I made some gear changes recently. One is a well-known, very popular company and the other is a small startup company with one employee. Standbagger is the the small company I refer to, and of course you cn see from the cover shot that I have gone with Profoto Compact lights. After the jump we have some videos for you to see the Standbaggers, and a chat with Steve and I about the business.

The Profotos were the end of a process of elimination through various systems. I love the Dynalite pack and heads and the Elinchrome Ranger kits held particular interest. I used several different iterations of each lighting kit before settling on the Profoto Compacts. MPEX, a sponsor of Lighting Essentials, has a great set of kits at prices that are amazing. In addition, if you use the link to the right of this article, you can save 10% off the entire order – courtesy LE.

The reason I chose them came down to three important considerations.
One: I am traveling more and more and the ability to rent and add to the Profoto line is nearly ubiquitous.
Two: If one of the units goes out, the others are fine. Hoping that more than one goes out on any given shoot, but then… see above.
Three: Power. Lots and lots of power. The Profotos rock for the type of work that I do. Rapid recycle, stable color, multi-use reflector system… I simply love the way they work for me.

I got two 600WS Compacts and two 300WS Compacts. Together they are a formidable combination. The power from the 300’s is simply amazing. I can get f-22 with a medium white umbrella at about 6feet… full length outside in desert sun at a stop over ambient. Sweet. The 600’s are even more powerful of course. (But seriously, the 300’s are so amazingly powerful that I was simply, and happily, surprised.)

I have used older Norman strobes in the studio for nearly 30 years, and they still rock for me. The Profoto’s give me some things I haven’t had, like faster durations, dialed up/down power, and optical slaves. The quality of the light, even in an umbrella, is quite amazing. The four heads provide plenty of options if needed.

Profoto Compact 300 Kits at MPEX.
Profoto Compact 600 Kits at MPEX.

Before we head over to the Steve and his Standbaggers, a few items to review.

One of the questions I get at the workshops concerns how to price when getting started. Rob at APhotoEditor has a great post that may help explain the way magazines work. It is well worth the time to read. “Real World Estimates: Day Rate vs. Space Explained.” And for those ready to make the break, take a moment to read APE’s “How Do Assistants Take It To The Next Level.”

Heather Morton continues with her “Year in the Life” series, and this weeks post by the guys is kinda fun. “A Year in the Life: In Which Jaime Considers Promotion and Grant Shoots for Yoga”

Posts of Note:
Nick Onken Shoptalk.
Permission to Suck.
Seth, Seth and Seth.

Workshops are really fun, and I am doing something kinda interesting in Flagstaff this August. If you are looking for a portfolio building experience in the mountains, desert and very interesting, rustic area, check out this workshop. Learn to Light has all the details.

This is something kinda new for me. A set of videos of Steve and I chatting and showing the gear. These are Flip videos, so if you are looking for high quality video, these may not be your cup of tea. I know what they are, so sending me notes ’bout stepping up the production will fall on deaf ears. It is for fun and info.

Steve and I chat about the business.

Steve shows his line of “Standbaggers”, a cool tool for carrying your gear – stands, umbrellas and more. I use the small grab and go and two of the medium roll-ups. I love them. They travel well, they work well, and they keep me organized under some difficult situations. For those times I don’t have an assistant, they are simply invaluable. My new small “Grab and Go” has been packed and sitting next to my camera bag for a couple of weeks now. I don’t leave home without it.

You will have to go to the site to see the roll-ups. Standbagger.com – and you can order them right there. I think you will be surprised by the pricing. Very affordable.

Steve shows off the “Big Daddy” bag with three speed light pockets and enough room for three tall stands and umbrellas.

So those are the two gear additions to my photographic life. I hope that this post was of value to you. Great gear can be a delight when working on tough assignments.

If you are interested in a workshop, check out Learn to Light, and if you wanna stalk me, Twitter can help you there.

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