Off Camera Flash Part 1: Radio Triggers



I was requested to post about my off camera flash equipment and set up and I wanted this to be a few different posts as it can be overwhelming.

Before I begin there are so many different ways to work off camera flash / reception lighting – it’s like asking someone for directions to the mall – there are no wrong ways to get there, and you can use a bike, walk, use the bus or car, you still get there.  Then there are old models, and newer models, so it just gets all complicated, dated, and well, clearly I’m just going to talk about how I get there because it’s all I know and since I’m self-taught, I’m going to talk in layman terms.


My equipment I talk about for this post:

I use two flashes – one goes on my camera and I put on a light stand, it’s called my “off camera flash”.  My flash models are a little older, but the reality is – they work, flash, and they do the job I need.  In terms of upgrading and when, my rule is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, easy enough ladies and gentleman.

The set up – on camera flash


  1. Connect the sync cable (you must buy separately) from the Radio Popper trigger TO YOUR CAMERA, not to the flash.  If you connect it to your flash, you’ll have a delay.  Since the the release/shutter button is the boss of everything you want that direct connection from your camera.
  2. Make sure triggers are on the same channel and green light is on.

The set up – off camera flash

IMG_0303(Just pretend it’s on a light stand instead of the foot)


  1. Connect trigger (and the cube if you need it) – this just hooks to the flash.
  2. Important Note: Flashes from the factory go to sleep automatically after about 60 seconds to conserve battery power so you need to set the off camera flash to not fall asleep or else you’ll have to walk across the room every time and hit the pilot button to wake it up – not cool during a wedding reception.  Click here to watch a video on how to disable the sleep mode.
  3. Set flash to TTL – it’s the automatic no brainer setting.
  4. Make sure triggers are on the same channel and green light is on.
  5. Place off camera flash on a light stand out of the way – behind where your subject will be, think of it as the sun if you will be backlighting and you want the halo effect around your subject on the dance floor.  This is also where you choose as the good background.

How to use Radio Popper Triggers


  • Everything on – camera, flashes, triggers? You’re all set up!  Hit the shutter and both flashes should go off at the same time!
  • To adjust the intensity of the off camera flash (since it’s on TTL), there is a dial on the trigger attached to your camera that can adjust the power/intensity of the flash across the room.  Isn’t that awesome?  So you can adjust the dial if your subject moves or you change your shutter speed.  I wrote on mine and my “sweet spot” on the dial.
  • To adjust the intensity of the flash on your camera you just change it as you would, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 power.

And that’s my flash trigger set up.

You may have a ton of questions on the technical stuff, but now you at least know how to trigger the flashes. Next Wednesday’s post I’ll go into settings, but feel free to ask questions below in the comments so I can make sure I answer any of your concerns.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.



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