It’s been almost three years! Three years since I first put my hands on my very own DSLR. Three years and I haven’t put it down since. (In some ways it seems like it was just last year and in others, it feels like I’ve been shooting for a lot longer. Maybe because I’ve had a camera of some sort in my hands since I was a child – but instead of shooting snapshots, I now shoot with a purpose.)
I LOVE shooting landscapes. I LOVE processing them and experimenting with different looks, HDR, using textures, etc. – creating art from my photography.
I’ve also had a stirring for a while now – a stirring to attempt another form of photography. But quite honestly, that other form is one that I’ve had major apprehensions about. Why? Because I know NOTHING about it! That other form is portraiture photography.
I’ve had a good number of requests in the last three years to take photos – family, children, anniversaries, even weddings. But every time I’m asked I am so hesitant because I know how important those types of photos are. Landscapes are for MY enjoyment. People photos are for once in a lifetime memories to mark the time and age of people – for them, not me. That’s a BIG responsibility!
Recently several projects have flashed before me – ones that would be helping others and donating my time and work to help out those who may not have the means to pay for photos. And I’ve had a true desire to help. But those projects all involve shooting portraits – those IMPORTANT photos. The ones that come with a big responsibility. And honestly, my self-confidence has waned.
Then reality hit! The only way I can become confident is to learn. To gain knowledge. To practice. Which leads me to the title of this post…
I’m not necessarily taking the plunge, but at this time I am definitely dipping my toes in the water. I’ve decided to put together a basic in-home photography studio. One that I can have friends, family and neighbors over to “practice” shooting portraits. Thanks to parents who love and support me, I have a few pieces of equipment that they have nonchalantly given me over the last couple of years (I say, “nonchalantly” because I think they’ve been trying to hint to me to delve into taking portraits, without pushing.) I’ve received soft box lights, reflectors, lenses to borrow, etc. Oh and yep, they are the ones who got me started in shooting with a DSLR in the first place. They are the ones who blessed me with my first DSLR almost three years ago. They are both photographers and I guess they wanted to make sure I follow in their footsteps. Well, it worked!
This past week, I’ve dedicated my time to schooling myself and becoming more informed on the basics. I still have A LONG WAY TO GO and MUCH MORE to learn, however, I realize that it’s time to also begin practicing what I’m learning. So, after moving some furniture around (and out) in my office, I’ve set up lights, bought backdrop fabric, ordered a backdrop stand that will be in early next week and preparing myself for a good bit of practicing. After getting things set up today, I threw some fabric over a small room divider, pulled out a stool and set my favorite model on it to get a little practice before I really start practicing. Can you guess who my favorite model is?
You got it! My li’l Lucy! She isn’t alway eager to help and as a matter of fact, for every photo you see below of my experimenting, I have at least three where she has turned her head away to let me know that she really isn’t interested. Yes, she will completely turn AWAY from the camera to avoid me. It doesn’t work!
This one I’m quite sure I heard her say, “Now Mom, I’ve had just about enough of this for the day!”
I would love to hear from any of you who have your own in-home portrait studio. Any tips, suggestions, recommendations, etc. that you can share on how to do it most effectively (and inexpensively)…I’m all ears!