I recently picked up some cheap lighting equipment from Amazon to start dabbling in some studio photography. Since I had no idea what I was doing coming into this, I grabbed the cheapest set I could find in case it didn't end up working out. I decided to purchase the LimoStudio Kit that came with 2 continuous umbrella lights, a backdrop stand, and 2 backdrops (a white and a black). Overall I am very pleased with the kit! As expected, I will most likely add more lighting to the studio set because while it is great, the two lights are not extremely powerful. The stands are also pretty unstable, so I needed to use some items around the house to secure them in place. For $100, however, this was the best deal you could find and completely worth it!
Jesse was a trooper and let me use him as a guinea pig (well, us as guinea pigs) for a Holiday shoot. My sister bought me a Wireless Remote for my birthday this year from Amazon (we love Amazon) that has proven to be almost more handy almost than the camera itself. Using a handful of 99 Cent Only store bought holiday items as props, we spent 30 minutes taking our Holiday pictures. All of the photos were shot in RAW using a Nikon D3200 with a standard 18-55mm lens (kit lens) because it's the only one that I currently own who's frame would fit in the small room where we set up the equipment and had auto-focus, since I was using a remote for the shutter and couldn't be manually adjusting the focus every time we moved a little. I didn't do too much to the editing other than increase the contrast, adjust the color and lighting, and in some cases smooth out the black background so you couldn't see the wrinkles in the sheet, all done via Photoshop from Adobe Creative Cloud.
Overall, I'm very happy with the photos, considering we took them ourselves. I would have liked to get more creative, but in such a short time and with nobody physically behind the camera, I cannot complain!
About my camera/photography: I have no formal training in photography and am lucky to be surrounded by many artists and professional photographers who have given me tips about photography. I would still hardly call my work professional, although I'm starting to develop a knack for it! If you are at all interested in DSLR Photography and scared to invest the money, let me stop you there. Don't be! A standard point and shoot can cost around $100-$150. Refurbished, I bought my Nikon D3200 body and the kit lens (standard 18-55) for around $350. That's only roughly $200 more, and if you are anything like me, you'll take much better care of your DSLR than your point-and-shoot. It is 100% worth the investment! There are so many free resources available to help you learn the basics, and I've found that just putting my camera in manual and changing the settings while taking the same picture 25-50 times has taught me so much about my camera.
Another great alternative if you are a Canon person is an older model or refurbished Canon Rebel. This camera is a great starter camera as well. Finally, remember, while having a good camera is important, having great lenses and the right settings can make a world of difference. I'm still learning as well, but I'm happy to share my experiences along the way!
Here are some of our favorite photos from our shoot:
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