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Achieving a ‘Big’ Look with little Gear | Using What You Have

A Guest post by Judd Green


There’s always, always an upgrade that I ‘need’ or a new lens I ‘can’t do without’. And I could easily convince myself, and the boss (the wife) I can’t do my next shoot without getting this strobe or lens or wireless system, it would make the shoot awesome! Turns out the gear doesn’t make you awesome, you make you awesome. I have consciously decided to not upgrade any of my gear yet, I’ve made the decision to push my knowledge and the gear that I have to achieve what I want to achieve.

I recently had a band approach me to do some promo shots for them. All they gave me to work with was ‘classy with an edge’ which sounded like fun. Straight away I’m thinking I wanted the ‘look’ of a big production, I organized to do the shoot in a warehouse to give the ‘edge’ and have a set up with a lounge, side table and lamp to add some class. I’ve seen with something like this you’d have strobes and reflectors and assistants running around everywhere. I had my 580exii, a $100 strobe I bought off ebay and my mate Dylan.

I did the shoot with my 5d2 (would love to get the mark 3) and a cactus v4 wireless system (would love to get a pocket wizard system) and my 24-70 lens that I have dropped in the past (would love to upgrade that too) and my 580exii and a cheap strobe.


We had no ambient light to work with and in order to light every band member up perfectly I had to shoot them one at a time as a composite image so it would be a simple cut and paste job later. One good tip also when doing this style of shoot is to get a ‘clean slate’ shot, a shot with nothing in it but the background, it just makes it easier to cut and paste onto.


Don’t let only having little gear stop you from achieving what you want to achieve, but make sure you work it all out before hand, you can never be too prepared when it comes to shoots as to not waste your clients time.


Pushing boundaries and my knowledge is what I love about photography, I had an idea and a goal set and then just made it happen. Learn the gear you have and become excellent at it. It’s always nice to get the latest and newest gear, and it often helps and makes things easier, but it’s not the gear that makes you awesome, it’s you.


Judd Green is a Photographer from Brisbane Australia. See more of his work at www.juddricphotography.com

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