Meeting the Mafia in a workshop

posted on 21st of may, 2013

Well I recently did a shoot for people with the theme of The Mafia. They were Italian and wanted to do a Mafia themed photo shoot. I had just taken possession of my new Pocketwizard Plus X units and a 580ex speedlite as a second strobist which I was happy about.

Little did I know the amount of moving, repositioning and manipulating I would have to do in this shoot. The shoot took place in a workshop with all the wood and scaffolding you could imagine lying around. The Pocketwizards performed flawlessly except for one user error where the PC sync cord came out because I did not insert it properly. This resulted in a few misfires.

All in all I learnt the following.

1. Scout your scene/site before the actual shoot if at all possible. We know that, but if you can't make it a day or so before the time try at least for 30min to an hour before.

2. Make sure you know what you are planning with regards to the lighting you are using. Different environments can really make or break your well planned and thought out shoot. Determine how much light you want falling on the background or not. Determine where you want to have your lights/flashes position to get best coverage. This will require you taking some test shots as well.

3. Buy the best triggers you can afford. The PW's are highly recommended.

4. Make sure that your light stand bags, reflector cover etc are well hidden. You all know that you need to shoot from different angles. In my excitement in the shoot I lost two or three shots because of my own junk I left in the background.

5. WHITE BALANCE!!!!! Crucial crucial.

6. Get it right in camera instead of trying to do magic afterwards in photoshop. It is not the same.

Lastly, Have a lot of fun...if your clients see you worried or stressing out it will reflect in the photos and images. DON'T tell them the lens has lost autofocus....they can do nothing about it. All they will think about are blurred photos and then you might as well pack up.

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Photo credits: Michael De Nysschen.
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