Mom*tog Of The Week – Brandi Blaha

I’m starting a new segment here on Mom*tog called “Mom*tog of the Week”.  Well, hopefully it will be a weekly thing :)  Let’s see if I can keep up with it!  Basically, I want to feature Moms who have an interesting product (photography or mom related) they’d like to review, have a super cute picture of their kiddos, or just an ordinary Mom who has something interesting to say.  I want Mom*tog to be a place where we can all connect rather than just having to listen to boring old me day in and day out :)  If you’d like to share a topic or would like to nominate someone to be a Mom*tog of the week then email me!

Our first Mom*tog of the week is Brandi Blaha from Virgina.  Brandi is the mom to two very cute little boys and has recently started her own photography business.  Brandi left a comment in the flash post talking about an interesting product that I thought would help a lot of Mom*togs shooting with on camera flash, so I asked her to write up a little review on it.  Thanks Brandi for taking the time to write this!

PS  If you’re on Facebook can you pretty please take a second out of your day to vote for this?  You can read more about why you should vote for it here.  THANK YOU!!!

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I was so excited to be asked to talk about the LightScoop on MomTog!  I am a mom of 2 boys under the age of 5.  I have been a professional photographer for 10 years, working for high volume school photography company.  After years of people asking me if I have my own business I’ve finally made that big leap.  It’s a very exciting time for me.  You can check out my photoblog at here.

The LightScoop is my most favorite new toy.  We have all enjoyed post after post about using Flash and how challenging it can be to maintain that natural light look when relying on available light alone is not enough.  The trick to good flash photography, in my experience, is to use the minimum amount of flash required.  I often use fill flash when shooting outside as well, if the situation allows.  However, the LightScoop will only work indoors.

I snapped of few pix of my son in the tub so you can see the difference in the overall appearance of the photos.

The first shot is with the pop-up alone.  You can see the light is very harsh and also cause shadows behind him on the wall.  The shot was taken on Program at 400 ISO.

The 2nd image is with the lightScoop and give the appearance of ambient light in the room, which by the way has no windows.  This shot was taken with the recommended setting:  800 ISO, Shutter Pref f-stop 200 with the pop-up flash on 2+.  You can adjust the power of the pop-up flash on most DSLR’s.

I love the MomTog Blog because it’s for all levels of photographers.  Just like anyone else I like to take simple candid photos of my kids at their birthday parties and on holidays and just for everyday fun.  I’m pretty sure my kids are photographed on a daily basis.  I found myself relying on my tiny Canon Elf during these situations as I was always disappointed with the results of my DSLR with the pop-up flash when shooting candids indoors.  That’s when I found the LightScoop and it has allowed me to LOVE my DSLR even more.  It’s a lightweight and compact bounce attachment for the pop-up flash on your DSLR.  It’s genius if you ask me.  It can also be used in professional applications as well.  For instance, I recently photographed my friend and her 9 week old baby girl.  It was night time so there was no light coming into the windows.  I plopped them on my couch next to a floor lap, snapped in the LightScoop and shot away.  The results are amazing.  The lamp allows for some nice size catch lights in the eyes (without which the photo would lack punch) while the bounced pop-up flash lets soft light flow down around them.

You can purchase your own LightScoop online for less than $40.  I own the standard, they offer a Warming Lightscoop as well but I don’t think that’s necessary.

Comments

  1. Jess says

    After reading about Brandi’s experience on the I Heart Faces site, I checked out the website and hopefully will be ordering mine soon! I was going to invest in a speedlight… but really.. I’m a mom with a camera. I’m not a professional. If I can get a $40 piece of equipment to fit my needs, I’m going to take it! :)
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Black and White =-.

  2. Alicia says

    What a great tip! Love it!

  3. Erin says

    Yup, this post just confirmed it. I am purchasing a LightScoop today. I have been wanting an external flash, but for the time being and what I’m using my camera for I think the LightScoop will be perfect!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Working Mommy Wednesdays =-.

  4. Jenna says

    Oh what perfect timing! I had been seriously considering the Speedlite but you just made my decision to try the Lightscoop first. I had heard of it but was in the mindset “the bigger, the better” when in actuality I am just a mama at home taking pics of my son and don’t need/want a huge flash on top of my camera. I am going to buy a Lightscoop today. I should learn to always try the economical version first =) Thank You!

  5. Tonya says

    Neat product. I like this idea of featuring different mom/photographers. I would love to feature something on natural light photography and babies as this is my specialty. Thanks so much for sharing Brandi!

  6. Jessica says

    You guys should contact the company and see if they will give us MOM*tog readers a discount :) This is officially on my wish list. Thanks for sharing Brandi.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..New In My Etsy Shop! =-.

  7. Kayla Neidigh says

    Thank you so much for sharing!!! It’s official I must purchase a lightscope!!

  8. Katriana says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I got a fancy spancy camera (compared to my bedrock aged point and shoot) for my birthday this past summer. I absolutely love it outside but I have been so sad with the pictures I have been taking inside. I placed my order for the LightScoop a few minutes ago & I can’t wait for it to come in! Thank you again! ~

  9. Michelle says

    Thanks for the review, I had seen this product one other time and thought that it looked interesting. Then I lost the link, and couldn’t remember the name of the product.

    I think its exactly what I need to try before buying expensive speedlights. (:

  10. Amy M says

    I am sooo excited I found this post. Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Yesssss!! Am buying a lightscope this weekend!

  11. Erin says

    I already posted this morning…but coming back to say that I ordered mine today and I can’t wait to play with it!!!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Working Mommy Wednesdays =-.

  12. Ileana C says

    Awesome, thanks for sharing! Def something I will purchase.

  13. Daryn says

    Done and done. I just ordered mine! Brandi, you should get a cut of the proceeds, seeing that you are such a good salesperson for LightScoop. Thanks for the advice!!

  14. ummm… I’d totally leave a comment but I am too busy buying a Lightscoop!
    Yay!!!!
    Thanks brandi! Thanks Drew!
    .-= Julie Carson´s last blog ..beauty and strength =-.

  15. keprunty says

    Thank you SO much for this post! I have been wanting a flash to take indoor pics but now I am going to purchase this instead. It’s much more in line with my budget and the fact that I’m just a mom with a camera. :)
    .-= keprunty´s last blog ..Clueless? =-.

  16. elizabeth says

    oh, i’ve been looking at flashes, but now i’m thinking this may be a good place to start. if momtogs could get a discount that’d be great too! anybody know how to make that happen?
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..My Birthday Wish List =-.

  17. This is a great thing! I’m excited to see other Momtogs on here and what they are up too.
    Drew thank you so much for always reaching out to us Moms & Professional Photographers.
    Laycee Lemons

  18. Just bought mine!!! Thanks Brandi and as always thanks Drew you ROCK!!!

  19. Brandi says

    Man, wish I was getting a commission! Enjoy:)
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..My Baby… =-.

  20. I can’t repost this enough. Mine is on it’s way, then I will review it on my blog. Can’t wait. You rock Brandi and Momtog!!!!!

  21. Angela says

    Hello Brandi, Thank you for the nice tip on the lightscoop! Question…When I went on to the Lightscoop site it appears that there are two different kinds Standard or Warming. What one do you use? There is also an offer to buy both..what do you think? should I buy both or just the Standard one? Any help with this would greatly be appreciated.

  22. dorie says

    Thank you so much for posting about the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation on your blog. There is a special little boy who is a friend of Gwendolyn’s and he is the reason why I posted about people voting for SMA. Good to see that others were getting the word out as well. You can read his story on my blog at http://blog.doriehowell.com/2010/01/northern-virginia-photographer-superman.html

    Oh and I grew up in Fullerton but now live close to Brandi. Small world.

  23. Ashley says

    I bought one AS SOON as I got home from work!! Thanks!!! :)
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..on the verge… =-.

  24. Well, I for one never find you boring! But am SUPER excited about this new thing you are doing! I love this post and look forward to more!
    .-= Bobbie Brown´s last blog ..Tylan =-.

  25. Erica says

    This is awesome! I’ve been wondering about the lightscoop and since I haven’t purchased a Speedlight yet this might be another option until I go that route. Thanks for the review and I love the idea of having a guest reviewer once a week!
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..2/52 Fondest Memories {Bloomington, Indiana lifestyle photographer} =-.

  26. Emily says

    Thanks Brandi and Drew! What a great idea! I agree with the other non-pro moms. I would just like to take some kick-butt pictures of my kids and don’t have a bunch of extra money right now to buy a speedlite. This definitely looks like something I’d like to try.
    So…I’ve looked at the LightScoop website, but I also looked it up on Amazon and saw it cheaper there (through Adorama) with free shipping. If you go straight to the Adorama website, it is even $5 cheaper there, still with free shipping. (You could actually purchase both the standard and the warming devices for cheaper than one through the LightScoop website because of the shipping costs.) It looks like the real deal and some of the demo-photos are the same as the authentic website.

  27. Amy says

    what an awesome idea for mommies on a budget! I, too, had been looking into different external flashes, but so pricey and i’m pretty new at this also! Thanks so much for the review Brandi and Drew for all you do! You are SUCH an inspiration! I just ordered mine online at amazong for $25 with free shipping! So excited to start using it! Good luck to everyone with your new gadget! :)

  28. cara says

    So funny. Drew, I was going to email you about this little gadget. I just got mine and like it a lot more then a external flash. It does not add so much weight to the camera. And, it is a fraction of the price.

    Emily is right, get yours from Amazon. I paid about $25.00 for mine and free shipping. It is really wort them money.

  29. Merilee says

    Thank you for the cool review. I’m excited to try the Lightscoop for candids and snapshots around the house! Just ordered mine today! If you order directly from Adorama, it is $19.95 with free shipping.

  30. My lightscoop just arrived and I love it! The pictures are so warm and amazing, even in a windowless bathroom. I’m holding off on the external flash for now and just using this.

  31. Jessica says

    FYI: These are less then $25, including shipping, on amazon. That is where I ordered mine from, thanks to a friend’s suggestion to look around for other prices. :)
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Cricut Cake Machine a Waste of $400 =-.

  32. Valerie says

    Just ordered one myself, and I got it for $19.95 with free shipping on Adorama.com.

  33. Jenny says

    That is awesome! I can’t wait to buy one of these for my Nikon D40!
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Bloggography Week 2: ISO =-.

  34. Lillian says

    I just got this in the mail and it is GREAT! I don’t have the best lighting in my house so this works so nicely. Thank you SOO much for the suggestion. It is a simple, cheap lighting too. FYI I ordered it through adorama.com for $19.95 and free shipping.

  35. Jane Moody says

    What a neat idea! Moms nowadays really dont get enough credit and giving them a spotlight is an excellent idea. Keep it up !

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