Behind the Scenes: Matt Hanson for NormaTec


My BTS videos are always FREE, but be sure to enroll in the course for a one-time fee and get access to:

  • Gear List – see what I used to get the shot!
  • Image Gallery – see the final results of the BTS video!
  • Lighting Diagrams (PDF) – See EXACTLY how I lit, composed, and captured the images including light placements, modifier selections, and camera settings!
  • Pro Tips – Get exclusive insights from me on how I approach, light, compose, and capture my images.

Storytelling is at the heart of what we do as commercial photographers for a brand. In this instance, I was hired by NormaTec to work with Matt again and show him working out and translating that workout into the recovery aspect of his training with the NormaTec boots. We focused on cycling and running, and we decided to do the shoot in his hometown of Storm Lake, Iowa. So, the other part of the story was capturing some of the places and spaces that he trains in: the Iowa landscape and his “pain cave” in his garage. And, finally, introducing the product where it fits into the story: after the workout. In order to create continuity, we had Matt run and recover in the same clothes as well as cycle and recover in the same clothes. We tried to get a mix of both outdoor and indoor shots to create some variety, and all of these photos were done with the (at the time) new Profoto B2 lights. This was my first time using these little lights and I was thoroughly impressed with their portability and power output for being such compact lights.

For the outdoor shots, I utilized a one light setup paired with an early morning sun with a pretty decent cloud cover. Without the lights, it would have made for a flat feel in the photos, so I essentially used the lights to make it look like a cloudy day with some sun peeking out and creating a little more contrast in the images. This can be a fantastic way to take a really flat, dreary looking day and insert some drama.

The shots in the pain cave were a lit with two or three lights at a time because we were dealing with less available light overall and I needed to be able to light the environment as well as the subject. You can check the Lighting Diagrams and Pro Tips included in this course to see how I created these lighting setups and how each light worked to create the overall feel of the image.

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