Adding Light on your Life
Without any natural light available, a photographer must rely on the existing light in the scene or add light with flash or constant lights.
Flash photography with night portraits does not require full strobes or expensive gear. A small flash, often known as a “pocket flash” will be sufficient since your settings are typically a combination of high ISO and low aperture. In short, a little bit of flash power goes a long way.
On a pocket strobe, it’s not uncommon to find your flash power at 1/16, 1/32 or even lower depending on your ISO, Aperture settings, and modifiers. Without the need for much flash power, you’ll also experience faster recycle times and more flexibility in terms of the modifiers. You may use soft-boxes, umbrellas, grids, gels, and more. Or you can keep it simple with a bare flash. The choice depends on your desired look.
If you do not want to use flash, you can also opt for using a constant light like an LED panel. The advantage of a constant light is that you can see that “what you see is what you get,” in that you can see the final affects of the additional light in camera before you take the photo. In contrast, a flash fires in a fraction of a second, making the final impact of the added light only visible after the photo is taken. For this reason, many beginners choose to use constant lights over flash until they develop enough experience to use flash.
Keep in mind that constant lights do not have the freezing power of flash. Flash has the power of freezing a subject, while constant lights do not. If you decide to use constant lights, then take extra caution to ensure that your images are not blurry from camera shake or movement in your subjects.