FreeSoul1987 wrote in post #18168013
Yes, and my 430EX II flash. Too bright?
Not too bright. The exposure is correct and the subjects are in focus. But - not intending to be mean - if you have paying clients, you must deliver a higher-quality product.
#1, move the subject farther away from the backdrop.
#2, move the camera farther away from the subject.
#3, get the main light higher than the subject's face.
#4, use a longer focal length to get the appropriate framing.
I can't see the EXIF data on these, but I would guess that you're using a relatively short focal length, and ETTL with the Speedlight on the hotshoe on top of the camera.
Simultaneously while cleaning and setting up your studio, your other task is to experiment with your lighting, and make sure you can consistently produce, properly-lit portraits.
Combining continuous (softboxes/windows) and flash is possible, but not always easy. If you use ETTL - which means you let the camera and flash decide how to do it - it will always produce average results. If you want better-than-average, you have to be in control, be smarter than the camera.
See what happens when you use ONLY natural light.
See what happens when you use ONLY the continuous softboxes (at night, probably)
See what happens when you use ONLY the flash (again, at night).
Light is additive. You can add to the window light with the softboxes. You can also add to it with the flash. However, if you let the camera and flash determine your settings, it will probably try to use settings that minimize the window/softbox light, and illuminate the scene with only a powerful flash - and you get results that look like the ones you posted.
You CAN produce passable portraits with only those continuous softboxes (I've done it), but in order to maintain an appropriate shutter speed, you'll need to increase ISO and open aperture. If you have a recent camera, increased ISO is fine, if that's what you have to do to get the right exposure.
Homework: Review different styles of portrait lighting, and see if you can accomplish those with just the windows and continuous softboxes. I think you'll be able to get great results if you put the backdrop in the middle of the room, have the subjects face the windows, put your back to the windows, use the natural light as main light, and MAYBE use the softboxes for fill. Don't bring the Speedlight into the mix yet, it will only complicate things.
If you have more than one Speedlight, and some modifiers and grip gear (stands, etc) then there's a lot you can do with just a few cheap Speedlights - I wrote a long post about this just a couple weeks ago http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1468659 . But if you're not to spend any more money on gear for now, then you've gotta work with what you got, and a single on-camera Speedlight isn't going to cut it.
Pick up a cheap mannequin head so you can take your time practicing without having to chase the boy or use the timer.