Flash: Off or On Camera? That is the Question.
Both have their benefits and drawbacks. One camera flash is faster to set up and allows for more subject movement. This is ideal for street fashion, when you may be trespassing or blocking traffic and need to work quick. It also has a more paparazzo, raw feel to it, a la Terry Richardson. So when I am shooting a skater or hip hop brand, I often opt for this technique.
Off-camera flash is nice because of it’s dynamic quality. You can highlight a specific part of your subject and really get creative (especially when you start using colored gels and multiple strobes). But setup takes a bit longer, and is tough without an assistant there to manage the umbrellas and sandbags, etc.
Above is an “A” and a “B” shot for T-Squad apparel. In shot “A” I opted for an off-camera flash. One of the models simply held the strobe just out of the frame to the left. It is a nice, dramatic image. But I think it comes off as a bit too dramatic for an image selling a tank top. In the “B” image, I opted to leave the flash on camera. I actually prefer this image. It feels more gritty and street, and thus more appropriate for a tank top line.
Exif Data in image “A”: 1/200, f/10; 75mm; 50 ISO; Flash zoomed to 85 and set at ¼ power.
Exif Data in image “B”: 1/200, f/5.6; 25mm; 50 ISO; Flash zoomed to 85 and set at ¼ power.