Photography/In Home Studio

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Question
Hi Betty!
I am looking to start taking some photos in my home in a home studio. I am looking to buy the necessary equipment but am not sure where to start. I've been taking outdoor photos for sometime now, but would like to try out a studio.

I currently have a Canon Rebel XS, 18-55mm lens, 50mm lens, and an external flash/speedlight. I found this on Amazon and was wondering if it had all the necessary equipment I need to get started:
http://www.amazon.com/StudioFX-Photography-Lighting-Backdrop-Background/dp/B0058

I saw that I need to buy clamps as well as maybe a few other backdrops or props, but other than that is there anything else I need? I'm going to be taking photos of my kids to start off practicing. What about things like a softbox or reflector disc, or wireless trigger? Or maybe another lens?

Thank you so much for your help!

Answer
Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes  

Contemplation
Contemplation  
Dear Erin,

The only thing that you will probably need from the camera side is a lens that will get you somewhere around 85mm which is the optimum for portraits. Given the equipment that you already have, I would like to suggest a Canon 18-135mm lens as an addition.

From the lighting and stand side, your choice of continuous lighting will be easier for you to learn from than using strobe lighting. With kids, it is never an exact science that can be applied even after you know a lot, because they move so much. If you try to inhibit their spontaneity, your portrait expressions will suffer. That is why your addition of the use of a speedlite with the other lighting can be helpful in these situations.

You will also need some props for the kids to sit on, or at least a good sturdy table or a stool. You may also find, as I do, that a small collection of toys that the child has not seen before, that you also will not mind being in the picture(s), and that you can dole out as needed will help keep their interest and/or give you some interesting expressions.

I would like to share a couple of pictures of our granddaughter, taken recently, in our studio. I know that they are not perfect, but if your pictures please you, then they are "perfect enough." There will always be more to learn, and that is part of the fun!  

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Betty A. Muscott

Expertise

Questions on photographing children from infants to teenagers including technical questions on digital cameras, use of Photoshop for improving images and using photographs as art like pictures on canvas.

Experience

Betty Muscott has been photographing children since starting with her siblings when she acquired her first camera. Over the years she has photographed small children ranging from infants to teenagers both in their homes and in her studio.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Davenport College with extra work at Lansing Community College.

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