Photoshoot Post Mortem

I had my first opportunity to do a proper portrait shoot last night and it went pretty well. It was for a friend's business website, and he left pretty happy with the result. He's a legal-type, so the mood we were shooting for was confidence, competence, authority, all that kind of thing.


From a photography point of view, I had the following kit on hand: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L, Canon Speedlite 580 EXII and a borrowed Sigma slave flash. The 580 was off-camera on a PC-sync cord and the Sigma flash (not used above) was being triggered as a slave.

We were doing this in a room about 12 feet wide and one of the problems I found it hard to get away from was casting shadows. Those were hard to avoid because I couldn't get the main flash further away from the camera than the length of my arm. Now I understand the reason why David Hobby's Lighting 101 series brings up wireless triggers within the first five articles.

The second problem, related to the first, was a lack of repeatability. When your light stand (er, arm) moves from shot to shot, and then starts to get tired pretty quickly, it's really hard to make incremental improvements to a shot that turned out OK but could have been a little better. Additionally, when one hand is your light stand, that only leaves one more to handle the camera. The combination of 30D, plus grip, plus the 24-105L is not a lightweight camera. To say my arms were tired by the end would be something of an understatement.