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Home Studio Starter Kit

Lesson 4 of 9

Using Everday Objects Q&A

Tony Corbell

Home Studio Starter Kit

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

4. Using Everday Objects Q&A

Lesson Info

Using Everday Objects Q&A

We have some questions from anybody over there you want talk about I think there are a couple of the things that you had mentioned that you were going to talk about when can you go into detail a little bit more about mirrors using those in the home and then also the painter's floodlights uh, about two painters floodlights, and they didn't make it in that bag that I don't travel with and but you can buy those pretty inexpensively. So what's interesting is that the mirrors are a great light for a great source for just reflecting light uh, they're not good for you anything other than placing them right where you need them to be now what's fun about mirrors you can also buy I mean, so you have a regular mirror and you can use this think about this if I was to photograph, you were just a pawn appear for a second, so if I'm photographing, if I'm photographing you and your turned facing that way and that's my main light source right there, I could be in in a very small, confined space I could...

come right back here where silver might not give me the highlight that I need on her hair a mirror would give me a great perfect how loud I would just line up that mirror like, just line it up with that one main source right there and clamp it on the stand and I've got one hundred percent of a killer killer accent in her hair and what's fun about that is I could take one of my color gels like a warming gel like a little light amber and just cover the front of the mirror with the amber color now here's a little caution okay, thanks here's a little caution for you if you put a gel in front of a mirror, it doubles the density of the gel because the light goes through the jail, hits the mirror and comes back through the gel agan you didn't think about that, did you? It gets a double hit, so it doubles the density of the jail if you put on a mirror unless you move it out away from the mirror, but I will also add hang on one second. I'll also add that I also have lots and lots and lots of mirrored plexiglass around my studio of miscellaneous shapes and sizes plexiglass if you go into home depot or one of the home shopping places, plexiglass is expensive. You go in and buy a big sheet of plexiglass it's three hundred dollars don't do that go up to the guy that works in the plexiglass department and say, hey, do you have any scrap plexiglass around anywhere and he'll go, yeah, here's, where we have all the all the cuttings, go in that bin and start digging around of all these pieces and odd shapes of plexiglass, and start digging in there until you find those that are mirrored, and they sell him for four dollars a pound, so for twelve bucks, you can walk out there with a lot of free marriage. Plexiglass. Now, what I've done is I've got one particular one that's about a foot wide and five feet long, and I've taken handles from cabinet and screw them on the back so that assistance can hold him, and they can actually flex and bend the plexiglass a little bit as I'm bouncing and reflecting sunlight back from behind, getting a full length pen light all the way down my model's legs, I can do it with plexiglass instead of taking lights on location. Really, really helpful. Yes, ma'am, I just wanted to share. Also, you mentioned david edmundson earlier. I don't know if he's still watching, but I was lucky enough to take a class with him in texas school, and he had set up a shot where he had a model out in a boat with he had a big fog machine that was coming around her, and he had a huge mirror that was probably five feet by five feet, maybe bigger that he was using because we were shooting in about noon and it was the only he was reflecting the sun from that mirror because it was the only reflecting it put hate put the light away, wanted it it could cut through the fog and still put reflection on her face. So ability is it was crazy. It gives you the ability to move and place the lot where you want it. There's a there's a great guy out there named fuzzy dunkel, who does is a great job high school seniors in the midwest and hey was teaching a class one time and he put the high school senior inside the window of their living in the living room and she's inside with her hand pose on the table and very elegant looking photograph anyone out in the front yard and picked up a silver reflector and it was redirecting that light through the window. One of the students said, is that like gonna reaching inside that living room? And his response was that light's traveled ninety three million miles to reach here you think you can't go another twenty feet? You know, when it's redirected, you can redirect that light powerfully, so I think those kind of those kind of tips and techniques were really important there's an awful lot of that out their mirrors reflections of highly polished aluminum aluminum foil all that kind of stuff is really important to have around you it's it's all it's all stuff that you're gonna use this man all right great question had come in from anna maria with lots and lots of votes what options could you offer for budget friendly portable backdrops or even in the home studio back? Let me tell you something I did one time that basically for twenty dollars I got the greatest background that I ever had. I followed a painter's pickup truck with a sign they were in the neighborhood painting homes and I followed the painter around the neighborhood until he stopped and got out of his truck and I said, hey, do you have any of those drop cloths that have thousands of colors all over that you just don't need any more than you want to get rid of you? Yeah, and I'll give you twenty bucks for it and I got a painter's drop cloth for twenty dollars that was the best background I ever had. I really wish I still had it I get I felt nostalgic and gave it to somebody once but at any rate, so for me that worked out great uh there's a lawful lot of different things of fabrics and things that make good backgrounds they don't come wide enough often and so that sometimes is an issue and that does require that if if you like if you go to the fabric store scene go fabric stores and get some fabrics that are really great fabrics that would make a good background but they're not as wide as you need go ahead and get him and double them up and put them together and hang them together you can go in and clone out that scene that you can do pretty quick and easy uh with photoshopped techniques and using a lasso tool and using some other techniques where you can you can pop in there and not last october the patch tool you can you can make all that happen we got content where now you kidding we can do a lot of things we've never been able to do so that works really really well and fabrics are very inexpensive you can get you know so yards of fabric for pretty reasonable cost uh but look at look at that first thing and then also go to all the home uh home decor places and go through all of their shower curtains and just look at all the shower curtains there's a lot of really good backgrounds and shower curtain especially for headshots and it's really inexpensive tohave those around so I would consider I would consider that a lot okay great final question yep. Are you the macgyver of true question they came in I know people are really loving the different ideas that that are coming in so thank you so much you know there is there is something we said there was an old guy back when I started years and years ago he's no longer around but he made it everything he made a thing called the he called it his patented baby poser which he never patented but it was a little thing that he made to hold a baby and and he could it was a it was a little it was like a little wooden cradle thing that he could change the level the height with a wage in the back like a like a beach chair like a lawn chair uh chase lounge with same kind of a thing in the back and he could also there was a there was peg holes in the middle and he had a padded peg so he could put the baby's legs around the pig and change the height of it depends on how long the baby was where he could also tip it left and right and we had this great it was a macgyver moment. You know, I think all of us have swiss army knife's in our bags of tricks around my studio always have a swiss army knife I always have tweezers I always have glue of every time, every type thin uh fishing line monofilament line for hanging things and tying things and pulling things and I've got a zillion clips and clamps and stuff, and you do it's, a makai, everything you have to. You have to sort of craft what you're going to do sometimes and there's, no other way to do it. Then do it yourself.

Class Description

A well-equipped home studio can be a great place to work, but you need the right gear on hand to get pro-level results. Learn how to outfit your space in Home Studio Starter Kit with Tony Corbell.

Tony will teach you the concepts, tools, and techniques necessary to take beautiful photos in your home. 

You will learn how to:

  • Identify and utilize household items to affordably stock your home studio
  • Draw success from confined spaces and common household limitations 
  • Use basic modifiers like reflectors and soft-boxes to shape light

Tony will offer insights on tackling even the most challenging home studio scenarios; like lack of natural light, low ceilings, and small skinny rooms. You’ll learn how to set up your home photography studio, even if you don’t have a lot of money or experience.

Home Studio Starter Kit with Tony Corbell is chock-full of invaluable advice for anyone who wants to set up a photography studio in their home.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Essential Home Studio Gear Guide.pdf

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Heiko Kanzler

This was my very first course at all, and it was a great one from the beginning. I never thought I could gain so much fun from my limited small space at home. Thanks, Tony! (And thanks to folks of Creative Live)


I've been lucky enough to see Tony present in person and enjoy his CL courses. Love his courses!

Gregg Hasenjaeger

I like Tony's courses. He is very informative, speaks clearly and shares his thoughts openly. I like his style and interaction with people which does make a difference in this profession.