Building a studio + posing subject questions

jteknet

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So I'm thinking about possibly starting a studio. My room is completely white so I think it's be fantastic as far as not having to worry about unwanted colors being cast on the subject. My question is, as an entry photographer what kind of lighting and backgrounds should I use as far as portrait photography? I want something pretty easy to shoot seeing as this is more for learning than an "pro" business like some of you do. I'm looking to not spend over $200. I'd like to just get a few umbrellas and maybe two or three backgrounds that will work well with any skin tone just so they have a choice and don't have to have one background in all the shots.

Also as far as little miscellaneous things go, what should I have? I figure some of that cotton stuff (polyester maybe?) that you see when there are baby pictures? A little chair for toddlers to sit in? Give me some more ideas to have a FUNCTIONAL studio even if it's not at pro quality for that price range.

As far as posing goes... any good tutorials or online resources I can utilize seeing as I don't want to take out of that budget for lighting and my few muslin backgrounds. I'd say the posing issue is the biggest. If you can't pose people, all the backgrounds and lighting in the world doesn't mean anything.

Thanks for any advice in advance!
 

JerryPH

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
6,111
Reaction score
15
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
First.. walls should be 18% grey.

Second: http://strobist.blogspot.com

Lastly: If you do not know these things already... I sincerely question your readiness to become a professional and open a studio... unless it was to be a pro in the same class that I just recently spoke of in my experience at a local Walmart just a couple days ago. You certainly have your knowledge backwards with the posing being the most important, thats for SURE.
 
OP
J

jteknet

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
First.. walls should be 18% grey.

Second: http://strobist.blogspot.com

Lastly: If you do not know these things already... I sincerely question your readiness to become a professional and open a studio... unless it was to be a pro in the same class that I just recently spoke of in my experience at a local Walmart just a couple days ago. You certainly have your knowledge backwards with the posing being the most important, thats for SURE.
Ah ha. I just got done laughing my ass off :)

I read about your Wal Mart buddy. I promise, I'm not going to be a "pro" in that sense. And by studio... I just mean something to learn with. Don't take that word to literal. I want "a place to photograph friends and family" for cheap and cheap means only the pics they like.

How do I have it backwards? If they aren't posed worth anything, the shot I take would be no different than a quick shot with a Sony Cybershot sitting on their couch. For portraiture, the whole point is to pose for the shot and look your best, meaning nice make up and posing, correct? Don't make me feel stupid, educate me. I came here to learn, I know I have a lot to learn. I certainly don't think just because I have a d80 and 4 gigs of memory cards to just use burst shooting and hope for one good shot that I'm a photographer. I wouldn't dare insult your intelligence. But help me out here, eh?

And I'm not speaking specifically to you, it's not your job to teach me everything, but it'd be nice if everybody would chip in and help a little. At least I searched around and can't find anything or I'd not have bothered you with the posing issue.

Thanks for your input though.
 

Happy Hour

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
453
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago IL
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ah ha. I just got done laughing my ass off :)

I read about your Wal Mart buddy. I promise, I'm not going to be a "pro" in that sense. And by studio... I just mean something to learn with. Don't take that word to literal. I want "a place to photograph friends and family" for cheap and cheap means only the pics they like.

How do I have it backwards? If they aren't posed worth anything, the shot I take would be no different than a quick shot with a Sony Cybershot sitting on their couch. For portraiture, the whole point is to pose for the shot and look your best, meaning nice make up and posing, correct? Don't make me feel stupid, educate me. I came here to learn, I know I have a lot to learn. I certainly don't think just because I have a d80 and 4 gigs of memory cards to just use burst shooting and hope for one good shot that I'm a photographer. I wouldn't dare insult your intelligence. But help me out here, eh?

And I'm not speaking specifically to you, it's not your job to teach me everything, but it'd be nice if everybody would chip in and help a little. At least I searched around and can't find anything or I'd not have bothered you with the posing issue.

Thanks for your input though.
Wow!!! Don't be so offensive. Everyone here is extremely nice! I took your post the exact same way Jerry did. The way you worded it, it sounded like you want to pull your camera out of the box and be a pro. As far as your background goes. your local fabric store has a discount section. Thumb threw it and grab what you think would look cool 2 you. for $10-20 a pop you can get a wide variety of backdrops,for a ton of different applications. just make sure not to get anything glossy. And Jerry was right with the 18% Grey a all white room would be very bright & could backfire on your WB. as far as posing do a you tube search, you would be surprised whats on there.almost every issue i've had, there was a video on you tube that helped. I hope that helps you a little.
 
OP
J

jteknet

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Wow!!! Don't be so offensive. Everyone here is extremely nice! I took your post the exact same way Jerry did. The way you worded it, it sounded like you want to pull your camera out of the box and be a pro. As far as your background goes. your local fabric store has a discount section. Thumb threw it and grab what you think would look cool 2 you. for $10-20 a pop you can get a wide variety of backdrops,for a ton of different applications. just make sure not to get anything glossy. And Jerry was right with the 18% Grey a all white room would be very bright & could backfire on your WB. as far as posing do a you tube search, you would be surprised whats on there.almost every issue i've had, there was a video on you tube that helped. I hope that helps you a little.
Sorry, I have been told I wear my heart on my sleeve at times. So I suppose that's the same as being offensive. I didn't mean to be. I'd just like posts like yours that get straight to the point and get me where I need to be going, but I suppose I don't have to be a blatant jerk about it like I was.



Also, Digital Matt, any good books on lighting that you'd recommend? I've been reading Strobist a lot. Liked the tips on taking xmas lights right at sunset. Makes for some darn nice photos.

Thanks JerryPH, for that link. I've had it for a few days now, it's a very nice resource.
 

Happy Hour

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
453
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago IL
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Also, Digital Matt, any good books on lighting that you'd recommend? I've been reading Strobist a lot. Liked the tips on taking xmas lights right at sunset. Makes for some darn nice photos.

Thanks JerryPH, for that link. I've had it for a few days now, it's a very nice resource.
Understanding exposure Is a great book I just bought it.
 

Digital Matt

alter ego: Analog Matt
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
5,358
Reaction score
72
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Website
www.mattperko.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Understanding exposure is fine, but it's not going to help you light a portrait.

Master lighting guide for portrait photographers is a great book which gives you light setups and sample photos of all the classic lighting scenarios, which you should know before you set out to take portraits.

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Lighti...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198673215&sr=8-1


Here are a couple of websites you can check out also.

http://www.studiolighting.net/
http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/index.html
 

dpolston

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
949
Reaction score
1
Location
Norfolk, VA.
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
jteknet,

I'm not starting this to discredit you in any way because I don't have that right. I was just curious what is your mindset behind jumping right into a studio type situation? Have you been shooting portraits on location and is this your natural progression onto bigger and better things? The reason I ask is because for most of the photographers I know of worked themselves into the studio after sometimes spending years out in the field developing basic skills which include posing. The poses should be second nature by now in a photographers career especially if they're embarking on a studio. Some of these pieces of equipment cost hundreds of dollars and I just think you should not try to put your horse in front of your cart without thinking about it very seriously.

I would concentrate on taking a quality portrait in the local park before you dropped cash on the studio. When you can post threads and not ask for posing help, then ask us how to set up a studio.

Good luck to you!

David
 
OP
J

jteknet

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
jteknet,

I'm not starting this to discredit you in any way because I don't have that right. I was just curious what is your mindset behind jumping right into a studio type situation? Have you been shooting portraits on location and is this your natural progression onto bigger and better things? The reason I ask is because for most of the photographers I know of worked themselves into the studio after sometimes spending years out in the field developing basic skills which include posing. The poses should be second nature by now in a photographers career especially if they're embarking on a studio. Some of these pieces of equipment cost hundreds of dollars and I just think you should not try to put your horse in front of your cart without thinking about it very seriously.

I would concentrate on taking a quality portrait in the local park before you dropped cash on the studio. When you can post threads and not ask for posing help, then ask us how to set up a studio.

Good luck to you!

David
Thanks. I suppose I'm no longer going toward the studio direction, and after reading all your posts, don't know why I was. Uneducated fools do funny things sometimes. Yes, I just took a stab at myself. haha

But what are some good places? You mentioned the park as one... with the park, is that a place where you just need a speed light for fill flash? You aren't going to take umbrellas and such to a place like that, mostly because you have no power source, correct?

Thanks for all the books and websites. I will be looking into them, if not today I will have them bookmarked in my photography folder shortly.


Thanks to everybody who takes the time to get my head on straight when I start thinking crazy. :eek:)
 

dpolston

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
949
Reaction score
1
Location
Norfolk, VA.
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
When I go to a location shoot I usually take very basic things. One is an on camera flash but I think you can use a built in flash just as well and I take a SB-800 on a simple light stand (or you can use a tripod). It's that easy [for now].

I'd also go back through this forum and read a lot! There are very good, patient photographers that give out free advice that will greatly improve your overall imaging. I have recently read someone give another inquisitive young soul a great word of wisdom regarding location. She said that you can take great portraits on the side of a KFC if you apply yourself and be creative (whoever posted that pearl... thanks, I just can't give you the credit you deserve because I don't know which one of you posted it).

Just simply shoot the crap out of your camera as much as you can. When you learn the rules (like rules of thirds for example and DOF and ISO etc) then you can learn how to creatively break them.

I have only been here for a few months and I wish I had found this forum earlier. Take photos, ask questions, adopt a mentor or 2 (or 3 or 10!) from here and don't be defensive or unwilling to learn. Speak up for yourself if you feel someone is giving you information that you think is "personally" negative but make sure you can tell the difference between "personal" and "technical".

Just have fun with it. This isn't a class you're getting graded on per say. You chose this and I (for what it matters) and others much better than me are witting to point you into the right direction.

David
 

JerryPH

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
6,111
Reaction score
15
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Thanks. I suppose I'm no longer going toward the studio direction, and after reading all your posts, don't know why I was. Uneducated fools do funny things sometimes. Yes, I just took a stab at myself. haha

Uh-uh! that was NOT the intent of anyone here, I promise you. What we meant was just to tell you that you have a little ways to go in terms of knowledge before you do something that will frustrate the heck out of you and make you loose interest real fast (or hurt you more than help you!).

If you want to set up a small studio at home for PERSONAL play, go for it! I will be as well sometime in the near future too, because I'd love to have one. Matter of fact, I plan on making a tiny "studio" for learning the effects and results and I am following through on re-doing the Strobist 101 and 102 courses/blogs as we exhcange right now.

How small is my studio going to be? Small enough that I can pick it up completely in one hand... lol.

I am talking a setup that is big enough to take pics of toys, statuettes dolls, things like that... and learn and practice from that, and then once my base knowledge is good, grow it to a full sized portrait setup in my garage or basement and play from there. I don't have any intentions of ever turning pro. My personal feelings are that on the day I ever turned pro, I would to lose all the fun and pleasure I get from it. Besides, the average salary of a starting 'Tog is nowhere near what I am making already in my current business anyways.

To me, this is very much a hobby and always will be. That doesn't mean that I do not want to get pretty serious with it, though.
 

JerryPH

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
6,111
Reaction score
15
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Understanding exposure is fine, but it's not going to help you light a portrait.

Master lighting guide for portrait photographers is a great book which gives you light setups and sample photos of all the classic lighting scenarios, which you should know before you set out to take portraits.

That one is definately on my amazon wish list for next month's purchases... but the one that seems to get a higher "rating" at the strobist site (and that should be arriving at my door within a few more days), is: "Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting". (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0240808193)

I think that if one had both, they would help increase knowledge a lot more in conjunction with each other.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top