Rory Recommends

Choosing the right equipment for your photoshoots can make your life much easier. Welcome to Rory Recommends a Bi-Weekly Blog Post in which I’ll share my equipment recommendations for Portrait Photography.

 

Lets start with backdrops. Lastolite supply a wonderful selection of Collapsable/Reversible Backdrops. For the portrait photographer on the move they are an ideal solution, folding down to a manageable size. On a recent series of political and celebrity portrait photoshoots with Sir John Major and Breaking Bad/Scarface Actor Mark Margolis I utilised Lastolite’s new Background Smoke/Concrete and the old faithful Grey/White.

Sir John Major Photographed on Background Smoke/Concrete

The Smoke/Concrete backdrop has two different sides providing an artistic and vivid industrial effect. Since using it on portrait sittings it has made a real difference in sales. Don’t forget to pickup the Magnetic Backdrop Stand

Mark Margolis Actor Photographed on Background Grey/White

Utilising a medium format camera has its advantages, but it is rather heavy. Traveling between London & Los Angeles, I wanted to find a light weight tripod. Carbon Fibre seemed to be the best option. However, you find these types of tripods can be quite expensive. Doing my research I found the Manfrotto 190 Go. A very reasonable £299.00 it became the answer to my problems. This lightweight solution delivers on durability and precision with its tilt motion assistance, it weighs a light 1kg!

Transporting my lighting equipment has always presented me with a problem. I have never been happy with bags for my lighting stands and heads, and have often resorted to using a standard suitcase to transport my gear. The Manfrotto MB PL-LW-88W Rolling Organizer has become my bag of choice. This medium-sized water-repellent Pro-Light Rolling Lighting Gear Organizer from Manfrotto holds six Mini Compact Stands, two flash heads and two reflectors between padded, touch-fastened dividers inside the zippered main compartment, which is 33.1″ long. For accessories, there is a front exterior zip pocket, and two interior zippered lid pockets. You can carry the bag using the side grip handle or the two rear transport wheels and the top grip handle. Its sleek and easy to transport on the London Tube!

Mark & Jacqueline Margolis

As luck would have it this week while on assignment in Los Angeles Actor Mark Margolis, and his wife Actress Jacqueline Margolis were staying in the same Studio City hotel. I recognised Mark in the lobby having a sneaky cigarette, and introduced myself, he was very approachable and chatty. Mark has starred in dozens & dozens of films, from 1492 to Hannibal, The Wrestler and of course Scarface. I was very keen to talk about his role in the Television Series Breaking Bad, as the notorious man with the Bell, Hector “Tio” SalamancaMentioning to Mark I was shooting in LA, I asked if he would like to sit for a portrait.

Delighted with my offer of a portrait sitting mark accepted and from a chance encounter I was able to capture some wonderful frames of Mark and his wife Jacqueline, who was also happy to sit for a portrait.  It was an amazing experience to work with an Actor of such talent, and it goes to show great things can happen just by chance.

 (Rory Lewis)

 (Rory Lewis)