Photography is powered by Vocal creators. You support C.C. Curtis by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Photography is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

8 Reasons to Use a Ring Flash for Your Portrait Photography

Want to know why you should start using ring flashes in photography? These are the real reasons to use a ring flash in all of your portrait photography.

When it comes to portrait photography, we want our models to look their best. Aside from a bit of makeup and the right attire, lighting plays a major role in this type of photography as well as lenses for portrait photography. We don't want to cast any harsh shadows on our models that will completely take away their features and details, and this is certainly among the common portrait lighting mistakes to avoid. And we definitely don't want to use too much lighting that will literally make the model go blind and expose too much to the camera. In addition, the camera wouldn't be able to pick up anything from too much light, just a frame of white lighting.

Aside from regular flashes and even natural lighting, which is also a great source of light, many photographers really enjoy using ring flashes when taking portrait photography. It comes with so many benefits and they're really easy to use, too. You can also use ring flashes is so many diverse ways to capture the right and ideal photos. However, there are also photographers who don't have a clue of the purpose and which exactly are the right ring flashes. If you want to understand more of the photography accessory, these are the real reasons to use a ring flash for all of your portrait photography.

Use a ring flash for framing.

Have you ever seen those really cool portrait photos with a ring of light framing the model? That's what the ring flash is! From the reasons to use a ring flash, you can use the ring flash to create a stunning frame around the model. It'll give off that illuminating frame around the model and give your photos really cool, natural frames without any editing.

You can use a ring flash to create a frame from using this one by Smith-Victor. Simply place the ring flash in front of the model, but not too close. Then, place your camera in the center of the ring. And position it where the ring is fully exposed through the lens and basically gives off a frame!

Ring flash can be used to capture interesting light effects.

When you're using a ring flash, one of the reasons to use a ring flash is capturing the interesting light effects! If you don't know what I'm talking about, have you seen those portrait photos of models wearing sunglasses and the reflection of the ring flash bounces right off of the glasses? That's what I'm talking about!

You can take really rad photos with your model wearing sunglasses while using the ring flash. The glasses will give off a stunning glare from the ring flash and give the photos characteristic and diversity. At least a couple of your photos with this look really makes it different from the others in the coolest way possible. 

They can put an interesting ring glare in the model's eyes.

Aside from the really awesome ring flare on the sunglasses of the model, have you wondered what the circle light in the model's eyes is from other portrait photos that you've seen? That's the exact same affect with the sunglasses, but in the model's eyes! When your model is looking directly into the camera with the ring flash on, you model can possess ring light glares on their pupils and it's actually beautiful in photos.

There's no technical way of doing this. Simply have the ring flash on your camera and focus it on the model. This should automatically give off the stunning ring effect on their pupils. And you can do this for the majority of your portrait photos.

Expose details on a hard light shot.

One of the best ways to really expose some details into your photos is by using a ring flash. Among the reasons to use a ring flash, regular flashes aren't the only ones that can capture great details, but so can a ring flash. In fact, you can adjust the ring flash to your liking and alter it to a position where the smallest of details are showing.

You can't really tell if the flash you're going to use will expose enough details, because it goes off when you snap the photo. However, a ring flash is always on and this allows you to play with the position and see which side needs more light to show more details. And a great ring flash to focus light on your object and model is this one by Kaiser. This ring flash attaches itself to the lens of your camera. This way, you can focus your camera and the flash anywhere for more exposed details.

They're perfect for macro.

Among the real reasons to use a ring flash is that they're great for macro. If you want to capture great portrait shots of bugs and animals in macro form, then a ring flash is perfect for helping you out. When you're taking macro shots, a ring flash can give you the soft lighting that you really need when taking up-close photos.

While some flashes give off way too much harsh lighting when taking macro portrait photos, a ring flash is something that you should definitely consider. This way, the ring flash will give off the proper amount of light to expose enough details, even when up close than any other form of lighting. And ring flashes won't harm the eyes of any insect or small animal you're taking a macro portrait photo of. 

You can use it as the key lighting.

There are so many great portraits photos where there's only one form of lighting and it's directly in front of the model. You can use the ring flash as your key lighting, meaning your main lighting. When you place the ring flash in front of your model, this will make her glow while casting a shadow around her.

So, if you want a shadowy framing with a stunning halo effect on your model, a ring flash is the ideal product to do so. The light can hit her exactly from the enter of the lens to give off a halo effect and darken her surroundings—to make herself the main focus. Not to mention that this won't give off any harsh lighting to your model, but lighting that's more soft and suitable for an up-close portrait photo.

Ring flash can be used as a softbox.

Yes, among the reasons to use a ring flash, you can certainly use ring flash as a softbox. When it comes to taking portrait photos, you want your model to have the best soft lighting ever. You don't want anything too harsh or too light, a light that's right in the middle. In fact, you're using the ring flash as a softbox to give off a bit of directional light.

What directional light is is the light that focuses on one side of the model, while casting a slight shadow on the opposite side. While one side of the model is slightly exposed to the softbox lighting, the other side is lightly hidden in a shadow. Either way, the lighting or the shadowing aren't too harsh and will make the photos come out stunning. 

They can be used for subtle fill.

Finally, from the best reasons to use a ring flash, and the most popular use for it is giving off subtle fill. What subtle fill is is giving a bit of light to a further-away portrait photo. When you're taking a full-body photo, the ring flash can give enough lighting that won't be too harsh on the model.

Since ring flashes aren't usually harsh, they give the right amount of light to a full-body portrait photo. And the best ring flash to do this is the one by RoundFlash. This ring flash comes with a diffuser so the lighting isn't too much on the model. And placing this far away from the model can give the perfect amount of lighting!

Now Reading
8 Reasons to Use a Ring Flash for Your Portrait Photography
Read Next
Best Landscape Photographers to Follow on Instagram