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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 09 May 2012 (Wednesday) 20:57
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PPSOP Lighting For Commercial Photography Class

 
Karl ­ C
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May 09, 2012 20:57 |  #1

Hey everyone,

I've been looking at PPSOP's Lighting For Commercial Photography class (online) and wanted to know if anyone here has taken the course.

The description appears promising however, there is a steep investment in lighting gear required. Here's the list:

A good understanding of shutter speeds and f/stops, a digital camera and the ability to upload your images for critique is required. This course is designed for those who are interested in making not only the investment in their photographic knowledge but their equipment as well. The only way to instruct this course and for students to learn how lighting works, is to have the equipment at hand. What you will need to own, buy, or rent (if available in your area), is the following equipment:

  • 3 monolight strobes of 250 watt seconds or greater.
  • 5 light stands (2 light/medium and 3 heavy duty)
  • One 20 degree grid spot or the complete set of 10, 20, 30 degree
  • One large lightbox approximately 36"x48"
  • A background system for holding up your backgrounds
  • Two 36" – 48" umbrellas
  • One portable lighting boom
  • A white and grey seamless background
  • Spring clamps from the hardware store (As many as you want to own)
Optional/Additional gear:
  • A flash meter
  • Two more strobe lights (total 5)
  • Two more light stands: one medium and one short floor stand type (total 7)
  • Color meter
  • Canvas background for portraits and products. A neutral color is best
  • Small lightbox roughly 24" on the long side
  • Wireless trigger such as Pocket Wizard, Cyber Sync, or equivalent
The optional gear is NOT REQUIRED but is listed in case you want a more recommendations for completing your commercial photography gear.

At a quick glance, it looks like an investment between $1250 and $2500. I have an interest in commercial and architectural photography, especially since I was laid-off last summer and still haven't been fortunate to find a new job yet. Both this course and the architectural class would require a large investment (T/S for architectural), and money doesn't grow on trees.

http://www.ppsop.com/l​com.aspx (external link)

http://www.ppsop.com/a​rch.aspx (external link)

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Gear: Kodak Brownie and homemade pin-hole cameras. Burlap sack for a bag.

  
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PhotosGuy
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May 09, 2012 23:28 |  #2

While it might be helpful to have all that equipment, you could do pretty well with less. And there are a lot of tutorials online to help you. I would suggest that you look at this site by a working commercial photographer. It has pages & pages of video info: Photographic tips by Jim Talkington. (external link) Includes videos for studio work for product photography, still life, macro, or portraiture, business tips, etc.

Lots of links: Excellent tutorial site

Look at the knife & Browning threads here: FAQ - Studio Lighting

Architectural Photography: Just Like Playing Tetris…Right? (external link)

A thread for real estate, architectural, and interior design photography

Lots of links: interior photography

Interview with Architectural Photographers


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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ChunkyDA
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May 10, 2012 00:18 |  #3

Karl, If your gear list is any indication, you will need to invest even more. Sorry to hear of your employment situation.
The reason they want you to have all that stuff is to prepare you to make professional images routinely, not luckily. The links and information Frank posted can possibly provide 90% or more of what they will teach you but you will need to take the initiative to step yourself through it.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) you can probably find all of that gear used for sale right here on POTN or craigslist from photographers going out of business.
Best Wishes!


Dave
Support Search and Rescue, Get Lost (external link)
Gear list and some feedback

  
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PhotosGuy
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May 10, 2012 09:46 |  #4

I agree with Dave. You need to be a self starter & shoot for experience when you aren't shooting for pay. Then you'll learn what you really need to do the job the way it needs to be done, & what equipment is "must have", what equipment is for making the job faster & easier, & which is back up equipment. For instance, a back-up body.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Karl ­ C
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1,953 posts
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Location: Now: N 39°36' 8.2" W 104°53' 58"; prev N 43°4' 33" W 88°13' 23"; home N 34°7' 0" W 118°16' 18"
     
May 10, 2012 13:17 |  #5

PhotosGuy wrote in post #14408458 (external link)
While it might be helpful to have all that equipment, you could do pretty well with less. And there are a lot of tutorials online to help you. I would suggest that you look at this site by a working commercial photographer. It has pages & pages of video info: Photographic tips by Jim Talkington. (external link) Includes videos for studio work for product photography, still life, macro, or portraiture, business tips, etc.

Lots of links: Excellent tutorial site

Look at the knife & Browning threads here: FAQ - Studio Lighting

Architectural Photography: Just Like Playing Tetris…Right? (external link)

A thread for real estate, architectural, and interior design photography

Lots of links: interior photography

Interview with Architectural Photographers

Thanks for the links, Frank.

ChunkyDA wrote in post #14408621 (external link)
Karl, If your gear list is any indication, you will need to invest even more. Sorry to hear of your employment situation.
The reason they want you to have all that stuff is to prepare you to make professional images routinely, not luckily. The links and information Frank posted can possibly provide 90% or more of what they will teach you but you will need to take the initiative to step yourself through it.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) you can probably find all of that gear used for sale right here on POTN or craigslist from photographers going out of business.
Best Wishes!

Thanks for the well-wishes and suggestions. I plan on reading through those links Frank provided.

As for my gear list posted here, it's meant as a smartass response to those folks who feel the need to list everything they own in their signature. In reality, I shoot with a 5D classic and two of the more popular L's.

PhotosGuy wrote in post #14410191 (external link)
I agree with Dave. You need to be a self starter & shoot for experience when you aren't shooting for pay. Then you'll learn what you really need to do the job the way it needs to be done, & what equipment is "must have", what equipment is for making the job faster & easier, & which is back up equipment. For instance, a back-up body.

Understood, Frank. At this point, I'm a bit lacking on confidence to even attempt shooting for a living. What I have posted in my online gallery wouldn't sell enough prints to even pay for a Happy Meal at the Irish joint. :oops: :D

After pondering this overnight and reading the replies here, it's a bit premature to go down the road of buying lighting gear to do commercial work. More importantly, right now, is the need to purchase a second 5D for back-up and an UWA zoom. Then, maybe I can look at the direction I should take.

Again, thanks for the feedback and help.


Gear: Kodak Brownie and homemade pin-hole cameras. Burlap sack for a bag.

  
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ChunkyDA
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May 10, 2012 19:23 |  #6

All I am saying is that in order to make a living from photography you MUST treat it as a business. Are you a good businessman? Can you find and qualify customers? Can you close a sale with a client? Your post has me worried that a training class and a few thousand dollars in gear will cause money to fall from the heavens.


Dave
Support Search and Rescue, Get Lost (external link)
Gear list and some feedback

  
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Karl ­ C
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Goldmember
1,953 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Apr 2006
Location: Now: N 39°36' 8.2" W 104°53' 58"; prev N 43°4' 33" W 88°13' 23"; home N 34°7' 0" W 118°16' 18"
     
May 10, 2012 20:08 |  #7

Dave,

I'm going to reply in reverse order of your post. :)

ChunkyDA wrote in post #14413004 (external link)
Your post has me worried that a training class and a few thousand dollars in gear will cause money to fall from the heavens.

Rest assured, I am not one of those folks who spends a lot of money on gear thinking I'll be an overnight sensation with money "falling from the heavens". In fact, I am diametrically opposite of those folks.

I know all to well the level of effort and dedication that is required to be a successful businessman, in any business.

ChunkyDA wrote in post #14413004 (external link)
All I am saying is that in order to make a living from photography you MUST treat it as a business.

Yes, I am very aware of this concept. Trust me, I "get it".

ChunkyDA wrote in post #14413004 (external link)
Are you a good businessman? Can you find and qualify customers? Can you close a sale with a client?

I'll post my sales-related part of my background and leave it to you to determine my business skills:

18 months in telecom sales, specifically selling high-speed data connectivity and e-commerce services which included web hosting and design. If you think photography is a competitive business, it has nothing on telecom. In all but two months did I not meet a monthly quota.

Over 20 years customer service-related experience in diverse industries, including five years in retail. Please forgive me for sounding egotistical - I fully understand what it takes to reach almost 100% customer satisfaction. I just ended nine years with an organization where customer satisfaction was something we lived and breathed daily. I work very well with customers.

Anyway, I think you misunderstood the intent of my original post. I am only looking at opportunities to increase my photography skills, through schooling, in two areas that interest me. I am good friends with several professional photographers - one PJ and two portrait/wedding. The two portrait/wedding photogs have told me numerous times their business is way down these days and the PJ is killing himself working six days a week for $30k. I truly understand the level of difficulty today's photographers are facing with the industry.

As an aside, my last post about not being able to sell enough prints to buy a Happy Meal was a poke at myself; self-deprecating humor.

Thanks for your concern - it is greatly appreciated! :)


Gear: Kodak Brownie and homemade pin-hole cameras. Burlap sack for a bag.

  
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PPSOP Lighting For Commercial Photography Class
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