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Thread: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

  1. #1
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    As above, I need advices and opinions from you guys for me regarding using a studio for shoot.

    Basically, I will be renting a studio for shooting my parents wedding anniversary. They agreed on allowing me to help them conduct the shoot and it is also planned for me to learn and experience more and just for the fun of it. Since this is an all family thing and my parents would not mind mistakes etc from me as well. It will be nothing much too stressful or serious, more for me to learn and hopefully be able to take good pictures of them for their anniversary.

    This would be my first time exposed to studio equipments and using the studio itself. So I seek your honest and humble opinions on what I should take note etc. On average, I roughly understand the rates of renting a studio /hr already. Therefore, personally I feel that for me as a first-timer, what I will need to take note of is basically the following:

    1. How to use the equipments in the studio and position them well
    2. Planning of how I want the shoot to be conducted.
    3. Understand the uses and functions of using the lighting available from the studio to create different kind of outcome.

    What more do I need to take note?

    Currently my set-up would be Sony Alpha A230, 16-55mm kit lens, 55-200mm kit lens & 50mm F1.8 Prime. (Most probably I will be using the 55-200 most often if I am not wrong). [Before the shoot, most likely I should get my HVL-42AM flash]

    Which leads me to this question:

    -Would my current setup be enough? (Assuming I get my external flash by then)

    Of course, even though this would mainly be for me to learn and venture more into the world of photography, I really hope to be able to make the shoot a success and take good pictures of my parents anniversary. So feel free to express your honest & humble opinions and advices.

    TIA !

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    I'd suggest that you either do a short course on studio lighting or read up more on how you'd wanna set up the lights. I suppose there won't be anyone helping you on this, so you'd need to understand the lighting ratio and how you wanna set it up for different keys of light effects.

    next up, youd be shooting more on the wider side unless you want individual headshots only. Thus the kit lens is more than sufficient.

    You won't be needing the flash, there should be studio strobes available. Your normal setting should be about f8 to f11 and shutter speed of about 1/125 to sync with the strobes.
    Michael Lim
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    if this is your first time, you are in for trouble .. seriously


    putting light ratios aside, which can be a pain to balance if you are new ..do u even know what different light modifiers do to your lights ? and in such instances ... POWER AND SIZE do matters ..it affects the settings and distance u will place your lights ... and what kind of 'effect' do u want ? do u ve any idea ? and high key ? low key ? ..there are just so many factors to execute a 'studio picture' ... u dun sound ready

    so...good luck ! u will need it

  4. #4
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    I'd suggest that you either do a short course on studio lighting or read up more on how you'd wanna set up the lights. I suppose there won't be anyone helping you on this, so you'd need to understand the lighting ratio and how you wanna set it up for different keys of light effects.

    next up, youd be shooting more on the wider side unless you want individual headshots only. Thus the kit lens is more than sufficient.

    You won't be needing the flash, there should be studio strobes available. Your normal setting should be about f8 to f11 and shutter speed of about 1/125 to sync with the strobes.
    Yep, the next few coming weeks I will be reading up and understand more about using the available strobes for use in the studio and everything else.

    Hhmm, you are right, I hope the kit lens would not fail me and produce good sharp clean pictures!

    Thanks for your advice, greatly appreciated!!

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingflames18 View Post
    if this is your first time, you are in for trouble .. seriously


    putting light ratios aside, which can be a pain to balance if you are new ..do u even know what different light modifiers do to your lights ? and in such instances ... POWER AND SIZE do matters ..it affects the settings and distance u will place your lights ... and what kind of 'effect' do u want ? do u ve any idea ? and high key ? low key ? ..there are just so many factors to execute a 'studio picture' ... u dun sound ready

    so...good luck ! u will need it
    This is my first time and I am not close to ready at all. I am putting as much effort as I can to make my first time "satisfactory".

    Thank you for the heads up about the lights. I will need to head down the the studio myself and sample out the equipment on stationary still subjects for the mean time before the actual shoot in order to understand the works of it. As if now, I am thinking of having soft bounced light with a suitable backdrop with radial lights directed at the background and not at the subjects. Well this is my "layout" as of now and is subjective.

    Still learning, thanks for the luck

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Linn,

    Since you sound like this is going to be a go-ahead no matter what anyone else says, I'll share what may be helpful in as direct a way as I can.

    You don't say how long it will be till this happens, so assuming you do have some time on your hands ...

    First off, have a very clear idea of exactly what kind of shots you want. Mood, style, wardrobe, make-up and poses. They will all play a part in determining how you go about planning your shoot and all the little technical bits that can make or break the shoot. Gather sample shots from all over and use those as references.

    It's probably a bit late but try to pick up the book on lighting by Michael Freeman at a local library. It's comprehensive and covers enough to inform about studio lighting without overwhelming. You could also pick up a book specifically about studio lighting for portraits*.

    Next, look up the whole lot of studio/portrait/lighting videos on youtube. You can learn a lot from there if you pay careful attention and already have a firm grounding in light basics.

    Here:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f

    *I'm assuming you're going to take portraits, since you did not mention any particular type of work you intend to do, art direction or style. More often than not, each has specific technical, aesthetic and lighting requirements and a lighting set-up can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1-2 hours to do and test just for one layout. This is assuming thorough knowledge and familiarity with studio lighting is already within grasp.

    Your next step, besides coming back and asking more questions, is perhaps to hook up with a basic studio lighting class, or look to rent a studio for a few hours with an owner/operator that is willing to show you how to set-up lights for your intended shots. It's simple once you know how to do it, but can be both extremely dangerous (you could electrocute someone, burn yourself or burn the studio down at worst) and very costly if you don't.

    ALTERNATIVELY, rent a studio which would provide you with a lighting technician and assistant - so in effect, they handle all the technical bits while you concentrate on the shoot without worrying about lighting at all.

    My advise would be: Don't try to mix learning with the objective of a successful shoot.

    At least not for something as huge as learning about studio lighting, lighting styles and techniques AND intend to do a successful wedding anniversary (I assume again) shoot for someone very dear and close (again, I assume).

    That's like saying how do I learn to climb a mountain, fly a helicopter and perform life-saving emergency surgery on the side of the mountain all at the same time.

    BTW, your camera gear is the least of your worries. It's more than adequate and you don;t need a hotshoe flash in a studio - in general.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 13th October 2009 at 02:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Linn,

    Since you sound like this is going to be a go-ahead no matter what anyone else says, I'll share what may be helpful in as direct a way as I can.

    You don't say how long it will be till this happens, so assuming you do have some time on your hands ...

    First off, have a very clear idea of exactly what kind of shots you want. Mood, style, wardrobe, make-up and poses. They will all play a part in determining how you go about planning your shoot and all the little technical bits that can make or break the shoot. Gather sample shots from all over and use those as references.

    It's probably a bit late but try to pick up the book on lighting by Michael Freeman at a local library. It's comprehensive and covers enough to inform about studio lighting without overwhelming. You could also pick up a book specifically about studio lighting for portraits*.

    Next, look up the whole lot of studio/portrait/lighting videos on youtube. You can learn a lot from there if you pay careful attention and already have a firm grounding in light basics.

    Here:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f

    *I'm assuming you're going to take portraits, since you did not mention any particular type of work you intend to do, art direction or style. More often than not, each has specific technical, aesthetic and lighting requirements and a lighting set-up can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1-2 hours to do and test just for one layout. This is assuming thorough knowledge and familiarity with studio lighting is already within grasp.

    Your next step, besides coming back and asking more questions, is perhaps to hook up with a basic studio lighting class, or look to rent a studio for a few hours with an owner/operator that is willing to show you how to set-up lights for your intended shots. It's simple once you know how to do it, but can be both extremely dangerous (you could electrocute someone, burn yourself or burn the studio down at worst) and very costly if you don't.

    ALTERNATIVELY, rent a studio which would provide you with a lighting technician and assistant - so in effect, they handle all the technical bits while you concentrate on the shoot without worrying about lighting at all.

    My advise would be: Don't try to mix learning with the objective of a successful shoot.

    At least not for something as huge as learning about studio lighting, lighting styles and techniques AND intend to do a successful wedding anniversary (I assume again) shoot for someone very dear and close (again, I assume).

    That's like saying how do I learn to climb a mountain, fly a helicopter and perform life-saving emergency surgery on the side of the mountain all at the same time.

    BTW, your camera gear is the least of your worries. It's more than adequate and you don;t need a hotshoe flash in a studio - in general.
    Your reply is extremely constructive and I am grateful for your help.

    Frankly speaking, time is not on my side. My parent's anniversary shoot is going to be held on the 1st of November. Granting me only about 3weeks grace period to prepare and learn. In addition, unfortunately for me, school is starting in a week time and I have to juggle school work & I am driving lessons going on as well. So most likely I will only have my weekends to spare.

    I will watch and pick up certain techniques from youtube, thanks for the suggestion & links. I'll will take note of the dangers and risks involved when handling the equipments as well. I do not want to endanger anyone nor break anything on my first-time.

    Sadly, the chances are high that I will not be able to have a lighting technician and assistant during the shoot due to cost restrain and also because I still do not have in mind how the shoot will be carried out.

    Anyhow, I am still going to research more on these factors and head down to the actual studio itself to get a feel of the equipments there. Hopefully the landlord would be kind enough to teach me a thing or two too . Again, your caution and guidance are greatly appreciated !

    -----

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Don't forget to pick up a hotshoe adaptor for your sony (about 10-12 SGD). And yu will most likely be using your 18-55 or the 50mm most of the time.
    Alpha

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linnl71 View Post
    Your reply is extremely constructive and I am grateful for your help.

    Frankly speaking, time is not on my side. My parent's anniversary shoot is going to be held on the 1st of November. Granting me only about 3weeks grace period to prepare and learn. In addition, unfortunately for me, school is starting in a week time and I have to juggle school work & I am driving lessons going on as well. So most likely I will only have my weekends to spare.

    I will watch and pick up certain techniques from youtube, thanks for the suggestion & links. I'll will take note of the dangers and risks involved when handling the equipments as well. I do not want to endanger anyone nor break anything on my first-time.

    Sadly, the chances are high that I will not be able to have a lighting technician and assistant during the shoot due to cost restrain and also because I still do not have in mind how the shoot will be carried out.

    Anyhow, I am still going to research more on these factors and head down to the actual studio itself to get a feel of the equipments there. Hopefully the landlord would be kind enough to teach me a thing or two too . Again, your caution and guidance are greatly appreciated !

    -----
    Show me your actual layouts (use images ripped from wherever). This is very important as it forms your 'map'.

    Let me know when's the shoot, and if I'm free on that day, I'll be your lighting boy, if you want. I only ask that we plan out the shots beforehand and oh, a kopi and loti prata would be nice.

    Have you considered doing an outdoor shoot BTW? It offers a lot more opportunities for creating a mood or story for your parents' anniversary project.

  9. #9
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Don't forget to pick up a hotshoe adaptor for your sony (about 10-12 SGD). And yu will most likely be using your 18-55 or the 50mm most of the time.
    Oh yea, that's right. A hot shoe adaptor. But wouldn't most studios come with it already? Not sure about it though .

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Show me your actual layouts (use images ripped from wherever). This is very important as it forms your 'map'.

    Let me know when's the shoot, and if I'm free on that day, I'll be your lighting boy, if you want. I only ask that we plan out the shots beforehand and oh, a kopi and loti prata would be nice.

    Have you considered doing an outdoor shoot BTW? It offers a lot more opportunities for creating a mood or story for your parents' anniversary project.
    Most probably if possible I will be renting the studio(still have not decided on which studio yet, still researching ) for 1 or 2 hours this coming weekend or so to have a try out of the equipment and plan my layout. Of course, I extra help or even a mentor would be good!

    As of now, getting a studio to practice to get a feel of it would be most important. Most probably will be able to decide on which and update on this thread by tomorrow night

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    you mentioned renting the studio....some studios have numbers of regulars on call so if you are willing to spend more to learn, ask the studio to recommend primary photographer for the shoot as well as be a mentor to teach you to use the studio equipment.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  11. #11
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    you mentioned renting the studio....some studios have numbers of regulars on call so if you are willing to spend more to learn, ask the studio to recommend primary photographer for the shoot as well as be a mentor to teach you to use the studio equipment.
    Yep, that's right. Though the purpose of this shoot is for me to be exposed to studio photography and more, most probably I might just get someone to teach me about studio equipment and more. First, I'll need to attend a basic studio photography workshop

  12. #12
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Have you booked the studio? If you have not then can look for bro BC since he is also an Alpha user and he might be able to guide you along as well.
    BTW, you can check this out too: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...=576093&page=2
    Last edited by Galdor; 14th October 2009 at 07:31 PM.
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  13. #13

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linnl71 View Post
    Yep, that's right. Though the purpose of this shoot is for me to be exposed to studio photography and more, most probably I might just get someone to teach me about studio equipment and more. First, I'll need to attend a basic studio photography workshop
    nope...what you need to do is see what equipment is in the room and read the manuals. when you know what the trainer is talking about and the questions to ask, you are really making the money you pay worth.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Since you are renting the studio, the studio should have strobes that you can use. They should provide a simple radio trigger for the studio strobes. DON'T worry about lighting ratio and all those technical stuff. It can be overwhelming. Here is a website i referred to when i tried studio shoot for the first time.
    http://www.studioxil.com/category/st...ghting-setups/

    Try to imagine how the light is being directed and you can gain some idea from there. At least i did.

    I have two strobes in my studio and i adjust accordingly to the person's height, number of people etc. I don't really know what ratio i have to use but i adjust the power of the strobes by ''feeling''. After a bit of trial and error, you will have the hang of how the lighting should be like.

    If all fails! Just point the main light at them, fill light behind them. But that also depends on the backdrop, props, etc. My normal settings for camera is usually f8~12, shutter speed 60~100, white balance to cloudy, ISO 100~200.

    Woah, you do have alot to digest.

    BTW, have you considered renting a studio and practicing first? PM me if you need a relatively cheap studio rental.

  15. #15
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    nope...what you need to do is see what equipment is in the room and read the manuals. when you know what the trainer is talking about and the questions to ask, you are really making the money you pay worth.
    True... Thank you, I will take note !

    Quote Originally Posted by FriedKimchi View Post
    Since you are renting the studio, the studio should have strobes that you can use. They should provide a simple radio trigger for the studio strobes. DON'T worry about lighting ratio and all those technical stuff. It can be overwhelming. Here is a website i referred to when i tried studio shoot for the first time.
    http://www.studioxil.com/category/st...ghting-setups/

    Try to imagine how the light is being directed and you can gain some idea from there. At least i did.

    I have two strobes in my studio and i adjust accordingly to the person's height, number of people etc. I don't really know what ratio i have to use but i adjust the power of the strobes by ''feeling''. After a bit of trial and error, you will have the hang of how the lighting should be like.

    If all fails! Just point the main light at them, fill light behind them. But that also depends on the backdrop, props, etc. My normal settings for camera is usually f8~12, shutter speed 60~100, white balance to cloudy, ISO 100~200.

    Woah, you do have alot to digest.

    BTW, have you considered renting a studio and practicing first? PM me if you need a relatively cheap studio rental.
    Thanks for the link, it is indeed very beneficial and constructive for me.

    After I learn the basics and the necessities of studio photography, I guess I will be renting out the studio for testing out the equipment and getting used to it.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated !

  16. #16

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    This might be helpful, and it looks quite affordable: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571784

  17. #17

    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    It is very heartening to see the posting by all the members.

    We can see the passion to grow the art. Ppl are willing to share and offer their service/time without cost.

    I salute CS!

  18. #18
    Member Linnl71's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! First time doing studio shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galdor View Post
    Have you booked the studio? If you have not then can look for bro BC since he is also an Alpha user and he might be able to guide you along as well.
    BTW, you can check this out too: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...=576093&page=2
    Hey! I already have a few studios in mind for rental in consideration already (have to take note of location & charges). Thanks for the recommendation, I will look for him and seek his guidance.

    Unfortunately with school starting this coming Monday and camerawerkz is quite a distance from where I stay, so at the mean time I'll give it a pass. But of course I'll take note of link and sign up when I have the time. Afterall it is free !

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    This might be helpful, and it looks quite affordable: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571784
    Indeed.
    I have already signed up. Awaiting payment details

    Quote Originally Posted by Yappy View Post
    It is very heartening to see the posting by all the members.

    We can see the passion to grow the art. Ppl are willing to share and offer their service/time without cost.

    I salute CS!
    I feel the same .

    I am very thankful to those who have shared with me their advices & opinions.

    Cheers to CS

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