Hands Free Photography
Have you ever wished you could step away from behind the camera when taking a photo? Sometimes you need an extra hand or another body to hold a reflector, flip a bride’s veil into the air or distract the baby or pet of the family. I’ts pretty hard to make funny faces or hold a squeaky toy when you’re holding a camera too! Now you can take a photo “hands-free” with PocketWizard when using a remote camera triggered with a foot pedal!
Putting the PocketWizard Pedal to the Test
To test our new pedal, we reached out to a local Vermont animal portrait photographer, Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered her time and talent to the local animal shelter, the Humane Society of Chittenden County (HSCC) in Burlington, VT. Her photos are used to promote animal adoptions by sharing them on the HSCC website and on social media. The photos are also displayed as art around the shelter and even inspire local artists to paint portraits of the animals.
Kelly goes to the shelter every Friday to take photos of the new animal arrivals. On the day we met with her, the shelter had gotten 40 new kittens – our work was cut out for us!
PocketWizard Pedal Set-Up
Kelly’s set up included a remote camera triggered with a PocketWizard Foot Pedal and two lights – one to light her subject and a second to light the backdrop with colored gels. For this, she needed 4 PocketWizard radios. Since we needed to fire the lights at the same time as the remote camera, Kelly needed to use PocketWizard’s unique Relay Mode functionality that is built into our radios. To do that, all Kelly had to do was set the Channel on her lights one Channel higher than the Channel used by her remote camera. This set up works with all PocketWizard transceiver radios.
- Camera was set up on a tripod
- One PocketWizard was set on her camera attached to the camera using a remote camera cable
- Set on Channel 1
- One PocketWizard was attached to the pedal via the miniphone port
- Set on Channel 1
- This PocketWizard was placed on a small tripod to keep it elevated off the floor for best radio transmission
- One PocketWizard for each light
- Each set on Channel 2 (one higher than the transmitting radios)
Taking Photos with the PocketWizard Pedal
Kelly put her camera on a tripod, set the focus and then got out from behind the camera. She moved the foot pedal so that she could get closer to the animals to engage them with toys and her hands. With the pedal, your hands are completely free so you can snap your fingers, shake a rattly toy, or use a treat for bribery to get the animals to pay attention to you. Then just step on the pedal and you’ve got the shot! It was also great for her to be closer to the animals to keep them keep them from jumping off the table and hiding! After taking some with her foot, she moved the pedal on top of the table to get the animals to take a selfie.
The set-up was portable enough that we could move it to a smaller room where some kittens were housed. In this small space, Kelly appreciated not being stuck in a tight corner behind the camera.
“I love working with this pedal! I find that the minute I go behind the camera, the animal loses interest or will become alarmed by the scary looking lens which looks like a big eyeball. Working with the PocketWizard Pedal, I can stay closer to the animals to keep them relaxed and hold their attention. With only a few minutes to capture each animal, the pedal really helps me move quickly.”
~Kelly Schulze, Mountain Dog Photography
This setup is also perfect for taking photos of kids! Imagine being able to make a funny face and catching your 2 year old’s giggle? It’s perfect for candid moments in a photo booth as well, whether it’s at a wedding, family reunion, or work event.
The PocketWizard Pedal is available directly through the PocketWizard Shop or on Amazon. You can also get a complete setup with our Photo Booth Kit! The package includes 3 PocketWizard PlusX radios, a Foot Pedal, and a G Wiz Vault to store everything in one place. Add your camera’s remote camera cable and you are ready to go!