Photography/Photo Studio

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Question
Hi Barry,
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
there is many different kinds of studio photography. I assume you are going to do portraiture as you referenced your children as you first subjects.
Before buying anything I would first make some basic decisions. Where is your studio going to be located? Inside the home, garage, basement or outside? The choice can determine some of the equipment you might or might not want to buy.
Family portraits or individuals? Event portraiture? Groups? These are also decisions that will help to determine where you studio is located and what equipment you might or might not want or need.
The basic equipment you referenced in your query seemed good enough to start with, although you most likely will need a longer lens at some point for what is called a 'head' shot. This is a portrait of one or two people from the neck up. These kinds of images are used by models, actors, businesses and business organizations. Usually this lens if an eighty-five mm lens but can be anywhere from a seventy to one hundred and twenty mm lens. Your fifty mm lens is not used very often in portraiture but please don't throw it out or forget about it because it can be handy for alternative perspectives when in strange or difficult situations. I would also experiment with your external flash before buying any additional costly flash equipment. The more you know about what light does or does not do the better off you are. There are times when your equipment just will not work and you have to find a way to take the images without any or your expensive do-dads!!!!!
Get a good book on portraiture or find someone to study under. You will find (in my opinion) that besides the study of light, the study or the human face is complex and takes practice and more practice. It is great that we can do this now digitally instead of having to take the time to process film and make prints to see what the camera sees. Almost always this is different than what you see in the viewfinder.
I hope this helps.
Barry

Photography

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Barry Benjamin

Expertise

I can answer basic questions about using any camera, but I am very familiar with most of the Nikon FILM cameras up to the FP 5. I have some background in advertising and marketing so I know something about placement of the object or person that would be the main focus of the photo. I did quite a bit of in home family portrature when I had my own studio in the '80s and '90s. I also did some product and commercial photography. I took most of the marketing photos for my families hotels in The Bahamas over the last 20 years so I have some experience about what 'sells' in the travel/hospitality industry.

Experience

Started photography in 1967, also worked as a newspaper printer in Molina, Oregon in 1975, I owned my own studio from 1982 to 1996 and sold my travel images as stock since then.

Organizations
Commercial Photographers International

Publications
Isles of Eden, author Harvel Lloyd, published by Benjamin Publishing 1992

Education/Credentials
Padgett Thompson, Basics of Design Using Desktop Publishing, 1994 Rochester Institute of Technology, Printing for People who aren't Printers, 1993 Creative Photographic Seminars, Achieving the Optimum Results in 35mm B/W photography by Harvey Glick, 1978 Seminars with Harvey Lloyd in 1980 and 1981 Seminars with Lucien Clergue in 1982 and 1983

Past/Present Clients
Many families around Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; MEDI, Henderson Photography

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