How I Got The Shot: Jena Carlin

Posted by: on Feb 03, 2022

How I Got The Shot: Jena Carlin
Jena Carlin - How I Got The Shot - Tropical Fruit Photoshoot

What was the concept of the shoot?

The concept for the shoot was a tropical farmer’s market. I wanted the light to be a combination of misty, tropical sunlight and hard sunlight when the sun comes out from behind the clouds. I shot with the light through a window like the market was in an open-air building.

Jena Carlin Product Photography - Tropical Fruit

What setup and lighting did you use to get the shot?

I used three Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro lights with different modifiers. The key light behind the window was a vertical 1 x 4 foot strip box with the top layer of diffusion material removed. Then, there was a large, round softbox coming in from the other side. The third light was a horizontal 1 x 4 foot strip box behind the scene for backlight, with a large black flag positioned beneath it to reflect black back into the set. 

Jena Carlin Product Photography Lighting Diagram

How did shooting tethered help you achieve the shot you wanted?

Throughout the shoot, I was experimenting with changes in diffusion levels for hard and soft light. I was able to see the subtle changes and make alterations to the setup because I was shooting tethered and had instant access to the shots I just took.

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge in this shot was creating a clear focal point when I was shooting that many pieces of produce. It’s a balance between creating a focal point while also showcasing a lot of different fruits. A good photo will have a clear focus and compositional context that guides your eye around the image. The unique shapes, textures, and colors helped keep the audience engaged.

What type of post-processing was involved?

I tethered to Lightroom where I had some settings already tweaked and adjusted. I also fixed the gray balance in Lightroom. The final retouching is done in Photoshop. For my aesthetic style and being a commercial food photographer,  I like to edit out any blemishes in the produce so everything looks extremely edible.

What was the logistics and/or gear needed to achieve this shot?

  • 3 Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro lights
  • Flashpoint R2 Pro MarkII 2.4GHz Transmitter for Canon
  • 2 Glow EZ Lock Quick Strip Softboxes
  • 1 Glow EZ Lock Deep Parabolic Quick Softbox
  • Canon 5D Mark IV
  • 85mm 1.2 Canon Lens
  • Canon 100mm Macro Lens
  • 35mm 1.4 Canon Lens
  • Manfrotto Tripod
  • Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head with Quick Release
  • Tether Tools Tether Block
  • Tether Pro Cable 10′
  • Macbook Pro
  • Large Solid Black Flag
  • Cucoloris
  • Fill Cards
  • Background Stands
  • C-Stands
  • Window
  • Apple Boxes
  • LaCie Drive

Who was involved and how did they play a part in the shoot?

I originally did this shoot for a live demo, so my videographer Jay helped me set up the video equipment, switcher, and mic so it all recorded correctly. My assistant Jenn was also on set, helping me create the scene and run the live stream. When I went back and shot the demo again so I had a clean version without the Q&A, I was by myself in the studio.


Jena is based out of the midwest and is known for her commercial food and lifestyle photography as well as her work as a videographer, prop stylist, and art director. Her background as a classically trained fine art painter can be seen in her photography work and in the unique style she brings to each of her shoots. She’s worked for clients such as Ghirardelli, Martha Stewert, Kohl’s, Taste of Home, Sam’s Club, The Buckle, Press, Kerry Taste and Nutrition, and Iowa Premium Angus. To learn more about Jena Carlin and her work visit her on her websites, coaching platform, or social media pages below.

Tethering Essentials