Setting Up Photo Station


High Volume Photography


Lesson Info

Setting Up Photo Station

All right so we're over here and I want to make sure you can kind of see our general set up we've made some adjustments because we are in a small confined area we want to make sure you guys learn so while this is pretty close to what we would do when you get a lining their ground it'll show you but I want to kind of just go over a little bit of what we do or you want to actually kind of explain what we we have set up here so this is this is not executive scale are what would have our school usually we have a little larger footprint we'll move it out and as michael saying we do have lighting diagrams in our in our book and in the peat does pdf included if includes exactly how what the distance from our subject is we have optimal distance from our stool autumn distance is still too background light to background all these things are measured out and in the pdf so it takes all the guesswork you could just look at it and you said it exactly like that or you could modify depending on your f...

ootprint that you provided some of the things that I guess we want to go over our are the way we have our lights all sink together with one sink cord basically I know we're touching this before that how initially we used a radio device for every single light and that's fine, but there's some time doing your shooting you your battery power is going to go down in one of these devices and if you have an individual triggering device for every single light you may not notice when we one of the batteries coasted maybe muirfield may be it on your hair light something that's barely noticeable and you'll get a whole string of kids they're students come through before you realize that that's that's not there. So what we've done is we basically made our own sink chords with some stereo speaker wire and just the the little what you call these same port st gordon the tip of the same chord yeah, we called tim with syncording it's basically it's basically like a headphone jack on get him a radio shack you can using it you can even some of these I've scavenged from st chords that came with like radio poppers have two ends always come in half and then I can wire one in and the other one can go further down the line it's it's it's not anything is difficult at all obviously wired these in parallel with speaker cords you have two different cable she got basically a gold and a silver and you'll notice the stale speaker wires have like a tip and then a midsection that's two different polls so all the goldmans basically correspondent the tip and all the surveillance correspond with the bass so anyway it's that simple it's it's nothing it's no rocket science or rocket surgery or brain science whatever basically this this court is long enough so I can set thes sit my life's out to their given distances have a little bit of extra place so if I have a little bit more room off after moving around for different locations but really that's that's basically all it is to the think words with the radio poppers wise on that note with the rate of poppers we use the juniors and soon to be their new nano's or actually even probably better for this system but these guys have sixteen channels and so what we do is again we're not trying to get real creative we just put station one if you have multiple stations on channel one if you have station to put it on station too so there's no intermingling there's no so called cross contamination of your lights and it makes it very, very simple in that way also station too is channel to across the board just is very easy to remember we don't have toe get confused on any of the other details also I guess let's touch upon light meeting for this application we only have one one station so you really there's no need to light meter unless you just want to dumped on don't, unless you just want to know this light is the third of stop or have a stop different unless you have to have your lights that way. If we're doing one station, we do not light meter, the on ly time that we use a light meter is if we're doing multiple stations and that's to keep everything exactly the same, and in those instances, everything the same, I'll measure the distance between my mane and my subject made him wear my stool everything's measured out at exactly the same and our meter each individual light to make sure that multiple cameras, all the stations when we download the data, put the picture side by side, you won't build home part because every single, every single light is exactly the same, but other than that, wei don't complicate it any any further than that, but by adding extra extra meeting or things that we don't really done exactly the same just makes life easier. And no, a lot of people get upset with us when we say we don't use that light meter, but again, you have that digital repeat back on the back, your digital camera, so if you're just doing that one photograph, you adjust the lights to where you're visually happy with it, because, again, that's the artist in you you find what you like and you go with it so don't over complicate things if you are like me two person by all means do use a light meter for us we're not like other people if you watch our teo creative live we don't use a light meter at all in that we don't use light meter in our studio because we know our lights we understand where they're coming from we again visually look on the back or lcd for what we want and his cody said unless we have multiple stations like what we showed you yesterday on the powerpoint will show again later we have multiple stations for a volume then we would light meter so it don't over analyze it don't don't try to get too fancy especially when you're first starting off in the volume business really kind of keep it simple and then work up from there. So again this is our larson three about four we try to stay away from the two umbrellas if will on ly had two umbrellas one would be here one would be about where I'm standing and they would sandwich light on your subject which is where cody sanding and the problem with that is his eyeglasses when you have those two we talked about it yesterday you're really going to get a lot of alaska later this story about four really helps what's great about having the three before way out on the side rather than having it over here like mike said with two lights here it's hard to get away from that glare with one to the side you got one glare spot that's really far over here and this one is full of here so normally you can turn their heads somewhere in this area here to eliminate the glass and you'll see you'll see it actually in the photograph a reflection off their glasses before you take the image and just because we leave our meiling lamps on right now they're off for this situation we don't need him but tim please beyond and you could see the glare and have them instruct them to move their head and you'll be amazed the kids that have had school photos of your doing a school they'll come up with that glass that they'll just start taking them off because their whole life they've had eyeglass player their mom or dad tells him to take off their glasses and were like guys that it's really worried about you guys but we're not going to get it so this system really really helps with that and I know it doesn't seem like a lot but to those who have eyeglass player is really going to make him feel a lot better on the other thing we do this kind of need is our backup backdrop which is a danny's pop up any manufacturing pop up this is, I think, what they call the dilation backdrop, but it's basically just a very, very darker grey it's, perfect, perfect, perfect. If you saw yesterday that we talked about for jails, this is a perfect backdrop for jailing because it's a very monotone, very even dark for the most part across the whole thing, and the white hot spot back here is not too bright. You get to bride of a hot spot and you try to jail, they're going to have the dark colors over here like a red dark red, and I'll goto pink in the middle with the same power. So you really want a nice, even gray, all the way across the board? If you're going teo jail, I tried it, and I like the detail because it really adds a lot. We just pop this open thiss morning or whatever and there's, no wrinkles, that's the on ly probably negative you're going to find with pop up backdrops and the way that we fight with that as soon as we get to the location and will undo our our backdrop because they come in a container about this big, very portable fits in the trunk of any car will undo him, we'll lay him out and pretty much photo time, the wrinkle free. And in the way of reason why we like this is I mentioned yesterday, we have one light stand, that the backdrop hangs off, and then our nine by twenty for larson, soft boxes on top for the hairline, and so it's one stand that actually does to island for this. So instead of if we didn't have this back his pop up, we probably have to have a backdrop stand so that's two more light stands across more so much more equipment, the backdrops themselves, they're heavier, not as portable. This system is just a better, and then another thing that we talked about is, this is for our backdrop light, and we use alien bees and they're cheap, they're inexpensive, they're effective that because of our service, and I don't know if you can see it, but our other lights here these are going to be eight hundreds and these air for hundreds, and we actually when we order him through alien be we actually order them color coded towards the power because these stickers can fall off, but my lime green I know are four hundreds of my black ones I know are eight hundreds, and my white ones I know are sixteen hundreds it's, very easy when you start getting multiple lights and multiple stations, so even think organization when you're buying your lights and different colors that we don't have to put spray paint on burning else actually all for multiple colors and we use that to our advantage when we were trying teo set everything up for organization and in last at least just explain this over here because this is a brand new backdrop and sometimes they get a little stiff they don't fold out correctly sometimes you might have to use an extra light stand over here and just a little plan to keep this straight lots of times we don't have to but this one because it was brand new we had that issue the medal that opens it up is really really stiff and so sometimes it just doesn't want to lay out flat so we just put this light stand over here with the clamp to make sure it's nice and even all the way across the board so we like meter for our eyes were happy if we had multiple stations we use a light meter we light meter everything and we have a mark where we want students to stand in this case we're gonna have him stand sometimes you could have a bench we have a bench and you want to put their feet somewhere you want to put two pieces of tape with her feet will be so just think of it you're gonna have a bunch of people coming in here a really fast really easy making us fast and easy as you possibly can we talked yesterday you could put multiple colors put pink for female blue for boys whatever it helps when you do that even even when you put tape down people going what's that force you might even want to do like little footprints because that helps us welcome kids of that stupid, plain and simple. We'll probably have some creative live people going what's the x for today so I hope so. Probably george. All right, just just a question from the internet audience they want to know how much space they need so kind of what's the size of the space that you're working on right now and what's the minimum size that you need well, the minimum can almost be anything because I mean this is a decent size set up with strobes if you can do speed lights put him in manual mode for the most part it even be less space you could use smaller diffusers if you want to be less space even though I love larson because they're very thin so you can be the biggest soft box with with the smallest depth so really can allow you to get in tiny areas it's really upto how much having a footprint you have kind of is a small oven area that you can fit your lights and and you can move people in and out that the lights say touching me I mean that's that's what? You don't need anything more than that but this is probably what ten by ten yeah about ten foot I know we got people from around the world that feet ten by ten feet thank you little over three by three yards so that the only question we got right now and then last but not least and you're going to see you so remember we had those barcodes that we created and put him on the note cards this is just a simple little thing you get an office blast or like you'd see it diners with the order and they just stick it on there when we finish photograph in that bar code we're going to stick him on here in order and what this does one and keeps your cars from going all over the place but this is a safety feature which we're going to show you in case you forget to photograph a barcode and you will it's not a win I mean it's not a knife it's a win you get busy even though you do the same repetition all the time someone call your name and you won't photograph the marco you'll still stick it on here because it's habit so when you get back to the office you actually if you have a missing barcode they'll all be in order and you could be able to find that missing person so tonight safety feature and what we do we have multiple stations or even this one station as we're shooting and the cards get fuller and fuller fuller fuller on this little spike if they get full or our card in our camera memory card gets full we stop we pull the card out we pulled these cards off and we put them all together and we start fresh with an empty medals stick and an empty memory card and we'll mark on their station day one station one card one day one station one card to or whatever day one station too card one will mark on there as we pull him off putting aside and then when we get to the home will download them in that order as well to start that work for you to start that separation to keep the files in order easier and again that's just a safety feature that we use just in case total worst case scenario you're computer dies or something you can go back and you can find these will be in the order they were shot on that card so if you're a software went down something didn't happen maybe some horrific accident it's not reading any of your bar codes you can still go back and manually manually fix those just easy and then last night life we forgot to explain we use a you can use almost any kind of brother you confuse the shoot through reflective I would go with silver over gold again cold is usually a little bit better than warm when you have a photo it's a silver gives us more of a cold look instead of the warm look but they can't really do anything you want. You don't have to be really fancy the umbrellas probably the least expensive product in this whole setup, so don't get all to worry about that question from the internet. Kin schultz photography is asking what size group would you need to increase your alien be lights to sixteen hundreds? You need a quiet I mean you really don't we? We use eight hundreds on everything the four hundred is our backlight eight hundred on everything else and it's always been mohr than enough life. I mean more than that. This right now this set up there's going to be for the for the umbrella, which is going to be that probably putting out the most like it's bouncing off it's, not even marauding quarter fourth quarter pound and a quarter power on this state hundred so you won't. I can't see you need sixteen hundreds and the nice thing about that if you if you look at the prices, the sixteen are almost twice as much as the eight hundreds and so you're looking at under three hundred dollars for a flash unit for these eight hundreds and so while it is some money it's still not is expensive the other and you gotta remember these are going to follow these you're gonna break so you want someone that it's not going to make you cry when it breaks I thank you all right so let's get our camera and well actually kind of show you how we actually photographed the last thing is kind of pan down on you see we have everything taped down where people are gonna walk I just want to mention that we used a three on tape that's model number eighty nine seventy nine comes in different colors we usually just get black put the knee thing about it it's like a duck tape it it leaves no residue and so you gotta remember you're going to these people's house he's going to these people's churches you're going to be people schools you don't want to damage their stuff this tape is really nice because you can put it down on any surface and it comes up with no residue behind it's very much like gaffer state but it's less expensive than gaffer state it's completely waterproof it actually is uv resistant if you're shooting outside on dit keeps its adhesive nous if you live in a very humid area where gaffer's tape sometimes loses too he said this so we always carry a role in this tape with us and every one of our camera bags and again, anywhere people are going to be walking, but in this case is just right here. So what's taped down is our state court coming over to our feel like we have a nice takedown? So our first victim from creative live waltrip on it. All right, come on out first victim. So what we're gonna do is we're going to switch over. We're going to show you again, we're live, so we're going to switch over to tethering so people can see what cody shoots and we have our first I like it, so we've given them the cards, so they're coming out. So here's here's the cord cody has just like we set up. We set it up beforehand we saw the day that we got we put him on the cards, has your name on it. So basically has as a student, as individual comes up, they're going to give me the card. Typically, I'll look at it. Lorraine, how you doing? The right doing great little bit of small talk as there. And at this point, you tell him we need to put your feet on the egg's, staying this way, give him any okay give him any instruction you need you've got the car to get their name you can talk to him a little bit as they're getting situated we'll do one of these home the card at arm's length take a photograph with the card underneath the individual they're not there let me tell you focused but again this is another fail safes that if for some reason you the software goes down or you can't read the data you could go back and look at that card and that card is all information of the individual in the background so I can steal I can go back and manually input data if need be so first card for a shot and take pictures card second shot okay give me a big smile perfect then as they leave I'll stick the card right like that they move on and I get it bring it bring the net now let's go over a few hours before before we bring up oh we got some questions I do have a few questions from the internet is it okay if I just wanted to say also good job ray I know that's our radio I have a question about your lights stand the hair the hair light and the backdrop they were curious about how those air connected on the same standard if they're too different stands no one stand great question basically the denny's backdrop comes with a little loop on top, it sewn into the very top of the backdrop. We just take that loop and we just hang it either on the alien be or on the top. I guess now of the light stand and it just hangs from that, and then we still have the normal attachment to top the lights and the actual alien be amounts to so it's a very simplistic, very easy to do. If you don't have that top, you could use a spring plant and clamp the backdrop to it, and even dinis actually makes a really nice c clamps that amounts to your backdrop is well, I use that as a backdrop. I mean, it is an emergency in case we need it, but generally I try to bring less equipment is better, so we don't use the c clamp even though it's a very nice one, and we just hang it over the top like this, and it works in a quick question from george he's, wondering if you do any thinking with your cameras if you have several cameras going at the same time, you worry about times thinking or any of that no that's the beauty of this system there's other software out there, you have to worry about time thinking this system does work. I didn't even mention if you get more vance with the old fuji's this night cons and the son and the canon seven visas just a studio version's that actually have a bar code scanner built into it photo velocity with we'll work with that so instead of if you have one of those systems instead of photographing the barcode, you would just scan it, they'll be a scanner there, you could do that, but we don't worry about any time sinks. We don't worry about any of that, we don't have to worry about any scanners on location there's nothing you need on location and everything is very, very easy and to me that's the greatest advantage of it just let me know quick, when the next gentleman comes up, we always have this question doesn't matter which way you put these? You could put some horizontal, even put upside down whatever and when cody takes it, you could take the photographs horizontal or vertical the barcode it doesn't matter as well our next victim, which I have to say is you did well a cm asked if you ever use a stool, I believe yesterday you said you don't because of official we do use a stool sometimes wait, do you still sometimes in this situation, with everybody standing up and everybody being easier, I think it's just easier not to use a stool but like for a high school seniors, when our cap and gowns and some other stuff way do you still I think it's faster when you don't use a stool because they really just come in, they stand, they leave, especially the little the little guys and one thing that we found the first time we did a job we're photographing little kids were talking elementary get a little stool, a really cheap stool is like if you go to an auto parts store and you can get a mechanic people who work on cars, a little mechanic stool that's your little about this high has a tray underneath it for their hand tools. They're like thirty dollars generally by that, so you're down lower, you sit on the stool and have the kids coming and stand, and so you're on the same plane because if you're on your knees for four, five hours, you're going to be miserable doesn't matter what your age is at my age, I couldn't handle it the other guys had to do it, so get your little stool for you to sit on his well is important, too, but we try to stay away from actually sitting on a stool if we can't cause it's faster, I seriously think we need to do an economics course for photographers are the way our bodies air being used and it would it would work well seasoned susie would be a really good victim of showing you what not to do so you could be in that class s o bird picks in the chat rooms is asking if there are any issues with color temperature variation between her between the different setups on the alien bees that has always been I would say the achilles heel of alien bees and you will get some but generally is long as you let the light recharge they've been great we're really not had that much of a problem it's never been enough that you can look it to me just to go while that one's way worse I mean people's the people who were photographed on their skin tone is is different enough that you're not going to notice the minute amount of light and just let you know we use alien bees in our studios well where were a complete alien be family and so so many people say they can't get anything bees at a high end business we use them all the time awesome and duke in park city asked how many do you schedule per hour or harmony that's a good question generally we like an easy pace for us we're like let's say a sports team is we can easily do trouble lee and the teams are ten to twelve kids per person we try to knock out like four teams every fifteen minutes so we can easily do two to four teams easily in fourteen minutes I mean, every fifteen minutes, so you're looking at twelve teams, fifteen things per hour and that's that's, easy, that's, that's a smooth without having to worry about anything without any problem, and you're going to see once we get some of the technical issues worked out and we get rolling, how fast and how easy this is, in fact, that gets so fast that you really have to slow down to make sure you get a good photograph or you well, just give me caught up in the motion and you'll just go faster and faster, faster than you realize you're not getting good quality photos on dh, then enlightened in the chat rooms is asking, do you only take one photo of each subject? How much variety imposing do you normally have in order to sell your packages? This this is a great question I'm starting to think you every question's a great question basically, if you could get away with just given one photograph that's fine, if you do it, if it's, if your day is very lax and not very fast paced, you're going to one shot. If you look at your lcd that's fine, because when we're talking about thes volume jobs you you may do with a thousand kids, maybe more and and if you do two shots and that's two thousand shorter actuacion thousand that are just an extra shot most of the time when we do our schools we always do two shots because their movement very fast let's settle down first look here smile click do nothing I say ok one more to three click I doing that fast because I'm not I'm not studying my lcd in between shots I'll just do a quick glance if I get a blatant blink you can see that but a lot of times you'll catch a person in just a half a blanket as starting a blink and on the lcd you may not notice that but then when you get him back to your office and you download I'm looking on the computer that doing some one of these things and it looks really bad so if you have two shots that saved us a lot we could go back and we can find at least one shot that is not blinking and then again when you have other kids that maybe he was nervous you got shifty eyes look around you can take us many shots as you need to get the proper shot but the fewer the fewer the better but typically we always do too so then and can you remind us what you actually deliver they choose between a couple of different shots no no if it's just one post we don't give him we have just the one tip if it's depending on the offering sometimes sometimes we'll give from two shots maybe one that's three quarter and then one that's a lot tighter, but typically that will be the same shot. Another question from w w maybe w with since not using a tripod, how do you make sure you frame enough space for, say, an eight by ten or five by seven? Do you have that in mind when you're shooting way? Have we have some cameras that have prop lines in on our our seventies? We actually they have little little breck it's where you can choose your focusing group like you can chose it. Look, look at all the different spots are they have little brackets in just the center if you don't have croplands will use that we'll use that with when the cameras in portrait mode and frame their head up right in the center of that so that's that's almost like a built in crump line in our cameras that that's something that we use and I want to go back on the question about who we take multiple images I never thought about that we kind of hit on yesterday, but when we first started doing this volume with a bunch of jobs and so we started breaking up what each of us needs to do from just a workflow standpoint and so we get cody's a bunch of photos that he need to go through, which is what we're going to do in the third segment of selecting are picking the winning images, so to say, and cody was over there in front of computer using light rumor bridge and just starts kind of giggling were like, what is going on? He goes, I feel like god, I have the power in my hands to really make this kid be embarrassed for the rest of his life or really like me for the rest of his life because everybody one of us has had a bad school photo and I'm looking these photos and I had one where the kid was doing some half plain crazy thing and he had another there was there was normal, and I had the power of selecting this shot and delivering that him as his school shot, and we all we've all had one that's real close than you, and you remember how detrimental west you to show your friends hey, look here's my school photo and and the other thing is one time we actually said, okay, because you mentioned a half blinks on the back of the lcd and you don't really see it cause they also these so small, so it says, so let's, go ahead and get it out external monitor you don't want to do that as well the external monitors a bad idea and while helps you but then now the kids know that khun see the images and everybody's gonna want to see the images because I don't know I don't like that I want to take another one and then they're going to say you got well you can take another one we gotta go and it just opens up a whole nother negative aspect and slows your whole day down so we take multiple shots we know we have one within those multiple shots like he said at least two of every image so we'll do bar code one image and then two of every pose so we have three poses will minimally have six images awesome devious ass mike do you ever use and cody do you ever use event printers that for any of your events to print on location dances, prom's, et cetera and if so what? Brandy yeah, we have several snap labs the old snap labs now detail and we have several other basically dice up printers that we use I personally I mean if if the job requires that we have it because of our photo booth I try to stay away from that I tried to miller's is so fast turnaround if they require us to have it done on that day which we do have some events like that with our chemical plants, when the awards ceremonies, you know, they take a picture with their award. They wanted to give them before they leave. We have that is a general. We try to stay away from it because with photo velocity and miller's, if you give me two days, three days, I could have everything back and it's a lot. It's better quality and better, better presentation. So j t photo online has a question about choosing colors like background colors and stuff. And I know that you touched on that a little bit yesterday with the jails and stuff. Do you wantto just kind of clarify how you guys do that? If you come over here cameras follow me, follow me. So right now we're set up for the adult set up, meaning this light is right here and I really don't have enough core to pull it out, pull it to the side. But if we were doing jails or children, we would have this light over here behind the three by four kind of shooting and angle onto the backdrop because the little kids staying in her sitting are not big enough to block this life. So in that case, we want to pull the light off to the side. With that, if we're doing jails the same situation, we're gonna have the one backlight over here and then if we had red, blue or green or whatever jails were gonna have, we're gonna have a light for each color over here with the jail on it that's permanently set up, and so the car comes up again with the order form and they have the green, the red. It tells me what color the backdrop we have. You can even have little cards that are solid red, solid, green, solid purple at your counter where they're turning in the order forms and you can actually have that person give that child like the purple backdrop. Our card that's, the color they're going to get and come over to the station to the jails are I would simply come over here, turn my light on that has the purple jail, make sure all the other ones are all and so when I shoot, the backdrop will be purple, and then I turned it off when we're done and when the green comes on, I just turn on the green. So you have a lot of walking back and forth, unfortunately, but it's, very easy and again, I want to stress you wanna have an alien baby or back light for each jail? Not one with multiple jails on it, because if you just this power a little bit there, one way or the other, you're going to get multiple colors on your images, and that doesn't look very good for your yearbook, so we'll have in the each individual light cost more money, it's a lot more accurate in your color tones, which is going to make your teacher's happy for their colors. So generally we would have him off over here again. We talked about yesterday. We'll have a grey set up and a blue set up is our main lights have another grey set up with usually red, purple and green jails off to the side, and we just turn him on an office. We need to or you could do green screen. If you want to do green screening, we just have the one drop green screen like I said, he's coming along a lot better, a lot stronger in the last few years, but it still doesn't sell the experience.

Class Description

Remember the childhood excitement of yearbook photo day? You can bring that same joy to your clients — by taking your photography talents to schools, events, and sport leagues. From yearbook portraits to little league photos, high volume photography is a great way to multiply your revenue while providing a highly sought-after service.

Join veteran photographers Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton for a two-day workshop that will show you how to break into the high volume photography market and streamline your workflow — from setup and processing to hosting and printing.

Mike and Cody will teach you how to pitch clients, build your business model, and walk you through setting up a high volume photo shoot. After this course, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to become the preferred photographer in your community.



This course is very comprehensive and full of valuable information for anyone wanting to get into High Volume Photography. We have been doing this type of photography for 5 decades and still found many great ideas to improve on what we do. However, this class was produced in 2013 and although I am not certain as to the current circumstances of TriCoast, it appears that Cody and Mike are no longer in business together and because of this, the FotoVelocity program (which in my opinion is the greatest program for what we do) is no longer being offered. Regardless, this program is worth every cent of the purchase price. My hope is that new versions of FotoVelocity will soon be available. In the meantime we are still using the current version and it still works great. It literally saved our three man high velocity studio thousands of hours of pre-/post- production work. We are a small town operation which provides photos for schools and sports in our local area to over 27,000 clients a year.