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What equipment is needed to start a studio

Carey Nash , Oct 22, 2007; 11:23 a.m.

I would like to learn to use on and off location studio equipment. What equipment is needed to learn the basics but still feel like the equipment is worth holding onto. I'm will to spend 2-3k and am very serious about learning.

I own the d200.

I shoot weddings and families and would need light to shoot at least 6 people on average.

Thanks so much, Carey


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Ellis Vener , Oct 22, 2007; 11:50 a.m.

HAve you already written up a business plan?

Ryan Buck , Oct 22, 2007; 11:50 a.m.

I'd start with 2 monolights on stands, 2 umbrellas, and a light meter. As long as the monolights come with a sync cord, which they all pretty much do, you should be good to go. Have fun!

Carey Nash , Oct 22, 2007; 11:57 a.m.

I've decided to open up a studio next fall...as it stands I have only begun weddings. Before then it was travel and corp work.

The weddings were done with natural light and on camera flash, low light...and what ever else I could work out, ie the weather. But I'd like to start messing around with studio lights.

Ellis Vener , Oct 22, 2007; 12:08 p.m.

I'll ask again: Have you written up a business plan? Buying more equipment is secondary until then.

Hard to know where you are going or what you are planning on doing if you don't have a map.

Carey Nash , Oct 22, 2007; 12:21 p.m.

sorry I should have been more specific. I have started a revised plan, and when webbing out I realized that wedding work has become more lucrative than my other arms of work. As part of my plan to allocate more money towards weddings, and shooting this summer, I decided to purchase studio lights and equipment. I came up 3000 dollars that could be used towards the purchase, I of course could spend less or more, but my concern is usage and depreciation and being able to resale and upgrade. My next wedding is March so I have 4 months to dedicate to the learnig process.

Yes I have a plan, it includes a studio loft next fall that I can work out of, a perm location for my work away from a home office, but above all I want the reassurance that rain doesn't withhold some family portraits at a wedding.

Is that what you meant? I have found myself limited, not by work but by the concerns that I'm not outfitted properly, and that I'm ready to advance my position as opposed to limiting myself to what I know now.

Thanks for any advice that you can offer.

Ellis Vener , Oct 22, 2007; 12:37 p.m.

In that price range I would loo kat either the Zeus (form http://www.alienbees.com) Dyna-Lite or Speedotrom Blackline pack and head systems or the Alien Bees or Calumet monolights. You'll want teither two heads or two monolight. Don't spend more than about $1500 on that. The rest you budget for a set of Pocketwizard Plus II receivers, A large and a medium Chimera Softboxes, a 40" -50" diameter umbrella, and some good stands --either Bogen/MAnfrotto or Lowel KS. Maybe a Bogen Avenger C- Stand or two. and if you don't already have one, a good light meter that has spot and incident modes.

Steve Levine , Oct 22, 2007; 08:00 p.m.

First thing I'd seek is a long list of paying clients.

Sheldon Nalos , Oct 22, 2007; 10:27 p.m.

Most studio business plans can be significantly simplified. I will give you my patented "Business Plan" absolutely free of charge. All you need is three simple items.

1. A big pile of money.
2. A shovel.
3. A large bonfire.


Seriously though, make sure that it makes financial sense before you step out into something like this. Most of the financially successful studios out there do a *lot* of volume in order to be profitable.

Nathan Stiles , Oct 23, 2007; 01:30 p.m.

Not going to read all of this-- similar questions get answered every week. Carey, please do a search for this info.

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