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Sharing experience, advice, and photos to all with the shutterbug.

Home-Studios: are they worth it?

When you start getting regular work, many of questions will come to mind particularly if you do a lot of studio work.
You may have been renting a studio or using a friends for some time now, but now that the work keeps on coming, you begin to wonder if it’s worth it have your very own. Here’s a few pointers.

Personally, I have an 8×10 backdrop stand with a black seamless, a white seamless and a gray seamless. That, along with a set of 3 hot-lights gives me all of flexibility for what I need to do.

About 75.00

The backdrop stands are about 50-75.00, my seamless is just the paper kind so about 20.00 per roll, and the hot-lights are around 10-20.00 each.
I can shoot still-life/product on this, as well as do portrait sittings for an overall cost of about 200.00 for the entire setup, which will pay for itself in about 1-2 jobs.
If I need to freeze movement and do something more dramatic, I can rent strobes. A strobe kit costs around 1000.00 for a 2 light setup with a power-pack, but you can rent one for about 125.00 a day. When you take into account how often you will use it, you can figure out if it’s worth it to buy your own.
If I’m shooting something a little more high-end, like something for an ad or a magazine, I’ll rent a studio. It’s just more professional to have an art director or client wait around in a studio than sit on your living room couch, and models will be much more comfortable in that setting as well.

Overall, I say have the bare essentials at your house (Backdrops, seamless, hot-lights) to do the basics with. You can always rent to do the jobs with a higher profile, and a higher budget.


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