Starting from scratch, please help!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by miranda25, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. miranda25

    miranda25 TPF Noob!

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    I would like to start up my own studio, and don’t want to waste my money on things that might not be important. If you were to start from scratch, what are the things you would buy? (Lighting, backdrops, lenses etc.)
     
  2. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Well thats pretty broad. What type of studio do you want? Who will your customers be? What camera do you have now, and what lenses? White experience do you have with photography, lighting, business?

    I'm sure if you give a bit more information, you will get a lot more response.
     
  3. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I assume you already have everything else?

    It's 'necessary' to have a speedlite, three umbrellas, two softboxes, several muslins... the list goes on and on and on.

    On the other hand, it can change. If you ask this, you're not quite ready for studio photography. Take a few courses, then you'll know what you like to use and what is effective for your style of lighting in studio photography.
     
  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    If you need answers to these questions then you're not ready for a studio of any sort, FC stating its necessary to have a "speedlite" has proved to me they are also not ready either. Studio's cost many thousands to set up, a couple of speedlites, muslin backdrops and umbrellas don't cut it I'm afraid, knowledge is essential in studio photography and just because someone thinks your snappy snaps online posting to fora such as this is "fantastic" shouldn't lead you to thinking your the next best thing to DB. H
     
  5. AnticGod

    AnticGod TPF Noob!

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    You`ll need a big budget to do this. :)
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes... all of these. But FIRST, I'd buy a camera.

    -Pete
     
  7. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Since you asked I would start with a camera and a backup
    Nikon D3 for main camera
    Nikon D700 for backup

    Next on to the lenses
    Nikon 14-24 F2.8
    Nikon 24-70 F2.8
    Nikon 70-200 VR F2.8
    Nikon 105mm F2.8 Macro

    I would will need several light stands Manfrotto are great and they also make some good background stands and C-Stands.
    As for backdrops one white muslin and one colored one would be fine to start with, and then you can also add some rolls of seamless paper.

    After you have that, you will need lights.
    I would look at lights in the range of 600 to 1200 W/S for moonlights.
    I am currently using 700 W/S Digital Monolights from Lightrein I have 4 in the studio right now, but I am going to pick another up soon.

    Don’t forget you will also need a few speed lights for smaller onsite work or portable power supply for the moonlights.

    Along with all of this you will need light modifiers, I currently am using Octoboxes in various sizes, Softboxes the bigger the better, Stripboxes, Reflectors, Grids 10 deg to 40 deg, Snoot and a few other items for light modification.

    Plus you will need to have a budget for clamps and various other miscellaneous items you will need.

    As other have pointed out this does not come cheap.

    Now you don’t have to buy it all at once, but you do need to do your research, once you decide on a system, whether it be camera and lenses or lights, you want to be able to grow with it. Nothing seems to cost mote than switching systems once you are heavily invested in them.


    I hope this helps
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What I would buy would depend on the budget I have available and the type of photography I intended to do.

    It's possible to start a studio on a shoestring budget, but it's not easy.

    I take it you're talking about a commercial/retail studio and not a hobby studio.

    If so, probably 85% of the knowledge needed to operate a photography business is business/marketing knowledge, not photography knowledge.

    A couple of free resources for business information and guidance include the Service Core Of Retired Executives www.score.org and the US Small Business Administration www.sba.gov.

    Beyond that I would recommend 2 inexpensive books:

    Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington www.johnharrington.com

    Professional Business Practices in Photography by the American Society of Media Photographers www.asmp.org
     

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