How to take portraits in the studio

  • There are many advantages to taking portraits in a studio. For a start, the photographer has total control of the lighting, and the choice of backgrounds and props. Also depending on the type of photograph, make up and dress can be specified or chosen and altered.

  • Some photographers, and even more so their models, can feel inhibited by the studio environment, however. A bare room with only few lights and rolls of background paper can seem an impossible setting for the creation of an interesting picture. But it only takes a little know how and a measure of confidence to achieve a whole new dimension in photography.

  • Studios do not have to be elaborate, lofty or spacious. In fact, a reasonable sized room in an ordinary house can work just as well as a studio.

  • To improvise a studio at home, hire lights from a professional photographic dealer, or perhaps buy one or two modest units as a start. However, good flash equipment would be a better investment than floodlights. It is generally more powerful, which allows shorter exposures than are possible with photofloods. It is also more comfortable to work with. Photofloods get very hot, and after a while this can make conditions uncomfortable. People also find the constant glare irritating.

  • An alternative is to hire a purpose built studio. There are quite a number of these and they are advertised in photographic magazines. It is often a good idea to join a local photographic society, which can probably provide access to such facilities as well as equipment, assistance and even models.

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