A few weeks ago we did a photoshoot with international freelance model Elise. Chances are you seen the photos around because they happen to be some of my favourites at the moment. Unfortunately the shoot itself wasn’t as smooth sailing as usual.
It all went down hill about 4 shots in to the swimsuit component of the shoot. I was shooting with a simple two speedlite setup, one with a shoot thru umbrella and one that I was using bare as a kind of rim or hair light. At the time while balancing on rocks and edges of small man made cliffs I thought both speedlite’s had stopped responding. It turns out, after some reviewing and testing later on it was only the rim light that died. I still think that the shoot thru speedlite wasn’t working properly at the time. Anyway so I need to think on my feet. My off camera speedlites weren’t responding.
In steps my favourite speedlite, and the first one I ever bought, the Metz mecablitz 36 AF-4. Now don’t get excited this is actually a very basic on camera flash gun. It has no manual controls no auto zoom and you can only tilt the head up and down.
I usually use a Hama diffuser cap but decided to take it off cause I needed the extra power. Playing around with the flash exposure settings allowed me to have some control over the lighting. It was when we changed location to do some more fashion type shots I was able to have a little bit more fun. Exposing for the sky and then using the flash exposure to light up Elise.
My point with this short but sweet post is, you should always have a backup. Something you can fall back to and get through, even if it isn’t exactly what you had in mind. The Metz 36 AF-4 comes with me everywhere. Even when I don’t think I need a speedlite I bring it just incase. It’s not the best but it works, and has gotten me through a few tight spots when things stop working or I have anticipated the lighting incorrectly.
Always plan for the worst.