I recently did a shoot for a new local business called Mamacitas Maternity Dress Hire. They wanted me to take photos of their stock promoting the variety of dresses and the business with the help of 4 beautiful pregnant ladies.
The location was at Carrickdale hotel outside Newry/Dundalk using their suite and the grounds around the hotel.
I have never visited the suite so I didn’t know the layout but more importantly I didn’t know what the light was like inside but I knew using the suite would have a few challenges for me, mainly the lighting. However, I have the gear to combat this.
Usually, I would take either my flashes or strobe for this job, however, I knew I would be shooting dress after dress meaning I needed something capable of lighting the models for hours.
I could use a flash or strobe, but there’s the issue with batteries with the speed lights. I go through a lot of batteries when the flash gets heavy use so I didn’t want that hassle. What about my strobe? I could use that too but like the flash- I knew I would be moving around a lot so there would be a lot of test shots trying to get the best lighting, (this is where a light meter would come in handy but I don’t have one).
The light I used for this job was my new Aputure 120d ii. This is a continuous light that I can plug into the mains. It worked flawlessly and was on, pretty much, all day.
I bought this for my video work and I wanted something with a lot of power and control for different scenes. For film making and videography work , this light is amazing. There are a lot more features via the control box and the update from the mark one model makes it worthwhile but I will save that for another time on videography.
What I love about this light is the amount of flexibility with the light via the control box, I could easily control how much power I wanted and it had a lot of power. Coupled with the different beauty dishes and modifiers it made the photoshoot so much easy for me.
I use to pick up my prime lens with big aperture for the job using natural light but now I have grown and invested in gear I knew I couldn’t keep using natural light and high ISO. I believe having an external light will always make the difference to your images.
Having a continuous light was extremely useful because there was no trial and error like using a strobe or flash. What you see is what you get so that meant I saved a lot of time and I knew that would help my models, who could’ve felt awkward being in front of the camera for long periods of time while I suss out the lighting. So this light eliminated this.
I mainly used a 55cm silver honeycomb beauty dish with a Bowens Mount. I used it bare, soft box and then with a 55cm grid to pinpoint exactly where I wanted the light to focus on the model. Having the grid on was my preferred setup.
Having a continuous light is handy, especially if you are indoors. I will definitely use this setup again because it saved a lot of time and AA batteries. Also I believe by having this system in place I didn’t damage the models eyes with my flash/strobe setup. However, if I was to use a light outside then I would use the strobe. On the day it was bright, super sunny and it was during the afternoon so the sun was above us. That would be the best time to use the strobe to overpower the sun.
Do you need an Aputure 120d ii? No you can buy cheaper LED setups from Yongnuo or Godox but with this model I knew it could last all day without any problems/glitch. I am pretty certain this will last me for years. I have already used it for various jobs already. So whatever you are comfortable with or what you can afford, get one! Having a continuous light is invaluable.
Below are a few images and behind the scene shots from the shoot using various modifier setups.
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