British homes are just too small

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,763
Re: British homes are just too small

It is possible to shoot in a space the size of yours, or even smaller.  Achieving seamless white will be difficult but nobody said you had to shoot seamless white.  Lots of photographers never shoot seamless white.  The shoot against a paper background that is colored or white (which may look gray depending on lighting) or black.  They also shoot environmental portraits using the room furnishings or nice areas outdoors.  Adding light outdoors is very common.

The "portrait" distance is the distance at which we remember people being when we think of them, and that is 15'.  With a paper background you can position the subject 6' from the background so your subject lights won't throw a shadow on the background.  This will leave you about 12-13' for the subject to camera distance, which is pretty close to the 15' distance.

I have seen people set up to shoot corner to corner to gain a few feet of space.  If there is a doorway you can back up through you can gain a few more feet - I frequently do this.

Portraiture is all about using highlights and shadows to sculpt the face in order to flatter the subject and to give a flat image a 3D appearance.  Studio strobes have modeling lights so you can see the light and shadows on the face before you ever press the shutter button.  With hot-shoe flash you guess at the lighting, take a test shot, chimp the image, move the lighting, take another test shot, etc., etc., etc.  That is why you want studio strobes, not hot-shoe flash for portraiture.

Don't do what I did the first time and buy studio strobes that aren't adequate and are of low quality.  Mine wound up in the trash - a complete waste of my money.  Here is an article I wrote to help others avoid my expensive mistake.

Sailorblue - Digital Photography Review - Equipment Guide for Setting up a Small Home Portrait/Glamor Studio

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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