BTS Photo shoot and F&V Lighting Review

BTS lighting setup

A couple of Saturday's ago, Orange Beard Films (we do photos too) did a photo shoot for my buddy, Brad Hill, at his gym, Ultimate Fitness. A month ago, Brad asked me if I would be interested in taking some "transformation" photos of him and another guy at his gym. I have never done a studio setup before for photos, but I was willing to give it a shot. In fact, I didn't even have any lighting equipment at all...not even a hot shoe flash. Okay, so I did have some flood lights from Lowe's, but I'm not going to count them. I have been meaning to order some kind of lighting setup, so this just forced me to get proactive on doing just that. 

I had been researching lighting equipment for a while, but I couldn't figure out what exactly I needed. Obviously some sort of three-point setup, but what type of lights? Tungsten, Fluorescent, HMI, LED, etc. If budget allowed, I wanted LED. One because they produce little to no heat, and two for ease of use, but LED always seemed to be more expensive. Sure, there are plenty of off brand LED lights on Amazon, but I didn't feel like going through a lot of trial and error with them. I wanted the internet to come through for me like it has dozens of times before...a review of some name brand LED lights that were awesome and would be within budget. 

Well, I looked a lot, and I didn't seem to find anything. Just when I was about to order the cheapest Arri tungsten lights (over budget btw), I finally found what I was looking for. A guy that I follow on Vimeo, Daniel John Peters, has an amazing blog. Amazing because he takes the time to review camera gear. I found his post about F&V lights. More specifically, the K4000 LED light panels. They sounded just like what I was looking for, and thankfully, they were within my budget. Praise the Lord! Once I found out about these lights and the specific model, I kept finding more good reviews about them. 

So the night before the photo shoot (I'm a procrastinator, what can I say?) I finally did some tests with one of the lights (I know, just one!). The image below blew me away and I was hoping with the three lights the following day would be even better!

One K4000 LED panel to camera left

Needless to say, the lights were extremely easy to setup (no manual needed)! I had an idea of what I wanted to do for the shoot, so I was hoping the lights would do what I thought they would. I think they did the trick! I'm very pleased with the images I took from the shoot, and so far the client is too! Below is my favorite image from the shoot.

Brad Hill, BEAST mode!

P.S. we start filming for Brad's documentary next month! Stay tuned to hear more about Brad's amazing transformation!