If you’re used to natural lighting, photographing in a studio for the first time can be overwhelming. If you don’t have a place to play and experiment with artificial lighting, shooting in a studio for the first time is quite intimidating.
But hold on, don’t be afraid. Take a deep breath, relax, and watch this video from Kayleigh June. In the video, she gives you five excellent tips that will make your first studio visit a way more pleasant, relaxed, and enjoyable experience.
1.Keep it simple: if this is your first shoot in the studio, don’t try to replicate those fancy, complex lighting setups you’ve seen in YouTube tutorials. You’ll get there eventually, but for the time being – just keep it simple. Start with a single light, and trust me – there’s so much you can do with it! Here and here you’ll find tons of inspiration.
The “keep it simple” approach doesn’t only refer to lighting. For example, if you’re not sure how to shoot tethered – you don’t need to master it for your first studio shoot. Just keep everything you can simple and stick with what you know. You’ll learn new and more complex stuff with time, for now just prioritize taking good photos.
2. Use a versatile modifier: this tip ties back to the previous one. If you’re going to use a single light, make sure to use a versatile modifier to make the absolute most out of your lighting. You can use an octabox for example: removing the diffuser or adding a grid changes the lighting, allowing you more creative options.
3. Be safe – your and your model’s safety is another thing to consider. You may be too occupied planning the shoot that you might forget about the “safety gear,” so to speak. Don’t forget to use sandbags to keep the light stands stable. Pay attention to any cables and be careful not to trip over them. You can also tape them to the floor. Finally, make sure that the lights have cooled down before putting the caps on them and packing them up.
4. Use a posing reference mood board – when there’s already a lot on your mind, using a posing reference mood board will help you relax and feel more confident. Also, if you’re switching from location shoots to an entirely different setting that is a studio, this will make it so much easier for you to direct your model.
5. Utilize reflectors, V-flats, etc. – last but not least, this tip ties back to the first one. If you’re using a single light, that doesn’t mean you need to rely solely on it. Still, if adding one or two more lights is too much for you, remember that you can use tools like V-flats or reflectors to bounce some of the light back, or flags to block it.
As a total noob at studio photography, I found this video helpful and comforting. And I plan to go back to it when I decide to try my luck in the studio without a more experienced photographer by my side. I hope that you found it helpful too! If you have any tips you’d like to share for first-time studio visits, let us know in the comments.