Setting up lighting in a studio is one thing, but sometimes I’m challenged on location. I had such a situation recently while shooting business headshots at the SMX tradeshow in San Jose.
I was hired to shoot social media headshots for a social media marketing company called SteadyDemand in their tradeshow booth at the SMX show in San Jose. They wanted to offer free headshots to people attending the show, and the photos would be emailed to them later as part of a follow-up package. It’s a brilliant marketing idea and I haven’t seen anyone else offer this before (it’s easy to ignore one of the dozens of emails you get after attending a tradeshow, but now when your professional headshot is attached!).
I packed up strobes, softboxes, umbrellas, and just about everything else that would allow me the flexibility to set up as needed on site, loaded it in the Subaru, and headed south to San Jose. Upon arriving, I discovered that the booth was much smaller than anticipated – there was no room for a backdrop, lights, and camera without blocking off SteadyDemand’s banners and displays in their booth.
With some adjustments to the initial layout, we arranged the booth in a way that worked out fine. I set up a 53″ wide roll of Savage white backdrop paper on one side of the booth and set up the camera, tripod, and single strobe on the other side with my smallest umbrella. Here’s a look:
(Note the umbrella is extra high in the photo as I was still setting up, and I moved the tripod out of the walkway once the show opened. A couple of sandbags were also added for safety).
Ultimately, it worked out fine and most of the shots looked great, with slight adjustments of the light/umbrella for those wearing glasses. Here’s one example:
In the end, I had a blast working with SteadyDemand, and took about 60 or 70 headshots in a day and a half. While there, I also picked up some great tips on generating more website traffic and marketing my website, and others that I work on. It was a true win-win-win and I’m looking forward to working with them more in the future.