Studio on Location

by William Lulow

More and more these days, I have had to go on location to produce studio-quality images of various people from families to executives. This means packing up much of the studio equipment, making it portable enough to carry and having enough for those “just-in-case” moments. There are some photojournalistic photographers who can pack up their equipment into maybe two carry-ons, but they can’t really take enough to make it a decent “studio” shot, with background materials, stands, etc. They can often get great shots with portable flash units but  they can’t always be an effective substitute for studio flashes. If I have to travel by plane, then I try to use the portable equipment. But, anywhere I can drive to, it’s actually easier to bring the studio lighting.   Many times, executives can’t take the time to come to the studio. So, I have to be able to set up a studio on location in a conference room or a room large enough for me to set up a decent backdrop. Not too long ago, I had to shoot a series of executive portraits in part of a kitchen.

This latest effort actually took place in the subject’s apartment. Luckily, he had high enough ceilings and enough room to maneuver the equipment. I actually brought a piece of gray no-seam paper because I had to match some other images already on a website. I was able to put everything I needed on a hand truck and bring it all to the apartment. It included: two Dynalite M100 packs, 4 heads, extension cords, tripod, background kit, light stands, umbrellas plus all the camera gear. The shot took approximately two hours from beginning until when I had the car re-packed.

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