Ask an Agent / Shooting Without Mains Power

May 1, 2015

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column tackling all your dilemmas about the photography industry – the photography industry’s first Agony Aunt!

If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to Questions can be on anything to do with the photography business, such as photoshoots, marketing, professional practice, pricing, contracts, legal stuff – anything!

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 10.37.17

With the LPA Futures 2015-16 launch fast approaching we’ve asked Lloyd Barker, General Manager at our sponsor Direct Photographic, to answer a question from a photographer wanting advice on shooting outside without mains power – a challenge which can easily be tackled with a little forward planning.

Dear Ask an Agent,

I’m a lifestyle photographer and need some advice on shooting outside with no power. I’ve been approached about an exciting job that involves several locations with no access to mains power. Could you tell me what I need to consider in terms of equipment to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day?

- Debbie Morrison

Powering a location shoot with no mains power is a challenge my team and I face every day. We have several options, depending on lighting requirements.

First off, the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to always start with an equipment list that includes and takes into account the production list – the need for hair and makeup areas, or a simple base for crew, for example. Secondly and very importantly, perform a recce at the location. It is absolutely essential to know what the location areas look like, how many areas will need power, and the distances between these areas in order to request the proper amount of cable.

The reason that the production list is so important is because small things that aren’t necessarily at front of mind like hairdryers, steamers, tea urns and catering equipment can quickly escalate power requirements. It’s always important to take power requirements into account for the entire location.

With the above-mentioned in mind, you’ll be able to quickly get to a budget and equipment list that works, and power options become very simple.


When batteries are required, it usually means that a recce isn’t possible. The up side to using a battery is that it’s easier to stay within a tight budget and be very mobile, shooting in multiple locations throughout a single day. In this scenario, a battery is really the only viable option.

Our range of battery options covers everything from flash to continuous, daylight to Tungsten, from speed-guns with dedicated TTL to the latest battery solutions from Profoto and Broncolor. The new B2 system from Profoto is 250ws; the Profoto B4 Air has excellent recycling time, is perfect for freezing motion, and can output 1000ws; the Broncolor Move will do 1200ws and comes in a rucksack.

When it comes to continuous, we carry 1×1 Bi-Colour LED Panels, LED Ring Lights, Tungsten Sunguns, Daylight Pocket PARS, and Joker Bugs. And new in from Kinoflo, we carry the 200 and 400 Celeb Bi-Colour battery-powered LED panels, which are punchier than – but just as soft as – the well-known Kinoflo Fluorescents.

MF0B5592 1

Behind the Scenes / Michael Heffernan

Portable Generators

For greater power we move to portable petrol generators. Long duration shooting is better powered by generators and if you need the performance of a mains powered flash but are away from mains power, this is the answer.

In our range of portable generators, Direct Photographic carries a range of Honda EU10is, EU20is, EU30is, EU65is and most recently the EU70is.

The smaller 1kW and 2kW models are perfect for location digital equipment setup. They supply more than enough power for a laptop and screen, and will run reliably without trouble for several times longer than an external battery.

The 3kW generator will run a 2.5 HMI or a Profoto Flash Pack and the 6.5kW generator will run a 4kW HMI or a couple of flash packs.

The new Honda EU70is portable generator (shown in photograph) is very exciting because it offers more choice. Two of these generators linked and running in parallel provide 11kW of power. In terms of production cost, having this amount of light on set for this cost and with such a small amount of equipment was previously unheard of.

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© Direct Photographic

Vehicular Generators

There are several reasons to choose a vehicular generator, among which are the need for a great deal of power between equipment lists and production requirements, and the need for reliable, steady power in several different places.

We most commonly supply models from our own fleet that range from 60kW up to 200kW. As an example, a 60kW vehicular generator is ideal for two 18kW HMI’s, carrying the head stands and cable as well as production elements like E-Z Up tents, trestle table, etc…

This particular generator is used regularly on large campaigns where clients require an exterior, completely self-contained studio-grade operating environment. This level of power works when you perhaps need six shots in 30 minutes, and therefore you have six times the amount of equipment running at once.

There are several costs associated with vehicular generators that aren’t always apparent which we can provide guidance on. For example, this type of hire necessitates that we supply HGV licensed crew who are trained and certified electricians.


“How long is a piece of string?” The size of a budget depends on what you are shooting, where and with what.

As every shoot is different, and therefore every budget is different. At the same time, if our teams are given the principle information to check off, they will be able to provide a quote quickly in order to give an initial idea of costs. When providing a quote, the essential information elements are:

- Lighting equipment list

- Production equipment list

- Location

- Call time & Wrap time

- Layout of the location so that cable can be estimated if required

Direct Photographic carries a wide range and large amount of equipment, from high directors chairs to makeup mirrors, steamers, irons, E-Z Up tents, trestle tables, gold brollies and more. For out of town and even mobile in-town shoots, we can provide a Man&Van service as well.

Please Note:

We reserve the right not to enter into ongoing correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only.

Lisa Pritchard, LPA and guest bloggers take no responsibility for any omissions or errors.

Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

LPA Style/ Claire Portman/ Paul Smith Juniors

April 30, 2015

LPA Style hair & make up artist Claire Portman recently worked on this energetic Paul Smith Juniors S/S 2015 campaign.

Shot by photographer George Harvey and styled by Francesca Pinna, Claire’s natural hair and make up work well with the sporty theme and emphasize the movement in the shots. Claire is fantastic at working with children and we love how these shots capture youthful fun!


© George Harvey


© George Harvey


© George Harvey


© George Harvey

LPA Pop Up Agent / Jon Enoch / Quiet Storm / Wiggle

April 28, 2015

Our LPA Pop Up Agent service was recently called on by celebrity and portrait photographer Jon Enoch

Commissioned by Quiet Storm to shoot for Wiggle, a specialist in running, swimming and cycling gear, Jon was the perfect fit for the brief. A busy and successful photographer, Jon came to us to take care of production and all the nitty gritty paperwork so he could concentrate on the creative side of things. Here’s a few of the images for your enjoyment!

© Jon Enoch

© Jon Enoch

© Jon Enoch

LPA Photographers / Julian Calverley / Porsche 356 Speedster

April 27, 2015

LPA Photographer Julian Calverley recently photographed this beautiful Porsche 356 Speedster, in a new addition to his expansive body of automotive work.

The car is owned by Nick Schon, ex- Group Director of Saatchi & Saatchi and illustrator of over 170 children’s books. Julian said of the shoot, “it’s often tempting when photographing cars, to get carried away with complex lighting set ups, CGI backgrounds and post production trickery, but this car just begged for a simple and classic approach.” We agree that Julian’s polished photography really captures the charm of the vehicle – beautiful work!


© Julian Calverley


© Julian Calverley


© Julian Calverley

The Brief / Cheil UK / Samsung / Ray Massey

April 22, 2015

The Brief is a regular feature on the LPA blog which takes a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot, from brief to final images.

Photographer: Ray Massey
Client: Samsung
Agency: Cheil UK
Creative Team: Dog & Bear
Account Handlers: Andy Stevenson / Fraser Campbell
Production: LPA Production
Shoot Date: February 12th 2015
Usage: Press and digital banners, UK, 1 week / OOH, UK, 1 day

For this instalment of The Brief, we look at a recent shoot commissioned by Cheil UK for Samsung and shot by Ray Massey. A legend in the world of still life photography this was the perfect shoot for Ray to sink his teeth into!


Ray was approached by Cheil UK to shoot a clever campaign for their client Samsung, with rather a fast turnaround.  With Samsung being a major sponsor of the English team, Cheil wanted to commission some photography to promote the England vs Italy game, which was taking place as part of the Rugby World Cup. As the game was taking place on Valentine’s Day, the team decided to play on the motif of the red rose, which is also the emblem of the English team.

In the words of Dog & Bear, ‘“When we realised that England’s next Six Nations clash took place on Valentines Day, we were struck by the symbol that unites them both – the rose. Only problem was, we fell in love with the idea on February 12th leaving us just 48 hours to make it happen! Having turned to Ray before in similar circumstances, we knew he could help us pull it off”.

- Wednesday 11th February

We had the brief come in from the guys at Cheil on Wednesday morning along with a scamp of how they envisioned the final image to look. With no time to spare we got cracking on the estimate.

England Rugby
© Dog & Bear


The project was relatively simple and one of the LPA team, Tom, set out about putting costs together. This is what he included:

Photographer’s fees and photographic expenses:

  • Shoot fees to reflect the usage and for a half day shoot
  • Photographic expenses – digi-capture, post production , studio and equipment/ lighting


  • 1st Assistant


  • Props – red rose and material for background


Catering, insurance, telephone, delivery, transport , couriers etc.

The guys at Cheil were lightning fast at signing off the costs and so Ray could press on with sourcing the props the same day. Along with the red roses and jersey material, Ray also bought some satin sheets as a back up in case the creatives wanted to try a different tact on the day.


- Thursday 12th February


With sign-off on Wednesday and props all sorted by Ray himself , we were ready to shoot first thing Thursday morning! The team needed the image by 4pm the same day in order to make the deadline for Friday’s papers so Ray started shooting at 8am and had the image in the bag by midday. Retouching house The Forge then worked their magic to get the image looking flawless and sent it on to Cheil to add the copy for the 4pm deadline.

Ray working his magic! / © Dog & Bear

- Friday 13th February

In less than 48 hours from the brief hitting our desks, we saw the fruits of our labour popping up all over London! In addition to press ads in The Times and The Telegraph, the images were used in OOH digital poster sites including Piccadilly Circus and various London tube stations.

To summarise from Ray himself, ‘Actually it was no big deal, at only 40 hours to Valentines day, there were more red roses around than you could shake stick at and a white Fred Perry shirt is not hard to find any time.  Having a retoucher in the family in the form of Jean-Michel at The Forge is also helpful!

Usage © Dog & Bear

Photoshoot Glossary

Scamps: Sometimes known as layouts, drawings to illustrate the final ads.

OOH: OOH (Out of Home) advertising is advertising that reaches the consumer outside of the home.

Digital Poster: An electronic poster as seen on the London underground.

LPA Photographers / Iain Crockart / Politics: The Painful Truth

April 20, 2015

LPA Photographer Iain Crockart has offered up his thoughts on the upcoming General Election in this derisive still life image.

Inspired by comedian Billy Connoly’s sentiment that ‘the desire to be a politician should ban you for life from ever being one’ and frustrated at the daily posturing and promising, he went looking for the spikiest bramble branch to illustrate his idea in his graphic and composed signature style. POLITICS TRUTH 2015

LPA Photographers / Nick David / Surfers

April 16, 2015

LPA Photographer Nick David recently took a trip to the beautiful Cornish coast to photograph a group of surfers as a part of a new personal project.

Striking it lucky with sunny weather, Nick made the most of the natural light and shot some lovely spontaneous imagery. Focusing on a group of young friends, Nick perfectly captures their passion for the sport, as well as the picturesque coastal landscape.


© Nick David


© Nick David


© Nick David


© Nick David


© Nick David

LPA Photographers / Julian Calverley / Forest

April 15, 2015

Today on the blog we’re sharing some beautiful new images shot by LPA Photographer Julian Calverley.

Working on a new project on forests, Julian shot these ethereal and captivating panoramic images. For the tech nuts the images are made from 3 stitched frames from a ALPA STC & Phase One IQ180 MFDB combo.

© Julian Calverley

© Julian Calverley

© Julian Calverley

LPA Futures / Holly Pickering / Wheeler’s of St James’ Rib Room & Oyster Bar

April 13, 2015

LPA Futures Holly Pickering continues her great work for the Marriott Autograph range of hotels, shooting the new restaurant at Threadneedles.

Wheeler’s of St James’ Rib Room & Oyster is a Marco Pierre White enterprise, recently opened at the luxury 5* boutique hotel, Threadneedles. Famed as the world’s oldest fish brand, Wheeler’s boasts Walt Disney and Lucian Freud among their clientele. Holly was commissioned to shoot the lavish interior as well as the sumptuous menu and we think the images look great – definitely want to pay a visit!

© Holly Pickering

© Holly Pickering

© Holly Pickering

© Holly Pickering

LPA Style / Alice Timms / O2

April 7, 2015

LPA stylist Alice Timms recently provided the props for the latest ‘be more dog’ O2 print campaign.

Shot by Julia Fullerton-Batten (represented by Wyatt Clarke & Jones), Alice was enlisted to make the rosettes and medals – one for each year that O2 has been awarded No. 1 Network for Customer Satisfaction by Ofcom. The advert is the latest in the playful ‘be more dog’ campaign which aims to spread positivity and encourage inquisitiveness among us Brits. Alice’s creativity is undeniable, lovely work as ever!


© Julia Fullerton-Batten

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