Creating a new baby and toddler studio

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DD33, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. DD33

    DD33 TPF Noob!

    Mar 22, 2007
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    Hi All
    This is my first post so I hope you guys can give me some advice. Basically I will give you a list of the equipment I have at the moment:

    Fuji S2 and S5 pro
    Nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D AF Zoom Lens
    Nikon 12-24mm f/4G Wide Angle Lens
    Nikon SB800 Flash

    Bowens Esprit 500w Two Head Kit
    1 - Softbox 60cm
    1 - Bowens 90cm Silver/White Umbrella
    2 - Bowens Compact Lighting Support Stands
    1 - Bowens Wide Angle Reflector
    2 - 60inch silver/white Umbrellas

    Powerbook G4 17" Screen With Shooting Software

    So here goes!
    I have a spare room at home in a bungalow which measures 14ft x 10ft. I was looking to start photographing babies and toddlers using the high key effect.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. Is my room big enough for shooting babies and toddlers?
    2. Should I put brackets on the 10ft wall to hold the white background (which should take up less room) or should I use stands?

    3. What material would you recommend for the white background?
    4. Should I invest in the new Lastolite HiLite background (6ft x 7ft)with the vinyl trail and forget about the background I asked about in question 2 and 3?

    Basically I was thinking that if I use the Lastolite HiLite background it would only take one light to use it. So if I purchased another Bowens head that would leave me two at the front and one to light the HiLite backgrould. What do you think?

    Where as if I use a normal background it would take two lights to light the background therefor I would need to purchase another 2 lights for the front?

    Thanks for your time in reading this and I hope you can give me some advice.

  2. Big Mike

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

    Dec 16, 2003
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I had never heard of that Lastolite HiLite background, looks like a neat product...but it would probably be easier and more versatile to just get more lights.

    For sure. I've been shooting babies and toddlers in other people's living rooms, so an empty room should be plenty.

    Brackets would probably be better, stands can take up a lot of room and with kids around, it's best to avoid things on stands when possible. If you can mount the lights on the walls or ceiling as well, that would be helpful.

    Muslin, seamless paper, etc. take your pick. I use white bed sheets for now.

    My set up may not be the most professional, or even close to ideal...but it works for me (with a little help from photoshop). I hang a sheet for the backdrop and use an Alienbee AB800 as my main light. I have a couple hot-shoe strobes on optical triggers that I use for fill and/or background lights.



  3. Make sure the place is warm. Kids don't want to be cold.

    Have chairs for the parents. Nervous parents kill a shoot.
  4. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

    Dec 13, 2006
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    I love your portraits, Big Mike! Unfortunately, my 5 year old daughter won't let me take her picture at all and my 8 year old son just likes to do ninja-type poses. No one wants to pose for me. :x
  5. DD33

    DD33 TPF Noob!

    Mar 22, 2007
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    Thank you for your reply
    I think I am going to go with the Lastolite HiLite shown in this link:

    If I go with an ordinary white background I am going to have to purchase the following,

    Background material
    Brackets and a pole to hold background (or else a stand)
    2 extra flash heads to light background properly to get the background completely white.

    Wall booms to hold flash heads to light background

    I belive you can stand very close to the Lastolite HiLite so this will give me more room than using the normal white background.

    I was going to use one of my Bowens 500w heads to light the Lastolite HiLite and the another as the main light.

    Could I use my Nikon SB800 as a fill light? Can I purchase a stand for that?

    Am I going in the right direction?

    Thanks for your time

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