Painting light with radio waves

I am proud to show a recent shoot I did with traffic software giant Inrix in Kirkland, WA. I had big task in that Infix was having their international summit meeting of all their global workers converging on their Kirkland headquarters location and wanted to get corporate headshots of each person, about 65 people in all.

We couldn’t really decide what kind of background they wanted, since they were about to make some changes to their corporate look, white sounded good, but Inrix had a nice blue in their branding, so we decided to go with two background options to cover the bases. But with a shoot set for just one day, people shuffling around all day for meetings and very little time to sit around waiting for the photographer to set up and move between two separate setups, AND then shoot some environmental photos of the traffic team and multiple environmental shots of the CEO, how would I effectively get it all done without driving everyone (including myself) crazy?

Enter the magic of radio channels.


Using Pocket Wizard Plus III transmitters, I set up six Profoto strobes in two sets of three on separate frequencies, so that one set of three lights would fire on a channel, and the other set on another channel. I used a light gray background that I had a strobe hitting two stops above  above and had my lights on the subject a stop below to give me a “white” background. Instead of shifting my subjects to another spot, I simply pushed a button on my transmitter attached to my camera and violà! Now I metered two stops below on the background, with a gridded blue light splashing across, and a side clamshell lighting on my subjects to give off a different look. No moving or adjusting anything was required, my subjects could just stay in place as reality changed around them, saving time, giving me the flexibility to adjust to the schedule changes they had to make as meetings ran long or moved to different areas. When that was done, I had plenty of time to shoot my environmental they wanted too.

I want to send a special thanks also to my amazing assistant Matt McKnight, who helped make it all so smooth!


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