Shooting In A Hotel Room

Shooting In A Hotel Room

15 posts
8 Nov 2013
shapeman
Photographer
shapeman
I normally shoot on Location or in a Studio, I have recently working in Hotel Rooms (1 Model mixed style of images up to Nude), my question is what would be your ideal Kit for this type of shoot taking into account the Room is of average space.

Lights or Flash
Fixed Lens or Zoom

etc.

I have played about using various Lenses and Lights but as yet I have never been 100% happy. 
Posted 8 Nov 2013
Edited by shapeman 8 Nov 2013
redgauntlet
Photographer
redgauntlet
Have as part of shoot used a soft box(s)with Flash Zoom Lens have found best less fath about..
Its about what you want from the shoot
Decide on desired result and work backwards to achieve it.


Posted 8 Nov 2013
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
It depends slightly on the camera, full frame Vs crop sensor as to what lens you carry, personally the very thing that's hard on location i.e. taking loads of gear is slightly easier when the car is only parked 2 min away (normally). I've used 70-200mm in a Best Western with results that I liked, again depends on your goal if you are planning to bring much of the room into the composition you'll need wider! I'd stick to what you know you like and gives you good results.

With the available power in the room i'd take 2 small 400 watt studio lights, the SBs i'd normally carry on location with external power maybe 50% smaller than a small light but the studio light isn't overly big anyway! Bring a 4 Gang Extension Lead (5 Metre) it will power the lights, battery charger and the models phone that for some reason is always low on juice!

Dominic.



Posted 8 Nov 2013
shapeman
Photographer
shapeman
Cheers I have myself a canon 5d mk2 24-105, 50mm and 70-200 2.8 I have in the past brought 2 modelling lamps and 4 off camera flashes (strobes)



Posted 8 Nov 2013
magpie1
Photographer
magpie1
Are the hotels aware you are doing photography, using lights. They usually require PAT ( portable appliance test) certificates for everything you are using, including extension leads. They will also require you to have indemnity insurance.

Posted 8 Nov 2013
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
magpie1
Are the hotels aware you are doing photography, using lights. They usually require PAT ( portable appliance test) certificates for everything you are using, including extension leads. They will also require you to have indemnity insurance.
I don't think that's strictly true, its not compulsory in law, how could they apply that to chargers, laptops, mobile phones, camera chargers, batteries, vibrators (plug in) that guest brings in, there's nothing specific to photography lights, They (the hotel) have a responsibility to their employees to make sure equipment is safe to use, The person testing doesn't even need to be qualified and a to quote the HSE website "a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged" no certificate required!
Posted 8 Nov 2013
magpie1
Photographer
magpie1
Hotels and public places I work in do require such documentation. As well as a responsibility to their staff there is also a responsibility to their guests. The onus is to show that one has taken reasonable measures to ensure the equipment is safe, it could be a matter for a court to decide if the measures taken were adequate. If equipment caused damage, eg fire, then no documentation leaves one wide open to a claim, and if persons are injured, possible prosecution.

Posted 8 Nov 2013
DBIphotography_Toron
Photographer
DBIphotograp..
You can likely manage with a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom (I hear the Canon version works well), and a couple of speedlights. Watch shadows :/ I shoot FF Nikons, and I usually use just my 24-70mm lens & a few speedlights. I set 2 off-camera bouncing off of the ceiling, but I try to get them pretty high & mind where I'm placing them. So I don't have any shadow-disasters. I trigger them with the one on-camera, which I either have inside a diffuser or I just set it to emit no flash and act only as a trigger. It still emits a tiny bit of light, but not enough to change anything. At-worst, I can spin my light around so it shoots behind me

I don't shoot in them often. I only shoot in studio's a few times each year (and that's averaging every year I've been shooting!). I shoot mostly with either no-light added at concerts, or with filler-light at events, for retail and model-work, etcetera. Below is a converted proof from the most recent image I created in hotel-settings, for an online-magazine being published next month:

Posted 9 Nov 2013
Edited by DBIphotography_Toron 9 Nov 2013
Rawandthecooked
Photographer
Rawandthecoo..
I have done this with speed lights, but also my Eli ranger quadra is ideal! Small heads useful in small spaces, plenty enough power!Clear the room of everything identifiable of hotel, and remove any mirrors, or framed pictures that might give you a nasty reflection. Also shove a towel at the bottom of the door to stop flash leaking out. The pat testing thing is rubbish, and frankly, book the room, pay your bill, and don't tell them anything about shooting, unless you are a glutton for punishment!

Lens wise, you might need something fairly wide, whatever format your shooting…..

Posted 9 Nov 2013
Edited by Rawandthecooked 9 Nov 2013
shapeman
Photographer
shapeman
Thanks everyone that has posted all interesting and good advise. Will keep reading your advise

Posted 9 Nov 2013
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
If you are working for the Hotel then yes they will require your equipment is in date for PAT testing but as pointed out the HSE guidelines are woolly. I am a qualified PAT tester, but anyone can do it if they feel able too. The periodicity is not fixed, as again this is up to the "responsible person" to decide. Many many companies are fleeced every year but PAT Companies insisting on testing everything every year. No certificate is ever issued, but yes a record is kept and the item often date marked and coded. For your own equipment the best thing to do is to visual check all cables for knick and kinks and check the unit is not damaged. If it is double insulated (shown by the symbol of a square in a square) then you can then consider the item PAT tested. If it is not then it would need an electrical test. Most laptops, chargers (phone/camera etc), mains vibrators & electric power tools are double insulated which is why the hotel do not check personal items. However extension leads will always need an electrical test.
Posted 10 Nov 2013
Rawandthecooked
Photographer
Rawandthecoo..
Why would you think the op is working for the hotel? Clearly, you must be a PAT tester, because when i rock up to a shoot with 3 or 4 speed lights or my Eli ranger quadra. I am not thinking about a PAT test! And no client has ever asked me for one!

Posted 14 Nov 2013
kgp
Photographer
kgp
magpie1

Hotels and public places I work in do require such documentation. As well as a responsibility to their staff there is also a responsibility to their guests. The onus is to show that one has taken reasonable measures to ensure the equipment is safe, it could be a matter for a court to decide if the measures taken were adequate. If equipment caused damage, eg fire, then no documentation leaves one wide open to a claim, and if persons are injured, possible prosecution.


I do the same, it beats having insurance co after you. the best check is National trust
Posted 14 Nov 2013
martinscroft
Photographer
martinscroft
Stick with off camera flashguns and you have nothing to PAT test. In terms of insurance it would be public liability and not (professional) indemnity they would be looking for.

Posted 17 Nov 2013
pegasuspics
Photographer
pegasuspics
dominicdgt
It depends slightly on the camera, full frame Vs crop sensor as to what lens you carry, personally the very thing that's hard on location i.e. taking loads of gear is slightly easier when the car is only parked 2 min away (normally). I've used 70-200mm in a Best Western with results that I liked, again depends on your goal if you are planning to bring much of the room into the composition you'll need wider! I'd stick to what you know you like and gives you good results. With the available power in the room i'd take 2 small 400 watt studio lights, the SBs i'd normally carry on location with external power maybe 50% smaller than a small light but the studio light isn't overly big anyway! Bring a 4 Gang Extension Lead (5 Metre) it will power the lights, battery charger and the models phone that for some reason is always low on juice! Dominic.
great reply on this post. I always have a overloaded car and a model with a phone low on juice!! no! never! lol
Posted 20 Nov 2013
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