January 31st, 2016
I am wondering what the typical setup is for photographers arriving at a photo shoot. How much equipment do people really bring for their typical bread and butter shoot? My concern is if I show up hauling a wagon load of gear up to the front door does that show professionalism, or will it immediately set the agent to tapping her wrist watch? Just because you can, should you?
Don’t worry about “showing professionalism”. You should just focus on getting great results in minimum time. But the fact is that you don’t need to carry a wagon load of gear.
What you carry to a shoot depends somewhat on your style of shooting:
- To shoot brackets (HDR or Enfuse) with no flash all you need is a sturdy tripod and a camera. A minority of PFRE readers use this technique because dealing with color artifacts created by this technique in post-processing is challenging. About 14% of PFRE readers use this technique (See PFRE lighting poll).
- When shooting brackets, to get the very best results and minimize your post-processing time, one small manual flash is important. For maximum flexibility, a light stand or monopod that you hold is best although some mount the flash on-camera. About 13% of PFRE readers use some variation of this technique.
- When shooting with small flashes, you don’t need a big light stand for each flash. A couple of small light stands is adequate. Flashes can be put on the top of doors, held with your hand and some use a “flash on a stick” (monopod that is held in your hand). About 46% of PFRE readers shoot with small flashes.
Wayne Capili, one of the best in this business (uses #3 above) and did a guest post back in September talking about the gear he uses. Wayne’s kit is shown above. Click on the photo of Wayne’s camera bag (Lowepro hard side 200) to read the details. Besides the very small case of gear, Wayne probably carries a tripod, light stand or two all of which one could carry under one arm with a shoulder bag. So just because you shoot with small flashes doesn’t mean your need a lot of gear.