Book Talk: “Studio Anywhere” by Nick Fancher

“Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations” by Nick Fancher is a book that I highly recommend.

If you’re an environmental portraitist shooting on-location in small or perhaps challenging places, then you will find this book interesting to say the least and very helpful at best. If you’re already an advanced strobe light photographer and location portraitist, you might find this book relatively simple.

While the book is geared more towards intermediates, perhaps, if you’re somewhat familiar with strobes then it’s easy-to-follow and there is always something to learn even for the most advanced photographers.

Nick Fancher is anything but simple in his photography, but he is simple and common sense in his work flow and set-up. He very graciously shares a lot from both commercial and private client shoots, and shows screenshots of his Lightroom edits. So there is both good value in on-location and post technique.

He demonstrates more than just technique. Fancher prides himself on being in the moment, connecting with people, and being creative. All with a relatively light gear kit and modest budget (although I do not believe he is cheap, he appears to being doing nicely for his business). All good skills and approach to location portraiture, in my opinion.

There is also professionalism, yet a desire to have fun. Fancher appears to have both going for him. All to the good, because as I often say, “If it’s not fun, why bother doing it?”

I like this book because it makes me feel not alone and in good company. In my general service area, I tell people that I do location portraiture and describe it a bit, and I’m sometimes met with quizzical looks. They get it, but have a hard time imagining non-studio portraits. Fancher shows you can do cool high-quality photography on-location and have a nice business in it, too.

As the photography landscape changes, I really think that location portraiture – such as what Fancher does – is not only modern but a big part of the future, too. Costs, relatively speaking, might be expected to come down in some aspects of commercial photography. Mobility and efficiency will be valued, as well. So will portraiture with contextual and conceptual elements.

While the dynamics of commercial photography could change, and probably will continue to do so, professionalism and healthy business practices will not go out of style among people worth working for. For this, Fancher has a good model to learn from.


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