My location kit and why I use it

Companies understand that culture and branding are important. They want to have great headshots on their website, showing professionalism and credibility. They also want the process to be as smooth and efficient as possible, with minimum disruption.

I come from a corporate background so I am familiar with this. I understand employees are busy, they have to interrupt their work for something that is far from being comfortable. I have done many corporate sessions, so I think I have a pretty solid system in place and continue to make it as efficient as possible.

I carry my background, my lights, tripod and camera gear all myself. I usually plan one hour for my set-up in order to account for unexpected issues (parking distance, time to unload equipment, etc).

My name is Florence Catania and I am a headshot photographer in Pebble Beach, California.



I use the Peter Hurley Westcott Flexkit. 

As soon as you switch the lights on, you can see the light on your subject’s face, and tune it as needed. I used to bring strobes and softboxes on location but the radio flash triggers never worked consistently. Also, recycle time was too slow when moving fast during these types of group shoots. With continuous lights, I can shoot as many photos as I want, even in burst mode. They are also super easy to transport (already assembled) and setup. 

The only thing you may have to be careful of is that sometimes the existing room lights can interfere with yours. I usually bring foldable V-Flats that take care of that, and ask for the ceiling lights to be switched off, if at all possible.

I always bring an outdoor light kit, in case the company wants me to do a team photo outside at the last minute. I used to bring a portable battery pack but it was heavy, and not practical so I opted to get a Profoto B1 with a Creative Light Softbox to replace that system. 

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

V-Flat – Foldable – Black/White on Amazon 

Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Kit on Amazon 

Creative Light 2×3 Feet RF Softbox on Amazon

Profoto RFi Speedring Adapter on Amazon

Travel Cases & Bags

I use my very reliable Manfrotto 50 Camera Bag to organize my cameras, lenses, cables, laptop, memory cards, etc.

My Flex Kit came with its own case which I use to transport them on location. This case works great and has enough room for me to leave the lights fully setup inside, allowing for a faster setup when I arrive.

Westcott Flex Soft Wheeled Travel Case on Amazon

Manfrotto Roller Bag 50 on Manfrotto Website


Most of the time I either shoot on a gray or white background.

I create a gray background using a collapsible background (using the white side). I really like how light it is and how easy it is to set up.

If my client wants a pure white background, I use a 5×7 Lastolite Hilite. It is ideal for small spaces which is quite common for on-location shoots. 

I just insert one Elinchrom strobe on the side (ideally 2 but one works too). Having the strobe directly “inside” the background saves some much needed space during these shoots. In order to trigger the strobe, I use a PocketWizard Radio Trigger. I really like the Lastolite Hilite Background and have been using it for years. Folding it back when on my own can be challenging though, I had to practice many times!

Impact Collapsible 5×7 Background on Amazon

Lastolite 5 x 7 Hilite Background on Amazon

Elinchrom Compact D-Lite Strobe on Amazon

PocketWizard PlusX Wireless Radio Trigger on Amazon



For my collapsible background, I use a thin backlight stand by Manfrotto. It works perfectly and makes it super easy to transport as you can fit the stand directly in the background bag.

I use C stands for my lights on location. They are heavy and not easy to transport but I love how reliable they are, as well as how robust they look. To me, when you are on location, it is important to show up with good looking gear. C stands look both professional and give you credibility. I know I have to do separate trips to carry them, but it is worth it and I plan for it.

Manfrotto Backlight Stand with Pole on B&H

Avenger 40 Inch C Stand with Grip Kit on Amazon



I only use sandbags when I am shooting outside. Wind can be very dangerous when shooting outside and the last thing I want is it to blow my camera over.

SADDLEBAG Double Zipper SandBags Pack of 4 on Amazon


I use a very light and easily foldable/transportable tripod on location. 

I primarily use a tripod because I shoot with continuous lights so unlike strobes, my shutter speed is relatively low. In addition, the tripod allows me to have my hands free in order to direct my subject properly.

Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod on Amazon

Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head on Amazon



I can’t imagine having a session without tethering. I use my 15 inches MacBook pro, and a Tether Tools USB cable. Every image I take shows up very quickly in Capture One and I can do live edits to show the client how the final will look (Ie: Cropping)

For me, tethering serves two purposes:

First, it enables me to check the focus and the exposure on a bigger screen vs. the back of my camera. If everything looks good, I look at the clothing, hair and make-up and finally the expression, which will come together during the session.

Another thing is that having the image on screen is a confidence booster for my subject. With the lights I am using, I am confident that they will like what they see, and I know it will give them the motivation they need to give me their best expression!

Since the files are on my computer instantly I can color code their selection after the shoot. I then export the image and upload it to Dropbox for immediate back-up.

MacBook Pro 15 Inch on Amazon

Tether Tools 6′ Pro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed/Micro-B Cable on Amazon

Phase One’s Capture One Software on Amazon


Equipment Cart

I transport everything on a Rock N Roller folding cart. In the past I used to carry many different bags which meant I needed to make several trips. The roller is easy, and small enough to fit in your car once it is folded.

Rock N Roller R12RT Equipment Cart on Amazon


The bottom line is that it took me a few on location shoots to work out exactly what works for me. I had to think about being as efficient as possible while producing great results.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the gear I use as I would love to help out!






Photographer at Florence Catania Photography

My name is Florence Catania. I was born and grew up in France, lived in England for a few years, and moved to California in 1999. I started my photo business in 2011 and have been running it ever since.  


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