As a photographer, you’ve likely moved some furniture from time to time for a photo shoot. I remember carrying a vintage puke green couch into the middle of a gnat-filled forest for a portrait session. I’ve moved dressers, lamps, cabinets and sofas in rooms, just to get a good shot. I’ve stood on 10 foot ladders, sat on the shoulders of my assistant, hung off a roof and laid on the filthiest floor in an outdoor bar…all for the shot. And I know you have, too. Cause we are photographers. That’s what we do.
Whether you’re photographing a bride, a newborn or a celebrity, the work is the same – taking an every day space and creating a workable, portable setup to take the perfect, magical shot. In the following timelapse, photographer Robert Hanashiro seeks to answer his most commonly asked question, “How do I turn a room I’ve seen a thousand times into a photo studio?”
On assignment for USA TODAY, Robert was tasked to photograph Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Pharrell Williams at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. He set up a GoPro to document the setup for the photo shoot. Assisted by Michael Der and his wife Deanna, the entire room transformation took about 90 minutes. After clearing the room, making adjustments, figuring out how to get video gear moved in quickly for a 20 minute video interview immediately following the shoot, testing a second background and adjusting lights, the entire portrait session took 8 minutes.
- 2 Dynalight M1000x power packs
- Main light: Chimera medium softbox with a grid
- Back/side lights: 2 PhoTek Softlighter II mods
- Backdrop: Lastolite (stretchy fabric)
Watch the entire thing come to life below.
What’s your most memorable/craziest photo setup? Comment below.