On the Road with My Pop-Up Studio ….


Wednesday 4th July 2012


I recently received an email from Chrissie, one of the senior directors at Healthier Weight, requesting some (more) staff & director profile images to be used in a variety of ways across their marketing material and website.

Chrissie had a conundrum though … how to get all the staff away from the business premises and to a studio on the same day, whilst maintaining the running of the business. With over 20 individual profile pictures required, and incorporating group shots too, this could have been a logistical nightmare for Chrissie!

“Don’t worry, I’ll come to you … all I need is a large clean space such as a village hall and I can set up locally to you and away we go …. all you need to do is arrange for the staff to drop in on a schedule and I’ll undertake the pictures ….” I explained.

I knew that the Healthier Weight offices didn’t offer quite enough space to work in, so using the power of the Internet (!) Chrissie located a suitable church hall less than a mile from their offices which she could hire for the day. She sent me the web link and within minutes a reservation was made for a fraction of the cost of hiring a bespoke studio. As long as the working area is large enough to accommodate a 2.75m x 5m vinyl backdrop, associated lighting & softboxes and lighting stands, (and if possible doesn’t have any ambient light spilling in through the windows, i.e. shafts of sunlight) I can set up a pop-up studio in approximately 45 minutes and be ready to work.

All the kit – lights, stands, softboxes, back-ground and support & stands, cables etc… snugly fit into the car. On this occasion I used a larger back-drop to frame the groups, but I do have a smaller one for simple head & shoulder profile pictures.

The pop-up studio in flat-pack mode.

Here is the basic set up in the church hall.

The church hall with the pop-up studio set up.

The back-drop set up with lower level monobloc lighting to burn out the whites and two monoblocs firing through soft boxes to soften the light falling on the subjects. All lighting is balanced and set using a light metre to ensure an even spread – avoiding hot spots.

Plenty of space to work – this is important!

This set up offered plenty of space to work around the subjects. A kitchen was available for refreshments and a private area for any changes of clothing – most village / church halls offer this type of environment.

Chrissie wanted to achieve, “… sharp, corporate style images, taken against a white back-drop to maintain simplicity and give some impact”. Here are some of the final results from the day.

Individual profiles.

Time needs to be taken with group shots to ensure the best poses.

Individual profiles.

The ladies form one important team, illustrated as a group.

Simple stances and poses are the best.

With an element of post production work in Photoshop all the images are balanced for light (shadow & highlight details), colour balance, brightness & contrast detail, colour tones and any individual areas (such as a hot spot) are addressed to get the very best image reproduction, as seen below on the this group of five.


Ladies from a specific team pose for their corporate profile.


My thanks go again to Chrissie & Julia on the day for all their help, and to the dedicated & professional staff at Healthier Weight who were keen to be involved and who made working with them a pleasure!