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Old 5th of September 2006 (Tue)   #1
tripletmommy
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Question Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Be kind, it's my first post

I've been taking my own photos of my triplets for almost 3 years now, and I've finally decided (after lots of comments from other people) to start doing this for money. So, I would like some help determining what else I need to get started. Yeah, I could probably do it on what I have now, but it seems there are probably a few things that would help my photos... here's what I have now:

StudioMax II Pro 320 W/S AC/DC Kit - Includes 2 AK160 Monolights, Reflectors, Umbrellas, Light Stands, & Case
2 Basic Light Stands - 9'
Multiple Polevault Background Support System

I just ordered a white vinyl background and a black muslin background and am collecting tons of props (will be doing mostly kids photos like Picture People, Kiddie Kandids).

What lighting or other equipment would be a good addition to what I have already?

Thanks so much!! I'm very excited!
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Old 5th of September 2006 (Tue)   #2
Vegas Poboy
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

First part Good Luck,
Light meter, large softbox and then forget the other props until you build your client base, price list, waivers, insurance other paperwork.

Website or Ad Cards to display

Thats just a start, overall have your clients pay for your equipment as you need it that way you save your cash and use the business profits.
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Old 5th of September 2006 (Tue)   #3
tripletmommy
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

thanks! - any suggestions on a light meter? I saw a huge range of them when I looked and was quickly overwhelmed!

what about a softbox? recommendations?
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Old 5th of September 2006 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripletmommy
thanks! - any suggestions on a light meter? I saw a huge range of them when I looked and was quickly overwhelmed!

what about a softbox? recommendations?
I care for the Sekonic brand of meters L-358
Soft boxes the larger the better what ever mounts to your brand of lights.
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Old 6th of September 2006 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

I'll second the choice of the Sekonic 358. There are ones with more bells and whistles but this one does everything I need it to do. I have mine so that I can fire the flashes wirelessly with my pocket wizards.
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Old 6th of September 2006 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

another person here using the sekonic with the remote module to fire pocketwizards.

I would definitely add a set of PW's to your list. You can shoot without them, but a PC coord is a major pain if you end up shooting with the studio lights often.

the photogenic softboxes are nice!
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Old 19th of September 2006 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Also, if you don't have it already, your going to need adobe photoshop.
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Old 20th of September 2006 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Yep Photoshop is the way forward!

Could I also suggest colour or grey scale cards, absolutely perfect for this kind of work
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Old 20th of September 2006 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripletmommy View Post
Be kind, it's my first post

I've been taking my own photos of my triplets for almost 3 years now, and I've finally decided (after lots of comments from other people) to start doing this for money. So, I would like some help determining what else I need to get started. Yeah, I could probably do it on what I have now, but it seems there are probably a few things that would help my photos... here's what I have now:

StudioMax II Pro 320 W/S AC/DC Kit - Includes 2 AK160 Monolights, Reflectors, Umbrellas, Light Stands, & Case
2 Basic Light Stands - 9'
Multiple Polevault Background Support System

I just ordered a white vinyl background and a black muslin background and am collecting tons of props (will be doing mostly kids photos like Picture People, Kiddie Kandids).

What lighting or other equipment would be a good addition to what I have already?

Thanks so much!! I'm very excited!
It sounds like you've got a very good kit to start out. You should be able to get some great results with what you have. A flash meter would be a good investment, Polaris also makes a flashmeter which is very inexpensive and will get the job done in the studio for you. Doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the sekonic meters do, but should serve you well.

If people like the images you're making with what you currently have, you should be in a great position to start. Book a few appointments, get some feedback from the parents, then decide if you need to invest in even more gear (especially after their checks clear!)
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Old 21st of September 2006 (Thu)   #10
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

I'll re-say the light meter and insurance (not just for your gear, but liability too).
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Old 22nd of September 2006 (Fri)   #11
blinking8s
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

a pancake box
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Old 23rd of September 2006 (Sat)   #12
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

Softbox.... absolute must. It is a large translucent box shaped attachement that attaches to the monobloc head that acts like a giant difuser. They range in size from small to 4x5 feet. Net effect is you get very smooth lighting with no shadows. This is particularly important with kids. Shooting through and umbrella gives some of the same effect but does give more dramatic shadows, good for showing charactor in older people. The unbrella also create a round catch light, the softbox creates a square catch light. Softboxes also are more foregiving of chaps like me who don't always get it right. because the lighting doesn't look as directional.
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Old 23rd of September 2006 (Sat)   #13
Misty Woodward
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Default Re: Setting up my studio - what else do I need?

A giant softbox and a light meter for sure to be added to your list. I am a user of the Sekonic L358 and have owned it for a couple of years and absolutely love it.

But what I don't see on your list is anything related to business. Remember, once you go into business you are a business person first and a photographer probably about 4th down on the list. I would invest in a pretty kick butt website to display your work, very classy business cards, possibly some direct mail pieces, large prints and lift cards for getting displays, etc. Tons of business. Because you can have the coolest studio in the world and a ton of props but if you haven't marketed correctly, you may just end up spending all this money and time on your beautiful little triplets. As cute as I am sure they are, I can tell you want more. So just make sure to get a solid business plan in place before you go around collecting stuff that won't do you any good.
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