Five Creative Photography Lighting Tricks Using Your Phone's Flashlight

It's always refreshing to me to get behind the scenes and see how some cool images are made. Then, to realize that the only light source was a cell phone LED along with a few props, I realized that my studio needs a shopping trip.

In this basic video, Los Angeles based photographer Derrick Freske uses a constant light source — his cell phone — to light a model for some portraits. He uses some very basic props, such as some sequined fabric, some shiny iridescent paper, a prism, and more to get some really cool effects. If I had seen a few of those images, I'd have assumed that they were created with a strobe light and some crazy gobos or gels, but no, they were done with a tiny constant LED on a phone and some everyday props. While I've seen images made with a prism before, I hadn't heard of some of the other things he pulled out in the video, so I think it's worth a quick watch. 

So, here's a friendly reminder to take a step back from your big fancy lighting gear, grab some cool, cheap toys, and experiment. You never know what kinds of things you'll come up with!

Stephen Ironside's picture

Stephen Ironside is a commercial photographer with an outdoor twist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While attempting to specialize in adventure and travel photography, you can usually find him in the woods, in another country, or oftentimes stuffing his face at an Indian buffet.

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1 Comment

Great video. These can work with more serious lights as well as cell phones. Though I use my cell phone light often when I don't have my serious lights with me. It's a great McGuyver-esq tool in a pinch, and these ideas are a great addition.