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A Guest Post by Russell Masters.
There are potentially any number of reasons why you might be reading this post, however assuming you have at least a minimal interest in studio photography its probably because the thought of a ‘professional’ shoot excites you. I am however betting that a lot of people reading this have never made the leap into a full blown studio session, and that probably the majority of readers who have did so through a workshop or paid lesson rather than under their own steam.
Just like you I have always found the thought of shooting in a studio exciting but have until recently never been brave enough to actually try. Fear of failure is a common paralysis experienced by photographers and primarily results from expectation and self pressure.
I am sure that most of you have found yourself in situations where friends or family have asked if you could take a few ‘snaps’ at that all-important family occasion. No matter how much they reassure you that all they really want are a few nice pictures, its not too long before tension and (a lot of Photoshop) set in.
So its easy to see why, no matter how much we want to do it, the thought of putting ourselves in a high expectation situation such as a studio shoot is enough to ensure we never actually do it. Having brooded over this for years, I’m here to tell you that no matter how formidable it seems, organizing and executing your own studio session is affordable, very achievable and probably one of the best opportunities you have for taking your photographic skills to the next level.
The main advantage of shooting in a studio is of course the ability to control and shape the quality of light. Shooting under studio lighting also has the pleasant side effect of making pretty much any camera capable of rendering sharp, well detailed images. All of this control and quality comes at a price, usually a fairly hefty price, so renting a studio space is a great way to gain experience without the financial pain of buying your own equipment. Studio rentals can be incredibly good value with a half day session costing as little as £50-60*, not bad for one of the best photography investments you can make.
Whilst finding a studio should be relatively easy (usually it only requires a simple Internet search), there are a few things to be aware of before making a booking:
So lets assume you have found a studio, the rate looks good and it’s free at a convenient time. What’s stoping you paying the fee and making the booking?
Probably that healthy fear of failure but with preparation and planning there is absolutely no reason to put it off any longer. Here are a few tips to make sure that your first session is a great one:
If you have any interest in experiencing studio photography, renting a studio is without a doubt the best way to get started. Mastering studio photography takes time but it doesn’t need to cost a fortune and is something that any photographer can (and should) do. Fear of failure is something that we all as photographers experience throughout our creative journeys, however its only by overcoming these fears and working through uncomfortable situations that we can grow. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and believe me, you’ll definitely be ok. Who knows, you might even come back for more.
* – Depending upon the intended demographic this figure can be revised.