It's been a hot minute since I've had such a great dedicated space to work. My studio resides on the 7th floor of my downtown loft apartment. I chose this place because it's a perfect size for a headshot and portrait studio. Flooded with great natural light during the daytime hours and complete with exposed concrete walls, the space works well on many levels. The North wall has the white seamless whose place in front of the Profoto D1s, softboxes, cameras, and computers makes for a perfect option when it's time to get spotless white backgrounds. It's been a great space thus far and I'm looking forward to using it more. It's always nice to setup at a clients office or event, but when it's time to focus on really creating a brand through strategically planned looks and images for my headshot and portrait clients, I always try to talk them into working here. I occasionally have to "bribe" them with coffee or wine, but I think it's certainly worth it.
I'm often asked a few questions by newer photographers. "What should I shoot with? How do I choose lighting and gear, how can I build a home studio, where do I even start?" I'll thought I'd attempt to answer that in this post and give you a few ideas if one is on a slightly less robust budget than a big pro studio would be. For the purposes of the post, I'll refer to my gear and some alternatives that you may consider as I know my gear well and did a lot of research and trial and error to arrive at this point.
I'm often asked, "what do you shoot with"? I shoot with whatever camera I can get my hands on! Sometimes it's an iPhone, sometimes it's someone else's Nikon or Sony and I have to figure out how to use it in record time. However, most often it's my Canon 5D Mark IIIs, Canon 7D Mark II, and Canon lenses. My studio stuff is a mixture of Profoto D1 strobes and light modifiers, Avenger rolling stands, Matthews Cstands, and one of my favorite pieces of gear, a Really Right Stuff tripod and ball head. I use all Apple computers, a Sekonic L758 light meter, and a Diva Ring Light made by Nova. There are a few lenses, extra umbrellas, extra stands, and a few cases to protect it all when I leave my base camp to venture out to off site shoots.
My first work here was for Soul Cruisers. They're a really cool company based in Tempe AZ. I have 2 of them now...couldn't resist. I digress.
There's enough room in this space for headshots, portraits, and some small product work. It's amazing what you can do in a well structured, small space.
I'll break down how I planned the space and what my thoughts were in the next post. It doesn't take much to have your own working studio space! Perhaps a little creativity and some good ol fashioned passion.