List your questions about setting up and working in a home studio. I'll do my best to cover these questions as well as the live audience questions during the workshop. Thanks for participating, I'm really looking forward to this!
Marketing. Derek Halpern taught me a lot about the psychology of marketing. Will he be coming back? I want to pick his brain. This guy is so knowledgeable.
The social media platforms are always changing and new ones are appearing which makes it hard to develop a strategy. A good example is Facebook, younger people are leaving it. How to leverage it to get the best from it costing the least.
I would like more about creating websites...not just with Wordpress, but using other templates and design sites also.
creativelive we would love to see more film making courses here. if possible i will be glad to see the stillmotions teach about film making and story telling thanks........
would be great if we can have still motion teach about 2013 film making
A course on Street Photography would be helpful.
Awsome post and right to the point. I don't know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks really because Ur blog help me alot .Locksmith Newark
I recently bought HDDSLR Cinema by Vincent Laforet. It's the most informative class I have purchased so far. Since this class was recorded in 2010 I would love to see an update. I am sure the technology has improved such as the Mark III and led lighting. I would love to know more about additional experience Vincent has acquired in the last 2-3 years.
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a workshop on "InDesign" and the art of creating and composing an album
I would love to see a photo journalistic style of wedding photographer (faves are Susan Stripling, Ben Chrisman, and Jerry Ghionis) come on and discuss their mindset, planning, style of photography to capture the lasting moments in time. Thanks, love CL!!
I would love to see Bobbi + Mike come in and discuss their style of shooting with personality (they are pistols!!) They have really clean work and put their personalities at the heart of their work.
I would love for creative live to have Richard Israel come and teach, hes based out of charlotte nc, one of the best photographers around
Would *really* like a workshop on post processing workflow for people photography, that specifically addresses how to turnaround images faster without any loss in quality. Both Photoshop and Lightroom ideally.
Check out Jared Platt's class for Lightroom workflow: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/ultimate-lightroom-4-workflow-jared-...
please do a workshop on real estate photography
Hi folks. Just a friendly reminder that this class already happened back in January. If you want to suggest more classes to the creativeLIVE folks please post your requests at https://www.facebook.com/creativelive/app_190322544333196
please do a workshop on close-up and macro... could even get into micro photography....
Can CreativeLive do a Workshop/webinar on Lightroom similar to those on Photoshop CS6?
How about some tutorials using Elements and/or Lightroom.
I need to learn about backing up files.
I need a class that breaks it down into basic simple steps that a techno-challenged old person can understand:
How do external hard drives work?
How much storage do I need (what is a terabyte?)?
How many external drives do I need for multiple backup places (I've heard to back up in 3 places)?
I have a desktop and a laptop (with different OSs) - do I need separate external drives for each computer? Or can I plug both computers into one so all my images are stored in one organized place?
How do I set up an organized file system?
How do I begin to organize the jumble of photos that are currently on my C drive (or 'wherever' the computer stores them)?
I want to see Susan Stripling- her wedding photography work is art! I got a quick glimpse of her at WPPI 2 years ago speaking in one of the booths. She also has think books that she sells in her website. I feel like she captures lighting and is by far one of my top 2 favorite photographers. :)
Just a quick note that this class already happened, back in January.
I see no problem with shapes other than square for scrims. I often have other rectangles. And I could see a round (such as a pop-up diffuser) or octa. Go for it!
Question: Would you make scrims in other shapes besides square? If not, why?
I would love to find out how to build a portfolio for the aspiring photographers who want to build a successful business.
underwater photography please! I know there are a couple of great PHOTOGS in Seattle that do this amazingly!
Residential Interior Photography workshop would be great!
yes! balancing outdoor and indoor light and perfect time of day!!
Or multiple exposures and blending is fabu as well!
I really need to learn how to shoot flare with the sun...I know this isn't about studio but maybe it could be a small portion. Thanks for all you guys do!!!
Lindsay Adler's workshop actually has a great section all about using lens flare!
John I have been looking for the White & Black FoameCore Board in my city.
No Sign company has it, What is the name I need to ask for ??? the sign companies have White Only = $100.00 per 4x8 sheet.
I just posted this link on Twitter: http://www.trueart.info/foamcore_boards.htm
$100/sheet sounds like they have 1" thick boards. You don't need that. See if they can get 1/4" or 3/16" boards.
Here is a place in NY that sells it, but shipping is probably expensive due to the size: http://setshop.com/Search-Results?manufacturers_id&keywords=foamcore&osC...
I don't know a way to make foam-core v-flats easily transportable or storable. They are always in the way when not in use. I'm always moving mine out of the way. Mine are 1/4", but I don't take them out. 1/2" is probably stronger, but I haven't seen the need for it for myself. Never tried 1". Seems heavy and expensive.
If you need portability or something that collapses, take a look at the Photoflex lighting panels or something similar. B&H has them listed at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=photoflex+panels&N=0&InitialSea...
Hi John--you mentioned foam core boards & other CL classes actually used 4' x 8' sheets (white on one side and black on the other). CL seminar instructors mentioned that you can purchase something like this in photo stores but how can one make one so that you can close it like a sandwich for easy storage? (if this is possible) I believe gaffer's tape but would you tape from top to bottom of the 8' length on one or both sides or something else? (to close the gap) Also, do you recommend foam core boards (of these dimensions) be 1" thickness or thicker?
Forgot to answer part of that. I tape both sides down the long side. I use white gaff tape on the white side and black tape on the black side.
Hi John, I watched both days of your seminar which was great, thanks!
I missed however maybe 1/2 hour during which I think you may have talked about how to light up the eyes on the model. I wonder if you could comment on this? I absolutely love how beautiful the eyes are in your photos. I believe part of it has to do with putting a reflector under the face to throw light into the eyes and the other part is perhaps a grid on the strobe to direct the light. Am I on the right track? Thanks!
I used a grid at one point to add some sparkle to the eyes, but I don't think it affects the color. Neither does the reflector underneath, that brightens the lower part of the face and adds another catchlight to the eye.
For the color in the iris I think it is about having the main light in close (usually within 24 inches of the subject) and hitting it from just the right angle from the side. It isn't something I consciously do, so it is hard to describe how to do it. But it definitely is part of my look. It also helps to have a modeling light in the flash so that the pupil is not so dilated that it takes up most of the iris.
My best suggestion is to get the light in as close to the face as possible and have the light skim over the eyes/face. This gives a good light for the iris, and being in so close the catch light is not so bright as it would be if the light was further away. I know that might sound odd. But the catchlight is a mirror-like specular reflection. It is the same brightness as the light source. So, when your light is in close it doesn't have to be as powerful/bright as when it is far away. Bringing the light in close gives a larger, but less bright catchlight and helps fill the entire eye.
Hope that helps!
Your class was wonderful.. very excited to see I have many of the same props.. I didnt catch and the class has not been uploaded yet so I can got back and relisten to what you said was the material used for the backdrop on the last group shots, where you purchased it and what was the approximate cost for this. Durable is something I would think to be important. I live out in the country so paper would not last long with people walking on it. Thanks John.. You are awesome! Michelle
For the last shot the background was a roll of white seamless paper. 107" wide. They cost around $50, but are expensive to ship if you don't have a somewhat local camera shop to purchase from.
For the floor, I used something I found at Home Depot called a Polywall Panel. It is used for bathroom wall covering. The stock number at Home Depot is 179-646 and it cost about $22 out here in Seattle. I don't know if it is the same price in all locations.
This was really the first time I've used it, so I don't know how well it is going to hold up. It is a soft plastic that can roll up, but it seems like it can get a bit staticky and pick up dust. It is also not quite a pure white. So I need to do more experimenting with it to see how it ends up working out.
Thank you John for the information. I am in california so I am guessing the price should be somewhere close to the same. I will have to go and get some. Do you have any ideas as an alternative to the paper background? I live in the hills and have no photography stores within a 2 hour drive. I do have a Lowes Hardware store.. any ideas? Thanks again you have inspired me to get my house set up!
Sorry, I don't have much to offer as an alternative to rolls of seamless paper. I've heard people talk about vinyl flooring, but I suspect that would be rather heavy to try to hang up as a background with a sweep. Maybe look at fabric backgrounds?
I enjoyed watching the live session today.
Question: Who did your website? I love the look of it and I need a new website. Who do you use to host your website, how was it designed and....drum roll....how much does it COST??
I did the website myself in Adobe Lightroom using Sean McCormack's LRB Exhibition web module plugin. It is hosted by 1+1. I think the plugin is around $20.
What is the brand/model of the hand strap on the camera you used in forays broadcast? I want one for my NIKON D3 and haven't seen one online like you have...too many choices to spend hours looking through. Thanks. Very enjoyable day with you John.
I have also used handstraps from Camdapter. I have one of these on my other body. Very similar to the one I was using in the class, but no Canon logo on it: http://camdapter.com/home.html. They also have QR plates available that have a lug for the strap if you don't have a battery grip.
I have a Canon hand strap that attaches to the tripod plate (normally it would be used with a battery/grip that has an attachment point for it.
What about the inexpensive continuous photo quality florescents?
We used fluorescent lights for the head shot of Trin. The issue there is getting enough light out of them. I was at ISO 800 at f/4 and 1/160 second. I would have liked to been at f/8, which would have been been 1/40 of a second. I'd also like to have been at ISO 200 or 100, which would drop me to 1/10 of a second or longer. And that was with 2 150 watt fluorescent lights about 20 inches from her face. I can get a lot more light out of a set of strobes for similar cost.
I find I get multiple color casts with hot lights. Like green in one image and magenta in the next, even when I don't change any settings.
When you say hot lights, are you referring to fluorescent or tungsten? Are you setting a specific white balance or using Auto white balance?
how high is the ceiling in your space
8 foot ceilings, maybe 8-feet and 2-inches.
hey, you guys cheated!! in the promo video i saw the old Speedotron heads, and i got excited cause i use them too. but in the photo there is the newer one!! Boooo
I will be using both. The newer ones are a lot less noisy for the video broadcast, though, so they'll get more use today.
Studio strobes are very expansive, what about some cheap chinese models like Jinbei or Menik for a beginner with not a lot of money available ?
And what are the most importants things to look at when choosing a strobe (cooling, power, etc) ?
I've never used any of them, so can't really say much about them. As long as they are sturdy, have modeling lamps, are adjustable, stable, color consistent, etc., they should be OK. And you also want to make sure it is easy to add attachments like speedrings for softboxes.
After all my ravings about the Photek Softlighter, it looks like they are backordered at B&H. I was luckily able to purchase one a couple of weeks ago at Glazer's. Hoping to see them back in stock soon. It is probably more Peter Hurley's fault that they are sold out than mine, as he has been talking about them too. But I'd like to feel like I have a little part in making them so popular.
My question for tomorrow: For a new photographer, what is a basic, inexpensive home studio set up (backdrops, props, light set up) that could also be portable and used on the go? Thank you!
Same answer as the previous (two lights, 4 stands, background holder, etc. Easily portable. More in the morning!
I have slowly morphed into the unoficial "OFishal" family photographer. Since you've said that the audience for this seminar is greatly hobbyist photogs, it would be nice if you could touch on what lighting gear you might take with you to a family holiday celebration. One of my family's houses has a mixture of fluorescent and tungsten lighting in various colors. Of course, the problems that arise from the mixed colored lighting can greatly be fixed by shooting in raw and post-processing. However, one of the issues that remails is hot spots created by the imbalanced lighting. An interesting subject for the hobbyist photog/"ofishial" family photographer is how one might use home studio equipment to compensate/counteract severely imbalanced home indoor lighting.
This is an easy one. I'd get one strobe, two light stands, and a Photek Softlighter (no, I'm not sponsored by them, I just love the light and the ease of use). My favorite is the 60" but could see using the 46" version to save a little bit of space. On the other light stand use a white reflector. Probably one of the fold-up 5-in-1 reflectors so you have other options than just the white. A clamp to hold the reflector to the stand. And some way to trigger the flash wirelessly.
You could put a camera flash in the softlighter (I'd probably go for the 46" for that), but you lose the modeling lamp of a studio light. This is all easy to carry and set up. Relatively inexpensive. And gives great results.
I'm currently doing portrait photography part-time--in my home or in the client's home--using three Speedlites (2 x 580exii, 1 x 430exii). I'd love to add strobes that have modeling lights and more power. Are monolights the best, most cost-effective way to go--and what should I consider? Any recommendations on brands/models? What about mixing strobes with Speedlites? And, what about controlling all of these?
I don't have a strong preference between monolights vs head/pack. There are tradeoffs for each. Luckily, many modern monolights are light weight, as that was the big downfall in older units. If I needed to put a softbox out on a boom arm, I wanted a light weight head, so that usually meant a pack and head.
Personally, I use mostly Speedotron equipment (both packs and monos), and also have an SPS Excalibur monolight. I have many friends with Alien Bees, and their new Einsteins sound good. Whatever you go with, make sure that it is easy to get accessories like speed rings for softoxes and that it can handle a bright modeling lamp (150 watts or higher).
I have sometimes mixed speedlights with strobes. Usually using the speedlight for a little bit of fill light. I don't like using speedlites in softboxes and the like, as I find them too "fidgety" with small buttons, dealing with batteries, etc. For me, they get in the way of having a good relationship with my subject. Breaks the flow and concentration. But that is for me. Other folks love speedlights and do wonderful things with them.
I am so happy you are doing this course John. Finally you get your very own spotlight!
1.) What would be the very minimum investment for a portrait & child photography home studio to achieve excellent results. I currently have a Nikon SB600 and would love to start there if it would get reasonable results with a mixed (window) light environment.
2.) What would be a good travel lighting kit for a weakling woman without an assistant? By the way - that's me :)
Thanks. Looking forward to tomorrow's class.
New York City, NY
Are you talking just about lights and backgrounds? Or cameras/lenses, too?
I'll assume you already have the camera and lenses, so I'd guesstimate at around $2,000 to have a really good setup. I'd look for two strobe heads (2 monoblocs or a pack with 2 heads). 4 light stands (two for the lights, two more for reflectors or flags). A background stand and crossbar, and some fabric backdrops (much easier to transport than paper rolls). That can all fit into a rolling case that isn't TOO heavy. You would also want modifiers for the lights. I'd start with a Photek Softlighter II (60") and maybe a 12x50 strip light. That's exactly what I use when going on location.
This course comes at a perfect time for me. Right now my husband is in the process of turning our 2-car garage into a photo studio for me! Cool huh?
I have three burning questions and your input will be very important...
1) What COLOR should we paint the walls, ceiling & floor?? I've had other photogs tell me white (to bounce the light), others tell me black (so as NOT to bounce light), still others say to paint it 18% gray. But what do you say John?
2) How do you deal with clients using your other personal space? For example, my garage will be my studio, but the bathroom is in my personal residence (which I share with my husband and son). I have had other friends with home studios say that clients will trash your bathroom and generally invade your personal space and my family will lose all privacy. Any insight you have on this topic will be most appreciated.
3) Your website is cool. My website is a hot mess. I have a pro-level SmugMug account but their customizing is not easy and still looks awful. I don't want to pay a monthly arm-n-a-leg fee for another website, but I realize I need to make a move. How do I get a great looking website like yours, and at what price?
Thanks for everything. I'm looking forwrd to tuning in tomorrow!
All The Best,
Vivian in Mission Viejo, CA.
I really don't have a preference on color. My old real studio space had gray floors with white walls and ceiling. I recently visited it and the folks in there now have painted it all gloss white. I've never tried gray or black, they seem too dark for me. For my work, headshots and portraits, my lights are in so close to the subject that I don't think that the walls matter all that much. I've never noticed issues in various locations I've worked on with all sorts of surrounding wall colors.
Personal space is tough. You might consider a restroom and makeup counter area in the space. If you have people in you really can't prevent them from having to use the facilities. For me it isn't such a big issue because it is just my wife and myself, and I don't have a lot of people (other than the subjects) in. I'm not running a commercial space. There is sort of a running joke between us, though, as many of my friends are performers and when they come in for a photo session they literally explode all over all the rooms in the house. But that is part of our life. I'm not trying to separate them.
My website was created in Lightroom using Sean McCormack's LRB Exhibition (http://lrbplugins.com/).
Hi John! I am so thrilled you are instructing this course, I cant wait to hear all the "tricks" you have up your sleeve.
I am VERY GREEN to todays LIGHTING options, 100% of my work has been outdoor photography. My Father was a Pro photographer for a major airline, and has recently passed away. I inherited ALL his camera equipment. I dont know how to apply 1/2 the lighting equipment I have recvd. - Heck I dont even know what some of these GADGETS ARE! The last class I had in studio lighting was 20 yrs ago - college! I found it WAY TO CONFUSING and chose the path of outdoor photography.
What I do know is: between my Fathers equipment and mine, it is time to setup a studio. I have an extra room which has alot of wood in it with a semi gloss polyurethane finish. Should I be concerned about the amount of reflection? I can also paint the walls from chair rail height up, any color suggestions? I should say this room would be used for my own personal growth.
I KNOW I WILL LEARN SOOOO MUCH FROM YOUR CLASS! THANKS AGAIN!
what kind of lights did you receive? Hard to tell on the wall finish. Between softboxes or umbrellas and reflectors, the way I work, in close, I don't find the walls matter all that much But if I had to pick, I'd go for white or a light gray with a matte finish. There is a large mirror in my living room/studio that has caused issues when I forget to cover it, so shiny could be an issue.
White background and foreground on a product.
Also, will this be available for sale? Or replayed? I can't be home all day
I hadn't planned on product photography, but we'll see. It will be replayed at the end of the day and will be for sale (discounted $10 until Tuesday night).
I'm really excited about the class! I just purchased and Alien Bee 400 and a 30x60 softbox. Any chance you'll be talking about this type of lighting set up?
Hi Amanada. Definitely be talking about studio lights such as the Alien Bee and softboxes.
I'd like to take a trip through your "tickle trunk." You seem to have a great deal of props that seem to help people become more creative in their poses .
Thanks for the reminder. I learned a great "tickle tool" recently while watching Sandy Puc' at the Canon booth at Photo Expo that I'll have to mention. Mostly for working with kids. And I do have a ton of props. I like to collect things from thrift stores that can worked into photos.
I watched a Kelby Training video on lighting in which the instructor talked briefly about "north light" and "south light." He was talking about window light with "north" and "south" referring to the walls in which the windows were mounted. He suggested that light from north-facing windows (in the Northern Hemisphere) give more consistent light throughout the day whereas the light from south-facing windows changes every few minutes. Is this a concern when setting up a home studio? Are there window treatments (e.g., shear curtains) that can help window light?
I tend to black out the windows with heavy curtains or black foam-core sheets. I want to provide all the light and be able to control it all. Even in my day job I prefer an interior office that I can control.
But that advice is very true. Northern skies in the northern hemisphere don't have the sun in them, and give a marvelous light that stays pretty consistent. On location, I like to work in a barn that has a big door open to the north.
South-facing windows have the sun in them and the sun is constantly moving, so your light and shadows change every few minutes. You can get some really great images, but you have to act fast.
So, as to your question, for north windows (in the north) you don't need anything over them. Just let the light come in. For south facing windows (in the north), hang a frosted shower curtain or similar fabric over them to diffuse and soften the light for consistency, or leave it open and work fast.
I would love to know how to make my backgrounds white....even though I already have a white sheet. I have a small studio in my bedroom and two portrait lights. I sometimes use my flash as well, but mostly thats for outside remote shots.
I seem to spend ages in Photoshop CS5 trying to get the background white and customers especially woman always want me to take away spots blemishes and lines. I never do that to the extreme because it looks so unatural I think.
Basically what I am saying is I want my backgrounds white (unless using my black one) and not spend so long in photoshop.
I live in UK my son lives in NY and sent my your link.
Hope you can help
Getting a pure white background usually requires a lot of lights, especially for a full length image. For head and shoulders it is a bit easier. But you need to be careful that the white background isn't too bright, or that will flare out the edges of your subjects. I do plan to do some photos on white during the class. Both a headshot and a full length group.
I would love to know where to buy a large piece of white fabric (i.e. portable - rolls of paper are not) to use as a background in my living room or in someone else's house. Something that can easily be taped or pinned up so that I can isolate on white or at least have a uniform background. Thanks - looking forward to the workshop!
Hi David. Fabric can make a nice background. The inexpensive way to go is a fabric store that carries wide muslin. I've seen it in 108" and 120" widths. It comes in natural (off-white) and bleached (white). I'd get about 5 or 6 yards of that, maybe a bit more. The issue with muslin is wrinkling. I often need to have hand-held steamer available to clean it up. And, speaking of clean, it can get dirty fast.
Westcott now sells a white cloth background that is kind of like fleece that looks like it might not show wrinkles as much as muslin does. I haven't tried it, though. They also have black.
John, this looks like there is a lot of interest and questions. Good luck fitting it into one day.
I would love to hear about the best products to use in a small space. Also I love hearing about those neat tricks that a pro like you would come up with to save money and make something work for you better (a home project that makes your studio function more effectively that I could do at home). Thanks for doing this John I went to school and got my Masters in Directing for Cinema and have changed a lot of goals in my life to start a family and be a military mom. I believe your knowledge might help me find a business model that works for me as I have to move every 2 or 3 years. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I will definitely talk about some money saving ideas for home-made reflectors and the like. But sometimes the best money saving advice is to spend the money once on something that works rather than trying a bunch of "possible" solutions that don't work, where you end up spending a lot more in the long run.
If a photographer is setting up a small home studio with the intention of "going pro" and actually making some money, how prepared should he or she be to deal with equipment failure? Do you have recommendations for having spare equipment on hand (e.g., light bulbs) and, perhaps, a borrow arrangement with a photographer friend in case a camera body goes sour? I can imagine almost nothing more frustrating for both the photographer and the client when a session has to be rescheduled because of equipment failure.
And, what about backing up after (or even during) a photo shoot? I suppose that an even more aggravating experience for the photographer and client would be a session lost because of memory card or disk drive failure.
Hi Sam. I do have backups of most equipment or at least another way to do it in the studio (hot lights, etc.). I also have two bodies, and overlap in lenses. That is part of the cost of doing business and has to be worked into your business and financial plan. I don't think we'll get into the business side in this class. It is more about pulling together some equipment and backgrounds and money-saving ideas for accessories (reflectors, etc). Also won't be able to touch on things like zoning because that will depend on your locale.
I would love to hear about posing legs/feet, placment of the subject the subject within the frame and group shots. shooting in small places, stuido wall color and using spped lites in big motifyers. Question can you talk about the cool modifyer your sitting next to in the picture above.
I assume you are asking about the big umbrella. That is the Westcott 7' parabolic. I plan to work with that in the class.
I forgot to metion I would love to hear about posing while sitting. Looking forward to seeing you in action!
What about ceilings? Any special treatments or things to avoid? Can you use a low ceiling to advantage? Does a low ceiling present any special challenges?
Hi Sam. I think that a standard ceiling and small space can actually be an advantage. I'll definitely cover that and my philosophy on "limitations" of a small space.
John! Looking forward to this workshop! I am in the final stages of a complete garage overhaul. New floor with radiant heat, insulation and drywall all around. I would love to hear your ideas on how to organize garage spaces to give it as much versatility as possible. My garage is a double with another 10 feet of length when the cars are pulled in. I am already making sure to make holes in an area in the ceiling to store rolls of savage paper ect... Would love to see photos of home/garage studios that you like. See you next month!
Wanting a set up for my home or out on location that can be put up and taken down fairly easily. Would love to learn if this is feasible.
Almost everything I use is portable. Taking a lot of it out on location tomorrow (Dec 10) for Help-Portrait Seattle. Definitely feasible. Though you might want to have an assistant to help carry the stuff on location sessions.
And for those wondering, that is not a styrofoam swimming pool flotation device under may arm. It is a roll of purple seamless paper (Yes, someone asked...)
Is it possible to do a section dedicated to newbies who can't afford pro equipment and use continuous lights (like CFLs), along with storage solutions?
I do plan to at least touch on CFLs. I have a couple of them. My choices for lights would be strobes, then CFLs, then camera flash (off camera). What are you referring to about storage? File storage? Equipment storage? Something else?
How you control reflections (I'm guessing big black drapes or sheets), what you use for props...how you get 5' of distance between the model and background. Most of these fall into the category of how you deal w/ a small space.
Glad to see a Speedotron user...teach these folks what a real pack/head system is like...not those wimpy Profoto packs that blow up on Matthew Jordan shoots ;-)
I've had my share of Speedotron's blow up. I once had a 2400 pack buzzing and bouncing its 36 lbs across the studio floor. I've seen/heard Balcar's snap (lost my hearing for an hour or so). And heard horror stories about the old ASCOR sun guns in the 70s. We didn't blow a pack a Matthew's shoot, it was a circuit breaker in the building that blew.
How to you deal with low ceilings. I always have a problem in a room with a low ceiling, they always seem to affect the amount of light on my scene if I am using a large modifier to create soft light for a couple for example. You see to get the light even on a group I back the light up until coverage is even on all the subjets, then dial the power to achive the look I want but I seem to a wrap effect from the celings. Gridded modifers not such a problem, Shoot thru, large softboxes ect.. It is a problem. God forbid I need to shoot white seamless with a semi gloss floor in a low celing (8feet) room. It is all sorts of problems to control wrap. The celing becomes a huge light source. Looking at that 202vf head on a 68" white umbrella I dont know how toy take that beast in a 8 foot celing room. I have 202 and 206 heads. I had to step down to 805 packs for house shoots, the 1201a and larger I could never dial down or bleed the packs by dumping heads in other rooms to lower the power. As of late I have been speedlighting and less pack stuff at home. SO I cant wait to hear how you tame the big stuff at home!
Guess I should define "atrezzo." That's a mannequin. I have purchased mannequins from ebay. There is also a used mannequin dealer in my neighborhood. I think mannequins are OK for learning lighting patterns. But they don't work for seeing how the light affects skin and how catchlights look. There is no substitution for having live models when you can.
Sam, my place is definitely NOT child-proof. That's not my market. I'll do some kid photography for close friends, but I don't pursue that market.
I've got a stereo and OK speakers on my computer to have some music in the background, but I don't blast it. My subject and I need to be able to hear each other. And we won't be able to use background music during the class due to licensing restrictions.
As for PocketWizard alternatives, I hear good things about CyberSync remotes, but I have not used them myself. Before I got my PWs I used an inexpensive radio unit from eBay and never had any problem with it. I do try to avoid infrared devices due to line of site issues. But that was more for location. In the studio they may be OK.
1. From your experience, what doesn't work well if the ceiling is too low and also when the ceiling is too high.
2. What accessories/props you use a lot in the home studio esp. backgrounds you use most of the time - muslin cloth vs. paper.
3. What are the setups are person should try FIRST in a home studio and what he/she should try LATER?
Please devote a few minutes to discussing the "off stage" parts of a studio such as changing room, bathrooms, a waiting room or something for parents or friends, etc. Also, do you equip your home studios with a music system? And, finally a necessary questions: Do you worry about unchaperoned shoots involving youngsters?
Can't wait for this class! I would like to hear about affordable alternatives for many of the items used in a home studio. Things like pocketwizards are out of my price range currently. What are some good gear options that won't break the bank.
Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge with others!!
I would love to hear about the backgrounds that you use in your home studio (fixed/portable, colors, sizes, paper/cloth/other materials)
Also would like to hear about the atrezzo that you use in your studio. I see some of it in your shots (figures, chairs, etc.)
Thanks again and good luck with your class!
Right now I am using Speedotron lights. I also used Alien Bees (ring light) and SPS Excalibur lights. I have a mixture of mono-blocs and packs and heads. I'll talk about the differences between mono/packs. I think you can start with one light and a large diffuser (softbox, softlighter), and a sheet of white foam-core and do great work.
As for legal issues with a home-based business, those are going to vary by where you live. I can't comment much on that except to say to check your local zoning laws. This will be geared more towards the gear and hobbyist photographer trying to get set up.
For the mis-fires, do the lights not fire if you press the button on them instead of using the pocket-wizards? mis-fires are usually related to the triggers, or the cables on the triggers.
This is going to be great!
I would like to know:
-the minimum equipment needed to start your own home studio. I really believe I need to learn the basics with the basic equipment before investing alot of money into equipment I don't know how to use.
-what brand name of equipment you recommend. Right now I am having compatibility issues between my my pocketwizards and my strobes. I have a set of 2 Opus strobes and two pocketwizards. My lights do not fire consistently everytime I press the shutter (and it is not related to recharge time). I am thinking maybe I should invest in better lights.
Anywho, enough of my jibber jabber. Really looking forward to this John! Great way to start off the new year!
Would love to hear about electrical setup to avoid blowing fuses constantly and legal matters around setting pu a home studio. Thanks for setting up this class!
Looking forward to the class! Would love to hear about equipment to use for photographing children and food without spending a fortune and what the essentials are for beginners.
Just about everything I use is totally portable and I have taken most of it to a client location. So, yes, I can cover that. I don't know how much client interaction I'll cover, most of this will be about the equipment and dealing with space issues.
I can’t wait to see this seminar!
It would be great to hear about a studio setup that you use in your home studio that can also be packed up and used on location in the client’s home. Even if you don’t operate that way I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Great to see you on CL as an instructor!.
Q)How would you get your clients to be comfortable in a home studio where there is limited space. For eg: if you have to deal with kids and you don't want stiff formal shots but of them moving around .Or if you want certain action shots etc.
q)Practicalities and pitfalls of a home studio.(Though I'm sure you'll already be shedding light on this.
q)Temporary or permanent Situation.(Is the room you consider as your "studio space" set up a temporarily and then it reverts back to a room for normal use? )
q)Dealing with clients who will disregard your standard as a photographer because it is a "home studio" and how to over come this.
There will be many more to the bucket list I'm sure :)
Thanks in advance.
Just wanted to say, that I'm happy to see a course from you, John! :) You've been great in all the workshops I've seen you in so far and you seem to have so much knowledge to share. I'm enrolled and looking forward to watching your workshop. Thanks :)
I would venture to guess this is on the top ten list (if not #1), but I'll mention it anyway. Dealing with limited ceiling height. Most US homes are 8ft high. I've dealt with it for years and made it work.
I can mud and paint, and fortunately, my wife tolerates me screwing bolts into the ceiling, allowing maximum use and not needing floor space for stands and such.
I am looking forward to your class, John! You have always been great at the CLive workshops I've seen (a couple). You have a very common sense approach. Cheers!!!