If you're taking our advice from this morning and buying your first flash soon, a few beginner tips on mixing flash with ambient light will really help you take advantage of your new gear. Enter Mango Street's Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta, who teamed up with photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco to share just that.

Mango Street is known for their simple tutorials targeted at beginners, but they mainly use natural light for their photography. So when the topic turned to artificial lighting, they asked DeArco to come on and share some advice. Over the course of two videos, DeArco offers six different tips for getting great results when you mix artificial and natural light.

Video 1

  1. Keep it Simple: Prioritize one light source first. In this case, DeArco prioritizes the natural light.
  2. Have a go-to hard light and soft light setup
  3. Experiment: Knowledge of studio lighting will make you a more well-rounded photographer

Video 2

  1. Use a strobe + reflector as a fill light on your subject to avoid blowing out your background
  2. Look for sun reflecting off buildings to provide a hair light and use your favorite strobe and modifier as a fill
  3. Use a blocked or just-out-of-frame strobe to fake a sunset if you miss golden hour

If you found the tutorials helpful, you can see more from both Mango Street and DeArco on YouTube. And if you're inspired by these techniques, check out our OpEd from this morning on why your next gear purchase should be a flash, not a new lens:

Don't buy another lens, buy a flash instead