Asked to shoot some band promo images, I jumped at the chance. I’m always up for a challenge and to expand my portfolio.

I did have a few obstacles to overcome. The first was that we where doing this shoot on a tight budget. The band really wanted a hi-key set up. Mostly I use locations for shoots and I don’t have or really use a studio.

So i had to review my equipment. Firstly I have a white backdrop left over from some video work. I have three speedlights which I use for strobist photography. I have soft boxes and umbrellas to modify my lighting. The band had a space big enough already lined up to do the shoot.

The set up went well-ish. The backdrop was wrinkled up so badly. But I did have the foresight to call forward and ask a member of the band to bring an iron. Have you EVER tried to iron a 9 by 3 meter sheet of material. It is not a 10 minute job (If anyone has any great ideas for ironing and keeping backdrops smooth I’d love to hear from you). So after the whole band had a go, we used some plant pots and bricks to hold the sheet taught and that sort of did the job.

The lights where set up with 2 off to the right shooting through a brolly and then the last was going to be used to rim light the guys. This didn’t worked as planned. As the light wasn’t powerful enough to light all 4 band members. I tried to turn the light to add some illumination the the backdrop, but alas it wasn’t bright or large enough to illuminate a backdrop of this magnitude.

So all in all I’ve very happy with how the shoot came out. The backdrop meant a bit of tricky photoshopping, but the white t-shirt and the white jeans where a bitch to separate from the unlighted background.

My solution would be to buy a latolight 8 foot pop-up backdrop and more lights!

I’d love to know if you guys have had similar shoots or have any tips for achieving good hi-key lighting with a strobist set up.

Gordon C Burns


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