Today I ache a little, and now I have to reintroduce much of this equipment to my Exeter photography studio for this afternoon’s one-to-one headshot session.

So, the first question is ‘do you need all of this gear?’ And, to be brutally honest the answer is ‘no, probably not.’ However, to do the job properly it makes things a lot easier.

But the essential ingredient for a target of 100 headshots in a day is organisation and Chloe and Laura brought that by the bucketful.

I must admit when Chloe called me some months ago and asked me about the possibility of doing around 100 headshots as a conference was going on I thought that it was a rather tall order. I have done it before albeit with a slightly lower headcount, and, to be fair it worked.

I had been provided with a really great room at Sandy Park and thanks massively to the stewards who helped me unload the car at 7:00am, really helpful, this seems a lot of gear to move around until you watch a hall being transformed into a conference venue.

I had decided to bring equipment with the ability to light exactly as I had done the day before in my studio, I also wanted to shoot tethered, with the images going direct to the Mac. It turns out that Chloe had studied photography, so no pressure there then.

Setting Up a Location Headshot Studio

The lighting was to be simple enough; three lights on the sitter one for the backdrop. I had three possible solutions planned for the background but as things happened the wall was simple, clean and neutral so cloths, paper, or huge soft-boxes weren’t needed.

The Bowens Lumiair Octobox 90 is a great easy to work with light source and with the front diffuser off the light is engaging enough not to become bland. Fill was from a small gridded strip with and hairlight was from a small Bowens lamp with grid and barndoors. This setup enabled control of the light-spill, as well as allowing both sparkle and shadow control. Solid boom-stands with sandbags meant that the lights weren’t going anywhere and simple added touches such as a mirror and a bit of music kept things relaxed although some seemed overly interested in the Exeter Chiefs practice session going on!

Shooting straight to the Mac allowed on the go checks to be made throughout the day although the exposures were flying through at such a pace that the USB3 was struggling to keep up with the Nikon’s large files. Colour profiling was done in a quiet moment.

The sittings were all done in the conference breaks; registration, coffee and lunch and this is where Chloe and Laura were genuinely so impressive. We had a spreadsheet of potential sitters, every delegate had an A4 printout of their name which I was able to use as an identifier for the first image, and the spreadsheet was kept up to date as the day went on meaning we all knew how the job was progressing. They kept the flow of delegates up and the ambience was lively and fun.

If you are interested in the results have a look here

Conference Headshot Photography Setup