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

Something new in the kit

With a vast investment in gear behind me, I took a break from buying more lenses and cameras for a good amount of time. In my series of work, my weeks are spent shooting events and portraits. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art seemed like the perfect fit. Not only would it allows me to put down my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, but make shooting long events less painful. 

IG: @vinnierehab

IG: @vinnierehab

There is a lack of talk when it comes to the ergonomics of shooting and carrying gear. Every pound on you and in your hand adds up when it comes to 8 hour days, even 4 hour shoots. I am not saying, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a light lens, but it weighs less than the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and most of the times, I can get physically closer to make 85mm work. After spending a week with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, it is a definite keeper. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR doesn't even leave my camera bag, although there is a place and time for it.  

Shot for the Empire Club of Canada. The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. 

Shot for the Empire Club of Canada. The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. 

I used the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art both in studio and on location.The lens is unbelievably sharp at f/1.4, but the sweet spot is f/2.0. This is my opinion, I haven't seen something this sharp since owning the Nikon 200mm f/2.0 VRI. If you would like to check out the rating, its has taken the top marks from DXOmark.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art headshot

It has been a while since investing in a new lens, it brings me true excitement and wonder all over again. I know spending money and owning new things shouldn't be a reason to shoot more, but it's been so long. This is me convincing myself. Usually there's buyers remorse with gear, but after the first couple of shots, there is no doubt this lens will not become part of my arsenal. I look forward to leaving the 70-200mm in the bag, and moving to this lens as a lighter option.

IG: @vinnierehab

IG: @vinnierehab

Minimizing pain during a gig is paramount for me, because if you're not comfortable, there is no way you can preform your best. I know this from years of shoulder & back pain which adds up at the end of long shoots. This year, I have invested in supportive gear to help make sure pain in minimized. We all deserve a pain free career.

IG: @vinnierehab

IG: @vinnierehab