Portable On-Location Setups for Portrait Photography

In this video, Top Pro Ian Spanier captures seamless portraits on-location using a two-light setup and the portable X-Drop Pro backdrop system.

Ian works with singer/songwriter Travis Howard to capture a dynamic flash photography portrait for his album cover. His lighting setup includes two FJ400 400W strobes. For the key light, he uses a white interior 24” Beauty Dish Switch with a diffusion panel and grid. Ian uses a 7’ white shoot-through umbrella to modify his fill light. He sets up an X-Drop Pro Backdrop Stand with Neutral Gray 8’ x 8’ Backdrop to provide a seamless look for Travis’ on-location portrait.

Ian notes how essential carrying the X-Drop Pro System on-location is for commercial and studio photographers. It sets up quickly and allows you to capture photos that make it easy to strip your subject out of the background in post.

After metering his lights, Ian explains the importance of using the egg crate grid on a 24” beauty dish. He wants to control the key light to focus on Travis’ face and avoid a blast of light on his white guitar. Ian uses his fill light to bring in soft lighting on the rest of the portrait setup.

Second Set Up Using the X-Drop Pro Backdrop Kit

Ian transitions from his first portrait setup against the studio wall to the X-Drop Pro backdrop. Using portable flashes with batteries allows you to easily reposition your lights without tripping over cords.

After metering his lights, Ian photographs Travis with a similar pose on a seamless X-Drop Pro backdrop. The X-Drop Pro is large enough to capture horizontal portraits and fit accessories like Travis’s guitar.  It also provides a portable lighting solution for on-location or commercial photography.

Takeaways – Capturing On-Location Portraits

The beauty of portable lighting is how quickly you can change from one setup to another. Being able to save time and space during your on-location photography session makes your photography process as seamless as the X-Drop Pro.

Lighting Gear in Action

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