Building a studio + posing subject questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jteknet, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    So I'm thinking about possibly starting a studio. My room is completely white so I think it's be fantastic as far as not having to worry about unwanted colors being cast on the subject. My question is, as an entry photographer what kind of lighting and backgrounds should I use as far as portrait photography? I want something pretty easy to shoot seeing as this is more for learning than an "pro" business like some of you do. I'm looking to not spend over $200. I'd like to just get a few umbrellas and maybe two or three backgrounds that will work well with any skin tone just so they have a choice and don't have to have one background in all the shots.

    Also as far as little miscellaneous things go, what should I have? I figure some of that cotton stuff (polyester maybe?) that you see when there are baby pictures? A little chair for toddlers to sit in? Give me some more ideas to have a FUNCTIONAL studio even if it's not at pro quality for that price range.

    As far as posing goes... any good tutorials or online resources I can utilize seeing as I don't want to take out of that budget for lighting and my few muslin backgrounds. I'd say the posing issue is the biggest. If you can't pose people, all the backgrounds and lighting in the world doesn't mean anything.

    Thanks for any advice in advance!
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First.. walls should be 18% grey.

    Second: http://strobist.blogspot.com

    Lastly: If you do not know these things already... I sincerely question your readiness to become a professional and open a studio... unless it was to be a pro in the same class that I just recently spoke of in my experience at a local Walmart just a couple days ago. You certainly have your knowledge backwards with the posing being the most important, thats for SURE.
     
  3. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Ah ha. I just got done laughing my ass off :)

    I read about your Wal Mart buddy. I promise, I'm not going to be a "pro" in that sense. And by studio... I just mean something to learn with. Don't take that word to literal. I want "a place to photograph friends and family" for cheap and cheap means only the pics they like.

    How do I have it backwards? If they aren't posed worth anything, the shot I take would be no different than a quick shot with a Sony Cybershot sitting on their couch. For portraiture, the whole point is to pose for the shot and look your best, meaning nice make up and posing, correct? Don't make me feel stupid, educate me. I came here to learn, I know I have a lot to learn. I certainly don't think just because I have a d80 and 4 gigs of memory cards to just use burst shooting and hope for one good shot that I'm a photographer. I wouldn't dare insult your intelligence. But help me out here, eh?

    And I'm not speaking specifically to you, it's not your job to teach me everything, but it'd be nice if everybody would chip in and help a little. At least I searched around and can't find anything or I'd not have bothered you with the posing issue.

    Thanks for your input though.
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Photo = light
    Graph = write

    Photography is writing with light. If you don't know how to light, then all the posing in the world won't save you.
     
  5. Happy Hour

    Happy Hour TPF Noob!

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    Wow!!! Don't be so offensive. Everyone here is extremely nice! I took your post the exact same way Jerry did. The way you worded it, it sounded like you want to pull your camera out of the box and be a pro. As far as your background goes. your local fabric store has a discount section. Thumb threw it and grab what you think would look cool 2 you. for $10-20 a pop you can get a wide variety of backdrops,for a ton of different applications. just make sure not to get anything glossy. And Jerry was right with the 18% Grey a all white room would be very bright & could backfire on your WB. as far as posing do a you tube search, you would be surprised whats on there.almost every issue i've had, there was a video on you tube that helped. I hope that helps you a little.
     
  6. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, I have been told I wear my heart on my sleeve at times. So I suppose that's the same as being offensive. I didn't mean to be. I'd just like posts like yours that get straight to the point and get me where I need to be going, but I suppose I don't have to be a blatant jerk about it like I was.



    Also, Digital Matt, any good books on lighting that you'd recommend? I've been reading Strobist a lot. Liked the tips on taking xmas lights right at sunset. Makes for some darn nice photos.

    Thanks JerryPH, for that link. I've had it for a few days now, it's a very nice resource.
     
  7. Happy Hour

    Happy Hour TPF Noob!

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    Understanding exposure Is a great book I just bought it.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Understanding exposure is fine, but it's not going to help you light a portrait.

    Master lighting guide for portrait photographers is a great book which gives you light setups and sample photos of all the classic lighting scenarios, which you should know before you set out to take portraits.

    http://www.amazon.com/Master-Lighti...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198673215&sr=8-1


    Here are a couple of websites you can check out also.

    http://www.studiolighting.net/
    http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/index.html
     
  10. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    jteknet,

    I'm not starting this to discredit you in any way because I don't have that right. I was just curious what is your mindset behind jumping right into a studio type situation? Have you been shooting portraits on location and is this your natural progression onto bigger and better things? The reason I ask is because for most of the photographers I know of worked themselves into the studio after sometimes spending years out in the field developing basic skills which include posing. The poses should be second nature by now in a photographers career especially if they're embarking on a studio. Some of these pieces of equipment cost hundreds of dollars and I just think you should not try to put your horse in front of your cart without thinking about it very seriously.

    I would concentrate on taking a quality portrait in the local park before you dropped cash on the studio. When you can post threads and not ask for posing help, then ask us how to set up a studio.

    Good luck to you!

    David
     
  11. jteknet

    jteknet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I suppose I'm no longer going toward the studio direction, and after reading all your posts, don't know why I was. Uneducated fools do funny things sometimes. Yes, I just took a stab at myself. haha

    But what are some good places? You mentioned the park as one... with the park, is that a place where you just need a speed light for fill flash? You aren't going to take umbrellas and such to a place like that, mostly because you have no power source, correct?

    Thanks for all the books and websites. I will be looking into them, if not today I will have them bookmarked in my photography folder shortly.


    Thanks to everybody who takes the time to get my head on straight when I start thinking crazy. :eek:)
     
  12. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    When I go to a location shoot I usually take very basic things. One is an on camera flash but I think you can use a built in flash just as well and I take a SB-800 on a simple light stand (or you can use a tripod). It's that easy [for now].

    I'd also go back through this forum and read a lot! There are very good, patient photographers that give out free advice that will greatly improve your overall imaging. I have recently read someone give another inquisitive young soul a great word of wisdom regarding location. She said that you can take great portraits on the side of a KFC if you apply yourself and be creative (whoever posted that pearl... thanks, I just can't give you the credit you deserve because I don't know which one of you posted it).

    Just simply shoot the crap out of your camera as much as you can. When you learn the rules (like rules of thirds for example and DOF and ISO etc) then you can learn how to creatively break them.

    I have only been here for a few months and I wish I had found this forum earlier. Take photos, ask questions, adopt a mentor or 2 (or 3 or 10!) from here and don't be defensive or unwilling to learn. Speak up for yourself if you feel someone is giving you information that you think is "personally" negative but make sure you can tell the difference between "personal" and "technical".

    Just have fun with it. This isn't a class you're getting graded on per say. You chose this and I (for what it matters) and others much better than me are witting to point you into the right direction.

    David
     

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