Gear Acquisition Syndrome is one of my downfalls, especially given the amount of stuff I have in relation to the square footage of my tiny home studio. I've wanted a sheet of glossy white tile board for quite some time but I have nowhere to store it and schlepping it elsewhere to shoot is a real challenge.
As luck would have it, I had a chat with headshot photographer Peter Hurley last week and, in passing, he mentioned his HurleyPro ProBoard. Although familiar with his work, I had no clue that he also had his own products. Over the years, I've come across some really interesting and useful products developed by photographers, so I headed over to his site to see what the ProBoard is all about.
The ProBoard measures 4 x 8 feet and, because it's flexible, it rolls up and fits neatly into a carry bag, making it super easy to store and transport. While there are no specs listed on the weight, it's a fairly thin material—watch out for sharp edges, Hurley cautions on his site and in the video below—but unroll it and you have a white or black background that can be curved to pick up some highlights or set up flat, attached with clamps and extended between two stands. Alternatively, lay it on the floor (with a couple of weights on the corners to help flatten it out) and you have an instant black or white floor cover.
One of the challenges of re-packing anything is that it never fits back the way it came, but Hurley came up with a clever idea to ensure that the ProBoard fits back into the bag. Just roll it up until you can fit the two velcro loops that are bundled with the board. And, as a bonus, you can fit light stands, a tripod or other similarly shaped/sized gear in the center of the board when it's rolled and packed into the case—a convenient and efficient method of transporting a lot of gear.
ProBoard is dual-sided and comes in white gloss/white semi-gloss, white matte/black semi-gloss and black matte/black semi-gloss. At $150, it costs a whole lot more than a $12 piece of tile board from your local Home Depot, but there's really no comparison. For convenience, portability and usefulness, ProBoard wins, hands down.
To see the ProBoard setup and breakdown, check out Hurley's video.
P.S. Hurley has a new book coming out July 25, published by Peachpit Press called The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits. Available in paper for $36, or watermarked e-Book for $29.