Studio Strobes: NOT Just for Studio Photographers

Earlier this year I released my workshop style PDF, The Missing Link: A Film Photographers Guide to Studio Strobes. My intention for the guide was to give film photographers the foundation they need to be able to shoot film 100% of the time.

But what people have done with the information has truly blown me away!

Think strobes are just for studio photographers?  Think again!

Check out what these amazing creatives are doing with artificial light.

So inspiring!

Isabelle Hesselberg: Film and Strobes
Isabelle Hesselberg: Film and Strobes

Love these detail photos by Isabelle Hesselberg of 2 Brides Photography.  So stunning!

 Fuji 400h. Processed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab


Newborns on film make me swoon.  This image by Jennifer Capozzola Photography is absolute perfection!

Fuji 400h.  Processed and scanned by Indie Film Lab.


Photographer (and bravest mom in the world) Carrie Geddie ambushed her kids with this early morning lifestyle shoot.

Fuji 400h.  Processed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab.


So impressed with this lifestyle photo by Jen Golay.  Strobes in the bathroom!  No problem!

Fuji 400h.  Processed and scanned by The Find Lab.


And because who doesn't love a Polaroid photo of a creepy doll?

 Martin Garcia took this photo with strobes on an Instax Camera!  So cool!!

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to shoot film with strobes, now is the time!

Digital, Film and Strobes...

Well, The Missing Link: A Film Photographer's Guide to Studio Strobes has been out for a week as of today! I know so many of you who have the guide have been trying out your new skills.

Now the waiting starts!

The lag-time between shooting and seeing results that we film photographers endure is so hard!! When I first started with strobes I would practice with my digital camera to see if I was getting it right.  I wanted the feedback right away!

If you are also using your digital camera to practice with, great!  But there are a few things you should know...

Digital and film react to light very differently.

When shooting strobes with your digital camera you will want to meter for the highlights.

If you meter for your shadows (like you would for color film) your digital image will look totally blown out.

Don't be alarmed.... that's what you want.

I always know my color film will look great when my digital images are completely blown!

digital vs film comparrison with strobe exposure

If your digital image looks like this...                                    your film image will look like this!

Hope that helps, and happy shooting! Sandra


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Joyce's Review of The Missing Link : A Film Photographer's Guide to Studio Strobes

The winter blues are serious business for the natural light photographer.  There is only so much you can push a film stock before the grain and the contrast take over a magic moment you just recorded on film.  The lack of light doesn't seem to be an isolated case for just North and Northeast part of the U.S.  This year, this unseasonable weather has spread all the way down south to Austin, Texas, which is very unusual for us southerners.  We have had some gloomy and freezing cold temperatures (yes cold, like below 32°f cold) that lasted for days.  As all photographers know, light dictates photography. The end. The solution?  Studio Strobes!

Before it is released to the public, I had the honor of taking a sneak peek at the much anticipated workshop style PDF, The Missing Link, by Little Bellows' very own, Sandra Coan.

Before you go all "strobe is too complicated", "I am not good at the techy stuff" or "I will never like strobe" on me, let me just tell you why studio strobes might be the best thing that has ever happened to a film photographer: it's the control!  You can actually tell your light to fire at a certain camera settings!  Whoa, mind blown!  And if you sit tight for a minute or two, I'd love to tell you more on why The Missing Link is by far the best how-to photography resource around.

Learning about strobes truly is THE missing link for your film photography work.


Sandra Coan Photography, Contax645, Tri-X, Strobe, Richard Photo Lab

Starting at the Basics

The Missing Link opens by introducing you to the basics of using a studio strobe.  When you are learning something new and foreign, it is extremely helpful to have someone who is experienced to take you by the hand, advancing a tiny step at a time.  Sandra does exactly that.  In this guide, she starts by laying out the foundation, the basics.  Not only will she show you the equipment she uses in her studio, she is going to show you how to set it all up and use it in a way that creates soft, natural light looking photos.

Demonstration Videos

Don't you wish sometimes that the author of the photography book that you are reading would step out of the pages and show you exactly what he/she is talking about?  Well, in The Missing Link, demonstration videos are peppered throughout the entire guide to help you see exactly what Sandra is explaining in the pages.   This is what makes it so unique.  I am pretty sure a lot of you out there are kinetic learners just like me.  I learn the best and most thorough when I see (read the book, see the demonstration) and do (hands on experience by imitation).   In each video, Sandra breaks down the information in little bite size pieces so it's easy and straight forward.

Here's a little sneak peek, the first video in the guide (along with a handy sign up to get on the Missing Link newsletter list!)

Interactive and Continuous Learning

So what happens after you read all the pages and watched all the videos in the book and still have questions?  This is where the Interactive and Continuous Learning comes in.

To support all of you in learning studio strobes, Sandra is planning to start a private Facebook group for all who purchase a copy of The Missing Link.  Sandra will be there to answer all of your questions.  Not only that, she is offering to provide valuable feedback and suggestions to help you improve and progress in studio strobes.

So to sum it all up, The Missing Link is the perfect tool for anyone who is looking for an effortless ways to learn in studio strobes or to gain back the control of light.  Don't let the lack of light restrict you and your work!  Learn the tips and tricks from Sandra on how she creates beautiful, luminous and natural-looking portraits with studio strobes!



Of course, I'd love to take this opportunity to do a GIVEAWAY because our fans are why we do what we do here at Little Bellows.  Here is your ONE and ONLY chance to win a FREE copy of The Missing Link - A Film Photographer's Guide to Studio Strobes.  I am making it super easy for you all to enter so I want to see all of your shares:

1. Follow Sandra on Instagram at

2. Follow Little Bellows on Instagram at

3. Share the following image (also posted on Sandra's Instagram and Little Bellows Instagram feed) in your Instagram Feed and tag @sandracoan and @littlebellows using #LBstrobe hashtag. When you share this on your feed, tell Sandra why you want a FREE copy of this guide.  Have fun and be creative.  A winner will be announced next Tuesday (March 10th, 2015).  Good luck!!


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