Unless photography is our full-time occupation, and even if it is, many of us cannot afford to own a studio space. Sure, we can rent as needed. But if you have the space and aren’t opposed to having clients come to your home, you can easily set up a nice, professional studio without paying a bundle.
Here’s the basics of what you need:
You can either order some or make your own. I would suggest getting or designing at least 3, a black, a grey or white and one molted color blue or grey.
If you get steady lights it will be cheaper and you won’t need any triggers or sync tools. If you want to go a little more expensive, you can get strobe units for a reasonable price so long as you aren’t looking for the big brands.
These are more affordable than soft boxes and basically do the same thing. They also come with some lighting units as part of the deal.
You can check out my upcoming book on how to make your own reflectors, diffusers, product setup and more. I’ll be sure to let you know when it is out.
On the annual event of Earth day, the small community of Bynum, held its second annual “Bridge Fest and Studio Tour” sponsored by the organization bePhilARThropy. This small area of just a few hundred people in central North Carolina hosted the festivities which featured more than 30 artists, several food vendors, an acclaimed storyteller and even a high school arts showcase. Visitors could also take a walking tour to visit the studios of 5 local artists.
A portion of the proceeds from artist booth rentals and other sources went to the Arbor Day Fountain for planting trees in parts of the state hit by wildfires.
Here are some scenes from the festival.
By the way, did I mention that my brother and sister in law started bePhilARThropy and essentially put this whole thing together with some help of friends?
A long-time friend and amazing all around artist is working on opening a Ravenwood Collective. This is a female owned tattoo shop and art space in the Pittsburgh area.
For details, you can check out the Facebook page or support this through an IndieGoGo fundraising effort.
The small community of Bynum in central North Carolina is probably just how you picture a small town in your thoughts. The community is close, people are friendly and open and the residents love nature and the environment.
Recently, two residents of the town, Craig Greiner and his wife Amanda Cox Greiner, started an organization they call “be PhilARThropy in an attempt to merge the arts with good will activities and activism.
There first major undertaking is scheduled for April 23, 2016 in the community mentioned above and will be an artistic extravaganza and market called “Bynum Bridge Fest and StudioTour.”
If you live in the area or are planning to travel that way this spring, make sure to check it out to experience some excellent artwork and help with a worthy cause while you are doing it.
I used to rent a space to use as a studio for my model and portrait photography work in Pittsburgh. But after a little while, I noticed I wasn’t using it enough to maintain a regular shooting location for the price I was paying. So, if anyone else is also in need of a shooing space from time to time but nothing more, these ideas might help you with some alternative options for indoor shooting.
These vacation rentals are much like hotels except you have a wider variety of options like using an entire house or apartment. The cost is often reasonable and the variety of locations is wide.
You can check it out at airbnb.com
While these are more expensive and have some major drawbacks including a negative reputation for legitimate photo sessions, they are an option that might work at times.
Sometimes commercial store or office space owners may be willing to allow you to use their space for a short period of time so that they are at least making a few bucks off of a vacant location. You might also be able to arrange a trade with them to provide photos for rental ads in exchange for shooting space.
Bars or clubs
Often during the times when these establishments aren’t operating, the owners or managers may be willing to allow you to use the space for your photography work.
Office rental space
Some groups and companies like Regis rent out spaces for meeting and events. This is a good way to find a safe and professional atmosphere for your shoots.
If a fried or family member has an unused room at their home you can always ask them if they’d let you use it for your art.
Just a note:
Be sure you are on the same page with the owner of establishment when it comes to the content of your photography work and the images you plan to shoot at the location. This is a major part of being professional and not getting yourself into any legal issues.
When I shoot with models…
I love to work with all sorts of looks. One of which, if you’re even a casual reader of this blog you probably know, is alternative models. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, that commonly includes women featuring body art and subculture styles.
Another really cool style is the classic pin up look that came out of support for U.S. troops during the wars and battles of the mid-20th century.
So, why not combine both for an amazing model photo session?
The photos below are from a recent shoot with the stunning Brittany Jordan. They were taken at my studio location in Pittsburgh and I hope you enjoy them.
This one makes use of a cool, classic vibe with the retro bar stool and the black and white coloration.
This one uses a spot color effect on her vibrant hair mixed with a classic pin up pose to have an almost Andy Warhol like quality.
Moving away from the pin up look for this one, it has sort of a sexy / naughty teacher theme if you will.
The spot color effect with a pose that accentuates the models chest makes for a fun, flirty photograph.
Last but not least, this one lends a little edge to the model’s look with the cigarette and the black fedora.
A few months back a young fellow with extraordinary artistic talent utilized my artist studio for rent in Pittsburgh. He was in the process of putting together some work for a huge exhibit in the heart of the city’s Garfield neighborhood.
The show coming up this April and I enjoyed seeing his work so much that I simply had to give him a shout out.
So, without any more delay, you can feel free to check out the details in the jpeg of the event postcard below.