Hey studio gurus... what would you do (Help!)

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by jenncolang, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. jenncolang

    jenncolang TPF Noob!

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    Alright everyone, here is the deal..

    I volunteer very often at my favorite (<3) animal shelter doing their pictures... I got the idea in my head to start doing some killer photos of the long timers and putting them up on the wall to attract attention. Low and behold three cats that had been there for a year + went home in one week. So now we do it as often as possible.

    Now here's where I may have gotten in over my head. Their so impressed with my studio shots, and they were already in love with the pictures I'd been taking of the dogs....

    Will I do the annual Santa photo shoot?
    :confused:

    How the heck am I going to light a set with a Santa, an arm chair, and multiple animals? Plus possibly another person or two thrown in when the sweet fur babies don't cooperate. The room I'll be in is very long, but not very wide either... oi.

    I'm using a one light setup right now, just because that's what I like. I've used up to three... but ugh. I intend to practice this ahead of time, but I'm really concerned.

    So... what would you do?

    PS: here's one of my kitty photos ;) Sorry so small but I don't have anything to upload to right now
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jenncolang

    jenncolang TPF Noob!

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    Anybody? Should I try a different forum?
     
  3. budskiphotography

    budskiphotography TPF Noob!

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    do it, if they asked you then you know they are impressed with your work... plus you're never going to go anywhere without taking risks. be sure you watch the snap factory vids if you havnt... http://www.youtube.com/user/snapfactory?ob=1 its a great way to learn the basics, and gives good ideas.
     
  4. jenncolang

    jenncolang TPF Noob!

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    Thanks budski,

    I'm def going to do it. The shelter makes alot on donations from it. I'm just very nervous as to HOW to light it. I've never lit anything that large.... and now I'm throwing the chair and animals into the mix.. AHH!!

    I'm not sure if I should position some umbrellas, and I was thinking about trying to work in a boom, but then I don't remember I don't have one..

    Those videos look awesome! Thanks for the great link!
     
  5. budskiphotography

    budskiphotography TPF Noob!

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    A simple on light set up would be a light on one side, reflector on the other side to bounce light to fill and use natural light as a back light OR natural light on one side, refector on another and backlight it... the combos are endless.
     
  6. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    Wow there are alot of variables in this scenario. Is there natural light available in the room? What color are the walls? Is it wide enough and tall enough to set up effective lighting? How many angles of light will you need with the multiple subjects? Is there a better option, even if it means moving the shoot outside? Do you have the equipment to make sure you can finish the shoot(ie...camera failure)?
    My advice would be to make a few practice shots at the location using different setups and see what will work best with what you have.
    Working with the animals might turn into a long and frustrating project, but I appreciate what you are doing and your effort to find good homes for the animals.
    Good luck.
     
  7. jenncolang

    jenncolang TPF Noob!

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    Sigh... I know.. this is kind of why I'm pulling my hair out...

    Ah yes, I should have explained that also. The room is actually not too bad. There is no natural light what so ever. I cannot move the shoot outside, because 1. we can't risk the weather, and 2. I'm going to have to work with cats so I have to make sure noone can get lost. The walls are white, but we have giant dividers that I can put up to make sure there is no light bouncing off of the walls if I have a problem (they usually divide this room for offices, but break it down if I need them to). It is much longer than it is wide, I'd say forty by fifteen. I'm also going to do a black background so I don't need to worry about lighting that :)

    I'm going to watch those videos now so maybe I can make some decisions, though if someone else thinks of anything let me know... I'll post back and see if anyone can critique. Like I said, I usually just use a one light and reflector setup now, but that's without a chair, a Santa, and others involved.

    I am going to be renting the additional lighting I'll need, as well as doing a practice shoot. I also will have a backup camera in the (oh my gosh) instance of camera failure.

    Working with animals does tend to be very frustrating, but is my favorite. I do ask owners to bring animals that have been freshly exercised. Treats and noise distractions are always on hand for dogs... for cats well, it's mostly patience. They like to look everywhere but the camera.

    My intent is to have people walk awa with decent photos, not with phtoos that look like those Santa photos you can get at the petstore every year..
     
  8. budskiphotography

    budskiphotography TPF Noob!

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    remember K.I.S.S.
     
  9. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    One light might be just the thing here with the right technique. The walls should be black for sure and leave a lot of space between subject and background. Shooting telephoto might help also. Maybe use a large softbox and play with positioning to get it just right. It sounds like you have experience with animals and that is half the battle but lighting can be tricky and I recommend a lot of practice and study. Try strobist.com for some pretty good tips and good luck, sounds like a fun shoot.
     

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