Saturday, 1 August 2015

How To Setup a Remote Triggered Photo Booth

These are the most fun shoots! Even better than an actual booth because you get to use awesome equipment and hang out with fun people!

To setup my Photo Booth, I used the following gear:
Canon 1D X
ProFoto B1
Octabox with grid
3 x Pocket Wizard Plus II's
1 x Flash Sync Cable
1 x Remote cable
32GB Memory Card

1. LIGHTS - I setup my light or lights, depending on the scope of the backdrop and the look I am going for. I have previously used my Alien Bee Strobes and more recently, Profoto B1's. You could probably use Speedlites too. I've just never found them reliable or battery efficient besides, the quality of light from the Profoto or even the Bees, is infinitely better. Besides which, you would need two to get the job done nicely.

2. TRIPOD - I setup my camera onto a Tripod. A good sturdy tripod is useful, especially if there is going to be alcohol at the venue!

3. POCKET WIZARDS - I hook up my remote flash/camera triggers. I use Pocket Wizard II's (yes they are still going). And they are fabulous. We tried the Profoto Air remotes and they didn't work so Pocket Wizard's rule here.

4. REMOTE CABLE - So, One wizard on the the light, one on the camera hot shoe hooked up with a remote cable. Here is the link to find your cable. One final wizard for the guests.

IMPORTANT: This is the trick. Have the Wizard in your hand on Channel 1, the Wizard on the camera set to Channel 1 and the Wizard on your lights to Channel 2. (You can use other channels but the lights need to be the next channel following the camera and handheld wizard).

5. METER READING - Take a meter reading. Every venue is different and it depends on how much ambient light you want in the shots. You probably want at least f5.6 for your aperture because of the groups that tend to find themselves in front of the camera as the night goes on.

6. MODELLING LIGHT - I keep the modelling light on in low light situations or else the camera won't be able to focus.

And that's it. Have fun with your Photo Booth!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Your Profile Photo Is The Most Important Thing On LinkedIn

You know yourself when looking over someone's profile on LinkedIn, the first thing you do is check out their photo.  I personally get messages and requests daily. If there isn't a photo, I delete it immediately. If it is a bad photo, I think about it a second, then delete it. If it is a nice professional photo showing a confident business person, I definitely check out their profile and most likely add them as a contact.

Don't just take my word for it. The Ladders research into recruiter behaviour proves it. As shown in the heat map below, whilst looking over profiles, the first place the recruiter looked was the photo and they spent 19% of their total time looking at it. That's a lot of heat!

Business Insider has some great tips on the do's and don'ts for you profile photo. And as it isn't that expensive, I would say it is an easy investment. My basic headshot sessions are only $175 and this image should last you a good couple of years before you need an update. When your credibility and your employability is enhanced ten fold, it seems like this would be the best $175 you have ever spent!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Vivid Chatswood 2015

A few people have asked what Chatswood Vivid is like seeing that I live here so i thought I'd walk you through. The story begins at The Interchange. The Jellyfish Chandeliers and light display definitely make this the prettiest train station I have ever seen. 

Look all around, even at your feet. There is a great light story happening as you walk.

There are three levels you can get to, so try viewing from different angles. 

If you get hungry, stop by The District on the top level. An upmarket food court serving wine as well as great food.

Although the light displays are wonderful, it's the atmosphere that is vibrant! 

Walk through The Mall and you will mix with a bustle of people meeting, mingling and having a great time.

You will meet Norbert, The Nautilus and see The Aquarium on your way to The Concourse.

The Concourse
Head down to Chatswood Chase for a quick look at Lieutenant Angler.  You can get a bite here or head back to The Concourse where the 4 Pines have setup a marquee. 

Willoughby Council are hosting the event and have plenty of useful information available on their website as well as updates on entertainment and transport. The Vivid Website has more detail and a handy map to keep you on track.

It's definitely worth a visit if you want to do something different on your night out and you didn't want to head all the way into town. Have a great night! #MySydney

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Profile Portrait, Drama Therapy & Play time in The Studio

Amanda is a Dramatherapist currently based in Sydney but shortly making the move to Darwin. She was in need of a profile portrait for her soon to be revamped website. At the end of the portrait session we decided that it was time for some Dramatherapy!

Following success in the UK, USA & other countries, Dramatherapy supports people in connecting with the playful part of themselves in an environment free from judgement. Clients are invited to connect through movement, voice, improvisation, role, character and story meanwhile promoting therapeutic results in addition to psychological healing, insight , growth and well-being.

Playing With Spirit specifically explores the connections between the Sesame Approach and the culture of the Indigenous Australian people so the move to Darwin will be entirely amazing for Amanda and look forward to hearing about her results...

If you would like to contact Amanda, here website is Playing with Spirit

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Willoughby Symphony Orchestra & Choir

Music was my entire life for about the first 20 years. It saved me from insanity. It was my escape. I played piano, pretty well. Violin not so well. But singing was where I won accolades. Music enveloped my life.

For my High School Internship, I worked at The Sydney Opera House as the stand-in for the Ethiopian Princess Aida whilst the lighting guy worked his magic. I bumped into Sir Robert Helpman in the Greenroom and most remarkably got to hang out listening to Dame Joan Sutherland whilst she rehearsed. I credit this as one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

As part of my photography degree internship, I worked with the MHCC Theatre Company so this was all very comfortable and exciting 
and a great job for me.

Doctor Nicholas Milton made me feel extremely comfortable in his open, genius Conductor kind of way. So creeping around the stage during the performance, with the occasional curious glance from Dr Milton, this is what I came up with.

The Orchestra have a fabulous 2015 program including West Side Story, a total fave!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Photography Causes Shoulder and Neck Damage - The Treatment

I have carried neck pain and tightness in my shoulders for years. Carrying heavy camera and studio equipment around in addition to 10 hour shoots running around the pool with a 300mm lens eventually took its toll.

One time too many, I picked up a large load and sent my rotator cuff into unbelievable pain. I literally cried all night and carried my arm like a broken wing the next day. It was time to get it sorted.

I called Physiotherapist Dianne at Lindfield Physio who gladly fit me into her schedule immediately. Through ultrasound, electro treatment, massage and strapping we were able to get some relief. 

Dianne gave me a number of stretching and strengthening exercises that have become part of my daily routine.

Assistant Grace kindly offered to demonstrate for you.

Firstly is the support strap. It brought an incredible amount of relief. Ensuring my shoulders were pulled back, not hunched and well supported. Worn over a t-shirt with a cardigan or sweater over that, is the most ideal. Worn directly on the skin can cause chaffing.

Everyday, I do my neck stretching exercises. I turn my head left or right then point my chin toward the shoulder. Then repeat for the other side. An awesome stretch. 

Another great exercise is to push my chin in toward my chest as far is it will go. Sometimes I use my hand to help it along. It's a really ugly stretch that gives you several chins so you may want to do this one at home. I sometimes do my stretches in the car whilst at traffic lights and I do get some stares on that one!Then for strengthening, I use the rubber band, strap. In the above image I hold the band across my chest and pull my back toward my shoulder blades working my back muscles.
The next exercise is slightly modified.  This time my thumbs point upwards and I pull across my chest working my front muscles. 

With Dianne's help, we got me sorted with a harness which really provides added support and helps on those long, long shoots. I imagine it would be great for wedding shooters as well as us sport shooters.

We decided upon a ThinkTank Racing Harness with a few other bits added. The terrific guys at L&P Photographic in Artarmon fixed me up with it and made certain that it fit correctly.

For the first couple of shoots after I damaged my shoulder, I wore the support strap and the harness.

Lastly, Dianne made an office visit to make certain that my workstations were adequate. They weren't. 

She made several adjustments including the height of my monitor and my chair and now I'm all sorted.

It took a major incident to get myself sorted, but I really wish that I had seen to aches and pains beforehand and this may never have happened.

For two months, I was barely able to lift my arm, let alone shoot. When it is your job, your life, it's not a good thing to be out of action. So grateful to Dianne at Lindfield Physiotherapy for getting me sorted.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Studio For Hire / Studio Buddy

With the crazy weather we have been having lately, it's not always possible to shoot outside. This space is ideal. Also terrific for product photography and baby portraits.  Rates are here on my website. Whilst you are there, check out my work. The majority of the images on this site were taken here in the Chatswood Studio.

There is a lovely viewing/waiting area. Street parking. 15 minutes walk from the station or bus stop right out front. There are coffee and tea making facilities as well as a microwave.

Friday, 6 February 2015

NSW 2015 State Age Championship Highlights - Swim Action Photography and Too Much Fun!

Just for a change I thought I put all of the highlights together into a short video for you!

This annual meet at SOPAC Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is always a lot of fun. I saw kids from different teams hugging each other throughout the event. Despite the torturous 6 days and nights of heats and finals, the kids never tired. Although I surely did!

There was also plenty of opportunity for some great action shots because we have the best in the State here at the event so technique is pretty good by now. The greatest highlight for me was watching the legend Chris Fydler swim so watch out for this post!

Speedo heats next should be an altogether different challenge as the kids are aged 6 years - 13years. See you there!

If you would like to see all of the highlights from the State Champs, click here.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Puppies In The Studio! - Australian Support Dogs (ASDOG)

How much fun is my job!

Today I got to photograph some very special puppies. These puppies are in training to provide support to people with physical disabilities. 

Not to be confused with the guide dogs, Support Dogs are trained to get the mail, fetch your car keys, grab a tin of food from the pantry, open the fridge or oven door even grab the phone for their person.

Besides which, they are really cute and wonderful companions.

ASDOG is a non profit organisation so they do rely on the support of our community which is why I was happy to help.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

LinkedIn & Website Profile Portraits - Chatswood Studio

When execs stop by the studio for their portraits, this is what a regular headshot session looks like.

We check that clothing, makeup (if any), and hair are all put together then we decide on our background colour choices. We look at a 5 second slideshow if the client has not already looked on my website and made their decision. 

Depending on the industry, the chosen colour can vary. The corporate's from the Tech or Pharmaceutical industries seem to go for the blue. It looks professional but stands out when you are scrolling through hundreds of little heads on LinkedIn.

Gray is very popular because it looks extremely professional and doesn't offend. White is often the standard for many a company website because it is easy to associate with other colours already used and the person can be cut out of the background easily and also used in newsletters etc.

We shoot from a few different angles and apertures so that we capture as many variations as possible. For this shoot, we were only after headshots but sometimes we do the entire range 3/4 and full length shots including a change of jacket, tie or shirt.

We end up with a gallery of approx 50-80 images from which the final selections are made. And that's now have the best looking photo on the web!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at

Social Media:  Facebook  |  LinkedIn   |   Twitter

Thanks for visiting!