What’s in your bag? – Location Portrait Photography

Jay Tighe is the owner of Field of Dreams Photography, based in Lincolnshire. He specialises in location family portrait photography, pet photography and wedding photography. Jay’s photography has a very distinctive style which is beautifully natural and earthly. Combined with his method of photographing the children while they play leads to some amazing un-posed – true to life – portraits, showing real personalities and natural expressions.Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Jay!

Lincolnshire, UK

Say hi....!

I’m Jay,
I run Field of Dreams Photography based in Blyton Lincolnshire, specializing in wedding, family and pet photography specifically dogs. I have always had an affinity with the outdoor lifestyle so my work tends to reflect that, we work entirely on location finding wonderful spots all over the country from mountain ranges to meadows and woodland.

What camera(s) are you using?

Currently in the kit bag is a Nikon D700 and Nikon D7000. Although the D700 is a somewhat older model – its features lend perfectly to my style of shooting while keeping file sizes within a manageable size. As well as having a unique colour reproduction, it truly is a workhorse of a camera and I will replace the shutter as many times as possible, even if it dies a thousand deaths – I love it that much!

What is your go-to lens?

My go-to lens is the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 Zoom Lens , it affords me the ability of shooting a wide range of subjects in many conditions, with lightning fast autofocus I can be sure that I capture the moments unfolding in front of me.

What other lenses do you have to hand?

In the kit bag I also carry the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 Lens, this is a highly underrated lens in my opinion , brilliantly sharp , quick to focus but most importantly incredibly versatile, it allows me to capture sweeping vistas to nice portraits without having to go looking for another lens and copes well in low light situations.

What about your lighting?

As I shoot primarily outdoors on location – I try use the sun where possible as a backlight and think of it as my second light. My primary lighting set up is the Godox AD180 with Yongnuo triggers and for modifiers I keep it fairly simple. I use the Godox foldable beauty dish which is fantastic if you wish to travel light, but if I’m bringing out the big toys then my go to modifier is the Selens 30 inch hexadecagonal parabolic softbox which produces such a wonderful soft wrapping light.

What about other equipment?

My Pixapro waterproof tough case is essential. Having a hard wearing, durable way to transport equipment and being safe in the knowledge that all my equipment is safe and secure is invaluable. My other favorite is flash gel’s. Gelling your lights helps with a multitude of situations; if you have mixed lighting while out on location, if you are shooting in open shade, or if you want to have those seamless photos of a client in front of a sunset  there are just no shortage of uses for flash gel’s.

How about your computer and software?

My computer is a Windows based system which is a custom build on AMD architecture specifically for post processing. 4.ghz processor, a RAID configuration with the HDD’s, an SSD for the operating system and 32gb of RAM, so no matter what I throw at it I know it has the power to deal with it. This is great if you have multiple applications open or are stitching a Brenizer style portrait together This is paired with an LG Ultrasharp monitor.

Software wise I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on the Creative Suite. I am a huge fan of Mastin Labs presets and use them as a base to most of my work as it saves me a lot of time which is never a bad thing.

Finally...who is your idol?

I have too many too mention, however from the photographic world I am a huge fan of W Eugene Smith – his methods for environmental portraiture are incredible along with his use of light and of course subject matter. He very much knew how to create work with meaning and in my eyes that is not only incredibly difficult but also amazingly valuable.