When you are first starting out there are some items that you just cannot live without! Do you have a space you have been thinking of turning into your first home-based photography or videography studio? Lets take a look at the very basic essentials you will need to get started without spending too much money on items you do not know how to use quite yet. There is always some sort of learning curve when starting out, but do not let this hold you back. Let your creativity come through!
Find a space where you can either convert the space per use or leave everything set up for clients to come by. Depending on your client/subject basis, you will need this space to be relatively large so that you will get the right perspective with your lens. Your studio space should be a neutral color such as white or tan. Bright colored walls should be painted over since the color will reflect back onto your subject. Cover the floors if necessary so that your light stands, clients, or other mess will not ruin the floors for when this room is a bedroom or office again. Your floor cover should be a neutral color since this can reflect back into the shot as well. Next, black out the windows if you want complete control of your lighting with studio or artificial lighting. Use black curtains to eliminate any shadows from conventional blinds. Another option would be to use this window light to your advantage. Let the light come in directly for a hard light or cover the window with a sheer curtain to soften the light. Pay attention to time of day, as you will get different light throughout the day.
Background or Backdrop:
Purchase a background support system and background of your choice for your studio. A popular choice is our Background Support with Two Backdrops and Carrying Case kit. This offers the support system that is 10 feet wide; so make sure your space is at least this wide. Black muslin and white muslin are classic choices to start with for your photo or video work. They are easy to store and wash. View our previous blog to see how to care for your muslin. Another option would be to use a Seamless Photography Paper Roll Backdrop. Paper is completely seamless and easy to use right out of the box. It is use as you go, so any dirty or ripped paper can be discarded until the roll is out. Although harder to store, I personally prefer paper since it photographs so well and leads to less work in post production.
StudioPRO Black and White Muslin Background Support kit with Carrying Case
Start with a Monolight/Strobe Lighting Kit that has at least two strobe heads. Two lights will offer the option of even lighting on both sides of your subject or the option to use one as a main and dial down the other as a fill light. Strobe lights will only flash for a fraction of a second and therefore are only used for photography. We offer a variety of watt/second options for your needs and budget. Our strobes are very user friendly for beginners. We also offer them as complete kits with the background support and muslins. Our previous blog has more information on How To Choose Studio Lighting Strobe or Monolights.
Video Studio:Begin with a Fluorescent Lighting Kit that has at least two fluorescent light heads. Like the photography kits, the two lights will offer the option of an even lighting, one on each side at 45 degrees from the subject. Continuous or fluorescent lighting is always on by the flick of a switch. They can be used for photography or video. This type of lighting is the easiest to use, and therefore is exceptionally beginner friendly. We offer this type of lighting as complete kits with the backdrop set up as well. Our previous blog has more in depth information on How to Choose Your Fluorescent Lighting.
This tool is commonly overlooked but is extremely useful and easy to store. A reflector adds that extra bit of light you need under someone’s chin or to utilize the window light in the right area. A 5 in 1 reflector has five different colored reflective surfaces to bounce the light as needed.
Other helpful links: Fovitec's Guide to StudioPRO Softbox Shapes and Sizes New to umbrellas? Check out the specific umbrella product page to find out what umbrella is right for your needs.