How much power do you actually need? – Understand your flash power requirements

Flash companies are coming up with new technologies and improved flash units everyday. There are so many options in the market for Flashes. From all those options which is the best flash for your work and what power you should go with is really a confusing decision, thus I have listed all the things you should consider before deciding the flash power your need .

Flash Power

When ever you go buy a flash , what you see is how powerful it is. Have you ever consider the minimum power while buying your flashes? If No is your answer than you are buying your flashes all wrong. Because so many times the minimum flash power plays a big role in your photography.

Flash Power
Shot with minimum power settings on our flash units

Why to use Flash power on minimum settings?

As you see, in this images there is a very shallow DOF effect which gives you good connection with our model’s eyes. Creating such images without flash is always easy, but you will never have the light control you need with natural lights. Thus we use artificial lights, so we have more control on direction. But for creating such DOF you need a flash to fire on very minimal flash power. So for this any day i would suggest flashes such as Canon 430, Godox 860, Profoto A1 as they all are around 70 Watts, so they can fire on a very low power and gives you just the right amount of power you need for such shots.

The Bigger The Better

While i am showing you the benefits of buying less powerful lights, I am not even denying the requirement of high power units such as Godox 600AD pro, Profoto B1x or Broncolor Siros for your outdoor sunny day shoots. As much as you will need some low power flashes for your indoor studio works, you will sure need the powerful flash units for your outdoor wide angle fashion shots.

Flash Power
Shot with 2 flash units with 400 watts power and sun working as key light in the image

As the image given above requires to cover a long Dynamic Range. We used 2 flash units outputting 400 watts power on our Model Sara. For shots like this you really need powerful lights. So all those mono heads such as GODOX 600AD pro, Profoto B1x or Broncolor Siros units are a must buy for these kind of shots.

Easy guide for a smart buy

Flash Watts

Where to use

Speedlights 70 watts, such as Godox 860, Canon 430, Profoto A1

Good for Indoor Shallow DOF portraits and Basic outdoor Portrait shots

Units with 200 watts, such as Godox Ad 200 pro

Good for Indoor and Basic outdoor Portrait shots and some full body shots depending on the time of the day

Units with 400 watts or above, such as Godox Ad 400 pro, Godox Ad 600 pro, Profoto B1x, Broncolor Siros

Good for Indoor, but not for very shallow DOF shots. A must buy units for full body outdoor shots.

This is just 10% discussion of what actually can be discussed on buying or understanding the flashes. As lot of things matters for making the right decision for buying the right flashes. Your shooting style, time of the day, shot styles, distance, modifiers, weather and much more are there to consider when you are selecting your lighting gear.

I know many of you will still have questions for buying the right flash system for your use, but a good news for you guys is, we have a ASK US option available on our blog menu. Where you can ask us any questions regarding anything about photography. You can access our ASK US feature by clicking here. It is FREE registration and we are going to keep it FREE forever.

Author: Varun

Varun Patel is big name when it comes to Fashion Industry. His work has been published in magazines like FTL, Femina and many others. He also conducts Fashion Photography Workshops and shares his knowledge with other photographers. He mostly shoots Fashion and Commercial Portraits, during his free time he also likes to experiment with the conceptual editorials.

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