Behind-the-Scenes Fashion Shoot

Today’s photo shoot finds me at Pixel Studios, where I’m photographing a high-key fashion shoot for an upcoming style book called Thirty Classic Garments.

Follow along on this behind-the-scenes video. Created with the help of studio owner and fellow photographer, LeRoy, we discuss the high-key lighting setup, using gels to color the background, and switching to neutral gray for a different look. We also go through how to shoot tethered to a laptop. And of course we talk about Nikon vs Canon vs Sony vs Panasonic vs Olympus vs Everybody Else!

Look for Sarah & Julie’s new book, Thirty Classic Garments, in stores soon. In the meantime, check out their previous book, The Tunic Bible at:

Visit out Pixel Studios at:

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GEAR FOR THIS SHOOT: Nikon D850 (…) Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 ( Alien Bee Strobes ( Lenove Yoga 900 (

Studio Portrait for SCFCU

When we’re not shooting weddings and events on weekends, we photograph lots of head shots and executive portraits throughout the week.  South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been sending their employees over to us for a couple years now.  Jessica just joined their team and needed photos for a press release.  This image was shot with a giant 6-foot LiteDome softbox to her left as the main light, a medium softbox behind and on her right as a kicker light, a small softbox on a boom above her for a hair light, and an SB-800 right behind her as a background light.  I like using small wireless strobes as my background light since it’s wireless and I don’t have to worry about cables showing in the photo if I do a full-length shot.  The rest of the light sources were Alien Bees, which are triggered with the RadioPopper Jr (Studio Version) radio triggers.  The image was shot with a Nikon D2x (which I use exclusively in the studio), and the 70-200 f2.8. 

School Portraits

Something I LOVE about my profession is that no two weeks are alike. One week I might be shooting a beautiful wedding, the next I might be shooting Serena Williams at the Family Circle Cup. This week, I was photographing the school pictures for the Child Development Center at Ashley River Baptist Church. Since I’m truly just a kid at heart anyway, I felt right at home. 🙂

Many of you have asked me how I set up for assignments like these. So here’s a couple shots of this year’s set up. We decided to do an all-white high-key setup this year. To properly do high-key, it’s CRITICAL that you light the background separate from the subject. This allows you to over-expose the background by a stop or so to give it that angelic glow. I have two Alien Bees with umbrellas lighting the white seamless background, and one AB in a large soft box lighting the kids.

Another great tip when working with kids is to always use a remote triggering device. Children are just TOO FAST to try and jump back to the camera to get the shot. Their smiles light up their face for an instant, the next they’re digging for gold or admiring the ceiling tiles. I use a Pocket Wizard, attached to a PW Caddy, strapped to my belt. When I get the reaction I want, a quick tap to my hip transmits the signal to my receiver, which is picked up by the receiving Pocket Wizard, instantly firing the camera.