Working in a Studio Environment
No matter what equipment is used in any type of studio The most important consideration must be safety
Apart from the normal electrical precautions that are needed, cables of any description should be carefully planned. and where ever possible the lack of use of cables the safer a studio is , not for just the client but for the photographer also.
Light stands are also a main problem in studios and often if incorrectly fitted can become top heavy. Always keep within the limitations of the stand and if in doubt sandbag the bottom of the stand with appropriate manufactures specially made equipment,
There are mainly two types of lighting used today, The Mono-bloc Heads which includes model light and strobe flash light. The new light weight approach using modern Flash guns operated by camera or radio/infra red operation. Long gone are the tungsten model lights
Safety again is paramount when using Mono-Bloc heads due to high temperatures generated by the Bulbs. Also never go inside these type of lights if they stop working. Even if they are not switch on and disconnected from the mains, the capacitors still retain high voltage and amperage to give serious injury.
There are many attachments which can be fitted to lights which give different results depending on what the photographer is trying to achieve,
The modern way used by some photographers, is the use of small powerful flash guns, They increase mot-ability, are cheaper to buy, plus all the adds are now readably available just like the attachments used for mono-blocs
Umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes, colours, reflective, shoot through which again can direct light to the photographers choice.
Soft-boxes are used and preferred by some photographers due to the name, which gives a soft light, this mixed with different honeycombs fitted to the soft-box again directs light without any spill.
If you are looking to start studio work a word of caution, there are many different types of Mono-bloc heads on the market. Avoid cheap heads, buy the best you can afford. Why? Long Recycling times, poor colour balance are al the signs of cheap heads.
Digital cameras can work at very high speeds, with cheap heads you are left waiting for the heads to catch up. Quality heads have very large capacitors fitted, some have, has many has six capacitors in one head, these recharge fast and maintain the correct colour temperature,which is vital for correct exposure.
Light/Flash Meters are a vital part of calculating correct exposure. These should be used at every sitting,
Use a Grey card to make sure your camera is profiled to working in the current lighting set-up.
Most professional photographers work in manual camera setting, this way they have total control of the lighting with consistency throughout the shoot.
Lighting can be very subjective depending on what the photographer is trying to achieve.
many photographers work in High Key, with bright backgrounds while other photography use Low Key Lighting to bring mood atmosphere and shadows into the image.
Lighting can be used with just one light and using reflectors to bounce back the light in desired area’s.
Other photographers use banks of lights just starting with two and building up to as many as eight lights depending on what the photographer again is trying to achieve.
The studio is a place to experiment with lighting, however you should know both your lighting equipment and your cameras settings, otherwise the photographer could come across has very unprofessional.
One of the main points often missed with photographers working in a studio environment, are a problem with communications with their clients. time must be spent listening to what the client whats and whether it is attainable.
Most clients come with a vague idea of what they want. A good photography builds on that idea and accomplishes that dream, and then takes it to the next level