How to Do a Professional Looking Photo Shoot at Home by lfsmj2010


									How to Do a Professional Looking Photo Shoot at Home
Why not set up a photo shoot at home instead of going to a studio?
You¡¯ll have the chance to give the shoot your own personal twist and
save yourself hundreds of dollars. With a camera, a window, and a few
household supplies, anyone can create a professional-looking photo shoot
at home.


Part One: The Setting
1Choose your "studio" location. Find a white wall, preferably in a room
that gets a lot of natural light. If you don¡¯t have a white wall, or if
yours is covered with pictures, hang a white sheet from the ceiling and
drape the end over the floor. This will create a studio-like blank canvas
for your photo shoot.<
2Open the blinds and let sunshine flood the room. Lighting is the single
most important element when you¡¯re creating a professional-looking photo
shoot, and natural light helps create the best effect.Plan to begin your
shoot when you know you¡¯ll have plenty of sunlight coming through your
windows for hours to come. This way you won¡¯t have to rush your photo
If your room gets bright sunlight, diffuse it with a sheer white curtain
or thin white sheet. This will create a softer effect and eliminate harsh
Even on overcast days, the sun should provide plenty of light for your

3Find lamps with hooded shades. Desk lamps, for example, often have
shades that are closed on one end so that you can focus their light in a
particular place.You may also consider buying shop lamps, which artists
and photographers use for this very purpose. These are inexpensive and
can be found at hardware or photography stores. If you¡¯re planning to
create more than one home photoshoot, these will be a worthwhile

4Create a professional ambiance. Using your lights to fill the room with
soft light devoid of shadows.One light should point toward the ceiling,
creating a warm glow against the white paint. This should shine softly on
your subject from above.
Use another light as a ¡°fill light¡±; place it in the back of the room,
far enough away from the subject so that it doesn¡¯t create shadows.
Both of these types of lighting can be used in combination with diffused
natural light. The varied light sources will create the optimal setting
for a professional-looking photoshoot.
Don¡¯t use overhead ceiling lights; these will cast harsh shadows over
your subject.
You may use an umbrella, a piece of cloth, or another material to diffuse
or filter your lights.

5Gather meaningful props. A simple wooden stool for your subject to pose
on might be all you need, or perhaps you want your photoshoot to have a
fun theme. Gather the materials you need and arrange them tastefully in
front of your white backdrop.
Part Two: The Model
1Decide what type of "look" to give your model. Whether you¡¯ve hired
someone to model for you or you¡¯re photographing a family member, think
ahead about what you¡¯d like your model to wear. Is this a dressy shoot,
or a casual one? Keep in mind that people look best in pictures when
they¡¯re comfortable in what they¡¯re wearing.Consider asking your model
to be ready to change into several different outfits. If you¡¯re taking
graduation photos of your daughter, for example, you may want to have
pictures of her wearing her graduation dress, her favorite outfit, and
her basketball uniform. Gather props to go with the different looks.
Hair and makeup are also important components when it comes to creating a
professional effect. Remember makeup doesn¡¯t show up as well in photos
as it does in person, so you may want your model to wear a brighter shade
of lipstick or a tad more eyeliner than normal.

2Have your model practice posing before you begin the shoot.Prep him or
her before you begin the shoot by describing the effect you¡¯re going
for. Perhaps you want to stick with a traditional portrait-style pose,
with your model smiling straight at the camera. Or maybe you want to
capture your model¡¯s personality - his smile, or his ¡°pensive¡± look.
Either way, the shoot will go more smoothly if your model knows what to

Part Three: The Shoot
1Prepare your camera. Whether you¡¯re using a digital camera or a manual
one, make sure the proper settings are in place before you begin your
shoot. Take into account the lighting and the effect you¡¯re trying to
create.Most digital cameras have an ¡°automatic¡± setting. This should be
fine in most cases, but make sure that the flash is turned off. You¡¯ve
already set up the proper lighting, so there should be no need for a
Have a tripod or a flat surface in place. Make sure it¡¯s set at the
right angle for professional-looking photos.

2Start taking pictures. Ask your model to try different poses, and try
different creative approaches. Take pictures using the tripod or flat
surface, and alternate snapping photos without them. If you¡¯re using a
digital camera, you may want to experiment with different settings,
too.Take more pictures than may be strictly necessary. You went to a lot
of trouble to set up this photoshoot, and you¡¯ll want to make sure you
come away with some great shots. The more you have to choose from, the

Part Four: The Photos
1Edit your photos. Upload your photos to your computer and use photo
editing software to crop them, place interesting filters on them, change
the contrast, and so on.
2Print your photos on glossy paper. If you have a printer at home, you
can buy photo-quality paper and print your photos from your computer. For
a professional finish, you may want to take them to a photo developing
store to complete the job.If you conducted your photoshoot with a film
camera, take your film to a photo developing store to get your photos

Experiment with different backdrops. Try using a patterned piece of
cloth, or a colored sheet, for a different effect.
The rules for lighting apply outside as well as inside: the key is to
reduce shadows and create an atmosphere of soft light. Umbrellas and
other light diffusers are helpful when shooting outside.
Try taking a self portrait by using the timer function on your camera.
Position yourself on a stool or chair in your "studio" and pose away.

<What You'll Need
A camera
A tripod, or a flat surface constructed at the height of a tripod
A white wall or white sheet
An assortment of lights

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