Up until around 2009, I thought I’d never use any sort of artificial light for my images. I was extremely sensitive
to natural light and frankly had no interest in
shooting any other way. A fellow photographer
friend of mine came over one day with the
Sunpak 622 Super flash—if you’ve never seen
it, it’s enormous. I was just captivated and had
to try it. As I looked at my film that I shot with it,
I knew that was it for me. It was like hearing
music for the first time. I felt like my work finally
This way of shooting accentuates specific
details based on how you hold the flash—it’s like
a spotlight. When photographing the everyday,
it helps elevate these situations. There’s almost
a surprise element to the flash that I really enjoy,
especially when I’m at a party or really active
environment. I no longer shoot with the Sunpak.
I still have it and do love it, but I started using the
Canon Speedlites and I don’t think I’ll turn back.
They are so transportable and powerful. I’m
often following someone around or constantly
on the road, so being able to have multiple
versions in my backpack is crucial.
This lighting style isn’t for everyone. I’ve lost
jobs because of refusing to shoot otherwise.
Some people think it’s too harsh and hate the
shadows. A lot of photographers I know can
balance doing airy, natural light photos with the
harsh flash. It helps them get a greater range
in clients, I’m sure, but I’m not about that. This
lighting is crucial to my vision and this is how I
see things. It’s flash or nothing.
FULLY LIT BY AMY LOMBARD
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