You may have noticed I love using motion blur in my images. It’s so random and you never know what happy “accidents” will happen! I create this effect all in camera, using a strobe light and a constant light.

If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve this look, here are my top ten tips for creating in-camera motion blur, to produce truly unique images:

1. Get set up

Aim your strobe light at the model and point a constant light in the same direction. Your constant light can be anything – a household lamp, flashlight or a modelling light from another strobe. Each light will create a different effect, so play around and experiment! 

2. Slow your shutter speed down

There’s no “correct” shutter speed here, but a good starting point is 1/40th of a second.

3. Move it

Move faster or slower and change your shutter speed to get different effects.

Beauty photography of model with motion blur

4. Mix it up

Move faster or slower and change your shutter speed to get different effects.

6. Get the balance right.

If you aren’t seeing much of the constant light bleeding into the image, try turning down the power of your strobe light. You don’t want your strobe light overpowering everything. Or you can keep slowing your shutter speed – it’s a real balancing act!

6. Get you glitter on!

You’ll get great light trails when the constant light has something to reflect off, so get your model to wear something glittery or sparkly.

7. Experiment with ISO

The higher your ISO the more sensitive your camera sensor becomes. Try turning down the power of the strobe and the constant lights while raising your ISO to see how this effects the image.

8. Throw in some colour! 

Attach a gel to your constant light to add a splash of color to your scene.

Beauty photography of model with motion blur

9. Bounce light

Turn the constant light up towards the ceiling to bounce it back and fill the shadows with your gel colour. It’s another look you might like!

10. Move your model

Instead of moving the camera, keep it still and ask your model to move at different speeds.

Thanks for reading!

— Zoë