ON LOCATION HEADSHOT SETUP

WITH DUANE FURLONG

My location kit and why I use it

As a photographer that mainly works in a studio setting, it can be challenging to pack up and prepare for an on-location project.

My name is Duane Furlong and I am a headshot photographer in Scottsdale Arizona. The list below is a quick guide on what I use for my on location jobs and why I use it. 

Lighting

I am using the FJ Wescott Bi-Color Flex Kit. I upgraded from using Elinchrom strobes and softboxes. Using the flex kit has made setup and transportation much easier compared to my previous setup. Using the flex kit is a great solution for all photographers, due to the consistency of color and transportation of the kit.

When just using the Flex Kit lights on your subject, the background will fall off to grey (even if it is a white background). If a client of mine wants their headshot on a white background, I use a 59” octobox made by Phottix with a Godox SL-150. All I have to do is place the octobox directly behind my subject facing the camera to produce a pure white background, without any flare. The octobox can also be easily folded up and packed away, meaning it can be brought on location with ease.

The Peter Hurley Bi Color Flex Kit can be found at B&H

Phottix Raja Quick-Folding Hexa Softbox 150cm 59″ can be found on Amazon

The Godox SL-150 can be found on Amazon

 

 

Travel Cases & Bags

To carry my camera and lenses I use a Lowpro backpack that I have had for many years. It also has a place for my 15” laptop and plenty of room to carry the extra items necessary for location gigs, such as combs, hairspray, etc. This bag has taken a beating from me over the years but still works just as great as the first day I got it!

In order to transport the Flex Kit, I use the included case that came with it. The case is very sturdy and holds everything in place to keep it safe. Some people have complained about the original Flex Kit case damaging easily, but that has not occurred with me when using this newer version. So far I have been plenty rough with it and still have not had any issues.

Lowepro Flipside 400 AW II Camera Backpack on Amazon

Wheeled Gear Case on FJWestcott

Backdrop

I use the Lastolite 5×7 backdrop with white on one side and grey on the other. My favorite part about using this background is how it easily breaks down, making it easy to travel with. Lastolite also sells a magnetic support rod for the backdrop, making it super easy to setup.

Along with the backdrop I use V-Flat World foldable v-flats on location. Traveling with traditional V Flats would be difficult since they are too big and bulky to take on location. However, when I discovered the products from V-Flat World, I realized how simple it can be. Open they are 40” x 80” x ½”. They fold down in a hinged design to dimensions of 40” x 40”x 2” and they weigh only 7 pounds. This compact design makes them easy to transport on location, yet sturdy enough to use every day in the studio.

Lastolite LL LB67GW  Collapsible Background on Amazon

Lastolite Magnetic Background Support Rod on Amazon

 

Stands

I have been using the same two kinds of stands for years now. Paul C Buff and Neewer. Both sets of stands have held up amazingly over time and are lightweight enough to travel with. 

In order to mount and position the lights on my stands, I use a combination of the Westcott Tilter Brackets and the Westcott Yoke system. 

Westcott 1′ Yoke for Flex on Amazon

Wescott Dual-Joint Tilter Bracket on FJ Westcott

Neewer Heavy Duty Light Stand on Amazon

Paul C. Buff Air-Cushioned Light Stand

Neewer Heavy Duty Light Stand Lowboy Stand on Amazon

 

Tripod

I use the same Manfrotto 055 tripod on location as I use in the studio.

I use this tripod with the Arca Swiss P0 Ball Head. After trying a few ball heads for location work, none worked as well as the Arca Swiss ball head does. Most would “slide” out of place when locked down, which in turn would make shooting more difficult. When using the Arca you can change and lock the position with one hand, and work the camera with the other. Location shoots are fast-paced and you don’t have the time to mess around with your ball head. This is why you need one that is dependable, like the Arca Swiss!

Manfrotto 055 Aluminum Tripod on Amazon

Arca-Swiss Monoball p0 Ballhead with Classic Quick Release on Amazon

 

Tethering

I tether using Capture One software. It allows both myself and the subject to view the images as we go, throughout the session. At the end of the shoot, we use it to select the image they want to have retouched. 

MacBook Pro 15 Inch on Amazon

15 foot Tether Tools Tether cable on Amazon

Tether Table Aero Master on Amazon

Tether Tools TetherBlock on Amazon

Phase One’s Capture One Software on Amazon

 

Equipment Cart

I use the Rock n Roller 8RT cart which is adjustable in length to make it easy to carry different setups. I also use the GripnGaff bag to easily transport my tripod and stands.

I began using this cart in order to make my load in as easy as possible. I never wanted to make multiple trips in order to bring my gear into the location and this makes that possible!

Having this cart and grip bag setup is a lifesaver. Having all your tools together as you enter your client’s location shows off your professionalism and makes it easier for you to concentrate on setting up for the photoshoot.

Rock N Roller R8RT at Amazon

GripnGaff Bag Version 2.0 at Amazon

 

All of the gear I use on location is designed to make the act of leaving the studio as easy as possible. The goal of this gear is to give a great experience to the client and keep things easy. Everything in this list makes life easier for me, which in turn helps the client. If you have any questions feel free to reach out as I would love to help!

DUANE FURLONG

CONTRIBUTOR

Photographer at Duane Furlong Studios

My name is Duane Furlong and I am a headshot photographer from Scottsdale Arizona. I grew up in Maine and moved to Arizona in 2010 where I started my portrait photography business and moved onto headshots in 2017.

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