Thursday, November 02, 2006

Brooks Institute of Photography Speech

Later this month, I'll have the pleasure to speak to the students at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif. I have been asked to share my business experience with the students.

I've been shooting corporate assignments for Fortune 500 companies for the past 24 years. Specializing in location work for corporate annual reports and other business collateral. I enjoy the opportunity to share my experiences with young people who want to peruse a profession in the world of commercial photography. I have been very fortunate to have had a wonderful career in photography, expressing myself visually and traveling the world on assignment.

Over the past several weeks I have been putting together images and topic slides for that speech. I'll be discussing such topics as how to build a photography business, what to do before and after graduation, how to be an effective assistant, and how to market your services. I have given this type of speech to many different schools and every time, students want to know about the type of equipment I travel with.

For an assignment when I am traveling alone without an assistant, I'll travel with the following lighting equipment. This is the same kit I traveled with last month to South America. I find that I can handle most any lighting challenges with this kit. This lighting kit fits into the small case which you see in the following photo. The contents of the case include: (3) Nikon SB-800 strobes, 2 small stands, 42 inch folding umbrella, gels, bogan clamps which hold the strobes, Pocket Wizards, Cinefoil- used for flagging or shaping the light,

The key composite to this kit would be the Nikon SB-800 strobe system. I carry 4 SB-800's as well as the SU-800 command unit. The command unit allows me to fire my 4 strobes wirelessly. Sometimes when the limits of the SU-800 come into play, I'll pull out my trusty PocketWizards for remote distances beyond the reach of the Nikon CLS (creative lighting system)

Here are a few photos of those SB-800 strobes, one with and one without the PocketWizard set-up.

I have found these strobes to be remarkable! For years I have traveled "with studio type lighting" meaning, power packs, multiple heads with modifiers, stands, booms and other various grip equipment. type equipment. I have several lighting kits I use, depended upon the assignment requirements.

When I travel with a small lighting kit like this, I feel like an old fashioned wing walker on a bi-plane. There is a certain amount of excitement about traveling with a smaller lighting kit, particularly when you are use to the multiple cases of lighting equipment. I actually enjoy the thrill of it all, being free of the large amounts of equipment is rather liberating!


Anonymous said...


I am so happy I stumbled across your blog! I have been looking at whether or not I need studio lights (I am a very passionate amateur photographer - but by no means a pro). I have an SB-800 and two SB-600's, as well as the SU-800 in my kit. My problem was that I was told by my local camera store (not the mall variety - a reputable one here in St. Louis, MO) that the pocket wizards and SB-800's/SB-600's would not work together. Obviously, they do (at least the 800s).

Can you tell me the model of the Pocket Wizard you're using - and, what is that synch cable that you're using? I apologize if this is a basic question - but I really do appreciate it!


Scott F.
St. Louis, MO

pianisssimo said...

I guess I would have wanted to find the answer on this one too. Maybe Mr. Tajada was to busy to follow up on this one. I am reading through his blog now and working through the youtube podcasts.