Setting up a makeshift ‘studio’ when visiting clients can be problematic. You never know how much space you’re going to get, what the ambient light will be or how much gear you should take to cover all eventualities.
For portrait shoots I think I have settled on the ideal combination of flexibility and kit size that provides a good solution for most eventualities. I’ve discussed before the Elinchrom Deep Umbrellas as a means of obtaining nice soft lighting without having to carry a large soft box. I’ve recently bought the optional diffuser to go with my 105cm umbrella to soften light even further.
My full travelling portrait kit now consists of:
- Elinchrom D-Lite RX2
- Elinchrom Transmitter Plus
- Elinchrom Umbrella Deep White 105cm (41”)
- Elinchrom Diffuser for 105cm Umbrella
- Manfrotto Nano Light Stand
- Lastolite 5 in 1 Reflector
For carrying this packs away into a single backpack (including a camera body, two lenses, one D-Lite and power cable) plus the umbrella, light stand and reflector. You can easily walk with all this or get on and off public transport with it if you need to.
The first setup I use is with ‘feathered’ lighting. Feathering means you angle the light so only the edge of the light falls on the model. The light is softened further by using the diffuser as you can see in the image. Out of picture to the right of Claire is a silver reflector to throw some of the light back and fill in the shadows a little.
Here are a couple of images taken with this feathered lighting and reflector.
The final image is more of a classic beauty setup. This time the umbrella is above Claire pointing down at around 45 degrees with the reflector below her to throw some light under her chin.
All images taken on my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk 1 with M.ZUIKO 12-40mm f/2.8 and 45mm f/1.2 PRO lenses.