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Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots

  
 
NonDecaf
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots


Hi,

I'm looking for recommendations for a small portable setup to take employee head-shots for our company badges. Basically all we need is a backdrop at the head level, a decent camera/lens combo that is newbie friendly and lights/reflectors (optional). Budget is about $1000 (used gear will also do)

Must-Haves:

* Camera & Lights powered off of AC / USB (nobody is going to remember to charge stuff)
* Decent AF-C performance that can recognize faces (subjects won't be moving that much)
* A simple JPEG workflow that allows us to setup auto-transfer of images a connected PC
* Portable/foldable setup for lights/backdrop that can be stowed easily in some drawer/closet.

I was initially thinking of a cheap rebel + kit lens combo, but I am wondering if any mirrorless bodies might also be suitable.



Mar 26, 2022 at 12:50 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots


Is this a one time thing or an ongoing necessity? If it's infrequent, it might be easier to just hire a professional to take your headshots on an as-needed basis and you will likely get much better results as well.

Or, if this is literally just for the extremely tiny photo on an access card that nobody ever looks at, you might be just as well served buying some constant lighting (like an led ring light or something similar from Amazon), and using any modern smartphone. You will get decent results immediately, and nobody will have to worry about equipment training, file transfers, charging batteries, or editing software. If the end usage case is a one-inch photo printed in extremely low resolution onto a plastic access card (what I am imagining), you don't need anything special to get the job done.

Something like this would probably do nicely:

https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Ring-Light-Kit-Self-Portrait/dp/B01LXDNNBW/ref=sr_1_3?crid=328V4PI8RHH1J&keywords=smartphone+portrait+light&qid=1648498086&smid=A1K9376WXWZNFL&sprefix=smartphone+portrait+lig%2Caps%2C116&sr=8-3

or this:

https://www.amazon.com/GVM-Smartphone-Video-Stabilizer-Self-Portrait/dp/B07XY5LLQ7/ref=sr_1_4?crid=328V4PI8RHH1J&keywords=smartphone+portrait+light&qid=1648498123&sprefix=smartphone+portrait+lig%2Caps%2C116&sr=8-4



Mar 28, 2022 at 03:05 PM
NonDecaf
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots


CanadaMark wrote:
Is this a one time thing or an ongoing necessity? If it's infrequent, it might be easier to just hire a professional to take your headshots on an as-needed basis and you will likely get much better results as well.

Or, if this is literally just for the extremely tiny photo on an access card that nobody ever looks at, you might be just as well served buying some constant lighting (like an led ring light or something similar from Amazon), and using any modern smartphone. You will get decent results immediately, and nobody will have to worry about equipment training,
...Show more
Thanks!




Mar 29, 2022 at 07:30 PM
CharleyL
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots


If you really want to buy the setup, for just taking headshots with the same background, consider using a plain office wall painted with flat latex paint as the background. A small pocket camera of good quality that includes a hot shoe and built-in pop-up flash may be all you need. At least it's a good place to start and well within your budget.

There are backdrop kits containing backdrops, backdrop stands, lights, and soft boxes, if you want better lighting and a backdrop that can be used anywhere, you might want to consider one of these kits. I would avoid the ones with the bare bulb twisted fluorescents in favor of getting a couple of speedlites, stands, and small diffusers, but the speedlites and camera are going to need batteries that will need recharging between uses. Budget priced speedlites and a radio transmitter for the camera are available reasonably. Consider a Godox X2T transmitter designed for your camera brand, and two Godox TT600 speedlites. All three will cost you about $200 total. Budget priced backdrops and backdrop stands without lighting will cost less than $120. If a reflector is needed, buy a piece of white foam core from Walmart. All of this, except the foam core, can be folded and packaged in a 10 X 10 X 32" bag when not being used. Small folding reflectors are also available, but at a minimum cost of about $25.

Charley

Folding backdrop - Kate is a good brand. There are others cheaper

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=folding+backdrop+by+kate&crid=3R6VIO6RA0BAS&sprefix=%2Caps%2C57&ref=nb_sb_ss_recent_1_0_recent

Backdrop stand complete without backdrop - There are cheaper, but not as well made. This is complete and nothing but the backdrop needs to be purchased separately.

https://www.amazon.com/Julius-Studio-Background-Photography- This stand will hold up to 10' wide backgrounds. The top is 4 sections, two that snap together and the end two slide over the center to allow for width adjustment from about 6' to over 10'. The stands are telescoping and attach to the horizontal piece with wing nuts on the bolts in the top of the stands. This is the stand that I have been using for out-of-studio work for the last 3 years.

JSAG283/dp/B072BCNRTY/ref=sr_1_9?crid=2GPRSJ1MWJ8N2&keywords=backdrop+stand&qid=1657116988&sprefix=backdrop+stand%2Caps%2C105&sr=8-9

Backdrop - Kate makes great backdrops that are wrinkle resistant and in many sizes and colors. 7 X 5 (horizontal) or 5 X 7 (vertical) will both fit the above stand.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kate+7x5+backdrop&crid=17469FAMYAHU3&sprefix=Kate+7+X+5+%2Caps%2C77&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_9

Many colors and styles to choose from and all have a wide pleat along the intended top edge to slide the top pole of the stand into.

I always take a hand held steamer and distilled water to get the wrinkles out quickly after putting the backdrop on the stand, but most wrinkles from being folded will go away on their own in 1/2 hour or so. The Kate backdrops are really good for this kind of use. I carry 8-10 backdrops 5' X 7' in size folded and sealed in zip lock bags in a duffel bag along with the steamer and a quart of distilled water. The stand and all but the sand bags fit into the included stand carry case. For easy traveling, I frequently carry the sand bags empty, and fill them with locally available rocks, and other weight. Then return these weights when the shoot is complete. My studio sand bags have 1/4" gravel in them. It's easier to pick up if it escapes the bag. Sand tends to get everywhere and is harder to pick up, except with a vacuum.

You might even want to consider just using a piece of non shiny fabric of a flat office wall painted with non reflecting paint as a backdrop.

Godox X2T transmitter(for Canon Cameras - similar kit is available for other major camera brands) and two TT600 speedlites.

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Speedlite-Receiver-Transmitter-Compatible/dp/B081L37DGT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3CZH1ZE4LCEXK&keywords=godox+x2t+and+tt600+speedlite&qid=1657119673&sprefix=godox+x2t+and+tt600+speedlites%2Caps%2C72&sr=8-1

My field kit contains 5 of these TT600 speedlites and this X2Tc transmitter (For my Canon Cameras). They have been 100% reliable for the past 3 years, with the only misfires being caused by operator failures.

Camera needed - most any 10 mega pixel or higher camera that has a hot shoe for an external flash or flash transmitter should be more than capable of doing what you need easily. Be certain to buy the camera model and flash transmitter that are designed to work together. Godox makes a different version transmitter for use with each popular brand of camera. The small letter at the end of the transmitter model number denotes the camera brand that it is designed to work with c = Canon, n=Nikon, f=Fuji, p=Panasonic, etc.


You can forgo all of this expense if the office area is well lit and there is a wall with flat paint on it of a pleasing color to use as a backdrop and the needed light. Get a Walmart reflector (white foam core) and just use a fairly new cell phone as the camera. The camera battery will always be charged, and the ceiling lights in the office might get the results that you need. Remove the chin shadows using the foam core to reflect some of the ceiling light up into their face. Some experimenting will be needed, but you likely already have what is needed to do it this way.


Post questions if you need more help.

Charley









Jul 06, 2022 at 10:23 AM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gear recommendations for small portable setup for business headshots


we are talking about ID badges for work, right?

me thinks you are overthinking this situation. a very high percentage of industrial organizations i have been through require a photo ID to be worn. most of these images are taken with quality webcams that are directly wired to a PC/Mac either base or laptop with appropriate software and out to an ID printer with the companies formatted badge profile types. the backdrop is a simple pull-down window blind type. any well-lit room should do.

these images are generally 1.25" x 1" on a badge.

keep it simple.

organizations that i have dealt with that use this method or variation there of:

United Airlines
PA of NY/NJ
Beijing Capital Intl Airport
NJ/NY PATH
Narita Intl Airport

these are not small outfits either







Jul 10, 2022 at 06:22 AM







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