I shot an afternoon of Karate students at a local dojo and it was pretty interesting. I did the classic white background with dual Alien Bee 1600s with one umbrella and one softbox. I used an old trick of putting gaffers tape on the spot for the talent ( students) to place their feet. That mark made it easy for everyone to get where they needed to be quickly. I ended shooting over 40 students that afternoon. I used Square as my credit card processing and I had made up a demo package of the different types of prints available to the parents.
The toughest sessions were the white on white. Using a flash meter was invaluable in nailing the exposure for the subjects while letting the white background fall a bit to grey for a touch of contrast.
Depth of Field was critical to keep all of the subject in focus given some of the angles we were shooting at. F8 was the min F stop I used with my 24-70 Nikon lens and D700 body.
I worked with the instructors and leaders to get good proper poses that really could show off the students and have a high impact look. One of the options I had offered was a “magazine cover” so getting a good pose that would fit into the magazine was critical.
The breaking of boards is always a parent favorite and the students too. So we had a supply of boards and let them have at it. The flash was able to stop the motion for a clean action shot.