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Under the Bright Lights

It may sound outrageous but most photographers have access to a studio either on a rental or a permanent basis. However, this isn’t for everyone – you need to have skill in using professional photo studio equipment to make the shoot a success. If you don’t have the experience yet, it’s better to try to learn the ropes first before springing for a studio. Outdoor shots give you a chance to hone your skills on the requisite equipment; namely, the use of lights and backdrops to enhance your shots.

If you’re confident enough with your skill, setting up a photo studio is a piece of cake. First, choose between a ceiling-based or floor-based studio. Floor-based studios are cheaper because you just have to set up your light stands and you’re done – ceiling-based studios have overhead lights that you have to maintain. However, if you find such lights useful, it’s nothing much to add some extra money.

Next, you have to set up your lighting system. Having a good set of lights are important – your choice is between the standard hot lights – which are high-intensity bright lights that are always on, warm lights – the mid-range lights that aren’t as bright as hot lights, and cool lights – powerful flashes for your camera. Each of them has a different effect so choose carefully.

Finally, you have to choose a backdrop. Most clever photographers don’t have just one background sheet – they have several sheets or cloths they exchange to enhance the result of the picture. This strategy is probably advisable for you – just choose colors that fit with your style and you prefer to use. Including an all-white and an all-black backdrop is another thing I advise – basic black and basic white are probably the most useful colors.

There you go, a simple primer for setting up your own professional photo studio. If you find good bargains for your photo studio equipment, you’ll probably be able to create one for less than a thousand dollars. Better try it out!