TPF Noob!
Jun 9, 2006
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Hi, my name is Rachel. Brand new here.

I am interested in getting into photography, portraits mainly. I am looking for a good online course that I can take. I am a mother to a 2 year old monster and I just cant be going to and from school. So online is my option right now. I spoke with a lady last night and she gave me some information about the materials you need to start school : Camera ( in which she suggested the Canon 20D) , Lenses, Filters,& Lights & Umbrellas. I am looking to do this from my home, I have a beautiful yard and would love to take outdoor portraits and I also have a huge basement in which I would like to set up a studio. I would be doing digital photography, so I would also need an awesome printer.

Anyway, I would appreciate any and all comments you have referring to online schools, equipment and such.

Thanks :)
Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you can find lots of great information around here.

I suggest finding some good books on portrait photography. The most important thing is lighting.
Hi there. When you say you want to get into photography, do you mean get into it as a hobby, or professionally? If it's the former (i.e. if you don't have much experience) then you probably don't need the 20D. Of course if you can comfortably afford it then go for it, it's a great choice, but something cheaper like the 350D would also be perfectly adequate.

In terms of lenses, for portraits 50 to 135mm would seem a good range to me. You could go for several prime (fixed focal length) lenses, e.g. 50, 85, 135, or get a zoom with that sort of range on it. Either way you'll want lenses with a large maximum aperture (smaller f-number); this will let you blur the background. Obviously different lenses will have different characteristics, for example sharpness, bokeh, colour rendition... and I know nothing about Canon lenses so I'll let someone else take it from there.
Greetings…. Welcome to the forum.

If you go with the setup you stated great!

Some items to think about when setting up a portrait studio in the back yard.

Try these links for info:







Not only will you need the various items you mentioned, you won’t be able to get all at once, but think about these (not necessarily in order):

1: Clamps. Get as many and various sizes as you can. They come in VERY handy.
2: Props. Get some from the Family Dollar store. The stuff that looks like cheap lawn decorations… (pillars and the like, NOT Pink Flamencos!)
3: Chair, pedestal (see above), Candle sticks, etc.
4: Background muslin, stands.
5: Boom(s). This for lights, cameras and reflectors. Something like this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/HEAVY-DUTY-PHOTO-PHOTOGRAPHY-BOOM-LIGHT-COMBO-STAND_W0QQitemZ7625551335QQihZ017QQcategoryZ88666QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem and http://cgi.ebay.com/ASSIA-BACKGROUND-BACKDROP-STAND-MUSLIN-CANVAS-PAPER_W0QQitemZ7627949024QQihZ017QQcategoryZ79006QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

6: Soft lights/Soft boxes.
7: Mirrors. As props, lighting uses, and for makeup.
8: Little amenities for the customer to feel comfortable, and especially for kiddies.

Good luck.

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