The Outside Studio

I take the studio outside all the time, but I have yet to take a backdrop outside. Taking a huge piece of paper outside comes with its challenges. there is the basic issue, like rain, but the silent killer is wind. Luckily, this was a nice calm, warm day and the paper, for the most part, stayed still. The sun was high at the time of the shoot so most go it was blocked with a large umbrella from Profoto. I rarely shoot without flash and this was not one of those cases. I added a Profoto B1 with a beauty dish camera left. Flash always adds some kind of direction to your work. That gradient of light helps the subject pop out from the background.


If you would like to get a visual of what the set up looks like, just scroll down. When it comes to working with color backdrops or any backdrop indoors, you would need to light the backdrop to get an even look. Since we were workout outdoors where the light is uniform, a simple exposure for the model and backdrop kept everything in check. I can promise you that there was no backdrop manipulation and most of these photos are close to what they look like straight out of camera. It was a please not having to set up 4 or more light and achieve something that looks complicated and clean.


OK, I may have lied when it comes to not manipulating the backdrop. But I promise you all I did was mess around with H/S/L and change the colors around to compliment the model's outfit. The photo below was an attempt to bring a little more mood to the shoot. By changing my expose to minimize the ambient light and turning the power upon the flash, I was able to create more shadows and direction. I also placed the key light almost behind the model and have the light skip off her face partially. Shadows also yield more interest. So they say.

So, if the wind is low or nonexistent, its completely worth it to venture outside and bring the backdrop with you. This was the first and not the last time.

In the real world, none of these photos are possible on my own. The styling for these product shots was done by @mrigini for @meripetiofficial. I am a big believer that people should play to their strengths. It’s most apparent on set where I am already dealing with composition, lighting and all the technical mumbo jumbo but at the same time having to do styling. I can do it, but a professional will get it done in less time and produce an even better outcome. It always takes a team to get the best possible outcome.


For the gear guys:

Camera: Fujifilm GFX50S

Lens: FujiFilm GF 110mm f/2

Lighting: Profoto B1, Profoto Large Deep Umbrella