Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday - Setting Up a Home Photography Studio - Intro

There has been a significant interest in this subject judging by your comments and emails; however, I've struggled about how to approach this topic here on my blog.  My challenges and my goals are to:
  • Summarize a large amount of information so as to be readable, understandable and doable for those of us with no experience in studio photography.
  • Condense that information to put in the small format of a blog post.
  • Give specifics rather than general information so we feel we can actually do this and have a starting place.
  • And my biggest challenge, is this is a Tech Talk Tuesday where I'm the teacher and the student at the same time.  So, the following will be my biggest disclaimer ever!!!  I profess no expertise whatsoever in setting up or using a home photography studio.  I am, however, in the process of doing research, taking classes, and interviewing people with home studios, as groundwork for setting up my own home studio, and I'm happy to 'bring you along' and share what I learn.
With all the above in mind, I've decided that for me to pass along meaningful information, this subject will need to be handled in several separate posts.  Also remember that this is about setting up a studio on a 'shoestring' so not only will I be talking just about the basics, but additionally, how to save money with bargain buys and do it yourself projects.  So below are the main topics we must talk about, and I'll tackle each one in a separate Tech Talk Tuesday:
  1. Finding and determining adequate space, and preparation of that space
  2. Basic lighting equipment and support equipment and where to find it
  3. Backdrops and props, and great ways to save money and be creative
  4. Understanding how to actually operate your lighting equipment to produce your desired effect
The other night I was thinking about how to even begin, when I had a brilliant idea.  I know a lovely lady who is a great family and portrait photographer who lives nearby and recently built a home studio in her basement.   I called and told her of my blog project, and asked if she would help me.  She graciously said yes and I have an appointment with her today.  I will tour and take pictures of her studio to show you her set up, ask questions about the cost, the do's and don'ts, and what advice she would give us as we contemplate this venture.  I will also pass along some great information I learned during the all day portrait lighting class I took recently from a master photographer in our area but known in many countries, Dave Newman.

For someone who is learning while I'm writing, this seems like a pretty tall mountain to climb.  But, I'm always encouraging beginning photographers that their abilities will grow when they stretch and get out of their comfort zone, so I guess I'll take my own advice!  So if you are willing to learn along with me, next week we'll dig into specifics and talk about finding space in your home for photography, and  how to prepare that space.  (And for those of you who've dismissed the idea of a home studio because you don't think you have enough space, check back next week because you might be surprised!)

See you next Tuesday, and I'll leave you with another studio portrait taken at the class I recently attended.  Notice the beautiful soft shadows studio lights produce on her face.  (But remember, studio lighting is not just for portraits.  It's also for macro photography, product photography, still life photography, stock photography and so much more.)