How much are we talkin?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by BMK71, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. BMK71

    BMK71 TPF Noob!

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    Photography has always been my hobby and I'm ready to take a leap. I've always been complimented and encouraged for my personal candids. I'm tired of working full-time in a profession (accounting) that does not interest me in the least. I'm also pregnant with my 3rd baby and will not leave this child in day care as I have with my 2 year old. If I had the money to invest in equipment, resources, etc., roughly, how much would I need to start out. I'm in the very preliminary stages of planning this, but I'm a doer and when I set my mind to something, it's ON! :) Any info, advice is greatly appreciated. I'd love some solid mentoring. ;)

    Thanks!
    Bridgette
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    What do you plan to shoot?
     
  3. BMK71

    BMK71 TPF Noob!

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    Portraits...Primarily children, families. I've taken my children to a woman who does what I want to do and after seeing (and paying an arm and a leg!) what she does, I know I can do it just as well, if not better.;)
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    You are going to have to give us more info that that. Start out doing what exactly? Shooting kids portraits? High School Seniors? Weddings? Pets?
    Are you talking about setting up a studio? Working in people's homes (portable studio)?

    Do you want to work with film or digital? Do you have a computer that is suitable for editing large image files? Do you have image editing software, and do you know how to use such software? Do you realize how much post processing work is involved?

    Do you want to make prints yourself, or use a lab?

    As with any business...there are many factors. You must be competent in your field but knowing how to run a business is just as or more important. Knowing how to market yourself and deal with people is probably top of the list.
     
  5. BMK71

    BMK71 TPF Noob!

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    1) Family, Children, Senior Photo shots, for now.
    2)I want to set up shop in my home - I will of course do outdoor shots
    3)I work with Digital and would use a lab for my prints
    4)I presently use Adobe PS, but only in a limited capacity. I'm a quick learner though and have just not taken the opportunity to really utilize the software yet. I've not really had a reason to use it extensively, other than for simple cropping, brightness, red-eye fixes, etc. on my own candid shots.
    5)My computer can do the job.
    6)How much time is involved? That's why I'm here;)
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    OK, now we have the ball rolling :D

    What do you have currently?

    Lets start with a camera/lens. I would recommend that you use a Digital SLR camera. You don't necessarily need a pro level model, the entry and mid level models are quite capable but you will want a good quality lens. You can get a good DSLR for less than $1000 (maybe closer to $600) for an entry level model. For a lens, there are many options...for a zoom lens, I suggest something with a maximum aperture of F2.8...they start around $500 and go up from there. You can go with prime (non-zoom) lenses and probably get more image quality for your dollar...but being able to zoom may be very handy, especially when shooting small kids.

    You can do many things with just a camera and lens...but for setting up a studio and even for shooting outdoors...you may need lighting. Some people prefer to use only natural light...but this can be limiting and also can be hard when shooting kids who won't sit still. In a studio setting, you will really want to have your light off of the camera. You can choose between continuous 'hot' lights and strobe 'flash' lights. I really suggest strobe or flash lighting.

    Again, there are different ways you can go. You could use hot-shoe flashes...which can be used on the camera. With some accesories or multiple units, they can also be used off camera. They don't have a lot of power but they run on batteries which is good for portability.
    Alternatively, you can go with studio style lights. They are more powerful than hot-shoe flashes but then need to be plugged into something for power.

    The range of prices is very wide here. Hot-shoe flashes can be very cheap for simple models and up to $500 each for top of the line dedicated models. Studio lights are not cheap either. Check www.alienbees.com for some good lights at good prices.

    Again, there are different ways to go. One light may be enough, if you know how to work with it. Or you could get several lights and have more options. You also need the stands and modifiers (soft boxs, umbrellas etc.). I would think that a set of lights for a starting home studio might cost you $1600-$2000.

    You might also need/want a flash meter ($200+) and a background system. A basic background stand is about $100 and then you can go with seamless paper rolls or fabric backgrounds...prices will vary.

    I'm sure I'm not making a comprehensive list here...just going off the top of my head. As you can see...there are many ways to go about this. It can be very simple or complex.
     
  7. BMK71

    BMK71 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a ton! That's alot of information! I'm actually trying to figure out what camera to purchase. I'm getting alot of positive feedback from people about the Nokia D50. I've been using point and shoot for my basic needs - I did use a Minolta Dimage briefly - it was refurbished and ended up being useless. I would really like to find someone locally to mentor me, but of course that's hard to do without that person feeling like they're creating competition for themselves. I have plenty of time to figure this all out. I'm not going to just quit my job and make a run for it, that would be too risky. I know that this can be done, but I want to have myself well informed before I make and big initial decisions.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    I'm sure you mean the Nikon D50...not Nokia, but that's OK :lol:

    Yes, the Nikon D50 is a good, entry level DSLR. It has been discontinued though...and replaced with the D40 and D40X. Nikon's next model up is the D80 and then the D200 & D2X respectively.

    Canon has the Rebel XTi as their entry DSLR, followed by the 30D. Next is the 5D, which is special because it has a 'full frame' sensor. Probably the best image quality of all the cameras mentioned so far...but it's not cheap. After that are the 1 series camera, meant for real pro use...and they are very expensive.

    Pentax has a couple of good cameras. The K100D and the K10D.
    Sony bought out Minolta's camera section and has the A100 Alpha.

    Canon & Nikon are the leaders in this field and probably have the best & biggest selection of lenses...but the other brands are not to be discounted.
     
  9. BMK71

    BMK71 TPF Noob!

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    Nokia doesn't make camera's???:lmao: Yes, I knew that. I'm not a natural blonde;)
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with most or really all of what Mike said. I would start with a D80 instead of the D50 as this will be a good backup body for later if you get a more "professional" body. A good choice for a "starter" pro body is the D200 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/407284-REG/Nikon_25235_D200_Digital_Camera_Camera.htmlif you can afford it I definately would suggest it. As far as lenses go I would definately not skimp here if you want to start at a lower price the 50mm 1.8 would be a good way to go http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247091-USA/Nikon_2137_Normal_AF_Nikkor_50mm.html if you can afford better the 17-55 2.8 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300490-USA/Nikon_2147_17_55mm_f_2_8G_ED_IF_AF_S.html and the 70-200VR 2.8 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/274780-USA/Nikon_2139_70_200mm_f_2_8D_VR_G_AFS.html both of wich afre excellent lenses. A good flash to start with is the SB-800 if you don't need studio lights right away http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300467-USA/Nikon_4801_SB_800_Speedlight.html. I hope this helps some good luck in your endeavors.
     
  11. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    I'd also recommend a Tina Wilson Workshop. :thumbup:
     
  12. eravedesigns

    eravedesigns TPF Noob!

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    get the alienbees they rock and are super light if you want to go semi portable aka backyard to basement
     

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