A virtual studio shoot was a good way of testing the possibilities of still been able to work and shoot with models. Having been locked down for the last few months a virtual studio shoot looked a good thing to try.

So when I spotted that Chris Conway and Amie were putting on session at Trident studios in Plymouth I thought it was worth giving it try.

I contract Chris and got a link to a very helpful set of remote shooting guidelines. These included how the shoot would work, what software was required. Also what I need to do from my end in terms of supplying a mood board for the look and lighting.

Setup  requirements

The virtual shoot was run using the Zoom meeting software together with tethered shooting to a laptop.

Tethering enabled you to take control of the camera settings from your screen, and also show both a live view from the camera (for composition) and also an image review and browser. So you can see what you captured

Chris’s set up uses a Sony A7R3 camera with the choice of a 90mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.4 lens. The Sony has a feature for auto detecting the eyes so was great for this type of setup.

Virtual Shooting

So how did it go ? overall it worked really well and the images coming onto the review screen looked good. I struggled initially with which screen to look at as the main tethered screen was the previous image. Once I had got the sorted it was better.

I was using a surface tablet to run Zoom etc and really that was too small as the view of the model from the studio camera was actually the best screen to be looking at. But that was small only about an 30cm by 10cm so not really useful. This was a learning point for future virtual shoots, I need a bigger viewing screen to get the inputs at a good size

We shot four different sets, and each had a different lighting setup. I was a bit too trigger happy and ended up this some 300 plus images. which was ok until you have to try and get them on your computer.

Fashion Photography - Fashion Photographer - model creating a fashion look

After the shoot

Chris puts the images the low res Jpegs form the shoot in to a Dropbox folder – so you can see them more or less straight away to review them. Later in the day he uploads the RAW file to Dropbox for you to download. This all went well apart from issues with Dropbox dropping the server connection consistently. Which meant you had to start again with each down load. In the end I download each image individually which took forever.


Firstly, thanks to Amie of the great posing and styling for the four sets we shot. Thanks also to Chris for setting the lights follow me direction for each of the sets. Overall it was a good set up and it worked well.

I will certainly do more shoots this way in the future as it’s a good way of testing with models. Also, a good way of working with Models who are abroad. My recommendation is give it a go it is well worth doing and I will be doing more shoots this way in the future months

Portait Photography - Portrait Photographer - head and shoulders shot with model wear a spiky necklesss
Portait Photography - Portrait Photographer - head and shoulders shot with model in profile looking to the right hand side in the frame
Fashion Photography - Fashion Photographer - model wearing a textured dress
Portrait Photography -Portrait Photographer - portait shot using gobo shape projected on to the skin