Photographers: Favorite Things *Summer Edition*

We have really moved back into high season in my studio these last few weeks.

I have my shooting arm back in shape and am flipping my camera and lens around like tennis balls (Yes, it freaks my assistants out). This comes from the days of entertaining myself while shooting wedding receptions. Aside from my fav coffee mug, here are some things that we find invaluable that we thought you’d want to know about too!

Dance Photography Lighting Equipment

  1. Really good tape. We are tape snobs for sure. We like gaff tape (we get this at the set shop in NYC or B&H), but we use 3M painters tape in 2 inch width to tape seamless backgrounds down. We’ve tried other painter’s tape but always end up going back to 3M.

    Sample image of gaff tape from BH
    Gaff tape courtesy of B&H
  2. Baby stands (or floor stands).  We use them all the time for lighting backgrounds, bottom half of legs and feet, skirts, you name it.  I love them and now travel with them since they are almost impossible to rent when you are on location.
  3. Matte silver reflector cards.  We went through about 6 different options on reflector cards and floppy/foldable reflectors recently. I found the one that I love most is a matte silver card that I buy in large 2×3 ft boards and cut down to the shapes that I like.

    silver reflector card, B&H brand
    Silver reflector card courtesy of B&H Photo
  4. V-flats.  We use these more and more now. These are large 4×8 ft panels of foam core, black on one side and white on the other, taped together with gaff tape. We use them to cut light, or shoot light, into a really large fill light.
  5. Grids for every modifier I have. I can’t live without them. We are even replacing the velcro on some of our grids that we use two or three times a day.

    example of grid, softbox
    Example: Honeycomb strip grid softbox, image from Google Images
  6. Oliphant backgrounds.  I love my custom designed canvas backgrounds.  You can design them with Oliphant or make them yourself by ordering really large pieces of canvas and painting on them, the thicker the canvas the better the background and less likely to give you problems with rippling.

What are your favorite things that you can’t live without???


Robyn Jutsum

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