Photographer Mike Palmer was in town...

My friend (fellow photographer and blogger) Mike Palmer was in Maine on vacation with his family all of last week.

While he was here Mike asked if I would do a family portrait for him. I really hate taking pictures for friends, what if they hate it? And to make it worse, a friend who is a photographer, they'll surely find out I really suck!

Mike gave me just two bits of instruction, he wanted the portrait to be done in front of a brick wall, and he wanted it "edgy". I would consider myself a "traditional" kinda photographer, so "edgy" was taking me a bit out of my comfort zone.

So I took him to main street here in Biddeford and shot in front of one of the (many) old factory buildings.

I used 4 Nikon SB800's, two sitting on the street, one held on a boom with a snoot (similar to this) to make it look like they were standing under a streetlight (even though it was broad daylight), and the final flash was in Mike's back pocket pointing towards the brick wall (to give some depth to the image and separation from the wall).

So there was the Palmer family, my lighting setup (two of which were actually in the street), and my two to "VAL's" (voice activated light stands - AKA assistants) on one side of main street and me shooting from the other side, you can just imagine how traffic slowed down to "rubber neck".

It was fun, Mike was very happy with the results (or because he is a good friend he lied to me), and I was happy to have been taken out of my comfort zone to shoot something different.

The shot above was a "practice shot" to check the lighting (my wife thought it looked like and album cover).


Michael Palmer said...

You totally rocked it out Scott - Than you so much!!!

ostman said...

Well done. Thanks for sharing the setup.

Jen Rinaldi Photography said...

You really did rock this shot Scott! Taking you out of your comfort zone really did great things for you! The whole shoot really does look like an album cover shoot and the last photo?? AMAZING!

Love the entire series - and thanks for sharing the set up and the information on the metal head - I'm off to order one for my extendable painting pole that I have - perfect addition for when I do shoots!!

Scott said...

Thanks for all your kind words.

I am glad I bought the Kacey Pole Adapter (you can get it at for $18.95), it is well made, sturdy, and pretty darn handy!

Steve said...


Did you shoot this TTL or manual? If TTL would you mind sharing the how you grouped the flashes and what you had them set to? I would love to learn more details as to how you shot this!

Scott said...


How about I post tomorrow in detail about how the flashes were setup?

Two reasons:

1. It would be kinda lengthy post to put here in the comments section

2. Some folks who might be interested in the details might not read the comments and thus would miss it

Hope that’s okay.


Sue said...

I especially enjoyed the last shot; love the processing on it!

Jeremy Jo and EmmaLee Tiny said...

These are amazing! LOVE them. Great work Scott.