Headshot Photographer Pam Stukenborg joins us for a write-up on the new ProMaster Unplugged TTL600 Wireless Studio Lights. Read on for her full review or listen here!
Learn from Pam and other incredible instructors at our Memphis Photo Expo this August.
Have you ever been asked to do an on-location shoot? Then the question, “you have studio lighting, right?” Why yes.
Fast forward to day before the shoot when I start breaking down my photography studio, wrapping cords, packing the lights up in my carry-only no wheel feature case for hopefully a safe transport. Fold up the light stands, contemplate breaking down my soft boxes and decide they can fit in the front seat of the car. Making sure I remember to pack extra extension cords in case the outlets are far away. Making sure I bring the correct cord for my remote trigger that plugs into studio light and AA batteries! You get the picture, and this is just the first of a 4-part takedown-setup series that goes into every on-location shoot (and this only addresses the lighting)!
When Bedford Camera & Video asked if I would like to try out the newly released ProMaster Unplugged TTL600 Wireless Studio lighting I was really excited to do this. Sold separately is a Canon Remote Trigger that mounts in the hot shoe on the camera where you can control the power of the strobes wirelessly. The remote also adjusts the continuous LED modeling lights which I have used to light me in some of the videos I’ve done on my Youtube Channel about these studio lights.
This is going to sound nerdy, but in order for me to learn about the ProMaster studio lighting and remote, I read the manuals. You may say, that sounds reasonable. Well, I struggle with sitting still long enough to read. Or does this happen to you, you’re on your 3rd page and say to yourself “What did I just read?” Or worse- what I just read isn’t making any sense. So, I sat in my living room with my phone, and recorded an audio version of both the TTL600 Lighting and the Remote Trigger. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve listened to the manuals, but it helped! Admittedly, I keep the physical manual close by in my studio and when I go on location.
Now let’s do some shooting! Hum, the lights aren’t firing, the trigger isn’t talking to the lights. What did I miss? I decide to try my Pocket Wizards to fire off the studio lights and it worked. I felt a small victory, but knew there was more and that I was missing something! #OperatorError is at work here. It’s no secret that “creative-types” are not always the most technical (picture me raising my hand here). What I do know is that persistence and being willing to make the call, ask the question… “What am I doing wrong, why won’t this work?” This is what I so appreciate about the Bedford Camera & Video staff, they are always willing to help! I call Robert Lake, the manager at the Tulsa store, he asked me a few questions and quickly figured out that it was the flash setting in my Canon 5D Mark IV that needed to be set so the remote would communicate to my camera to fire the studio lights……ah ha!
Time to head off to do an on-location shoot. It was the easiest transition from the studio to setting up for the on-location shoot. The case that comes with the ProMaster Unplugged TTL600 has wheels and easily transported the studio lights, stands, etc., there was plenty of extra room for a couple of umbrellas and easily could have added more. So, with the one lighting case, my camera roller bag, Manfrotto tripod, a white background that was held up by the Lastolite Magnetic Background Mount and 2 soft boxes, I was off! Pictured below is another on-location shoot where I used my cloth backdrop and stands, but notice NO CORDS from the studio lights. It is a safer shooting environment for my clients, other photographers and especially for yours truly who is known for moving about at a rather rapid pace.
You may be wondering, what about the performance and results I’ve gotten with these lights? They are powerful, I haven’t even shot them at full power because it just isn’t necessary. The battery life has been excellent, and I haven’t even needed to charge them after an extended shoot. But, of course I do to insure I’m ready for the next shoot. The results – I have seen an improvement in my skin tones and coloring in general! I always strive to get the shot correct in camera and these lights are certainly helping me achieve that!
If you are wondering would these be a good fit for you? This set is available to rent, so you can try it out firsthand- just contact Bedfords! It really is an affordable way to take your photography to another level. As for me, I am thrilled with the Promaster Unplugged TTL600 Wireless Studio Lighting, the quality, the portability and no cords!
Pam Stukenborg owns Stukenborg Photography in Tulsa, OK where she specializes in Headshot Photography. Her emphasis is to give her clients the best experience they can have, while doing something they may feel the least comfortable with — having their picture taken.
Pam is a Bedford Camera and Video Community Influencer, Canon Influencer, a member of Peter Hurley’s Headshot Crew, and is an Event Coordinator for the Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group (PHOTOGS). She is a Top Thumbtack Pro Photographer and Holds membership with the Indian Nation Professional Photographers Association (INPPA). She purchased her first 35mm film camera in 1986, shifted her focus to digital photographer in 2005 and has not looked back.