Help with a backdrop & lighting - Early Christmas Question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by roxysmom, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. roxysmom

    roxysmom TPF Noob!

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    I know this is early but I am wanting to put together a Christmas backdrop set in my basement to do holiday photos. I thought I could get an idea of what I needed, start thinking of what prices to charge then create flyers, e-mails, ect. to generate business.

    Anyone have any recommendations on what I would need? Where the best places are to buy, and even where to get props?

    Right now I don't own anything related to lighting or a backdrop. I just have the camera, flash and tripod. So I have a lot to get!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What's your budget?
     
  3. roxysmom

    roxysmom TPF Noob!

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    I would like to keep it under $500.00.

    I saw a lighting/backdrop kit at a local photo store for $500.00 but I don't know if that's a good price or not. I also wanted professional opinions on what I should be looking for in a kit to make sure I'm not getting told a line of crap from the sales associate!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A whole kit for $500....probably not something I would recommend. And if that's all you have to spend, you may need to get pretty creative.

    Firstly, do you want flash/strobe or constant lighting? I would highly recommend flash/strobe for shooting people. It probably cost for for the initial investment but it will make things a lot easier for you.

    With flash lighting, you could go with studio units or portable 'flash units'. There are pros and cons to each, but if you are going to be shooting solely in your 'studio', then the studio lights may be the best bet...but on a tight budget, you are probably better off with cheap flash units that cheap studio lights.
    Check out these kits. MPEX Strobist Kits

    For studio lighting, there are plenty of cheap kits to be found on-line. I'm not sure how well each of them works, but many of the ones I've seen, are not something that I would invest in because you would probably end up replacing them sooner or later.
    Check out AlienBee lights. They are 'entry level' studio lights but I know plenty of pros who use them.

    You could buy a backdrop stand for around $100, but you could easily make something that is adequate for less...especially if this is just going to be in your basement. Heck, you could even tack the backdrops right to your wall/ceiling etc. As for the backdrop itself, you could use sheets of fabric (bed sheets) for a cheap option, or just Google backdrops, there are plenty of sites and plenty of options. Of course, they range from rather cheap to really, really expensive. Same deal with props. If you can get creative, you can do things very cheaply. If you want to buy props from a photography supply store, you will pay a lot.
     

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