On a regular basis I see blog-posts made by photographers about ‘what’s in my bag’ when they go out shooting. Inspired by the posts, I would like to give you a peek at what I’m lugging around when I go to an assignment to shoot (corporate) headshots or business portraits. Here is a picture of what I bring with me, with a description of where I use it for and a link to get it yourself.
Falcon Eyes Lightstand W802 45-103 cm (1 piece)
I use this lightstand to hold 1 flash, who lights women’s faces from below.
Falcon Eyes Lightstand W805 101-235 cm (6 pieces)
I use 2 of these to hold my HURLEYPRO ProBoard, another 2 to hold my flashes to light the Proboard and another 2 for 2 flashes I use to light the face.
Lumox Flash SE-250 (5 pieces)
Two are aimed at the background to make sure it’s evenly lit and 3 are used to light the face.
Menik M-29 reflector for P-series (2 pieces)
These reflectors are attached to the strobes lighting the background to make sure the light doesn’t spill on my model, to make sure the light doesn’t hit anything else but the background.
Tether Tools TetherPro USB 2.0 Male to Mini-B 5 pin 4,6m orange
This cable connects my MacBook Pro with my camera to be able to see the photos I take instantaneously on a bigger screen. I use this to help coach my clients into getting better shots.
Tether Tools Aero Traveler Table Black
This aerospace aluminum table can be attached to one of my lightstands and holds my laptop. Due to it’s material it’s lightweight and really durable.
Stanley clamp metal 25mm (2 pieces)
I use these clamps to hold the bottom of my HURLEYPRO Proboard.
Manfrotto 035 Super clamp (2 pieces)
These clamps are the best clamps to hold your HURLEYPRO Proboard on the top.
The alternative for an apple-box. This folable step is a lifesaver for me. It’s an absolute must to have the camera at the correct height when taking headshots. Being 5′ 10″ makes me a little height-impaired, hence the step.
Cablebox / Power extension
There’s no such thing as too much power outlets!
Cactus Wireless Flash Transceiver V5 (4 pieces)
These triggers fire my flashes remotely, without any cables. I use 2 of these in my setup, one on the camera and one on one of the flashes. The other two are backup.
Maha Powerex C800S
To charge my batteries for my wireless triggers I use this Maha Powerex C800S battery charger. This one has one huge advantage over the more cheapers ones, it charges battery per bank. Most cheap charges stop charges if the one of the batteries in the charger gets full. This one treats every battery individually.
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP aluminium tripod
Because I use my hands a lot when I direct people in front of my camera I need help holding the camera. This tripod is lightweight and stable, I never shoot anywhere without it.
Vanguard SBH-100 Ballhead
My camera has to be able to move all directions to compensate for the angles I direct people’s head to. This ballhead does just that! It’s durable and if I don’t tighten it up to firm I can still move my camera when I want, but it’ll hold it if I let the camera go.
Canon 5D Mark II (2 pieces)
The Canon 5D Mark II is my workhorse. I always carry 2 of them with me, if one of them breaks down I can pick the other one and continue shooting like nothing happened.
Canon EF 100mm F/2.8 L USM iS macro
This is my go-to lens. A 100mm lens is considered the most flattering lens for the human face. By choosing for a prime-lens (a lens which can’t zoom in/out) I can rely on maximum sharpness.
Canon EF 100mm F/2.0 USM
This is my back-up lens in case my Canon EF 100mm F/2.8 L USM iS macro breaks down during my photo shoots. Always be prepared!
Apple MacBook Pro 13″ with memory upgrade to 16GB
My Photoshop workhorse! My 13″ MacBook Pro retina with 16 GB of RAM-memory helps me to effortlessly retouch my images.
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen & Touch Small (not shown)
Retouching with a mouse is a serious pain in the … (fill in blanks). That’s why I use the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. I chose for the small version, because I want it to be easy to carry with me.
Menik SS-9 High Grade stripbox 22×90 (2 pieces)
To light the face elegantly, we need to soften the light. I use these Menik SS-9 High Grade stripboxes for that.
Menik SS-2 standard softbox 60×60
I need an extra light when I’m photographing women to make sure the laughlines are lit perfectly. I use this 60×60 cm softbox for it. If you’ve seen my ‘Behind the scenes’ images, you can recognize this softbox as the bottom one in the triangle setup aimed upwards.
The HURLEYPRO Proboard is for me the best background solution available. Because it’s made of a special kind of plastic it doesn’t reflect light and it doesn’t crease during transportation. If the Proboard becomes dirty, just wipe it down with some water and a towel and it’s brand new! As distributor of HURLEYPRO outside of the US, I trust this product fully and that’s why I also sell it!
Here’s a short video of me setting up the studio on location followed by a picture of the end result.
When everything is setup, it looks like this: