for a cool dynamic portrait!




For this set-up we used the Sunny 16 rule in order to get the sky above the couple to not be blown out. Any time the sun is hitting anything, the exposure is ISO 100, 1/100th second and f/16. Knowing that rule helps us quicky power up the light to get the look that we want.



We looked to the side of the last shot above and saw this cool stage that had some nice light on it already. We added just a touch of flash to really make our bride and groom pop and got this shot.


After tons of shooting around our cool Factory location, we headed out to this farm to shoot the sunset. During our Natural Light Workshop the previous day, we shot here with a completely different look. It is awesome using off-camera light and natural together, because you get a really great variation in your images that many photographers don’t have, so that helps your images to stand out from the pack!



For the last set-up of the day, and after each photographer had gone through our system themselves, we set up a more complex 3 light shot to show what you can do once you master one light. This shot had a main light to camera left, a fill light to camera right, and then a kicker light in the back left. This allows us to exposure for the sky, fill-in the shadows, and also separate our subject from the background.




Each student walked away with our IN-CAMERA Light DVD so that they could review the content any time they needed to.

It was such an amazing day and we are so glad that we got to spend it with this amazing group of photographers! Thanks to everyone that came out and we can’t wait to chat with you in the private Facebook group! Welcome to the tribe!



If you want to attend a Zach and Jody Workshop, they are very limited and when they launch, they sell out within 24 hours. To be the first to know about the next one coming this spring, and to get our free lighting eBook, click HERE to sign up!