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    Account Closed finnfinn's Avatar
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    Smile portable studio and equipment

    Hi,

    I am looking to set a portable studio, and also take on location shots (maybe weddings, parties). I am looking for the best budget options to start with until I really figure out what I need.

    I have a nikon d610, sigma 50mm prime lens 1.4 and a sb 900 speedlight and a tripod. I am happy with this equipment for now.

    But from there on I get completely lost and overwhelmed. For a start I cant figure out what is best to get for the speedlight (to use at a weddings and then maybe in a studio or do I need a better light?)

    - wireless triggers or TTL cord? and do I need a bracket or is using flash on camera and bouncing the flash acceptable?

    Then what is the best movable frames to get for backgrounds, I would like to have a few different background choices.

    Then soft boxes, reflectors, reflector stands????

    If you could offer any advice, I would be VERY grateful. I apologise if I haven't used the correct terminology?!!!
    Last edited by finnfinn; 15-12-2015 at 7:11pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnfinn View Post

    I have a nikon d610, sigma 50mm prime lens 1.4 and a sb 900 speedlight and a tripod. I am happy with this equipment for now.
    Mate. I am going to shortcut your inquiry now.

    You have a very basic start to "gear" and the biggest and most important bit of kit missing is knowledge.

    Study hard for a year and then ask a more defined question or 2 because at the moment all the answers that you might receive will probably go straight through to the keeper.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have a question too. You have completed your Cert IV in photo imaging, so I assume when you mention weddings etc, you are looking at setting up a small business for yourself. What happens if on the day of the wedding your D610 dies.. It happens. Do you have a backup camera?

    I think you need to take a step back and consider making sure you are able to do these shoots, no matter what happens, and thus look at doubling up on your gear before you start adding more.
    .
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    I'm guessing this site is not for me. I thought by asking questions that was how you obtain knowledge. I was just after a bit of advice as to what people use for the above scenarios. I am not planning my own business but wanted to have some basic gear to practice before going out and spending money if it is not necessary. I like to learn by actually "doing" not just studying. My gear may be basic but it is not the gear that makes the photographer or how much they study as you would know from some of the REAL photography greats. And just because my knowledge of accessories is limited does not mean my knowledge of photography is. I don't think studying for a year will necessarily give me knowledge on what equipment others use. I live in a very rural area, where personal contact with other photographers is limited, and was just after some basic advice, I didn't realise I had to be a professional to ask a question.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnfinn View Post
    Hi,

    I am looking to set a portable studio, and also take on location shots (maybe weddings, parties). I am looking for the best budget options to start with until I really figure out what I need.

    I have a nikon d610, sigma 50mm prime lens 1.4 and a sb 900 speedlight and a tripod. I am happy with this equipment for now.

    But from there on I get completely lost and overwhelmed. For a start I cant figure out what is best to get for the speedlight (to use at a weddings and then maybe in a studio or do I need a better light?)

    - wireless triggers or TTL cord? and do I need a bracket or is using flash on camera and bouncing the flash acceptable?

    Then what is the best movable frames to get for backgrounds, I would like to have a few different background choices.

    Then soft boxes, reflectors, reflector stands????

    If you could offer any advice, I would be VERY grateful. I apologise if I haven't used the correct terminology?!!!
    If you are planning on doing weddings, I would stay away until you know the answers to these question without asking. What I mean by that is start with smaller lower risk events and move on from there.

    I consider myself a capable photographer (not expert) and I would be hesitant to do a wedding because its a very risky affair. If you mess it up, the legal implications can be substantial, bride and groom suing you for the cost of the wedding etc.

    Anyway, to start answering some of your questions this is where I would go if I was you:

    Get some more lenses. You need a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8. The 70-200 will be your portrait lens, it's almost as good as the 85 f/1.4 but more flexible. Go for the Tamron full frame models, they are about $1000 each to start you. Get the VR versions because later on you'll appreciate having the extra stops for low light. If you want to do weddings later, you'll eventually need a macro (ring photos etc) along with an 85 f/1.4 or f/1.8 if you can afford it.

    Reflectors help so it's worth having a 5 in one reflector.

    Get some off camera flash experience with your SB900 with some TTL triggers, but I would say you want to get really proficient with natural light before you start using the flash.
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji X-E3, Fuji X100T, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Fujinon 60 f/2.4 Macro, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T, Mefoto Q00
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    "I think you need to take a step back and consider making sure you are able to do these shoots, no matter what happens, and thus look at doubling up on your gear before you start adding more. "


    That is what I am trying to do make sure I can do these shots without buying extra cameras and equipment that is unnecessary. No I am not starting my own business, I do it because I love it. I intend on photographing my family and friends at these events and want to do it right with the right equipment.
    I can see this is not the site for me as I was actually after some helpful advice.
    Last edited by finnfinn; 15-12-2015 at 9:45pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnfinn View Post
    "I think you need to take a step back and consider making sure you are able to do these shoots, no matter what happens, and thus look at doubling up on your gear before you start adding more. "


    That is what I am trying to do make sure I can do these shots without buying extra cameras and equipment that is unnecessary. No I am not starting my own business, I do it because I love it. I intend on photographing my family and friends at these events and want to do it right with the right equipment.
    I can see this is not the site for me as I was actually after some helpful advice.
    Perhaps if you read the replies you will see that the advice is helpful. Again, you have some friends organised for a shoot at a wedding. You get there setup and your camera does not work. It is dead. How are you going to recover from that? The people there are going to see that you cannot do the job you offered. You do not get a second chance at these things. They cannot redo the wedding just cause your camera doesn't work. You want helpful advice and that is what we experienced photographers are offering you. Whether you choose to consider that advice is up to you. But you need two camera bodies...minimum! We are not saying these things to you just to spite you, we are saying them cause from experience, that is what you need.
    Last edited by ricktas; 15-12-2015 at 9:52pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnfinn View Post
    I'm guessing this site is not for me. I thought by asking questions that was how you obtain knowledge. I was just after a bit of advice as to what people use for the above scenarios. I am not planning my own business but wanted to have some basic gear to practice before going out and spending money if it is not necessary. I like to learn by actually "doing" not just studying. My gear may be basic but it is not the gear that makes the photographer or how much they study as you would know from some of the REAL photography greats. And just because my knowledge of accessories is limited does not mean my knowledge of photography is. I don't think studying for a year will necessarily give me knowledge on what equipment others use. I live in a very rural area, where personal contact with other photographers is limited, and was just after some basic advice, I didn't realise I had to be a professional to ask a question.
    I think you're taking this personally when people are trying to prevent you making a big mistake. The big word here is "weddings"!!. You can do friends birthday's and most other events, but weddings require a lot of things including insurance, knowledge, gear (yes, you are being paid to have gear) and experience. You are taking a risk with a once in a lifetime experience and learning on the job isn't acceptable. What happens if you mess it up? People can't go back and do the day again. There are no second chances with weddings. What if the groom dies two days later and all the bride has is a shitty set of photos because you didn't have a backup camera or forgot you set your ISO to manual?

    So if you want to learn about lighting, say that, but if you walk in and know nothing about lighting and say you want to do weddings while learning on the job, you can't expect people to be nice.

    What people want to prevent is you going out, doing a wedding, messing it up, getting sued, giving other photographers a bad name. If you don't like that, then perhaps this isn't the right site for you, because Ausphotography wants people who love photography, want to learn, AND know their limits so they don't take risks with other people's memories.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    OP's account closed at her request.

    Shame people cannot look at what is said and realise good advice is being offered by experienced photographers.
    Last edited by ricktas; 15-12-2015 at 9:55pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    OP's account closed at her request. Shame people cannot look at what is said and realise good advice is being offered by experienced photographers.
    I'm not sure what scares me more, the fact that she will go do a wedding without our advice or the limited advice she received. Either way its a lawsuit waiting to happen and she probably won't be insured.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    I'm not sure what scares me more, the fact that she will go do a wedding without our advice or the limited advice she received. Either way its a lawsuit waiting to happen and she probably won't be insured.
    Or that she has emailed me about doing a wedding with no experience and no flash and charging $300.00.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I'll wait for the next "An amateur photographer ruined my wedding" article and see if its her.

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    I do a number of events and some weddings.
    I have a pair of 600w/s studio lights which have built-in batteries and I also often (if they pay me for it) set up a mobile studio with a 3m wide backdrop. It gives fantastic results.
    I also use the big lights outside and everything is wireless, which to me, is an absolute necessity as I also use them in all sorts of situations. Having power cords running along the floor of a crowded event or heavy seperate battery packs would be unworkable for me.
    For outside use, you really need at least 400w/s lights to overpower the sun.
    I do work with an assistant at events as having me doing the studio stuff and videos and my assistant taking shots of the party itself, or if outdoors, he helps me with my lights and as they can be fitted with a handle, can be easily hand held.
    Good wireless studio lights can go to around $5k, but you can pick up Chinese copies for around $2k a pair, and then you need to get stands, weights for the stands (very important in public areas), soft boxes etc, and then you need to be able to operate them effectively.

    You can buy studio kits quite cheaply, and they work really well, but you need mains power to run them.

    If you are finding that your speedlight is not powerful enough and studio lights are too big, try a Bolt bare bulb flash. More powerful than your speedlight and not much bigger, but if you want good lighting for formal shots, you will need at least 2 and preferably 3 or 4 lights.

    What the guys are saying about back-up gear is 100% correct. Once you are shooting a busy event and something goes wrong with your only camera, you're stuffed.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Jeez I wish weddings wasn't mentioned in passing by the OP. This would have been a totally different thread then.
    Think I'll go and take some photos of birds tomorrow. Should I worry about what is the best movable frames to get for backgrounds, I would like to have a few different background choices.
    Then soft boxes, reflectors, reflector stands????
    Jeez I don't hope I happen to come across a bird wedding tomorrow. I'll be so unprepared.
    At least they can't sue me.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Jeez I wish weddings wasn't mentioned in passing by the OP. This would have been a totally different thread then.
    Think I'll go and take some photos of birds tomorrow. Should I worry about what is the best movable frames to get for backgrounds, I would like to have a few different background choices.
    Then soft boxes, reflectors, reflector stands????
    Jeez I don't hope I happen to come across a bird wedding tomorrow. I'll be so unprepared.
    At least they can't sue me.
    You need four backgrounds maximum @markl;

    A wadey birdy watery reedy one
    A treey birdy leafy greeny one
    a sandy deserty yellowy whitey one

    and if you like birdies in flighty. you need a bluey one.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Bird weddings are extremely risky. I suggest you take at 40000 photos of bird weddings as an apprentice before considering taking on a bird wedding. There are so many things that make bird weddings risky.

    1. Birds don't listen to instructions well so getting them to position properly for signing the wedding book is hard and only offers about 1 second to get the capture right
    2. Birds crap on your camera gear. It's bad enough with one bird, but when you have 400 birds because they invite guests, not to mention all the drunk birds at the reception, bird crap is a major concern and could cost you a fortune.
    3. Birds get rowdy when they've been drinking and you could find yourself being attacked. Get on the wrong side of a magpie when it's been drinking and you'll know what I mean. Do a search for magpie attack on youtube and you'll find plenty of example of drunk magpies.
    4. A friend of mine got a wedding wrong. Not only was he sued, but the birds crapped on his garden for 4 weeks in retribution.
    5. Birds often associate with bad elements of society. Pirates inevitably have a parrot on their shoulder and pirates were the worst of society at that time. These days its a little known fact that birds are the ringleaders of a number of illegal organisations like the Mongols, Hells Angels (angels is a nickname for the bad birds), Commancheros, etc.
    6. Your lighting has to be perfect with birds or you can blind them. I accidentally had my Profit strobes switched on high when I photographed a bird wedding. The birds were flying into the windows for hours after that and the bird bride got a black eye as a result.

    These are just the basics to master for birds.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Thanks MM, I hadn't considered some of that.
    We're still haggling (yep, some birds can do that) over how I'd be paid.
    They want to pay depending on the results and I keep telling them that I need some upfront payment as I have to buy all these backgrounds that Rick mentioned as well them soft boxes, reflectors, reflector stands and a second camera and pay an assistant to carry all that stuff around.
    Them birds keep laughing at me though. I suspect they want to get the wedding shot all organised and muck me around by relocating to a different tree venue at the last minute.
    Don't worry about any more advise as I think I'll tell the bride bird to "get whistled" and just gatecrash that wedding (cat amongst the pigeons type thing)

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    LOL
    One of the best threads i read in a while!
    I agree with Rick..she doesn't know good advice when she gets it.
    Hope she thinks twice before ruining someone's wedding
    frank
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    Trying to figure out how to use all this stuff...
    My humble website: www.frankbonneville.com


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