Advice, Small in-house studio (for menswear store)

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Columba, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Columba

    Columba TPF Noob!

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    Hey Guys, I'm a complete newbie to this forum, so I am kinda hoping some of you good people will throw some advice my way. I work as an in house designer at an independent menswear store in the UK, so as you can imagine the whole shop/office is busy when the new seasons stock begins to arrive for example.

    What takes most of the time is getting one of the guys up to model the clothes, then the images have to be edited because they basically look awful. At the minute we just crop around the guy wearing the garments.

    What I feel would be a far better solution is to maybe use a male torso mannequin on a stand, and shoot the new items on that, but in a space that is lit properly for example. A little like the example below, to me it just makes the photograph much more pleasing to the eye, and if shot properly would save us loads of time, enabling us to get new arrivals up on the site much quicker.

    [​IMG]

    Now for the advice, I do have an ND in photography, but I am lacking knowledge of such things like setting up a studio, and knowing what equipment I need.

    Ideally this will be done on a very tight budget, we do have 2 basic studio lights, and I believe my boss has a set of soft boxes, and a Sony A230 along with a tripod.

    If possible could someone offer some support in terms of the minimum space I would need to set such a space up (we are quite limited, maybe only having 3 meters of wall space), and listing the necessary equipment? Kinda like a how to, and you will need kind of thing is possible.

    Thanks Guys.

    Columba


     
  2. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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  3. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

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    are these for an online catelog?

    to SELL in your store?

    I do believe you would get better results and happier customers if you hired someone to do this. That way they could make sure the colors are correct and the garmets look GREAT, the pic above looks home shot, unprofessional and if I saw that on a website I would NOT trust to buy from you....

    If you do not want to invest in someone to do the photos for you, hire someone to show you how....
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ^^That^^ This isn't hard to do, BUT it's far more than can be related in a few forum posts. At the very least head down to your local library and grab some books on lighting and product photography.
     
  5. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why not do what i do rent a small village hall, the one i rent is about 10m x 5m and only £6 per hour
     
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  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    If you have a continuing need for simple shots, 3 meters isn't much space. (wide angles to get the entire length in will make for distorted shots.
    Consider a non-dedicated space where you can set up screens, etc as needed.
    Perhaps you can have display space set up as a 'studio' minus any breakables and just move in your tripod, etc.
    This might end up as a draw to watch the 'photographer' shoot.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    What is an ND in photography?
     
  8. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think an ND in photography is a Neutral Density filter... But I am sure you knew that Keith. :lmao:
     
  9. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering about the ND in photography too?

    You are going to need at least 3 lights and if you are wanting to use a white background probably 4 to light this project properly.
    I think male models look better, but the mannequin is uniform and will work-it's a matter of opinion.

    You REALLY need to give us a budget here.

    3M isn't too bad to work with for wall space. You don't say how much space you have from the wall to the camera placement? What are the studio lights you already have? Strobes? what is the output WPS of them?
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    National Diploma
     
  11. Columba

    Columba TPF Noob!

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    This is all great guys, and yeah the ND does stand for National Diploma (should of thought about that before typing). The Diploma ran along side my main course of Graphic Design, but regrettably I did not really have much of an interest in Photography at the time, at least in terms of acquiring it as a skill anyway.

    So my know-how is very low despite the diploma, the little I did pick up has dwindled away over the last 5 years. So in terms of asking me about lighting etc, I have no idea in all honesty, the lights are an old pair, and were already here when I arrived (also not branded) I could maybe take a photo to give you guys an idea as to what they are?

    The space that could be made available from the wall is maybe as little as 4.5 metres give or take, and looking at the wall again the actual space is most likely 2.5 metres, but I don't think I would be confided to setting up within this space, the lights could be spaced wider I would think, the 2.5 would be made by removing to shelving units the stockroom, so if you can imagine this space in a much bigger space, but ultimately the backdrop would only be 2.5 (hope that makes sense).

    When it comes to talking about slightly more technical stuff, I will not be offended if you word it as if spoken to a complete photography amateur, some of it I will actually understand, but a lot of it I expect I will not.

    Thanks again for the advice people, greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Columba

    Columba TPF Noob!

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    I kind of disagree, the whole concept is to create an image that makes the garments feel more real, not looking for a completely polished image.


    We are only a small business, yes we do deal with items that can cost up to £300, but most of our stock varies from £30 up to £200, with the odd expensive product.

    So again it comes down to opinion, maybe something like this would not be acceptable for a large commercial store, as they have to connect with a much wider audience, but I feel the smaller businesses have more of a creative licence, the idea that everything is getting done in house has so much more draw in my eyes.

    I appreciate your opinion though, its all input at the end of the day
     

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