Outdoor Test – Flashpoint eVOLV 200 – Edinburg, Texas

Tuesday night I tested out the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 with some friends at the Edinburg City Hall building downtown Edinburg, Texas. I rented the eVOLV 200 and PIXARPO 26in Collapsable Beauty Dish from a friend. The light was mounted on my Manfrotto Combi Boom Stand that was handled by my awesome friend and fellow photographer Lourdes Paz.

I only have this gear for a day or two so I needed to find some models to help. I sent out like 15 messages to friends and photographers and Audrie, a local videographer and YouTuber was the only one who replied and was willing to do it. Ms. Audrie Barrera and her partner Fern showed up and was ready to go. You can view Audrie’s show on YouTube and can be found at theaudreyshow.


My goal is to purchase a new smaller compact light that packs some power and the new Flashpoint eVOLV 200 / Godox AD200 are the latest thing to hit the market that fit those specs. I rented one from a local photographer because I really wanted to test it out before purchasing one. I currently shoot most of my studio work and wedding photography with my AlienBee B800 Flash Unit by C. Paul Buff but I am in the marketing for something new.


We shot around 8pm-9pm, there was very low light and the sun was pretty much gone, but there was beautiful ambient light so I already had a hunch that it would do well. The light has been out for a while not and it seems that everyone and their mother owns this light, especially all the Sony shooters. Nothing against Sony, I’m actually buying one soon, but they seem to be the super duo.

I have also notice those who usually shoot with eVOLV / AD200 are typically High-Speed Sync Shooters. HSS photos are those shots where the photographer takes the model / client to a beautiful location but shoots so open they blur the background and only the subject is in focus. Not my thing but that technique is useful sometimes. On to the review.

I like the amount of power this little thing packs as well as the minimal power you can set it to. Most of the photos below were shot with the light at 32, 64 or 128. I shot with high ISO’s because that’s my style. I did a little of HSS but mostly kept the shutter at 125. Oh I didn’t mention that I was using my Canon 6D with a Canon 85mm 1.8 and Tamron SP AF 28‑75mm. I don’t shoot with fancy high-end gear, I am still using the same camera I have had since 2012. The creative mind is the most important gear in my bag.

Another feature I love about the eVOLV 200 is that it’s light. Logging around an AlienBee plugged into a Vagabond Mini on a boom stand gets tiring, you got chords galore hanging and getting tangled up, and it’s just not as portable as it once was. The eVOLV only weighs about 1LB where the AlienBee weighs over 3LBs.

Lastly I took liking to the variety of accessories the eVOLV 200 / AD200 have available. I used the PIXARPO 26in Collapsable Beauty Dish ,which was super easy to setup The bracket the light sits in is super simple to use as well. I am looking forward to trying out the light bare bulb and the barn doors in bright daylight. Here are my favorite shots from last nights photo shoot with the eVOLV 200.


If you are interested in being a model for the next equipment tryout please fill out the contact form below.


New Video Tripod for Rent – McAllen, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

A week ago I received my newest addition to our video production equipment collection, the V3AH Video Tripod by 3Pod. The V3AH Anodized Aluminum Video Tripod has a 2-way Fluid Head and Quick-Release Plate, which makes it easier to swiftly move your camera from rig to rig.

The Tripod is super light as well weighing in at 9.2lbs for a sturdy tripod. It can hold up to 14.5lbs. This Tripod is for the traveling videographer or photographer doing small or medium commercial projects.

If you are interested in trying out this item mention this blog and get $5.00 OFF the 1 Day Rental.

If you’re interested in renting this item please fill out the contact form below.

Tric is the World’s First Professional Flash Trigger for iPhones

Tric is the World’s First Professional Flash Trigger for iPhones.

This blog is for all the iphonetography enthusiast. Have you ever seen the perfect shot that to your eye is beautifully lit and framed but when you when you finally take out your iPhone to capture the image you cannot document what your eyes sees? This happens to me all the time. We probably still end up shooting the image anyways and then taking it into an app like Snapseed or VSCOcam to edit the heck out of it to try to get it close to what the eye saw.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Shot with iPhone5 and Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Could you image in we could add our own lighting to these iPhone photos? How much better will your shot be? A lot of great photography is spontaneous and in the moment but now there are a lot of times when you do pose a subject because you just see a shot but yet again the lighting is out of your control. Well a few weeks back I was going through this super awesome photography concentrated website called Petapixel and found an article on a new product app combination photography iPhonetography enthusiast. Check out the video!

Isn’t that awesome? Could you imagine how much fun and convenient this product will be for us who just love taking photos with our iPhones? I love taking random portraits of my friends and sometime strangers and I think this app Tric would really super helpful in really capturing the image you see with the eye because now we will be able to control the lighting. For the seasoned professional this app could take their photography to the next level. Journalist would be able to provide quicker images, wedding photographers could upload images immediately instead of waiting to go home and backup the files to a computer with wifi and ultimately this can be a fun tool to have in your camera bag for any iPhotography enthusiast.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

New Photo Gear On The Spectrum! – Ben Briones Studios


When you are running a full-time photography business, the main goal is to stay on top of all your work and make income. The myth that better gear will make you more money is somewhat true, but only if the gear you are investing in will make your business more effective, efficient, and productive and ultimately lowering your overhead.

Lately there has been a huge increase in new cool trendy photography products. A lot of them have been making their debut via www.kickstarter.com. For those who don’t know what Kickstart is here is a quick summary; Kickstarter is a company that helps people with projects or prototype inventions obtain crowdfunding to help them finance their projects and ideas.

The three products that I am featuring today are some Kickstarter campaigns I have kept my eye on for quite some time now. Why, because it’s my personal belief that these products are solutions to some issues and struggles I and many professional photographers face these days. The Tekniq Camera Bag for starters would completely solve the whole multiple camera bag dilemma we all have. Super pros like Chase Jarvis can afford to have multiple pre-packed gear packs ready for any type of job, but us little guys struggle with choosing to take our backpack or Pelican case to a small wedding. We are constantly having to change out gear from one carrying case to another. I currently own about four different camera gear casings that are not even close to being compatible with each other like the Tekniq Camera Bag. Over the seven years I have been in business, I have acquired a lot of gear so I don’t think one of these cases will fully solve that issue but I think purchasing one or two can really help me be more effective, efficient, and productive. Check out the Tekniq Camera Bag, it might be something beneficial for you!

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KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1455836023/tekniq-a-modular-camera-bag-3-bags-in-1

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/tekniqphoto


The Beast Grip Pro got me real excited when I first found this kickstarter campaign. I am a huge advocate of using your smart phone for projects and jobs if the situation requires it. At my last job, I created a small testimonial-promo video using my iPhone 5. Check it out here: 2015 Subaru BRZ Purchase. Right after filming that little promo I regretting not getting one of these sooner. The Beast Grip Pro will take your smart phonetography to the next level.

Chase Jarvis called it when he began working on his book The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You: iPhone Photography. Today Apple has build their latest campaign for the iPhone 6 based off the image quality of the camera of their device.

You might be asking how will this product help me be more effective, efficient, and productive in my photography business? Well, for starters the The Beast Grip pro is so versitle you can interchange lenses from both Nikon and Canon. There are plenty of additional add-on widgets that allow you modify your setup for both professional video and photography. This product can hep you do quick video blogs, behind the scene captures, quick on-the-go interviews all without having the bulk and struggle of your “pro” gear. We may not take this type of setup to a professional job as our main shooting unit, but it will definitely be a plus to your production and marketing for your business and for that very reason is why I will be getting a Beast Grip Pro.

beast grip pro

KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/107650693/beastgrip-pro-the-worlds-best-camera-rig-for-smart/video_share

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Beastgrip

WEBSITE: http://beastgrip.com

I have so many good things to say about this product and it’s potential to make our lives easier as professional photographers. The Panlight is definitely a time issue solving solution, especially for us who use off-camera strobe lighting. This beauty allows your to remotely control the direction of your light via remote control. That function alone can come in handy at big events like weddings and catwalk fashion shows. The struggle to raise your light to a high point on your light stand and only to find out the direction of the light is not where you want it to be falling.

The Panlight can also remotely control a camera, which is extremely helpful for videographers and commercial photographers. Definitely an effective, efficient and productive product for both professional photographers and videographers.


KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1691789323/panlight-remote-direction-control-for-flash-and-ca?ref=category

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/panlight

WEBSITE: http://www.panlight.com


Photographers if you have a new gadget that you would like to share and talk about fill out the contact form below so I can feature it.

Ben Briones Studios Equipment List

mcallen wedding photographer ben briones ben briones studios

One of the first things beginners always ask industry professionals is what equipment they are using. I know when I started off it was it was a question I would always ask.

Now I am not a gear-head nor do I care to have the latest gadgets in photography. I do not want to break the bank. In my opinion, an artist creates with what he is given.

The most common misconception in the photography industry is that the equipment makes the photographer better. My advice to any aspiring photographer looking to make a living off the trade is to stick to the equipment they begin with for 2-4 years at least before switching out or upgrading. The reason I say this and many industry leaders agree is because you must master your equipment and not let it control you.

I have owned my equipment for more than 7-years. The newest piece of equipment I own is probably my Canon 6D purchased in January 2013 and my travel light stand. The rest of the items I have had for 5-years or more.

Today you will get to see all the equipment I use;

CAMERAS: Canon 5D and Canon 6D

LENSES: Canon 25-35mm f/3.5, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 40mm f/2.8 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

LIGHTING: Canon Flash 430ex II, Canon Flash 380ex, Alienbee 800

TRIGGERS: Pocket Wizard Plus II Transceiver and Cowboy Studio Wireless Triggers

LIGHT STANDS: Manfrotto 420B 3- Section Combi- Boom Stand and ProMaster LS-CT Compact Travel Light Stand

If you would like to play around with any of the equipment listed here or try out anything else from my arsenal, then feel free to fill out the rental form below. 

My Breakup Letter To Pictage.com



Dear Pictage,

It is time to end our two-year relationship. There was a time when I really needed you but things have changed. When we first started our relationship I was super excited about you and all your qualities. What attracted me wasn’t only how innovative you were but also the free album building services, your very low credit card transaction rate of 1.5% and the great email marketing you offered my clients. But I was young and you were too — we grow, change, we also want different things and have new individual goals. I remember how extremely proud I was of having a pro-membership with you; I would tell everyone about you!

You know I always wanted to purchase canvas prints from you, but the prices were always too expensive. Now I get my canvas prints from someone else and the price difference is phenomenal. One of the main things that frustrated me about you was the difficulty of purchasing a digital download. My clients could not just download a full set of images straight from their galleries. The point that you were still offering CDs for $40+ was ridiculous in this era of the digital download.

It is obvious now that things are rocky between us and enough for me to downgrade to a starter account. My clients and I are demanding something you can’t offer and I have to look out for them myself. With its few ups and downs I can’t say I didn’t enjoy having you in my life — but it’s time to move on. Sincerely, Ben Briones.

To find out what Ben Briones Studios is using now for print products, canvases, and digital downloads. Please fill out the contact form below.

Printing in the 956.

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When I started shooting paid jobs back in 2007, I would make my prints at Walmart or Walgreen’s. Basically, any place that would develop my FujiColor X-TRA 800 ISO film. Yes, this young, handsome photographer began his career shooting 35mm film. I’ll share about about my film days in a future blog, but for now let’s get back something that will benefit you.
You can probably guess what local photo lab I’m going to suggest to you by the giant screenshot at the top of the post — but let me tell you why it’s the best option for you and your business.

First, the pricing they offer on their prints and enlargements are extremely affordable. You can easily turn a profit with a good mark-up on your print sale prices. I currently use Costco’s 4×6 luster prints for flyers or advertising material.

Second, Costco is quick, even with on-site orders. I usually make all print orders online via their Costco Photo Center Website and pick then up next day.
There have been some instances when I have taken a USB to print from their kiosks and the waiting period is less than an hour. I’ll place my order, then go get myself a slice of pizza and before you’re even done with your slice of pizza your prints are ready. I’ll give you a great example on how Costco has saved my butt. Last November I had a client who last minute chose to add an engagement session to their wedding packages. My engagement sessions come with a 16×24 Print. Usually you would do an engagement session six months in advance but in this situation, we shot it on the same month of the wedding. At the time I was a Pro-member with Pictage.com so they had free overnight shipping so, I wasn’t too worried about ordering my print from my usual lab located in California. We scheduled the session and completed it, we went through the image selection process and it was done. I placed an overnight order via Pictage five days before the wedding day thinking it would be in just before the wedding. Well, guess what? — it wasn’t. I went with plan B, which was making a poster print from Costco. So the night before the wedding I placed the order and went to pick it up hours before the wedding. Since it was a poster print on matte it was able to stand alone on easel. I let my clients know about the situation, and since my clients are paying for premium product I still gave them the original high quality print from Pictage.

Third, they make some legit canvas prints. Although Costco’s canvas don’t compare to canvases from White House Custom Colour or CG Pro Prints in quality, they are sufficient for the starting photographer or clients ordering themselves a canvas after purchasing the digital file printing rights. I currently have a Costco’s 11×14 canvas hanging in my office which I use to show my clients if they want to make a canvas print locally. Costco would be their best bet for a good quality print. I recommend Costco’s photo lab to my clients looking to make extra prints aside from the print orders they have from my professional lab.

Look into the site more, and if you feel Costco can be beneficial to your business sign up for their membership here. You can only order prints from this whole-sale store with membership. If you have any other questions about ordering prints locally, please feel free to contact me and I will answer any questions.

5 reason’s why PASS is better than CD’s or USB’s.


Presentation is everything, is what used to be the model. We used to present our clients images on CD’s with elegant cases or custom USBs – but that’s a thing of the past. Customer’s demands have changed, in today’s fast moving technological world speed is expected on all product delivery. PASS, a photo sharing gallery for clients, has become the photo industry’s new best friend.

Here are the top 5 reasons why we use PASS.

1. PASS galleries are elegant and a great way to present high resolution images to your clients.

2. PASS stores your clients images up to one year on a cloud.

3. Your client can download their images from PASS on to any device. (Apple, Windows and Android)

4. The client can also order prints in the sizes 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 directly from their PASS gallery.

5. Now the best part of PASS is the organic marketing it offers to our brand. Your client will share that gallery with friends and family and your brand will be shared as well.

If you’d like do find out more about PASS please visit http://pass.us/