What do you recommend for portraiture?

Trenton Romulox

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Hi everyone! I really want to get into portraiture, and be able to take senior pictures (for myself and for my friends). I've not really done any sort of portraiture, and was wondering what sort of equipment you would recommend getting for high-quality results. So, I'll list what I have right now, and anything else I might need, just go on ahead and let me know.
I have:
Nikon D300
Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Nikon 180mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-800
Tripod

What sort of things should I look at adding to my collection of equipment? Any particular lenses, software, lighting, anything really? And again, this would be for shooting indoors or outdoors and I am looking for top-quality results. Budget right now is about $1000, but could be up to $3500 in a month or less. So, money isn't a HUGE issue, but it is definitely a consideration. Thank you.
 

elsaspet

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Hi everyone! I really want to get into portraiture, and be able to take senior pictures (for myself and for my friends). I've not really done any sort of portraiture, and was wondering what sort of equipment you would recommend getting for high-quality results. So, I'll list what I have right now, and anything else I might need, just go on ahead and let me know.
I have:
Nikon D300
Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Nikon 180mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-800
Tripod

What sort of things should I look at adding to my collection of equipment? Any particular lenses, software, lighting, anything really? And again, this would be for shooting indoors or outdoors and I am looking for top-quality results. Budget right now is about $1000, but could be up to $3500 in a month or less. So, money isn't a HUGE issue, but it is definitely a consideration. Thank you.

Neither are in your current budget, but without a doubt, IMO, the two best lenses for this are the:
70-200 2.8 IS
35 mm 1.4

Another great one, IN YOUR BUDGET is the 50 mm 1.8

Also, I would suggest some Boutwell Actions: http://boutwellstudio.com/totallyrad/

And if you don't have a shoe flash yet, I'd say spend the money on that.

Be sure to share your photos!
 
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Trenton Romulox

Trenton Romulox

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Oh, I should have mentioned, I typed my budget for AFTER I pick up a Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8.

Thanks for your reply. I'm mostly concerned with lighting then, if the 70-200 will be a good lens for portraiture. Is an SB-800 a shoe flash, 'cause that's what I just got yesterday for Christmas from my parents.
 

The Phototron

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Get a profoto kit with a softbox and your pictures will totally change!

Of course read some book first.
 
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Trenton Romulox

Trenton Romulox

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Is PhotoShop a must-have? Because I am pretty sure I can pick it up for $300 in the Adobe Education Store. I'm downloading a 30-day trial of PhotoShop right now. My LightRoom trial ends today, but I'm gonna try get it for $99 in the Adobe Education Store also. $400 for the two, that'd be quite the snag. I've been doing all of my editing right in Lightroom, which, I don't think is really the idea. But yeah, I think PhotoShop would be useful, you all agree?

What do you think of the new Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8? I'm considering making that the first lens I pick up after the 70-200. Would that be good for portraiture, or what?
 

kundalini

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What do you think of the new Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8? I'm considering making that the first lens I pick up after the 70-200. Would that be good for portraiture, or what?


Mine arrived yesterday. Just taking pics of the dog and items in the house, it seems sweet. I'll run it through it's paces this weekend.

Two other lenses I've picked up for portraits are the 35mm f/2.0 (full body shots) & 85mm f/1.8 (head shots w/o being in their face). I like the primes because they are sharp, lightweight and compact. I don't want to be busying around with a honker of a lens in small areas.

Other items to consider for portraits are lightstands for your strobes, umbrellas/softboxes and reflectors (+ arm) as well as clamps/mounts for same.
 
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Trenton Romulox

Trenton Romulox

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So, what do you think it would cost me to get a total setup going? And like, estimate this considering I will have 18-135, 180, and 70-200 lenses at my disposal, an SB-800, a D300, a D80, two tripods, Lightroom, and Photoshop CS3 all at my disposal. So that leaves maybe another lens or two, some more lighting? Softboxes? What else?
 

dipstick

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You have enough equipment already to do high quality portraits. I would start practicing with what you got, and then see what you feel a need for after getting some experience. Fast primes are nice for portraits, but not a must, I would worry more about lighting than new lenses. Are you planning on doing studio style portraits, or location work?
 

Mr_Bester

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Another flash and some pocketwizards would fit into your budget.

See strobist.blogspot.com for more info
 

ranmyaku

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You are getting a lot of high priced gear to have never shot anyone. I am envious.

I'd go with the recommendation you got about lighting.
 
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Trenton Romulox

Trenton Romulox

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You are getting a lot of high priced gear to have never shot anything. I am envious.

I'd go with the recommendation you got about lighting.

Umm, no, I shoot all the time. I just haven't gone into portraiture yet. I've not bought a single item for portraiture.
 

kundalini

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Another flash and some pocketwizards would fit into your budget.

See strobist.blogspot.com for more info


You don't need PW's with the Nikon CLS system unless you want to set the strobes far, far away.
 

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