A little over a year ago, I came to a point of wanting to take the next step in growing my photography business. To me, opening a studio space made the most sense. The ability to have a dedicated place to work, meet clients, and sell prints out of, as well as wanting a way to make my business appear more legitimate, all factored in to why I believed a studio space was the next step. I recently finished up my first year of having a studio, and although it has been successful and definitely worth it, I wish I would have had a better idea of the costs you can forget about when budgeting for a space.
Over the years of using my personal set of studio lights, I've found I've become increasingly frustrated with the growing cost of equipment such as softboxes and scrims. While these are necessary when shooting in a studio, I couldn't justify spending all that money for a massive softbox when it's actually quite easy to build one yourself. All it takes is a bit of time and effort, but once you're done, you're left with a solid sense of achievement and a light modifier that has a lot to offer.
Careful selection is the first and most important step in our creation process that is often left out of conversation. Nearly every client I photograph asks me "How do you choose?" It's actually a great question. After perfecting this process, I guarantee your solid and confident answer will blow their mind.
Since moving into my new house about a month ago, I've been thinking more and more about creating my own studio setup using as little resources as possible. As much as I'd love to own a huge Profoto Octa in my house, it's just not always possible. So why not build your own lighting rigs using equipment readily available at your nearest hardware store?
Cable management is one task that for me is bizarrely fun and rewarding. In my last article, I wrote about creating a DIY portable charging station built out of a Craftsman tool box that is serving me quite well in the studio and in the field. Clients have been impressed with the simplicity and intentional design in keeping a lot of gear charged. It communicates quite a bit about how you take care of your investments. Here are a few tips to help you manage the clutter in your office or studio.
Take a look at any boudoir image and a trained eye will see the lighting, posing, and of course the wardrobe. Attention to detail in how each look flatters your client will go a long way. This guide will list where to shop whether on a budget or having the ability to stock your studio with high-end lingerie.
Christopher Nolan continues to give us of the best movies ever produced. My first Nolan movie was “Memento,” and I surely realized that the theme of his movies, his way of telling a story, and overall character portrayal was something I've never seen before. His vision and talent has given us many after that. “Inception,” “Interstellar” and now “Dunkirk.” His way of doing what he does is worth paying attention to. And when I read up about him, I came across an interview where he mentions how he removes distractions from the set.
Papermakers G . F Smith, with help from the design agency, Made Thought, conducted a survey seeking the "World's Favorite Color" receiving 30,000 submissions from around the globe via online poll since it was launched in January 2017. The winner was chosen by popular consensus was a shade of green submitted by fine arts graduate Annie Marrs and UNESCO working inspired by the blue, grey, and green tones she saw in the River Tay in Scotland.
Photography can be quite an expensive hobby or career. Needless to say us photographers love our gear and always want more of it - or at least I do! Over the past couple of years, I've been transitioning from being primarily a wedding photographer to incorporating more studio photography in my business. I don't plan on leaving weddings, but I love having a couple more thousand dollars a month doing quick and easy headshot photography. Here's how I built my studio with both simplicity and quality in mind.
Virtually all photographers' portfolios have some form of studio work in it. The clean white background has been used the world over, from high-fashion shoots to everyday e-commerce. Here's an effective way to give your model or product shoots a touch more class for little to no cost.
Confession: I love me some Felix Hernandez, and I'm pretty sure the rest of Fstoppers would agree with me. Felix first came onto my radar when we did an article on his piece "The Wardrobe" in June of last year. Then, later that same month, he won "Fstoppers Photographer of the Month" where a variety of his awesome miniature-based photography was featured. This past May we featured him again after Audi hired him to do an artistic campaign for the new Audi Q2. I hope you're getting the idea now; Felix Hernandez makes magic, and he's back with more.
I use a bike in Paris, and I use bungee cords to tie things down when I need to, but this video shows a way to use it in studio which I think is so simple, yet so brilliant. Studio space can seem large and vacant at first, but after a couple of weeks things start piling up and if you and your team don't clean up and maintain it, can become a place you dread going to. Light stands are one of the items we use mostly in a studio, and we have more than two at any given time.
Much like the way the Willie Geist of Sunday Today describes his senior portraits in this video, mine were definitely a somewhat lackluster experience. The "edgy" photos I had were me in front of a shiny corrugated metal wall holding my favorite guitar at the time, I thought I was cool, and thank goodness this was really prior to the days of digital workflows otherwise I would be obligated to have an embarrassing photo of me somewhere in this article. But times have changed, and with those changes the standards for what constitutes a senior portrait have risen exponentially, especially with the emergence of social media's "do it for the likes, bro."
In an industry saturated with educational materials, navigating the minefield to find which resources are valuable, and worthy of your hard earned money, can be rough. As a photographer, I have purchased countless tutorials, books, and magazines. I have poured through blogs, YouTube videos, attended numerous workshops and endured some questionable Facebook Live sessions. When I tell you I have discovered a gem, it isn't because this is my first time mining.