Getting started with flashes


Flashes, the great frontier. Flashes are a very versatile tool and I am only talking about battery powered flashes and not strobe lights that need to be plugged in. Some people use the terms loosely but I feel there is a big difference. Anyways, after jumping onto a single Nikon SB-700 and found that it does amazing things for my indoor event photography (but cost a fortune) I jumped down the rabbit hole of lighting options. Going from flashes to constant lights and well… back to flashes. Admittedly I went back and forth endlessly on what to use. Seen what other people use in ads and magazines of expensive equipment and thought “I wish my pictures looked that good” well they can and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Just has to be the right equipment and used correctly. Which brings me back to flashes.


Who and why flashes?

Perhaps you are still new to photography or lighting and are pondering just as I did “What light type should I use.” There is so many options after all with different features and benefits so… the answer isn’t really that simple unless you know what you want to do, what you are photographing, and ultimately your budget. So when should you consider using flashes?

Working solo:

If you are currently a solo photographer without an assistant then flashes are the way to go. Easy to setup, can mount to the camera, light weight, and can sometimes be adjusted remotely and triggered remotely. Of course the other options have some of the same benefits but cost a fortune.


Not yet rich:

Finances definitely plays a role in your selection. Depending on your circumstances it may not even make financial sense to make such a large purchase. But with flashes, it is a system of lights that can grow over time, as money and the need increases. Not something that is all now or nothing. Plus you won’t need a seperate lighting system for your camera as the flashes can still be mounted and used solo.

Shooting outdoors and indoors:

Flashes are great indoors and outdoors. They are rather rugged for all weather (As far as I can tell) plus being battery operated they can go with you anywhere very easily. Admittedly they do lack overall power to over come the sun unless you pack a few of them together but unless you know what you are doing you shouldn’t really be shooting in direct sunlight either. The other benefit is the option to underexpose for ambient light indoors and light the shot entirely by flash alone. I find this very helpful when the lights I am competing with are ugly “Warm White”, As flashes shoot at nearly daylight color temperatures.


Notes of Caution:

I can imagine that most people new to photography would do as I did and jump onto the name brand of my camera’s flash options and I will tell you that I have abandoned Nikon Flashes (For the most part). I originally shot with 2 Nikon SB-700’s and used them off camera and etc, which ultimately was an expensive mistake for the most part. Yes they are slightly brighter, yes they are probably better made then what I use now, and are overall smaller (but not by a lot). So why don’t I use them? Well for starters the SB-700 is $320+ per flash and in the end you need 3+ of them to really get a great scene going. So that is nearly $1000 in flashes at minimum.

Then we get into repairs. Don’t delude yourself, they will need repairs eventually. Photography is a hard life when you are shooting outdoors, traveling with equipment, and shooting in all sorts of weather conditions. The bottom line is unforeseeable events happen when the equipment isn’t attached to you. So what does the bill look like to get a flash repaired? Last time I got one fixed it is always $75 minimum accession fee, plus shipping, plus repairs, your left kidney, and sometimes first born. If I ever got a bill that wasn’t $150+ to get one fixed I would die early of a heart attack.

The one I am using now is broken, but I only use it as an on camera flash these days as like I said, it is a little brighter. I shoot manual so the fact it has no idea what the brightness should be has no affect on my use. I definitely don’t like it enough to spend half of it’s value in repairs when they don’t even come with wireless triggering or digital controller to adjust them remotely.

Note of Wisdom:

Use rechargeable batteries… That is all. Ok. Seriously though you may be able to buy a large Costco amount of batteries for… I actually have no idea as I haven’t bought it in a long time and only bring some non rechargeable ones for emergencies. Anyways, flashes eat though batteries and your money. You can get rechargeable batteries that have way more Amp Hours of use then any normal batteries and cost you 1/100th of what it would cost to shoot with disposable ones in a year. In a year. Think about that.

What to expect when expecting your photos

The after session talk

We need to talk and no. This isn’t about the birds and the bees as I am sure that lesson has sailed long ago, if not consult your local parent as they love the subject. But about what’s next? You have had a great session of some sort with Jason Kvame Photography but then I ran off with your photos! And not in the “to never return” *dramatic music* kind of way so you can continue to breath normally. Lets get into the details of what to expect when expecting your photos.


What my Pixieset Gallery looks like.


48 hour teaser gallery guarantee:

If you are new to Jason Kvame Photography, you might have read or heard me mention that you will have something resembling photos within 48 hours! Whoopie! Well sort of. Because there is a chance that you are like me and just can’t wait to see how they turned out, I create a little teaser gallery of a select few images and share them with you! Within 48 hours(mon-fri) guaranteed! (Weekends and holidays don’t count, as I got to have a life sometimes). The gallery is a shareable online gallery for you to share, praise, or hoard secretly in a dark cave calling it “your precious.” I won’t judge. But that is the gist of it. 48 hours you will have a gallery to tide you over until the rest of the photos are ready. What happens if I miss the deadline… well hopefully no one experiences it to find out. I should also note that even if you purchased the entire gallery or all images, the teaser gallery images aren’t downloadable and will still show a watermark as they may not be the final version. But anyways, that brings us to the next story… I mean paragraph.

The Complete and Final Gallery:

The big kahona and what everyone is waiting for: “The Gallery.” The complete and final gallery will be ready for viewing, sharing, and making purchases from just 2 weeks from your session date. Which is more of an approximation then hard science with weekend photography normally landing on a Monday. Because those pesky weekends, I photograph and don’t really photo edit on them. If you have prepurchased the entire gallery then the gallery will also be downloadable at the time of posting. The gallery is only available for 2 weeks before it expires and is no longer accessible. It is your responsibility to make purchases and download your images within the time frame. Some deals come with an extended time period but for others, they can purchase extended time for the equivelant of a non-discounted high resolution digital image.


I already forgot what park this photo was taken at but still one of my favorites. Would say favorite train photo but then that wouldn’t be saying much in my case.


While you wait:

Review me…

While you are waiting on your gorgeous photos it would be a great help if you left me a review or liked my page on facebook! Not enough motivation? Well also receive a $15 credit towards additional purchases for a review and $5 for liking me on facebook!

Here are some suggestions…



Found me somewhere else? No problem. Just let me know where!


Just me and the little one.


Recommend me…

Like my service? Then please recommend me to friends and family! Your efforts won’t go in vain, as people you recommend and who successfully book a session all the way through will earn you a special place in my heart. Oh and a complimentary session next year! (No complimentary images however and only one complimentary session per year)

Jenny and family portraits

Got the pleasure of photographing Jenny and her wonderful family in the beautiful Volunteer Park in Seattle. It has been a long time since I have been there. Probably nearly 2 years and some things are different and others are just as I remember. Either way the park is still beautiful, huge, and full of opportunities for photos. We got lucky for weather as the day before had rain and cloud cover. Not that I mind as I am a photographer but I heard people don’t like it.


Simple Solo photo of the Senior! One year before it is off to working and life.


Anyways, it was great spending time with Jenny and her beautiful family who responded great to direction and the natural chemistry between them made the session effortless. Here is some of the highlights and I look forward to future sessions with a great family.


A moment…



What 300mm Zoom, a flash, sun being on the wrong side looks like more or less.


90th Birthday


Cake Time and blowing out candles!


A 90th birthday. I can’t imagine an event that is more impressive and loving then some one reaching such a milestone, to have all your kids, grandkids, and possible additions to the family come together to support and celebrate such an occasion in your life. To have everyone plus some show up from across the country and let you know how important you are to them. Amazing.


Big 9 0 Birthday


The birthday was at a beautiful house that is full of history for those that live there. And couldn’t have been a more gorgeous location to have such an amazing birthday. Garden, beautiful tree, large back yard, and patio. Gorgeous. Definitely need the space for the turn out and everyone was so amazing! Not to mention the cake! The cake is, well beyond words so I won’t try. Look forward to attending the 91st birthday and capturing all the unique personalities and attendees!


Griffin Underwriting Services

Come on, doesn’t he look likeable?

I recently had the pleasure of hanging out with the wonderful team at Griffin Underwriting Services. Who are they you ask? Honestly, no idea really as I am just a photographer and not an insurance or MGA expert but if they aren’t already a big deal in the North West market then they probably are well on their way to becoming one. After all this whole work party took place at their future new location in Bellevue to fit an expanding team! Impressive. After spending an hour with them in Bellevue I was pondering if I should be working there as they are energetic, fun, and good humoured all the way up to the people in charge. Don’t believe me? Then check out some of photos!

A fashion statement at GUS
Happy times at Griffin Underwriting Services

Really can’t say enough good things about them. I definitely look forward to working with them in the future and to see their new space when it is completed! Until next time!

New, new, and some more newness.

Hello everyone and random visitors!

Welcome to Jason Kvame Photography page! This site however is new so far, the blogs are new, and the booking form/calendar is new. So there is a bunch of newness (probably not a word). Which probably also means technical hiccups but we will cross that bridge like a pro or better yet, like a professional photographer snapping photos the entire way pro. Anyways welcome to the new. Now lets photograph something!

On an unrelated note, I would love any feedback or suggestions for topics, tips you would like parted your way, and etc! So feel free to contact me through the many various methods. Thanks!