Once I got the equipment out of the box, the entire kit took about 20-30 minutes to set up and break down. I'm expecting it'll be quicker once I've gotten used to it, but the kit's otherwise simple enough to handle. The backdrops are rather thin, but enough for my current needs. I'll need to be more aware of what's behind the muslin, and the sheets can be easily replaced by thicker material when necessary. The metal supports on the umbrellas are enough to keep the things open, but aren't very tolerant of, say, a klutz who knocks the stand over while setting up. (Nothing's broken, and everything's still useful, but... yeah, that bend wasn't there in the umbrella before.) The bag is sturdy enough for lugging things around, but it isn't padded - I've been using the muslins for that purpose. I'm keeping all the equipment boxes and plastic baggies to make sure things stay tidy, but if you wanted to, you could cut it down to just the containers for the light bulbs. Overall, pretty chuffed with this kit.
Stock up on extra drive components such as chains, switches, and weights, so you can quickly replace broken or missing parts. Be sure to keep plenty of spare clips, hooks, and brackets on hand so portrait backgrounds and video backdrops stay in place during shoots. Maintain clean and organized work spaces by storing paper rolls and mounting poles on wall-mounted and freestanding storage racks.
We had so much fun on Christmas with this backdrop and the accessories. We had an ugly Christmas sweater dinner and we took so many photos using this. It was like an ongoing photo session. The back drop is very sturdy and was put up for the next holiday season. I used a hot glue gun to attach the sticks to the props rather than using the tape strips that were included.
Even shooting on location you can achieve some background lighting magic. The sun moves around throughout the day — think east to west as well as dawn to dusk. Analyze what time of the day the sun will project the light on your subject at the desired angle. Note: Hard light (direct sun) will create darker shadows while diffused light (cloudy overcast) will create softer shadows.