Nick Coury | Location "Head shot" lighting made easy with Profoto

Location "Head shot" lighting made easy with Profoto

June 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Switching to new equipment is never really easy. In fact, most of us hate change! We get so used to whatever it is or was that we know all the "work arounds" to make less than great stuff, just get the job done.

Someone introduces us to a new way or a new tool and we are typically skeptical. I'd like to think I am not that guy when it comes to photography gear. In the last 40+ years of doing this, I've seen a lot of changes, we all have. Some of them are good and some not so good or even bad!

I admit that I love lights and I love lighting. I enjoy making a good image better by adding some additional controlled lights. I also enjoy location corporate head shot photography. Going to my client's place of work and setting up in their conference room means their staff is only away from their desks for a minimal amount of time. This also means they are in familiar surroundings and it doesn't feel quite as sterile or even weird for them. They just walk down the hall and are done in short order.

Headshots according to Nick: I use a four light set up. I like the look and I like the control it allows. Could I do it with less lights? Sure, but why would I? With Profoto B2's I am able to take what I need in just a couple of small bags.


Here is my location lighting gear:

  1. Two Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kits
  2. One B2Air TTL Extension Cable
  3. One OCF Softbox 1x3' with grids
  4. Medium Deep White Umbrella with optional translucent cover
  5. Softbox 3x4' RFI
  6. B1x 500 for larger groups or outdoors if needed. I take two units, just in case

It really doesn't take much room to set up a location studio. It does take great gear that is easily transported. I believe I have this down to a science and I'm super happy with what I'm using right now. Here are some shots of my last location job. View from my Fuji XT-2 camera position: A single head B2 kit is powering the OCF 12x36" strip bank with grids. This is my "go to" separation light and has been for years. I will be adding another B2 head so I can use it as a "grided" background light behind the subject. 

I use a 60" fill light in most situations. Because of the distance, I added an extension cable to the B2 head and used the same pack that powered my main light that was an umbrella with diffusion cover. 2 lights, 200 ISO at f11, no problem. The 250 watt second rating on these units is a little deceiving to me. They seem to put out much more energy than that, for sure they are the most efficient battery lights I've ever used! In addition, you can split these packs 50/50 and that is huge! I have never had that option in the past, this opens up many more possibilities.

My location lighting kit is much smaller and lighter, and it is more efficient. I personally prefer the 4 light look and this makes it more compact and quick.





January February (1) March (2) April (2) May (2) June July August September October November (1) December
January (1) February March (2) April (1) May (1) June (1) July (1) August September October November December (1)
January February March (1) April (3) May (1) June July August (1) September October November December