Flash Fest: Off-Camera Flash Weekend - Houston

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Flash Fest: Off-Camera Flash Weekend - Houston

Join us for three days of classes, model access shoots and more in a weekend seminar that is designed to help students learn everything necessary to get started shooting off-camera flash portraits.

With the guidance of two working pros, classroom workshops and hands-on shoots with ace models all around town, you'll learn to evaluate scenes, pose subjects, control lighting, and master camera and flash settings. 

Schedule and Format

This three-day seminar includes sessions at various locations in and around Houston. Some sessions will be classroom lecture while other will provide students with the opportunity to photograph professional models using professional flash equipment. The event will culminate with the final session in which the students will direct their own lighting with instructor assistance. Students will see the instructors evaluate scenes, pose the models, demonstrate lighting, and explain camera and flash settings. Along the way, the instructors will review student work and provide suggestions for improvement.  

Friday - TBD

1 to 4 p.m. | Classroom | Welcome, equipment basics | Tim & Todd

We will kick off this event by getting everyone acclimated to the gear. We will cover the range of lighting that is available today along with the advantages and applications for each type of equipment. We’ll then do a deep dive into the menus and modes of the gear to ensure you know exactly how everything works. Finally, we’ll cover information about transmitters including operation, modes and special functions.

5 to 7 p.m. | Crawford Street Area | Basics – Available Light | Tim

Prior to using flash outdoors, we should have a good understanding of available light. We will head to the Crawford Street Area and work with a professional model to learn about location scouting, light direction and light quality. We’ll also cover how to leverage a compelling location to create multiple looks as well as posing the subject relative to the available light. Students will have the opportunity to photograph a professional model to practice the material being covered.

Saturday - TBD

8 to 11 a.m. | Buffalo Bayou Park | OCF Portraits Basics | Tim & Todd

With the foundation that we’ve built on Friday, we will head back to Buffalo Bayou Park to start shooting outdoors with off-camera flash (OCF). We will start to introduce modifiers (such as softboxes) and grip (such as a light stand) then evaluate locations and start covering light placement. Students will again work with a professional model exploring camera and light settings that yield a variety of results so different creative intents can be accomplished. All equipment will be supplied including flash and transmitters – students only need their cameras. By the end of this session, students will have taken the first steps to seeing how flash can improve their outdoor portraits as well as understanding how to manipulate light.

1 to 4 p.m. | Classroom | Modifiers and Grip | Todd (Tim)

Shaping light, there are so many different options. Umbrella, soft box, grid, barn doors, beauty dish…which one do you use and when? In this session, we will cover the different lighting modifiers and general uses for each. We will work with a professional model to shape light and demonstrate the results of each type of modifier. Students will finish this session with an understanding of the modifiers to use when using off camera flash.

4:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Buffalo Bayou Park | OCF Portraits – theme shoots | Tim & Todd

Choose one:

Tim's Theme Shoot – Family – Buffalo Bayou Park

Family photography is popular but can be challenging when we’re confronted with choosing a location, posing a group of people, using our camera and lighting with flash. During this session, we will have a family on-hand and walk through a typical session. We will select locations, pose the family, choose lighting placement then photograph the family in different groups. Students will finish this session with a better vision of how all of the pieces fit together to create beautiful family portraits outdoors using off-camera flash.

Todd's Theme Shoot – Lifestyle/Fashion/Editiorial Portraits - Buffalo Bayou Park

Portrait photography is popular but can be challenging when balancing natural light with flash, location, camera settings and posing our client. Fashion and Editorial photography is quite different than standard portraiture. This type of photography is more about creating an edgy look, a mood or unique lighting scenario. This can be a challenge when trying to balance or overpower the sun or create shadows. During this session, we will work with a professional model and walk through a creative portrait session. We will select various locations, pose the client, choose lighting placement and what modifier to use and then photograph our model. Students will finish this session with a better understanding of how all of the pieces fit together to create stunning and unique portraits outdoors using off-camera flash.

Sunday - TBD

8 a.m. to Noon | Location TBD | OCF Portraits – theme shoot | Tim & Todd

Tim and Todd's Theme Shoot - Fashion/Editorial -  TBD

To wrap up this event, for our final outing we will head to an outdoor shooting location. Multiple models will be on-hand and students will take the lead to direct their own mini-sessions. Students may bring their own flash or use equipment supplied by Precision Camera. Instructors will be on-hand and students will assist one another. This will be a great culmination to start applying everything you’ve learned!

Bonus Model Access Shoot

$29 for Flash Fest Attendees or $59 for general public
3 to 7 p.m. | Buffalo Bayou Park | Tim & Todd

We will gather at Buffalo Bayou Park for a final model access shoot that is open to the general public. Multiple models will be on-hand and students will take the lead to direct their own mini-sessions. Attendees will be required to use their own equipment for this shoot. We will increase the number of models we have available based off our enrollments to ensure that there is no more than 6 photographers to every one model.

Click here to learn more about the Model Access shoot and signup HERE.

Topics Covered

• Flash basics and operation
• Location scouting with good light and surroundings
• Light quality and direction
• Light placement
• Blending flash with available light
• How to separate a subject from the background
• Modifiers and grip – softboxes, light stands and more – how they impact your images
• Posing and how to make it work outdoors
• Tips, tricks and special effects


This class is targeted for all levels of photographers who wish to learn about using off-camera flash in-depth.


This event is designed to help students learn everything necessary to get started with off-camera flash. Students will work hands-on to master the concepts presented while working with professional models.

Students will have plenty of time to shoot and explore the combinations of light, location and pose.

Required Equipment

• Camera (With manual settings and hot shoe)
• Lenses
• Memory cards
• Charged batteries

The instructors will provide flash that works with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fuji in TTL as well as HSS. If you're not familiar with those terms, you'll learn all about them in this workshop. The instructor will provide everything – all you’ll need to bring is your camera. Students are free to bring their own flash. Students will finish the event designing their own lighting as they master their understanding of using off-camera flash.

About the Instructors

The instructors for this class are Austin photographers Tim Babiak and Todd White.

Tim Babiak is a full-time photographer and a long-time instructor at PCU. Tim serves as Chairman of the Austin Professional Photographers Association and is a two-time recipient of the Photographer of the Year award from the Austin Professional Photographers Association. Tim is also a two-time Bronze Medalist in PPA’s International Print Competition. Tim is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) via the Professional Photographers of America.

Todd White specializes in fashion, portrait and commercial photography/videography. He has photographed with many country artists including Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and George Strait. A selection of these photos have been published in People and Country Weekly magazines. Other commercial work has been published in Vogue, British Vogue, the Wall Street Journal and Texas Highways. Other commercial clients include Altar'd State, Facebook, Pinterest and Neiman Marcus.

Please review our class cancellation policy below. 

Class Cancellations

Mock Wedding, Flash Fest, Special Events and One-Time Classes
You have up until seven days before a scheduled Mock Wedding, Flash Fest, Photo Campouts under $200 (including Caprock Canyon, Spring and Fall Photo Camping Extravaganza), special events and one-time classes to cancel and receive a full refund or to reschedule. If you do not show up for a class that we are only holding one time or a class that we hold rarely, your class registration will be forfeited and you will not be permitted a refund or to reschedule. We will not offer a reschedule attempt to individuals who don't show up to the Mock Wedding Workshop or Flash Fest due to the high amount of resources required for that class.

How to Reschedule or Cancel a Class
Please contact the store at 512-467-7676 or email to cancel a class. Class cancellations or requests to be rescheduled that are sent through other channels, such as Facebook or messages, will not be honored. Please note that class refunds are only issued during business hours, Monday through Friday.

Minimum Enrollment
Each class needs a minimum number of students to enroll before the class can “make.” If the minimum enrollment has not been met two business days before the class begins, the class will be cancelled. All students who enrolled in the class will be notified by telephone or email, and may transfer to a different class or be issued a refund (see refund procedure). We encourage all students to enroll as soon as registration begins. Please check your phone and email messages, including your SPAM.


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