San Francisco as a Photo Studio

Executives and creatives take different approaches to just about everything. Only when they don’t. I was approached recently by the Chief Operating Officer of a tech startup looking for portraits of his team. Health Access Solutions had staked their claim in the heart of San Francisco, and wanted headshots that looked like anything but headshots. What resulted was nothing short of a semi-hostile take over of the bustling streets of one of the world’s most eclectic cities. We parried seas of pedestrians, dodged waves of delivery trucks, fended off a few residentially challenged folks, and even talked our way on to the roof of a busy high rise. On a side note, get the phat business insurance policy. You’ll thank me later.

Everything was mobile and my head was on a swivel. We combed the streets for miles and shot until the sun tapped out. At the end of the day everyone shook their head and agreed. We had a body of work to be proud of. And not one headshot.

BTS The Streets of San Francisco from carl costas on Vimeo.

3 thoughts on “San Francisco as a Photo Studio

  1. Hi Carl,

    I really enjoy your photography and particularly your lighting in this video,nvery simple lighting. I have a nerdy question as to what lights you used on this shoot? And soft box? Profoto, Dynalyte or other, am curious, great quality of light from them.

    Hope you and the family are well,



  2. Hey Jose:

    Geeking out with you on the subject of photography kinda feels like telling the president how to do his job. But to answer your question, I like the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger kit: It’s got just enough power to compete with the sun but is still light enough to take anywhere. In regard to softboxes, these suckers will pump light through as much as a five foot octa.

    What kind of setup are you using now?

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