Recommendations on Setting Up A Small Photolab

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by jazzmechanic, May 20, 2005.

  1. jazzmechanic

    jazzmechanic Member

    May 11, 2005
    Medium Format
    Okay, help me spend some money...I want to setup a small home portait studio and looking for recommendations on where to get a portable kit in the price range of 200-300 dollars. Preference is to purchase new vs ebay or used equipment.

    Thanks as always for your replies.
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 7, 2002
    Honolulu, Ha
    Large Format
    In that price range, for new equipment, you're probably looking at Alien Bees. Google "Alien Bees" and "strobes" or "lighting" and you should turn up the website.
  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Feb 8, 2003
    Can you change your title to "Portrait Studio"? Maybe you'll get more responses.

    I see lights on all the time for sale. You might cruise the classifieds over there and try for a deal. You also might consider a set of cheaper hotlights and then you could see what your shooting. The trick with hotlights is to bounce them off foamcore getting softer more diffused lighting if your shooting on a white set, say for children. A set of barndoors on a hotlight and a shoot thru diffusion screen would also work but watch your spill on a dark background, even with electronic flash, if you don't have any distance between the subject and the background. As I see it, you would need a back light for seperating your sitter from a darker background, a main light, and you could get by with a bounce (foamcore) as fill. Add a nice dark drape in back and you could get by fairly well. You will probably also need a white background, so consider painting a wall. Word of note; I never liked to work with less then 10ft between my sitter and the background depending on the color. At 5 ft if space is limited, dial down the intensity of the light and open the aperture if need be. On a white background watch for shadows. You could use two small flashes for blowing out a white background if using electronic flash for lighting.
  4. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    New Jersey,
    Multi Format
    I just started playing with this myself...

    I'm too cheap and can't justify the cost of a complete set up to the better half, so I've been piecing elements together for the past 10 months or so...

    Amvona (Dynatran) background support kit: Ebay approx. $100.00
    WF (?) Flash kit(Lt duty stand, umbrella/light grip, reversable umbrella, strobe and pc cord: Ebay, approx. $40.00
    Background muslin: Ebay: approx. $30.00
    A couple of used hot shoe flash units that I plan to use as slaves: Ebay, $35.00

    I plan to use the one strobe with the umbrella as my main flash and the hot shoe slaves for fill and background fill.

    Now, I don't plan on opening a studio. I wanted to do some portraiture of the family and didn't want to put out a lot of money. At about $250.00 with maybe another $50-100 more to go in backgrounds and other things, I think I may have the poor mans photo studio...I just started making some test shots today; so we'll see if I accomplished anything.