Studio Street Portraits From Two Hundred Feet Away

Photographers are usually trying to get closer to their subjects, be that in the wild or on the street. The photographers of MUMUȘ Photo Hub in Bucharest, Romania, however, decided to take a step back … actually quite a few steps back.

For a recent day of photography, they decided to take their studio outdoors (not a new idea) while leaving their photographer behind (quite a bit more original). Moving their lights and backdrop into a crowded area a short way away from their studio, they set up using walkie talkies and then had their photographer take street portraits from a distance.



Brave volunteers would stand in front of the backdrop and pose for the spec with a camera 200 feet away and 5 stories up that was actually taking their picture.

The final photos turned out pretty well, but it’s the idea that ultimately won us over. We could see how taking the camera and putting it that far away might help camera-shy subject loosen up a bit, yielding more ‘real’ and ‘honest’ results.

(via ISO 1200)

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Hey guys, thank you so much for sharing our video!

  • michaelp42

    Just because something can be done, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. Am I missing the point here?

  • Sean McCann

    I like it.

  • Rob Dunlop

    Love it. In terms of compression, there must be a point at which further subject distance is making no discernible difference. I imagine if you halved the distance with same FOV the results would look much the same.

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Michael, in part the point was to make the public aware of where our studio was located. But primarily, we had the idea of shooting studio portraits from an unusual distance and we said to ourselves “why the hell not?” If anything, we learned from the experience and that’s valuable for us.

  • gabe sturdevant

    Well from the half second display of what the resulting photos look like, I would say they are underexposed.

  • Fob

    Yeah, you are.

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Gabe, the exposure was fine, and shooting raw files gives you room to play with the numbers. However, one issue we had was that we underestimated the distance (go figure! hehe), so we had to crop a bit too much. We used a 400mm on a Canon 30D, we should have gone like 600mm.

  • David Liang

    IMO Great marketing and promotional effort. Creatively? Not so much. Focal length, angle, lighting….not conducive to a great photo.

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    David, as I said before, we did have some misscalculated variables that made the shots we took less than what we wanted them to be; nevertheless, it was something we really wanted to try and we learned how to do it better next time. Trial and error my friend :)

  • michaelp42

    Fair points!

  • 9inchnail

    Why didn’t you tell the crew to come a little closer? I mean, you saw that you would have to crop a lot of photo after the first shot, didn’t you? There’s a lot of free space, they could have moved a couple of feet closer which would have given you a different angle but should have worked just as well.

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    We tried every position in every direction. In order to do a tight face portrait we would have had to bring the model at least half the distance closer (80-90 feet away). By that point, the shot would have been at a 45 degree angle, which would have been no good. Keep in mind that the spot we picked is a little higher than the ground floor of our building — this lowered our angle from about 25 degrees to about 15 degrees.

  • Bob

    Cudos as a promo for the studio, but very poorly executed.

  • Raaj

    Romania hey? Take it you will be setting up shop in the UK next year?

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    We took a lot of notes from the exercise, the next one will be top notch! :)

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Hehe we’ll see how it goes. But glad to see there’s interest!

  • Gabe

    I see no creativity there. That was the point of such kind of shooting? It was only for fun?

  • Rick Bennett

    To all the haters–shut up and shoot. And take video. And process it. And post it. And then behave like the gracious MUMUS Photo Hub, rather than being the arrogant asshats you are.

    MUMUȘ Photo Hub, great publicity idea, and probably good fun for the crew. I hope you got some additional business.

  • Dean W. Thompson

    I haven’t watch the video yet (listening to a podcast, ya’ll), but how about Lens compression, perspective, or even just to create a natural smile when they realize where the photographer is?

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Thanks Rick! Yes, we got a few new clients from the publicity, but we also got approached by some guys who saw the video and had their own wild ideas. Needless to say, we began brewing toghether a new mischief :)

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    We believe creativity is not just meddling with camera and flash settings or light angles and power, but also looking at the bigger picture of what you are doing and trying to do it a little different than how it’s been done before.

  • Alex Topirceanu

    bravo baieti

    nu oricine ar avea curajul sa incerce asta

  • MUMUȘ Photo Hub

    Mulțumim Alex!

  • J.R. Clubb

    The images weren’t really worth all the effort but a great promotional tactic.