Blog Professional Development – Tony Gale: Environmental Portrait Lighting

Professional Development – Tony Gale: Environmental Portrait Lighting


I recently attended a webinar put on by Photoshelter about Environmental Portrait Lighting by Tony Gale. Here are a couple of my notes from the talk:

  • He started assisting in Seattle before moving to New York
  • Started teaching at Parsons and doing seminars for APA
  • Some of his clients include State Farm,Race to Rebuild, Bank of America, Best Buy
  • Start with the safe picture knowing you’re going to go out on a limb after that frame
  • Make sure you shot fits into their design
  • Don’t over-think the shoot, accept the happy accidents
  • With a shoot you usually have in between 3 frames – 3 hours
  • Mac on Campus website software for lighting diagrams
  • Not a fan of gels outside, usually warm up with a treatment in post production
  • Fan of the Vivtar 283 flash + Hensel Battery Packs
  • Always, always, always have a backup (light, camera, Pocketwizard)
  • Personal projects, Facebook Friends Project
  • If you need a bigger source bounce an umbrella off a wall
  • The X-Rite ColorChecker finds its way into the first/ last frame of each shot
  • Bring in one light at a time, with too many lights you can have a hard time figuring out what is wrong
  • Having a personal project helps keep shooting in between gaps of clients
  • Marketing wise he’s on Photoserve, Behance, Dripbook (remote control cars without the remote)
  • Travel light, rather spend time shooting than setting up 30 lights
  • For small group shots add one person at a time and build the composition
  • Bungee cord the power pack to the stand as well as water bags (vs. sandbags)

Great to see the work of someone who likes to shoot outside the studio too! You can see Photoshelter’s full writeup on the talk here.

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