How to Select the Right Light and Cameras for Every Shoot

All photo shoots were not created equal. To select the best camera equipment for every shoot, consider a few important details. Here’s my gear selection process:

Determine the shoot location Identify the lighting scenario Research the subject thoroughly Storyboard the desired mood and select the lighting that will best convey that feeling. Carefully consider which camera body and lenses are necessary to capture different angles desired for each shot.

Controlled Light in Studio or On Location

If I am shooting in studio or I simply want more controlled light on a location shoot, I have a variety of lights that I pack. Much depends on the mood I am trying to achieve. I use Broncolor and Profoto heads and packs as my main light sources and use a variety of softboxes, umbrellas and diffusers to mold and shape the light to my liking. I sometimes use strip lights because they produce a very narrow output of light …

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Inside Jim Jordan’s Black Box.

I’ve always had a passion for beauty.

In high school, I spent my days in Southern California scouting the next ‘great faces’ of my generation. I would find new models, offer to do their hair and make up, and then take pictures of them that I tucked away in an 11×14 black box.

My career then launched as a celebrity hair and make-up artist. I traveled the world working with supermodels, actors and actresses such as Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Farrah Fawcett. That gave me behind-the- scenes experience with highly respected photographers, watching their every move and observing their techniques. One of my clients was the owner of JCrew. We got talking one day while I was doing her hair and she mentioned that models were talking about what a great photographer I was.

She wanted to see the photos hidden away in my black box.

I knew I loved taking …

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