10th June 2020
We regularly attend baby playgroups to photograph the children who attend. During the play session the parent(s) bring their child over to our studio area, and once we’ve taken a number of photos of the child they can then immediately view and order the images we’ve captured (naturally, we use Imaculum for this!). They are welcome to have more photos taken if they are not sure on any of the images we’ve taken already.
Where possible, the studio is set up next to the viewing area as this makes the transition for the parent and baby from the studio to the viewing area simple, and it enables clear communications between the Customer Assistant and the Photographer.
With time and experience we have got the equipment we use to a very refined state. A few pieces of equipment have altered as we have searched for a better solution, but from the outset the lights we use have remained the same.
We use PixaPro PIKA200 (Godox Wistro AD200) heads in the softboxes to light the subject. These compact battery powered strobes make it easy for the photographer to move them around to alter their position, and the lack of power cables allows us to operate a safe environment to work in – with lots of babies being carried by parents, the fewer trip hazards we create the better.
Because these heads are so compact they are carried in the camera bag in place of regular speedlights, which minimises the weight and number of bags we carry to the venue. The PIKA 200 heads have been exceptionally reliable over the three years we’ve been using them, with the batteries still showing no sign of reduced capacity.
The camera mounted wireless PRO ST-IV trigger allows for complete control over the PIKA 200 lights should we need to alter the light setup in any way, and a single charge of the batteries lasts for an entire day’s shooting.
We still use a mains powered light as fill. This light is typically placed beside the backdrop and is bounced off the ceiling of the venue. The light needs to be a 500Ws head or greater as some of the venues we work at have very high ceilings, some so high that the light is set to max power. Our intention is to replace this mains light with a battery powered CITI600 Pro head so that we have full wireless control of the bounce light from the trigger too – our current light can only be fired by the trigger, we cannot alter its output wirelessly which is occasionally frustrating.
We place great value on reliable equipment, but sometimes things can still go wrong and it’s at these times a good equipment supplier is invaluable. On one occasion a replacement trigger (the previous one was dropped when we were packing away and it didn’t bounce well!) purchased for the mains light did not work on arrival, but the customer service from Essential Photo was exceptional and a replacement unit arrived the following day - before we’d even got the faulty unit in the post back to them!
2020 blog posts
Read posts from previous years:
2019 blog posts
2018 blog posts
2016 blog posts