When you turn your passion for photography into a career and set up your first studio there are lots of things to think about so it follows that there are just as many teething mistakes that are made. From our 10years in business we have heard them all with panicked customers ringing because they tripped over their lights and have broken bulbs which they need replacing asap etc, so we’ve put together a selection of the common mistakes we hear about:
1) Getting lots of Studio Equipment but having no idea
So in a flurry of activity and excitement a newbie buys all the equipment and then has no idea what to use it for (or doesn’t need it all). There are lots of places you can find out how to use certain studio photography equipment and what to use it for. We have our own Youtube channel Smickphoto with overviews on products and best practice so check it out if you need any help.
2) Incorrect Lighting
A common grumble is that white muslin backgrounds look grey or discoloured in final edit and how can this be sorted out. Simply it’s the lighting being used, depending on size of your studio or the final image you are after – you need to use 3 point lighting or 5 point lighting (there are lots of diagrams if you search for the perfect set up). Use the most powerful lighting you can for your studio.
3) Unable to collapse pop ups
We’ve all been there, you excitedly unzip the pop up bag to see what it’s like and as it takes over the room as it pops out, then it dawns on you that you have no idea how to collapse it again! You then spend 20 minutes trying in vain to get the big reflector back into the very tiny bag, everything you try doesn’t work and it just keeps popping back up again. Fear not – we have a video showing how to fold it up again and once you know how it’s quite easy.
4) Blaming the Equipment
It’s frustrating when you don’t get the picture that you want and it’s all too easy to blame the studio equipment that you are using. It’s always worth watching video tutorials and reading about your equipment and how to use it to get the optimum results possible. There are lots of things that can be done in post production too and most professional photographers have to take lots of images to get a selection of good ones. Practice all you can and don’t be too precious of the results, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
5) Knocking over Equipment
Sometimes people cram their studios with so much equipment that it’s hard to move and accidents happen. Remember to turn off bulbs when not using them and use surge protectors plugging in the lights. Take care that you don’t trip over stand legs and send lights crashing down and use sandbags to weigh the light stand down.
So don’t forget…
At the end of the day its all good experience and once you’ve made these mistakes you aren’t likely to make them a second time. Practice is the only sure way to overcome any obstacles and feel confident in what you are doing. It’s also good to read and watch as much as you can on how the professionals do it and what they use. Did you make any other mistakes we haven’t listed above?