Fuji Film XT-3 – Architectural Photography Test – Ben Briones Studios

I recently rented the Fuji Film XT-3 because it’s a runner up on the list for my next camera purchase and I have been testing out all it’s features in different photography scenarios. I had already done studio photos with the camera, outdoor portraits and night photos so this time around I wanted to try architectural photography. Here are some shots from my test shoot around my work at South Texas College Pecan Campus in McAllen, Texas. Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9275Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9280Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9281Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9292Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9306Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9310

If you are interested i commercial architecture photography for your business please fill out the contact form below.

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Fuji Film XT3 – Beauty Dish Studio Test with Sara Yanez – Ben Briones Studios

Sara and I rented the Fuji Film XT3 to test it out because we are thinking of buying ourselves a pair. Our first test was with a one light setup with a beauty dish on a pink seamless. Everything was shot in JPEG and we did very minimal editing or none at all one some of the shots.

I had to adjust the camera setting a bit before we starting getting good results. I had to remove the eye piece live view because I wasn’t able to see the shot because high aperture kept the view dark. I was also having trouble with the focus. I couldn’t tell if the shots were in focus so I setup the eye autofocus to help me. The the last thing I adjusted was the touch screen so I can zoom into the shot and check the sharpness. Those were the only 3 things that I had issues at first before figuring out how to fix them. Great camera for studio photography. 2019-02-11_00012019-02-11_00022019-02-11_00032019-02-11_00042019-02-11_00052019-02-11_00062019-02-11_00072019-02-11_0008IMG_7926

If you want to donate to help me purchase this camera please fill out the form below.

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Pelican Cases = Successful Photographer

My Pelican 1510 loaded and ready for work. I’ve been using Pelican Products since 2011 and the products have been part of my success as a professional photographer.

I bought my first Pelican Case on Sunday, May 22, 2011 from B & H Photo and Video. I proudly purchased the Pelican 1654 Waterproof 1650 Case with padding and a lid organizer and it was the best purchase ever! Back then this setup cost me $338.94 but today something like this would cost you $463.31 from B & H Photo and Video. Sad to say I no longer own this model because I sold it to my cousin who’s a cinematographer.

Today I own three pelican case setups; Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case with padding and lid organizer (seen above), Pelican iM2620 Storm Trak Case with lid organizer and the Pelican 1560NF Case without foam.

If you have owed a Pelican case you know they are durable as hell and you can do so many things with them. Here are some of the ways I have used my Pelican cases:

  • Traditional photo gear storage and luggage
  • Photo Booth equipment and prop storage
  • iMac 27inch Travel Case
  • Clothing luggage travel for two people
  • Standing / Height stool (because it’s durable as hell)
  • Light Stand Weight

I am a big fan of Pelican and it’s has been an important piece of gear in my photography career that I hope to use until the end. If you have any questions about Pelican cases please feel free to contact me by filling out the form below.



Dimitra Hernandez – Flashpoint eVOLV 200 Daylight Test – McAllen, Texas

A few months back I tested  the eVOLV 200 in straight 12:00pm daylight with and without a diffuser to see if it can be used during high-noon and these are the results from that product test photo shoot. Special thanks to my coworker and friend Dimitra for modeling for this product test. I have also conducted an indoor studio style test with light that can be seen by clicking on this link –> https://benbriones.com/2019/01/10/flashpoint-evolv-200-studio-head-shot-test-ben-briones-studios 

Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-1Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-2Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-3Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-4Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-5Dimitra Hernandez_Flashpoint eVOLV 200 2PM Test_08.22.18-6

If you would like a photo shoot with our studio please fill out the contact form below.


Flashpoint eVOLV 200 – Studio Head Shot Test – Ben Briones Studios


A few months ago I tested the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 outdoor with these two cool kids and I loved how the photos came out. I have been recently looking for a smaller powerful light for my photography and the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 / Godox AD200 is a competitor for my money. Yes, I am probably like a billion years late with these lights but who cares.

Anyways, I was able to gather these guys again for another photo shoot but this time in my studio for head shots. I used a very small octabox, I believe it was a 18inch, and a YONGNUO YN560 for background light. To kill some shadows we used a small reflector under their face. Here are some of my favorite shots from the photo session testing out the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 in my studio. I am really, really thinking of getting this light but we will see. 2018-09-15_00012018-09-15_00032018-09-15_00022018-09-15_00042018-09-15_00072018-09-15_00052018-09-15_0006

If you are looking into getting professional head shot photos please fill out the contact form below.

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.