INOVATOR Spotlight

Meet Two Dudes Photo

Two Dudes Photo is a full-service photography and video production company delivering premium experiences on location, anywhere in the world.

Two Dudes Photo

Instagram: @twodudesphoto

Facebook: @twodudesphoto

Two Dudes Photo are based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. They work all over the country (and sometimes out of it) and now they have both Dudes and Dudettes in most major metropolitan areas throughout the US.

Their specialty is delivering extremely high quality studio photography experiences on location. They started as a high-end photo booth company, but quickly expanded their services to offer more elaborate productions.

The headshot booth they offer is very popular at conferences and trade shows. This is a killer way to deliver nonstop traffic to their clients booth. On top of this, they’ve also developed all sorts of additional value adds, like custom data capture and instant digital delivery, all branded of course!

Most Memorable Work Moment

“Early on in our business, we received an offer from Microsoft to go on a roadshow for a product launch that spanned 13 cities over two weeks – and the offer came with just 10 days notice. At the time, we were comfortable moving gear 30 miles, but had never put it on an airplane, or dealt with teams leapfrogging each other from city to city. It was the ultimate trail by fire for us and we managed to pull it off.

Ever since that experience, we’ve constantly looked at how we can make location work higher quality, but easier on our teams. To that end, the INOVATIV workstation has been a game changer. It makes moving gear effortless and is able to go everywhere with us.”

Dream Job

“We tend to do a lot of events, and people are always amazed by the quality of the images they get…something we hear a lot is “It looks like a magazine cover!” We’re used to delivering magazine quality work to hundreds of people in a day, spending just seconds with each person. We work fast and try to deliver something amazing in the time we have – but there’s no edits, and not much room for experimenting. It would be lovely to work on some actual advertising projects, where we had a full production team and could actually spend time to get photos perfect.

My other answer to this is that I would love to move sandbags around for Art Streiber on a shoot. He’s amazing and is a photographer who is always working with multiple sets, multiple styles and producing outstanding (and fun!) portraits. That’s a guy who’s speaking our love language.” 

Motivation

“I think our company has grown because we never decided exactly what we were going to be, and we’ve created an environment where all our team members have a voice and the opportunity to try new things.

We started as a photo booth, and one day we were working at a winery when one of our team suggested losing the backdrop and using the Napa Valley as our background. That created a new product – the Anti-Booth.

Not long after that, someone else suggested that headshots might be a more universal appeal for corporate clients. And so our headshot product was born.

Pretty soon, we realized we weren’t satisfied with any of the image software sharing software products on the market so we built our own (www.simplephotoshare.com).

We are always in search of new ideas and new ways we can create value (and fun experiences!) for our clients, all while maintaining a standard of excellence – I think this is what keeps us motivated.”

Industry Advice

“Don’t fall into the trap of competing with other businesses. Set your business apart by having a unique identity – a story that makes you special.

INOVATIV Gear

“We have the Voyager EVO 36, which is a perfect size. It fits easily in a Prius, is manageable at the airport, and holds all our Pelican cases and gear.

Workstation Setup

“Our workstation serves two purposes – first as a pack mule to transport our entire studio to the set, and then as a workstation. Every gig is different, but we typically have a review monitor mounted using the Mantis Mount so that we can easily adjust the position for our guests to see the images while we shoot.

If we’re outside, we also take full advantage of the adjustable mast attachment to hang a floppy over the workstation to block the sun. We have the Voyager EVO 36 with the keyboard cutout, which makes for a much more ergonomic work environment.

During events, we setup a power strip on the lower shelf so we can keep batteries charing and run cords cleanly to the top tray. And last, but not least, I would remiss if I didn’t meantion the RoboCup that holds our Starbucks. That’s the real MVP, haha!”

Monitor Details

“We have as many as three monitors installed at any point – the exact specs differ, but we mostly use Dell 27 and 21.5” touch screen monitors (which have sadly been discontinued).

Our screens are used for:

  • Capture One Review screen – allows subjects to see their images as they are taken
  • Slideshow – runs a randomized slideshow (with interspersed client branding) that demonstrates the images we’ve taken that day. It does a great job of drawing people in, since they’re able to see the real product they’ll get if they give us just a few seconds of their time”

Travel Life With a Workstation

“When traveling, we end up using the INOVATIV workstation to get gear to and from the airport, to and from the taxi, to and from the hotel, and to and from the venue, so we are setting up and breaking down the cart constantly.

The simple design of the workstation never ceases to impress – in fact, we regularly have bellhops, Uber drivers, and baggage clerks stop to watch us assemble and disassemble the workstation. People take pictures, call over their colleagues to watch; it’s funny, but people really do appreciate the beauty and simplicity of well designed things.

My only request would be to make the wheel bags that are ever so slightly larger. The thing I spend more time with than anything is trying to get the spinning wheels into the perfectly sized bags. If they were just a teeny bit bigger, I could just plop the wheels in every time without needing to be so precise about getting them in.”

Power Supply

“We generally have 1-2 lines of power provided on set, and setup the lower shelf of our workstation as a power station. That said, we have been known to bring our own generator out into the middle of a field, and other times we’ve gone fully battery powered with nothing but a laptop, Profoto battery powered lights, a camera, and some iPads!

Favorite Workstation Component

“This one is a tie between the four pneumatic wheels and the collapsible design. The rest of our our cart fleet is Magliners. They’re great carts, but they’re not great on rough terrain (and they’re NOISY!) and they don’t break down efficiently.

With the pneumatic wheels, I can roll easily over any terrain in silence, usually just pulling the workstation with one hand, despite having hundreds of pounds of gear loading up.

And the collapsible design is simply genius. It’s so incredibly efficient and makes travel so much simpler.”

Workstation Saves The Day

“I recently took a redeye flight to an event in Atlanta. I was traveling by myself, but I was traveling with

  • Pelican 1620 for Monitors
  • Pelican 1620 for Dye Sub Printer
  • ThinkTank Camera/Light Bag
  • Pelican 1770 Rifle Case for Grip
  • Laptop bag
  • Luggage

It’s a lot to travel with, even for two people, and typically requires several Smarte Cartes. In most cases, I would have needed to make multiple trips to get a cart and then move everything, but this time I had my INOVATIV!

I assembled it next to my car, loaded up the gear, and headed to the United desk. While the agent was scanning my bags (media rate, of course!), I broke down the workstation and slipped on the travel bag.

It’s always stressful bringing that much gear to the airport – and I always anticipate that feeling of freedom I get when I’m only rolling my carry-on away from the check-in desk. The Voyager managed to make that trip (and all the others to come after) so much easier and more pleasant.”