How to take studio photos outside?


TPF Noob!
Aug 25, 2010
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Bad Axe
I'm starting up a local photography business and the next step is getting a studio. I have clients lined up already and am scheduled to take their photos before I even have the studio. For the most part this isn't an issue, all of the shoots are to be on location. However, some of the photos being taken will need to be formal studio type photos. I have some nice muslins and all of the proper lighting equipment but what I am not sure of is how to take studio quality photos outdoors. Has anyone done something similar to this before? And particular lighting setups that seem to work out well? I feel as though it would just be a matter of setting up the lights correctly... But I also feel like there will be to many outside influences that can dramatically alter the final product.
There are way too many variables here: Location, time of day, surroundings (tall buildings, trees, etc), number of people, type of light, weather...

If you are going to be shooting out of doors, than you'll need to start practicing your lighting. This is often a lot more challenging than studio work because you don't have control over everything. I would think that you're going to need at least two lights, reflectors and a minimum of one assistant.

The one thing I would invest in is a good flash meter; it will save you a lot of time and effort.
Great news is I have everything but the extra assistant. My assistant is also my fiance and she will be at home watching the kids on the day of the shoot. I'm pretty sure I will be taking the pictures in my backyard or at a local park both of which are pretty empty. I think the park may have a pavilion so that eliminates some of the variables and my backyard is covered pretty much in shade.

Thanks for the info. Any additional words of wisdom?
+1 on on using a good flash meter.

With modifiers on the lights, any wind will tend to blow them over so you'll need a way to secure them.

What will you use as a power source for your studio lights, outside.

Is a permit required by the park?
The permit for the park is taken care of. I've cleared all of that with the local court house a while back. I have a an older speedotron 4800w power pack for the lights. I actually have 2 but one is away getting repaired. I've got my eye on the weather.
Watch your background brightness...a camera with a fast flash synch speed and a low minimum ISO setting can be very useful, as can be a Neutral Density filter. With Speedotron, 400 watt-seconds of flash power will overpower August sunlight quite easily, but the area behind the subjects will be lighted by natural light from the sun or sky,or both, so, keep an eye on what lies behind the subjects!

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