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There are many niches within the photo-video industry that we continue to learn about as we expand the capabilities of our Nomad® lights. This past week, we discovered how our products could help the maternity photography sub-community through our involvement with the Belly Baby Beyond expo at the Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, CA. This expo is a collection of workshops and vendors dedicated to pregnancy and newborn photography. It's an international event with attendees from Canada, Costa Rica, Brazil, Australia, Japan, and more.
In addition to being a vendor at the expo, we were invited to help with an underwater maternity photoshoot at the hotel pool and a rain photography workshop featuring photographer Daniel Woods. We have worked with Daniel on previous underwater photoshoots as our lights are fully submersible and high CRI. Underwater photography is an emerging trend in the industry, and this rain shoot was no different in terms of pushing boundaries. The shoot was held on the artificial turf lawn of the hotel. Set up began at 5pm, and it took three hours for a crew of eight people to get everything in order for an 8pm start time. The first hour was spent unloading gear and transporting it from the bowels of the hotel, through the cargo elevator, to the upper lawn area.
The crew lays all the gear out on the lawn before starting set up to put the best plan in place.
The next two hours were spent constructing the rain simulator, testing gear, and setting up behind-the-scenes areas. The rain simulator is made of PVC piping and stands about 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall. Once hooked up to a water source, it creates the effect of a full downpour, giving the maternity photography world a completely new angle to offer clients.
A 15x15' (4.5 x 4.5 meters) tarp was laid out on the lawn with a special mesh covering to prevent the models from slipping. A black backdrop hung from clamps at the back of the tarp. The tarp was pooled at the sides to collect the water and not flood the surrounding areas.
Aside from two strobe lights straddling the photo area, FoxFury Nomads® provided the only other lighting on-site, both in production and behind-the-scenes. When sunlight faded shortly after set up began, two Nomad® 360s and one P56 illuminated the crew's work station. Six NOWs, two N56s, and two T56s lined the lawn and seating areas, so attendees could clearly see the walkway and any equipment they needed to avoid. Safety and security is key on photoshoots, which makes lighting important. Cordless lighting eliminates tripping hazards, and in this case, electrical issues with the water, increasing the safety of the audience, crew, and models. Most importantly, four Nomad® T56s were positioned at the four corners of the 15x15' shoot area to provide front-lighting and backlighting. They were also beneficial for lighting the models so the workshop attendees could see what was happening and for the cameras to autofocus.
Over 80 attendees came out to watch Daniel Woods work his magic. He walked the audience through every shot he took and shared tips and tricks in getting the desired effect along the way. His camera was tethered to a TV monitor, so the audience could see live photo results and give feedback. Daniel simultaneously coached six models through poses while they were soaking wet and freezing. Four of the models were couples, which added another layer of complexity as Daniel guided them through posing together. The other two models were volunteers from the crowd that Daniel used as filler to continue the workshop while the other models were changing.
After the shoot was over, the FoxFury Nomads® were then used for tear down. As you can see from the photos below, these lights illuminate work stations and the surrounding areas so the crew can work as efficiently as possible to break down and move the gear. When everyone is tired and trying to move quickly, the Nomads® provide a cordless and hands-free option that allows them to do so. The lights lasted until the very last piece of gear was packed, then they were stowed and placed on the cart to transport to the van.
Overall, the workshop was a big success, allowing the audience to learn from Daniel Woods' innovation. We certainly learned a lot about the industry and how our products can add to a photographer's toolkit. Although we never expected to be involved in maternity photography, we have learned to be open to opportunities, especially those that can expand the applications of our products. FoxFury is all about exploring possibilities and allowing professionals to do the same.
Follow the pictures along the right side and bottom to see the entire process from set up, to shoot, to tear down. Set up began at 5pm, and tear down ended at midnight. It takes a lot of people to make a photoshoot successful, so many thanks to the FoxFury team, Daniel Woods, Carla Durante, Ana Brandt, and Outex for helping out!