I’m asking this question on behalf of my friend and colleague who also specializes in pet photography.
He called me today to tell me about his shooting of yesterday, which he says was the worst he ever had, a real nightmare.
He has 2-3 sphynx cats to photograph for a woman who breeds them. Fred says that the cats are very agitated and totally crazy.
The woman wants a black background and very even lighting because she will use the photos on her web site and all parts of the cats must be visible and well lit.
One of the has eyes of two different colours, and she wants that too.
My friend was shooting on location in a small room, and could use only his Canon speedlite 580 with a softbox and power pack. The problem is that the cats were moving very fast and because of the black background and low ambiant light, it was hard to get the focus right,
The customer was not satisfied with the photos nor was my friend who spent an agonizing 4 hours over there trying to get the cats to calm down.
Sure enough the lady called her sister in France who happens to be a photographer and she was told that Fred was using all the wrong equipment (in very unflattering terms) and that he should have used continuous lighting instead of strobes. It would have made focusing easier she said.
Fred promised to go back in about 8 days and redo the shooting until they are both satisfied.
Question is should he rent some continuous lighting or is there any other solution to this? Would he need a 3-lamp setup in this case?
Obviously he would also need a larger room.
What about adding 2 brooding lamps with 250w bulbs (cool light colour) to his actual speedlight setup? (One light on each side and the speedlite in front)
It would provide sufficient lighting for fast and effective focusing, no? He shoots in RAW. Would this cause havoc with the white balance?
This is one of the little critter he has to deal with:
Many thanks for any help you could provide.