equipment needed for pro studio photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mattfoley, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. mattfoley
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    mattfoley New Member

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    I need to get a list together of essential equipment for taking professional grade portrait photos in a studio setting and possibly outdoors. so i need to know more than the basics. specific cameras that are suited for this? lighting equipment, lenses, filters etc? any help would be great. thanks all.
  2. EOS_JD
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    EOS_JD New Member

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    Matt I don't want to sound off but if you have to ask a question like this I'd say you need more than just the equipment.

    If perhaps you had asked what lighting is recommended then fair enough but to ask what camera, filters, lenses etc says to me that you have no idea what you are doing. My suggestion is start slowly.

    Buy a DSLR (any will do really although most prefer canon/Nikon) and practice before buying your lighting. Learn to read where the shadows fall - learn about ratios - learn about composition - and then when you are ready, then you can move into looking at studio lighting/flash.......Practice practice practice.

    There's lots of good info on the web.
  3. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    Hi Matt, just out of curiosity, why do you need to know?
  4. EOS_JD
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    EOS_JD New Member

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  5. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, that was a failed attempt at sarcasm. ;)

    Hey, he could have just forgotten to mention that he needed a photographer too! LOLOLOLOLOLOL
  6. Helen B
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    Helen B New Member

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    I know people who have done exactly what Matt wants to do - talented people who know their own capabilities, and know that they will put the effort into making a go of it. They have been willing and able to get a limited but adequate amount of good equipment from the start, and they have had pro photographer friends who are happy to help.

    Matt, if you want a reasonably well-considered, complete and appropriate answer to your question we need to know a little more about what you wish to do - what level you are pitching this operation at, the sort of work you want to do, whether or not you are confident enough to get the best from the start, and roughly what you are willing to spend.

    It's a matter of striking a balance between the amount of effort you would like others to make, and the amount of effort you make in helping them to direct their efforts appropriately. For example, you and I might have very different ideas of what a 'professional grade portrait' is. Could you give links to some examples on the web?

    Best,
    Helen
  7. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    If anyone is going to go into business then there is a thing known as 'Due Diligence' which should be performed. Finding out exactly which equipment is required is answered after one decides upon which business model to emulate. While studying the different models the tools and supplies generally needed will become apparent.
  8. mattfoley
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    mattfoley New Member

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    Thanks for the response. Your right, I don't know what I'm doing. I didn't want to go on with too many details in my first post. I will probably not be the one taking the photos from the start. We will hire someone to shoot using equipment that we buy (they are experienced, not pro, so they don't have much equip.) this will happen while i take a formal course, study and practice. If that goes well, and I enjoy it, I may take over.
    For now, I've been asked to come up with a list of equipment that could be needed for a studio portrait shoot, even if we are not sure it's absolutely neccesary. So the names or types of equipment & accessories would be helpful (types of lighting, lenses, backdrops...). recommendations on a decent DSLR camera as well..
    We can spend up to $10k.
    -cheers-
  9. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    OK, Matt, first thing decide which type of studio you want to have after your done. After that take the people that you believe will be working there and schedule an appointment with the best studio of that sort around- and do tell the owner what you are doing and do pay for his/her time. If it turns out that you need to drive 200 miles then do so.

    If you do this then you will see what you need to have and also see it in action (which is a real benefit). This will allow you to begin your physical acquisitions.

    Here is a book that you should read before doing anything else!..
    http://www.amazon.com/Best-Business-Practices-Photographers-Harrington/dp/1598633155

    Just as important as taking the photos is running the business so line up an accountant to design your book keeping and you will also need to begin to lay the ground work for your advertising approach. Do the ads quickly as there may be a time constraint (yellow pages for instance).

    OK, here is the hard part. Not only do you need $10k for equipment you will need at least that for startup costs- ads, rents, insurance, office supplies, oh and don't forget to pay whomever is doing the actual photography, computers, software, telephones...

    OK, I was a smart-alack but there is SO much more to this than just buying a camera and lights.

    Good luck,

    mike
  10. elsaspet
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    elsaspet New Member

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    Hi Matt,
    Yeah, it's a pretty broad subject. How pro is pro and how much moolah do you have to spend?
    To some people a hot light and and old sheet is enough to get the job done.
    Others would say no less than numerous painted backdrops, stages, props, and a high dollar five light system on rollers.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions. But I'll agree, they are easier to answer when we have as much information as you can give.

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