What's the Advantage of Having Studio Setups Logged In Your Metadata?

Imagine you can open up Lightroom and browse through the lighting setup (a graphic from top down) that shows you what you did during your shoot, where each photo has its lights, and the setup of these lights, all embedded. Would that be beneficial?

I love going through images I’ve shot in the past, checking what lens I used and what the shutter speed was. I also check what the camera’s sensor did with regards to noise and how equipped Adobe’s raw module was to reduce it. But what if the metadata of the lights I used could also be embedded or logged in some way?

Imagine if your lights could log the location of each light, the direction it was fired, the modifier used and at what vertical angle it was placed at, as well as where the camera was when fired. This might not be possible now, but there surely is a benefit in having this data available, shareable, and embedded. The trigger on the camera can show you camera’s position and direction of the shoot, and it can then link to and share locations of all the lights in your overall setup. If the modifier going onto the front of the light can be recognized by the light like a camera recognizes a lens, it can be logged.

For the Educators

If you’re a teacher, showing a class or teaching remotely, having this data and showcasing it with a graphic can be very beneficial. This way, the learners can set up their studio in exactly the same way.

For Photographers

It can give you a much smoother workflow. And from a business standpoint, these light setups can be something you sell if you think learners would want it.

For Large Brands

I can also imagine a brand deciding on a specific look they want and then sharing the light setup metadata across the globe to all their media production teams, telling them to use this specific setup when shooting the products.

For Light Companies

If you want to build an ecosystem, this can be the way to do just that. You can create brand loyalty this way, where it’s only possible to capture the metadata in this way if the lights, trigger, and modifiers are all recognized to be of a specific brand.

I imagine companies like Profoto can definitely do it, but the question is whether it gives them any lucrative advantage. Will it cause photographers to buy their lights? I’m not too sure, but I know it’s a huge time-saver if I can give my assistant the setup I want by sharing the metadata of a previous shoot and for them to do it exactly in that way.

Think AirTags and the Find My App When It’s Time to Get the Studio Ready

It can work like Apple’s AirTags on the Find My app, where the assistant can move the lights around and have a phone pinging to tell them if they’ve got the spot and have the light pointing in the right direction. They can do it for each light. This can also be the case for the vertical angle the lights need to have, with the app pinging when it hits the correct spot.

Imagine being able to save a setup on the phone so you could use it next time.


This is merely an idea, and I get that it’s not an easy thing to do. But, nothing worthwhile is easy., and it only takes one company to do it to get the critical first-adopter’s advantage, giving their clients bragging rights and a smoother workflow.

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Emmanuel Vivier's picture

Great idea and not that far from https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/584896-REG/Profoto_901034_Air_USB... (the profoto usb stick has been discontinued)

Heiko Kanzler's picture

If you plan your shots ahead (especially if you're thinking about teaching and larger production), you can use the setups from applications like set.a.light3D (a virtual / 3D studio simulation software) and perhaps embedd / attach the setplan image to your session. However, I like the idea of exporting / attaching the data of a set plan to the image...