Are you starting your journey into the world of studio photography, or are you just curious about this topic? Photography can be very fun and rewarding. There is always space for improvement, you must constantly develop various skills, and it is a great way to express your emotions and creativity. If this seems a little complicated, you are not alone. Shooting in the studio may have many confusing elements and it is very different from shooting outside. Studio setting gives you control of your surroundings, such as lighting. The main focus is on the subject (not so much on a background), so it is ideal for portraits, fashion shoots, products, and editorials.
Here is a list of studio photography essentials, to help you start this amazing journey.
Find a Studio
The first step is to find the best place. If you want the studio to come with equipment and everything you need for an easy setup search for professional studios in your area. If not, you can consult AirBNB, or use event space websites. Options for renting are often:
- For an hour
- For half a day
- Full day
Choose it according to your needs and price. It’s also a good idea to ask your colleagues about their experiences or read some reviews online.
Once you have your space, you need to decide what kind of gear you need. Some studios are already fully equipped, and you can pay some extra fees to use their lighting, stands, etc. This is a less stressful solution, but it may cost you more. If your studio is just an empty space, you should make a plan. Ask yourself which elements are necessary for a shoot. Here are some suggestions:
- Lighting fixtures
- Power outlet
- Computer surface
- Props and design elements
Is it better to purchase your own gear or to rent it? Well, if shooting in a studio is something you do on a regular basis, investing in your own stuff might be a good option. A good camera, with a tripod and a camera bag, is a must-have! This is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will use, so make sure that it’s high quality. Don’t forget about lighting. It is essential and it can make all the difference in your photo. Choose from one of these three popular types of lighting bulbs: fluorescent, tungsten, or LED. The major benefit of LED light is less power consumption than the other two. Experts recommend trying daylight-balanced LED, dimmable option, or softbox LED lights. Don’t forget the importance of different lenses, which will give diversity to your photos. A final touch for your photo would be a good computer with proper editor software.
If studio photography is more of a hobby to you, you may consider renting your gear or borrowing from your colleagues. Many photography stores offer to rent their equipment. This is extremely useful if you are on a budget because some of the elements you need can be quite pricey, especially the lighting.
Design Your Set
This is the final step. The most important thing is to have a clear intention and a plan on how to achieve your intention through your images. Make sure you organize your backdrop, lighting, and props in the best way to help you with your goals. For example, if you are shooting a portrait using a model, the lighting should be in the front for the best results. If you are shooting a product, try focusing on creating a story with all the elements and props. Keeping everything organized will save you a lot of time.
Now that you are ready, you should figure out the best way to set up your lighting. There are several styles and methods. Here are some suggestions to give you a better idea:
- Short Lighting
This technique is used in shooting portraits, but when you want to achieve more shadows and sculpting quality. The effect you will get is a darker portrait.
- Broad Lighting
This one is different from short lighting because of the change in the positioning of your model. The face is turned away from the center which allows a lot of light on the face and fewer shadows.
- Butterfly Lighting
In this case, the light is above and behind the camera. This helps your model look more contoured, with prominent cheekbones, or slimmer.
- Split Lighting
This technique is very dramatic, so it’s not suitable for everyone. The light source should be 90 degrees left or right to the model, or sometimes even a little behind them. This creates an illusion that the face is “split” in the light and shadow. Now you understand everything about the process of planning, setting up, and organizing your shoot. It’s time to get creative! Photography is a great way to show your emotions and character to the world. Whether it’s your hobby or your profession – make sure your photos reflect how unique and imaginative you are.
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