Periscope, Live Photo Shoot in Make-shift studio, one light

Periscope, Live Fashion Shoot

Classy Underwear Fashion Shoot


Camera: Olympus OM-D, EM-1 Mirrorless
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 (Silver), 90mm Equivalent
Aperture: Setting: f/5
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 200
White Balance: 6000K
Camera Mode: Manual
Lighting: Hensel Integra Pro 100 Monolight fitted with Chimera Octa 57, 7-foot soft box


Heather and I decided that our third Periscope broadcast theme would provide the live viewers an actual photography shoot in her new Calvin Klein underwear. The key to the live broadcast was providing an educational benefit to the viewers. Heather did a prior Periscope on “Getting Ready for the Shoot” on her Periscope @heathercarden86. The shoot was conducted in her garage with one light.

The Story Behind The Photo

Periscope Live Model Photo Shoot

Black and white photo of Heather taken during a live photo shoot aired on Periscope.

The Background
As mentioned in the Dream Team Photo post, “Street Photography,” Heather and I prefer to work on concepts with our photography and this photo shoot was no different. She had seen some “Calvin Klein” underwear modeling photos that caught her eye and wanted to replicate the concepts in her own way—in fact she even went online and ordered their bra plus panty just for some future photo shoots. Well the future came thanks to Periscope.

No, not the submarine type, the Twitter type app that allows you to turn either your iPhone or Android smartphone into a live broadcast webcam to a “consensual voyeuristic” audience online via streaming video. Periscope was officially released early this year shortly after Twitter purchased it for $100 million and it’s fast becoming the new social media craze.

Yes, there are similar live streaming products, but when Periscope is welded to the nuclear submarine Twitter it’s hard to beat its full-ahead propulsion speed as it moves through the vast ocean of social media users. Heather and I have discovered this out firsthand in the slightly charted waters of live video streaming. We had just started using Periscope the day before and our first “Heather and Rolando” live, but not from the Ed Sullivan theater show while waiting for dinner outside a local restaurant had 73 live viewers for our less than 10-minute broadcast.

Instantly Heather and I became Periscope possessed. The next day we fully christened our individual submarines, heathercarden86 and rolandogomez into separate oceans; hers into the ocean of make-up and beauty, and mine into the ocean of photography. It was my second “up periscope” experience with the “Answering Your Photography Questions” broadcast where what was scheduled as a 10-minute show turned into a 40-minute session where I promised the almost 700 live viewers that I’d be broadcasting a live photo shoot with Heather later that evening.

“You did what?” Heather asked me after the show. “Seriously, we don’t have a studio in the house or an area large enough to shoot in.”

“We’ll make room somewhere,” I said as she stared at me with those “You’d better start cleaning out a spot to set up if we’re going to do this” eyes. So I did, I dove to clean out a section in her two-car garage at her house while she got ready and while I did that, her Twitter submarine rose up for her Periscope broadcast on how she applies makeup before a shoot. It was another great success on her part, and now we were ready for our live shoot.

Garage Studio, Photography

This was the actual shooting space, Heather’s garage with just enough ceiling height for the Chimera Octa 57 soft box.

As you can see from the video clip provided below of part of our broadcast, we accomplished it, and the photos you see here, in slightly over 15-minutes with 737 live viewers before it ended and with almost 30 replays after it ended. The show also garnered over 3300 hearts, or “likes,” which has provided us with the passion to do it again soon. It’s easy, just keep tapping the screen as we’re broadcasting to let us know you like what you’re watching and want more in the future too.

The Challenges
There were several challenges for this shoot, first, we knew we’d be doing it in front of a live audience—yes, that makes us both nervous. Second, we’d be working in the tight confines of a garage, right next to model’s car and we wanted a high-key effect with only one light. Third, trying to answer questions while shooting, it’s a little difficult to view the questions and comments that fade on the iPhone screen about as fast as they go up. Fourth, getting the shoot done in 15-minutes or less, pressure I’m used to from my photojournalism roots.

The First Challenge, Petrified on Periscope
Well the first challenge is something I’m kind of used to as I’ve lectured at three universities, Samy’s Camera, Julia Dean Photo School, Photo Imaging and Design Expo, Photo Plus Expo, plus other events and know that after about the first few minutes the stage fright leaves the building. For Heather, she did extremely well, though at first she was a little hesitant to go live with a shoot, especially since she’d be in her new Calvin Klein underwear.

Periscope Live Photo Shoot

Another photo from the live photography shoot on @rolandogomez Periscope feed.

I coached her a bit before we went live and we actually took my iPhone and recorded some test videos, that helped tons and take that as sound advice if you decide to scope things out on your own. A little rehearsal doesn’t hurt and it also helps that the video screen you see is the same that the scopers will see too. This helped Heather calm her fears and it shows in the partial video clip of the original broadcast found here. This experience will also make future Periscope broadcasts flow smoother—we’re still working out the quirks, as this is all new to us.

The second challenge wasn’t hard to overcome. I’ve worked in tight confines before it’s just about adjustments. I made sure I had plenty of shooting room and with a 90mm focal length equivalent on my Olympus mirrorless system, that was easy, it only takes about 10 to 12-feet from your subject to shoot a 3/4 crop.

The Lighting Challenge Solved
The lighting solution was solved with a Chimera Octa 57 soft box in the 7-foot mode attached to a Hensel Integra Pro 1000 monolight. When you use this large professional soft box, the light quality produced is not only extremely flattering, but it allows you to only use one light where most photographers would use a three-light set-up when shooting high-key with a white background. The Chimera Octa 57’s large size literally throws light over the subject and in this case, a white wall, which acts as a natural reflector back into the camera providing for a practically shadow-less background when used properly.


Note: The YouTube video version doesn’t display the comments or hearts and is about 90-percent of the actual video content.

Basically in this one-light, high-key set-up, the crucial element is to make sure the light returning back, or striking the model’s back, is 2/3 of an f/stop lower than the light striking the model. So in this case the light falling on Heather measured f/5 and all I need was for the reflected light striking Heather’s back to read approximately f/4. You can achieve this easily by moving your light and/or your model closer or further away from the background until you find that 2/3 of an f/stop difference in the measured values. It’s that easy!

The Periscope and Time Challenge
It is a little tough trying to shoot and answer questions (you won’t see this in the YouTube video) popping up on your Periscope screen, so we let the audience know in the beginning and throughout that we’d be limited in this scenario. For the most part our 737 live viewers were OK with that and when we replayed the video for our own critique, the 3300 plus hearts we received throughout the broadcast provided that proof. We managed to answer what we could during periodic stops of the shoot itself all in slightly over 15 minutes.

Periscope Hearts, Comments

This is what Periscope is about, asking questions, interacting, and of course, those lovable hearts!

Why 15-minutes. Well my first goal in limiting the time was to show that it doesn’t take that much time to get the shots you want, especially if you are prepared beforehand, as in this case, we had the light and camera ready to go before we began. My previous Periscope broadcast lasted 40-minutes and even though I love to teach, you’ll get more from me in 40-minutes attending one of our photography workshops or photo adventures—it’s a more personalized and hands-on experience without the marketing the Periscope platform provides you.

Periscope Live Photo Shoot in Perspective
Putting it all into perspective, Periscope is here to stay and provides the platform for a believable experience on “how it was done” in photography because it’s live. The authentication of the broadcast comes from interacting with your audience, and the hearts they provide you.

For you the viewer, it costs nothing but minutes of your time.

For the submarine crew in general, it’s our passion to provide our time for you and all we ask is that you follow @rolandogomez on Periscope, Twitter, and Instagram. If you want more, then show us by not forgetting to follow and provide those shares, hearts, likes, comments, retweets, etc., plus if you really want to know us and how we work together, join us at a photography workshop or photo adventure. We thank you in advance and now we have to dive, dive, dive—up Periscope soon!


Shutter Speed

Focal Length


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This