Paul Smith, Owner and Photographer at Photohouse Studio showed us (Judith, Michaela and I) how to shoot studio photography last May. He showed us how to move the lights and reflector to enhance people’s features and make them feel beautiful. His excitement made learning enjoyable.
Some of the steps that we learned to appreciate:
Place the trigger on your camera (the trigger will make the studio lights go off).
Turn on the lights
Change the power of the lights using the up and down arrows
Test the power of the light with the lighting meter placed in front of the light
Change settings on the camera to align with the lighting meter
Ask the model to sit or stand depending on your preference
Test the camera settings by taking photographs of the model
Choose your words carefully when changing your settings. You would not want to upset your model.
Move the reflector as needed to fill the light in on the subject matter’s face/body.
As a beginner write down or photograph your studio set up and camera settings. This will help in the future when you want to photograph the same look.
Practice, practice and practice.
Most importantly, have fun, be inspired and love your job! Don’t stress but play with the lighting set ups and find the best fit for you.
We would like to share our individual experiences with you.
I loved taking charge of the lighting situation. I asked the model to get ready while I set up the studio equipment. When I had the trigger on my camera, lighting set up, and camera settings tested, I began to photograph. The lighting was not perfect the first, second or third time but I found the challenge thrilling. I would have to problem solve my way through the situation.
I moved from light to light changing the direction of light. Being my first time, Jesse, my model (our next door roommate) was so gracious and understanding. She changed positions and props with pure happiness.
In the end, I loved the photographs that I took. Jesse had expressions of seriousness as she read a book, bliss as she stood and held her umbrella straight above her head, and curiosity when she sat in a pink chair with an old camera in hand. I knew that they weren’t perfect but they were mine to share with her and others, if she so chose to.
For me, to photograph in a studio was a really good experience. Before I only took pictures in natural light which I really liked. It was difficult though to have studio lights which would create such an unnatural light, if I set them up wrong. But on the other hand, I could also create whatever I wanted and am not dependent on the time of day.
I definitely need more time to not only see if a scenario looks good or not and to also know why. I think that I will keep practicing studio photography.
I found the studio photography quite challenging but fun. Questions kept going through my mind: Where do I put all the lights to make the model look pleasing? Where should the model stand? How can I make it as creative as possible without having the help of nature surrounding?
I am very thankful for the experience and the chance to practice studio lighting. Even with all the challenges, if I had to set all the lights up again then I would because I had so much fun doing it. Especially because Judith has been the most patient and fun model to work with!