Studio Set Opinions


TPF Noob!
Apr 8, 2007
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Norfolk, VA.
Can others edit my Photos
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I am embarking on a potential headache or potential goldmine. Short story is, I am preparing a contract and general overview for taking photos of a children's beauty pageant. (I know... I can't believe I am thinking about it either... but... I need to support my photo habit and lenses don't grow on trees.) Anyhooo, I will be taking the head shots (for the program) and formals (on site) for the contestants and their escorts.

I am pretty set on the following "set" but I have some basic questions. I am trying to simulate a natural daylight through the window look, so I need to ask which setup will be better. I have the lighting and the softbox but I have never created this synthetic setting. I have created this style of a set frankly because I have seen it done very well by other photographers. I am also trying to pull the traditional carpet out from under this photo shoot. I do not want to use the simple cloth backdrop if I can get away from it.

So specifically:

1: If I wanted to create the golden morning sunlight or afternoon glow, am I better off using a golden or yellow gel on the light or are there specific bulbs I can get for that golden look?

2: Is the softbox (rendering 2) the better way to go and if it is, do I need to somehow mask the window from the backside (white material or some opaque plastic) to diffuse the flash? Or is the setup in the first rendering better (using the fill light through a fake ficus tree)?

3: Since these are children, should I use the child size furniture to create a more formal feel (like the 3/4 size wingback chair) or go for the full size? (Note: it is a personal pet peeve of mine that these little girl beauty pageants try to turn these 5 year olds into a 17 year old by all of the heavy makeup and huge hair. So, scaling down the furniture, IMO, gives the visual appearance these kids are older. I think kids should be kids and have natural settings... even though the things are larger. But, this is not about me.)

4: The last thing I am struggling with is the back wall itself. I am going to faux paint it but my issue is should I hang an art piece on it for the shot. I have seen this both ways and the art is always something abstract. Any thoughts?

I have until April to make a final decision (the pageant is in May). Thanks for the input.

Rendering 1:
$Photo Set.jpg

Rendering 2:
$Photo Set 2.jpg
Man... 40 hits, no posts, he thinks to himself. "I must be awesome and need no help!" he quietly says.

As he pushes his chest out, he proudly proclaims; "I am a photographic god!" Disturbed by this initial thought, he reminds himself that he's not the God, but a god!

Somewhat frustrated by the lack of responses, David shrugs a simple "oh well", and then heads off to face his blustery day in the 14 degree weather.
Thanks anyway... I think I'm on track and people might not be responding because I either ask to broad of a question or people think this setup works. I dunno.

I'm going to built it anyway. But, thanks.
I've tried to wrap my head around it...and I don't know :scratch:

Maybe you just have to build it and try it out before hand...see how it works and them make changes while you still have time.
I am pretty confident on building the set and such (I have built working waterfalls for theater productions and made it snow inside a church sanctuary... This is nooo problem) I think my absolute biggest Q is the golden or amber light. I want the sunset on the beach effect and I think a gel will work but I do need to do it.

I have seen people cover windows with white material and shoot from behind a bunch of times. I have also pretty much decided to use full size furniture I know where to get abstracts. But maybe this is such a specific one thing that there might not be an answer for.

Just putting it out there.
LOL... I got that too! But my wife would get really pissed!
Instead of building a whole wall with window in it (and maybe you're just using what is there...I have no idea) just use s softbox with gaffers tape on it to simulate a window. It will still look like a window in the catchlight, and with other lighting techniques no one will know the difference. It makes the whole thing more portable. Then you can do whatever you want for your backdrop.

This is also assuming you don't want the actual window in the shot...if you do then by all means ignore my post.
As far as your gel'd be geling every light you use because otherwise you'd have too many temps going on. This is ok by all means. I'd honestly shoot all strobes the same and later change the W/B...Shooting in RAW of course. If you're shooting film, this creates other problems.
I have seen people cover windows with white material and shoot from behind a bunch of times.

All they are doing here is turning the window into a softbox. No magic about it.

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