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Behind the Scenes : At the Convention (2009)

That is my set-up that I’ve taken throughout the country last year on my many trips to various anime conventions across the United States. It’s a simple set-up. One point lighting with a Profoto 7B and a Thunder Grey seamless backdrop.

It looks simple but there’s always problems that arises from hauling gear all over the country. The one thing I realized is that it was better I carry my own gear. Some cities such as Dallas have photo rental houses if I needed to get Profoto gear but others such as Baltimore would require me to drive to Washington DC to rent the gear. In the end, I figured it would be much easier to carry the strobe and rent what I needed.


This is what I took on the shoots.

1 Profoto Beauty Dish w/25 degree grid

1 Profoto B2 pack + 2 batteries + charger + head

1 Canon 5D / 24-70

+ Bunch of chargers, cords, a laptop, model releases and clothes

Believe me, I wish I could have an assistant as it was a pain to take all this by oneself. Overall, it worked alright. Wherever I go, I look for either a photo rental house or a camera rental house. What I needed to rent/buy at each location is 2 c-stands, a sandbag, a 4 ft seamless paper and a Rubbermaid cart. Having a cart made it so much easier to wheel the equipment around. The one thing that kept changing was the seamless paper. I used Superior seamless at some conventions but couldn’t find it in town at others, so I used Savage. My paper color changed from Thunder Grey to Slate Grey to whatever  grey I could find that best matched Thunder. In Baltimore for instance, I had to travel 30 miles out of the city to find a shop that carried the seamless paper. Perhaps there was a closer one. I used Google to search for camera places around the area and to call and find out if they even carried the seamless paper.


Besides the equipment, I carried a laptop to download cards. My idea is to keep shooting until I either run out of memory on my computer, kill my batteries, or just no one around anymore.

What I did was set-up for 8-10 hours a day and shoot at the same spot for all 3 days of the convention. Reasoning is 1) my gear takes a while to set-up and breakdown and I really didn’t want to do that 2) it is much easier to set-up and just tell folks where I’ll be all weekend.

I bought snacks, water and sandwiches. Usually I meet a lot of photographers at these cons and after a while I would trust someone to watch the gear as I make a bathroom break…. though there are times I just didn’t go to the bathroom all day.

(Originally posted on July 7, 2010 on Tumblr)

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