Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday - Setting Up a Home Studio (Part 3)

What Else Do I Need????

We've talked about some basic requirements for the actual space you will need for your photography studio and how to best prepare that space.  Then we talked about the various types of lights to use, which is probably the most important consideration in setting up an indoor studio.  Now I'm going to mention additional items that you might want to add as you can.  Remember, you don't need everything, and with many items, there are ways to substitute or use items you already have.

  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter release (cable or radio)
  • Stands to hold lights, with rollers to make moving them easy
  • Various modifiers, (soft box, umbrella, etc.) either made or purchased
  • Reflectors, made or purchased in different sizes, shapes and colors
  • Stands to hold reflectors and clips to attach reflectors to stands
  • Incident light meter to check for correct exposure
  • Gray card to check for correct white balance
  • Purchased backdrops, including rolls of seamless colored paper
  • Homemade backdrops.  A good size is 10x10 which will allow for full body shots or small group shots.  (You can buy canvas or muslin fabric, or other heavy duty neutral colored fabric and/or paint your own textures and colors.  You can use bedspreads, blankets, curtains, etc.)
  • A frame, wall brackets, or purchased system to hang backdrops.  There are many creative ways to attached your backdrop to the wall.  For example, two closet shelf brackets nailed high on the wall about 5 to 6 feet apart can hold a dowel with a roll of seamless paper that can be rolled down.  Or a movable stand made of PVC pipe can be the support for a fabric background.

  • A variety of tables, chairs, sofas, trunks, stools, benches, rugs, etc.
  • Hats, shoes, boots, scarves, earrings, shirts, sweaters, costumes, other interesting clothing items
  • Toys, baby carriage, tricycle, artificial flowers, pillows, seasonal and holiday items, books, etc.
  • Items to balance a composition such as artificial plants, baskets, end tables, lamps, flower vases
  • Look for anything interesting around your house, garage or yard that can be sat on, leaned against or worn!

Attention Getters:
  • If you are planning to photograph children it is a must to have a variety of attention getters such as; bells, whistles, feather dusters, puppets, bubbles, etc.  A few bribes such as non messy candy or a few inexpensive toys might help too.

Think Creative:
  • Once you have the basics, it's time to get your creative juices flowing.  How about a fan to gently blow hair.  Or colored gel papers to change the mood of the lighting.  What about a fog machine, or a bubble maker, or????? 
  • If you are photographing people, you should have a mirror, comb, and some make up handy, and a bathroom close by.

    On a Shoestring Tips

    Most of the items and ideas listed above you can probably find at either no cost or low cost.  As mentioned, the first place to look is around your own home.  Other great places to find prop and backdrop possibilities are thrift stores and garage sales.  Remember to check with local photographers or camera clubs for used items, as well as Craig's List and ebay.  And once again, HERE is the link to that fabulous e-book that has a ton of inexpensive ideas for you 'do it yourself' photographers.

    Next week we're going to put it all together, and I'll show you pictures of my friend's home studio and how she has it all set up and organized.