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Thread: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    72

    Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Normally I shoot my portraits on my balcony as it has great light from 3 directions and a very beautiful backdrop.
    But now that Winter is coming I can't have the model standing there in the cold.

    I have a shoot planed from next Saturday, with THE MODEL that I always wanted to work with (Aline Stevens), I don't know where to shoot.
    I used to shoot in hotel rooms but the hotels in town will be pretty expensive next weekend.

    Any tips to help me out of my misery?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    626

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Indoors using window light? Or perhaps set up a small studio space in your garage?


    A couple of my friends said they went around to local condo's that were for rent and put a deposit down for a key so they could come back with their bf/gf's to look around and instead used it as a temporary studio space. Not sure if they were joking but it might work lol


    Or you could always bring a space blanket and some big jackets to keep the model warm in between poses.

  3. #3

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Depending on wherer you are, you may be able to rent studio space for $20-$50 an hour. Their lights may not be strong enough for LF though.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    72

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    I'm in Brussels, BE and so far the studios that I've seen have been more expensive then that.
    The setup will be super simple as I'm going for Irving Penn's Hands & Face composition.
    She basically just has to sit in front of a table. Window to one side, reflector to the other. Backdrop right behind her.
    I'm shooting a Petzval wide open at F3.5 so light will be manageable.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minnesota and Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    497

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Here's an off hand idea. Go to the sublet/ temporary housing category in Craigslist for Belgium. Look for something available now and offer them a free dinner. I assume you don't need real privacy, just to be left alone.

    And yes, there is a CL site for Belgium.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,049

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    I move furniture aside and photograph all kinds of portraits in my living room from head shots to full length nudes, always with 8x10 or 7x17. The modeling light in a single strobe with soft box is usually my only light source. I am not a fan of flooding subjects with immense amounts of light, but prefer to use nice quality light with the lens wide open or nearly so. Even a 5 watt bulb without a reflector provides beautiful light for a portrait with 100 speed film, when placed correctly.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    111

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    I shoot wherever the light and background are appropriate because I do not shoot with posing talents and setting up a studio is not possible in the remote areas that I shoot (http://endangeredtribes.org). They tend to be consious with the box and gather around the box. Instead, I like to shoot when talents are natural and unaware of my presense. On times, I set up the camera and then leave it for several hours so that they take it granted and release the pin without them knowing. Maybe that is just (weird) me. ;-)

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Belgium
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    414

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Hello Andre, I'm from Brussels too, so I can understand your light problem just checking the weather trough the window...

    What about using window light and pushing your film iso by one step ?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    72

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Hey, another one

    The placement of the windows in my apartment is really tricky.
    But you're right. It might work with a portable background.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathieu Bauwens View Post
    Hello Andre, I'm from Brussels too, so I can understand your light problem just checking the weather trough the window...

    What about using window light and pushing your film iso by one step ?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    72

    Re: Where to shoot your portraits without a studio?

    Ok, +1 for moving furniture. This is gonna work!
    Just need to find a nice grey background now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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