1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

If I wanted to start taking portrait pix....

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by chrismead, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. ....what would my shopping list look like? To put things into context, I was in our local photographic shop yesterday and saw a Bowes Portrait starter kit for 329 UKP. Was tempted until I got to the price and decided that I'd like to start buying up secondhand bits on the cheap. Bear in mind that this an interest from a whim, rather than a deep desire I have decided to realise!

    Anyone with a shopping list and/or guidance please?

    Recommended lenses?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. henryp


    Dec 29, 2005
    New York, NY
    A traditional portrait studio doing classic stuff would have four lights -- main, fill, back & hair -- plus backgrounds, posing stools, cameras on tripods, various props and a wide array of accessories. You need a light meter too.

    You could start with one posing stool, one background (paper or muslin) and the lights. My setup includes a main light with a soft box or Westcott Halo, depending on circumstances, a fill light into an umbrella, a hair light into a mini soft box (Westcott Apollo or Chimera) and a back light with a reflector designed for the purpose like this one:

    You might want to read our Intro to Lighting. You should also take a look at The Professional Lighting SourceBook.
  3. Chris, you can do wonders with the stuff you have, just add one umbrella....shoot thru it, and you're all set ( with a lot of experimenting, of course)
    use the SB-800 as main and shoot thru the umbrella, set it off from the camera on "commander", and use the 105 macro wide open for glass ; man, that will give you great portraits.....a lot of the best and famous portraitist used one lite and very poor glass, so you don't have to spend a lot nor have a lot of extra equipment - trial & error and bracketing is the key....if you don't have a model that has patience, use a statue or objsct around the house......simplify, simplify, simplify.....also, READ the forums older threads on this, they are priceless
  4. cgrab


    Jan 3, 2007
    Probably the cheapest way to go is with continuous lighting. It just gets hot, and of course, the colour temperature is different from flash.
    500 watt construction site lighting can usually be bought for little money in hardware stores.
    If you want to give a professional impression to paying customers, those are absolutely the way to go, not.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.