Details & Tools for our Epic South Africa Portrait Shoot of Nompilo


Here are photos from our epic shoot with Nompilo, a South Africa member of the Zulu tribe, who modeled for me when my wife and family and I were visiting South Africa.

I wanted to share some of the nuts and bolts about gear that was used for the shoot to give you an idea of what was required (and some of the tools might surprise you!)

Since we were traveling half way around the world and there are strict limits on weight, I was trying to pare down the kit to as little as possible.

For cameras, I brought an a9 (which I used for nearly 100% of my work while there), an a7SII and an a6300 (which I mostly used for video).

For lenses:  I brought a 10-18 f4 Sony (mostly for video), 24-70 f2.8 ZA lens with an LA-EA3 adaptor (A-E Mount), 70-200 f2.8 G Master, 35mm f1.4 FE Zeiss, 55mm f1.8 FE Zeiss, 85mm f1.4 FE G Master and a 90mm f2.8 G Macro lens.

For lights, I traveled with two Godox V-860II S (Sony) strobes and two of the X-1 radio triggers.  I also brought with my my new favorite lighting tool — the Godox AD200 flash that is 3 1/2 times more powerful than a conventional speed light (and not that much bigger).


AD200 Flash:

I brought a couple small light stands, a Manfrotto Nano Stand and a Cheetah C8 stand.

Manfrotto Nano stand:

Cheetah C8:

To carry the stands and my tripods, I used a case from Versa-flex (41”)

I also brought two of my favorite LED lights — the PRL Lighting Lustra 50 (

For modifiers I used a couple of very inexpensive Godox modifiers that are very portable.  

A Godox 32” box was my main source and I used a Bowens S-Adaptor to hold the AD200 flash.

I also used this little Godox umbrella/softbox that was used with the LED light.

To hold a flash and an LED into this modifier, I use the Quad Bar

I use a small QR plate on the LEDs, the AD200 for quick mounting and they are here:

I’ve got six of them on the Quad Bar to place LEDs and strobes throughout the bar as need.

Lighting was done through the camera primarily using TTL and tweaking Flash Exposure Compensation as needed.

The last shots of Nompilo in her Zulu traditional clothing were made with the LED light because it was so dark I could barely see, let alone shoot.  

After the shoot, I hauled out of the conservancy using the Lustra50 to light the way.

For bags:  I carried the cameras in a Think Tank Airport Security Roller

I carried the lights in a Think Tank Airport Antidote

I carried my MacBook Pro laptop in a Sirui Urbanite BP a stylish and elegant case that carries gear as well:

For my tripod, I brought with me a Sirui 1204 Carbon Fiber Tripod:

The ball head I brought was the Sirui K-20X ball head:

I hope you found this helpful and let me know if you have any questions?