Book Festivals can be quite chaotic with lots going on all at the same time in various locations. No time for studio photography with complicated lighting.
So sometimes its best to keep it simple and find good spaces with great natural light. Being centred around Christchurch College means The Oxford Literary Festival has many great rooms, corners and archways to shoot, especially if the sun shines. And when required you can slip in a white or gold Lastolite Reflector to help lift the shadows.
Also using just one camera and one lens you can operate efficiently without being weighed down by excess equipment or baggage. My camera of choice was the Nikon D800 which has great tonal range and resolution at even high ASA if the light fades. My lens was a Nikon 85mm f1.8 g with which you can get close in for a tight portrait and then move back to a variety of compositions. It really is the perfect focal length for this kind of work. And being a f/1.8 lens its easy to control the depth of field . The only other two pieces of equipment needed are a Sekonic light meter for exposure and a small grey card carried in the back pocket to get the perfect colours with the post production of the Raw images. The Raw processor of choice is as always Phase One Capture One Pro.
To see more or my portraits at the Festival go to my Archival Site