Apartment studio set up

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by cmphoto|1, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. What would I need to get and how much would I need to budget for a portrait studio setup in my apartment. I have an open room with an open wall about 10 feet long. I do not have deep pockets but would invest to make sure it is professional. chad
     
  2. What are you trying to shoot and with what equipment?
     
  3. Also look at the Strobist site for some good info.
     
  4. What do you have? Where do you want to go? Maybe all you need is a backdrop and a couple of speedlights. I also recommend looking at Strobist ( http://strobist.blogspot.com/ ). Ten feet is about half of optimal for portrait studio depth. You may need to work with wider lenses (wider than conventional portrait lenses) and put your subjects a bit close to the background.
     
  5. Ten feet will work for a single person head shot only. You need more like twenty feet to use a portrait length lens on a 3/4 or full length portrait.
     
  6. Hi Chad, I have a "portable studio" that stows away in a medium-sized suitcase. Excellent for small appartments and perfect for locationwork. My "portable studio" basically consists of 3x wireless 5600D flashguns on their own tripods, a 3' and a 4' silver/white Lastolite reflector. This provides plenty 'oomph', I can bounce and fake 'softboxes' and balance shadows, and endlessly vary combinations. An apparent downside is that you have no modelling lights. But, hey!, this is the digital age, so you simply do a test shot, you chimp - on a laptop for a good view! - and adjust if neccessary! I shoot live subjects with unsupported camera, because flash freezes movement anyway, and it enables me to move around freely, direct the scene, try different angles and viewpoints, or adjust the lighting. The combination of versatility, portability and power means that I use this setup often.
     
  7. For backdrops, check out seamless background paper or the "People Popper" and "Background in a Bag" systmes, both at www.bhphotovideo.com. I use Novatron monlights but there are many brands. Make sure you get something with good modeling lights -- my Novatron has 150 watt modeling lights and that's just barely enough to focus by. Don't buy the $100 toy strobes with 60-watt modeling lights. You have to keep your subject away from the background as much as possible so 10 feet is pretty tight. Might use an 85 instead of a 105 lens.
     
  8. Maybe you should go to them rather than them coming to you- I hear it pays more. Learn to use windows, hallways, porches etc as primary sources, with flash fill.
     
  9. Ten feet isn't hardly enough room even for head shot portraits. I'm doing head & shoulders portraits in my home studio and am struggling with getting the subject far enough away from the light (24 X 36 softbox) to get even tones. I shoot with a 50mm on a 1.6X crop camera and it's adequate for perspective control with head & shoulders.
     
  10. Don't listen to these meatheads who tell you 10 feet isn't enough. It is way less than optimal, but you're not going to move anytime soon, are you? If that's all you've got to work with, then that's it. I do fine from 10 feet with a black background (so a nice, blurry background isn't a problem) two umbrellas on stands with off-camera Vivtar 285HV's, a tripod (Manfrotto) and that's it. Granted, more would be better, but work with what you have. Get outside, if possible. Learn to use reflectors.
     
  11. Gosh, have I graduated to the level of meathead already? Endo, do you do fine from 10 feet or do you do fine in a 10' room? There's a big difference. I agree that one should do the best with what they have. Sure, take it outside or get away from the seamless and muslin. We all should be tired of that stuff. Calling others names is not the best way to make friends or establish credibility. Peace.
     
  12. Thanks for the feedback. For clarity, the width is about 10 feet. The depth of the room is about 20-25 feet. I have room to back up. I have been thinking of getting 2 or 3 Sunpak 120j with a wein hpoto tricgger, some umbrellas or soft boxes (don't know which), stands (don't know how high) and using the built in flash set to manual 1/32 power on my dSLR as the trigger. Thanks chad
     
  13. If you have an average size bedroom would you recommend turning it into a small studio?
     

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