Need advice for home portrait studio

d300user

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Hi everyone. I've been wanting to do some portrait shoots and have bought several things. All I've done is shoot outside shots. I'm new to portrait studio shooting.

I've bought the following lighting:
Smith Victor KT750U 3-Light 750-Watt Thrifty Photoflood Kit with Umbrella
http://www.adorama.com/SVKT750U.html

Smith Victor FL160 110i 1-Light Kit W/ Softbox
http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/EP4462123.htm

and a rack with a white paper roll

Am I able to add more watts to the photoflood kit and the softbox light? Can't seem to find anything on adding more watts to it.

So far I'm using about 810 Watts..What is the minimum recommendation for a small studio?

Anything else I should consider getting?
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum.

There really isn't a right answer for how many watts is enough. It depends on several factors.

Actually, for shooting portraits, I would recommend strobes (flash) over constant lights. They are superior for many reasons.
If you were shooting still life or something that doesn't move, then just about any lighting would be OK because you can just use a tripod and a longer shutter speed. However, when are shooting people, you need a fast enough shutter speed to get a sharp image...and that may require a lot of light power.
When using flash, shutter speed is not really an issue.
 

dbrandon

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I'm no pro, so perhaps someone who knows about this can enlighten, but wouldn't the 2 kits you named (if used in conjunction) cause colour temperature issues ?
 

The Phototron

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I'm no pro, so perhaps someone who knows about this can enlighten, but wouldn't the 2 kits you named (if used in conjunction) cause colour temperature issues ?
Gel them.
 

Alpha

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You could gel, but that's messy territory that I wouldn't want to deal with w/o a color meter, if you're gelling in order to filter for daylight temp. Blue filtering a hot light is also going to decrease the light output by about 1.5-2 stops.

My honest advice is to save for studio strobes. 300/320 watt-second would be my preference for an introductory general purpose strobe. 160 watt/s will likely leave you wanting more power if you're using really diffuse modifiers such as really big umbrellas or large soft-boxes, especially if they're double-baffled.

Alternatively, you could look into the so-called Strobist approach, using portable flashes, though full-sized strobes would be preferable for an indoor studio. Portable flashes are very versatile, and the really good ones have surprisingly high power output. However, they can be a little tricky to modify. I use them in combination w/ my proper strobes as accent lights for things like hair or spot-work.
 

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