16 Jun 2015, Posted by studio photographyin
Eh? Teach you how to be a studio photographer? I actually get this question or one in a similar vein a lot … it’s kind of the roundabout way of saying “Well, if I learn how to do what you do, then I can do it myself.” Like many things that seem so simple on the outside, being able to create quality images consistently is easier said than done. There is a combination of elements that goes into a quality image; good composition, lighting, knowing how to use the camera to capture the image that you see in your mind’s eye. These studio photography lessons are not learned in a short period of time with just a webinar or two or by reading a book.
How I Got Into Photography
I started out my visual art career as a painter, working in acrylics and using photography as a means to an end, an afterthought so to say. I would show my photographic images but didn’t think of doing studio photography professionally until I noticed that the photographs were getting more consistent feedback than my paintings. So I make the decision to jump into photography, the first step being is finding a way to learn. Again something easier said than done and I had door shut in my face. Until one day, I ranted on an internet forum and lo and behold, a studio photographer from PA (about 90 minutes away from where I lived) sent me an email saying that he would be willing to teach me and I just had to agree to pass on what he taught me when I got the opportunity. Cool!! I thought, not realizing at the time that what I thought was quality work would be torn up and spit out as being inadequate. Eventually I learned and do so well enough to earn my Certified Professional Photographer accreditation which I know that my mentor was justifiable proud of me earning.
Teaching My Techniques
What is interesting is that I do teach a shorten version of some of my studio photography techniques in one of my Blue Ridge Community College classes. First session goes over composition, the next goes into some basic lighting techniques. I do believe that it is easier to learn when someone demonstrates how something is done and this point is borne out when I have a student who makes the comment about they had read about how to do something and they hadn’t quite understood what was meant until they took my class and saw what to do.
So my word of advice to those who are looking to learn about studio photography is find someone or a class to actually teach the techniques, hands on rather than watching videos on YouTube. You will find the feedback invaluable and perhaps make a few friends along the way.
This image was created using a studio setup, can you see how?
Outdoor portrait taken using studio lighting techniques