One question I’m often asked is where did I learn studio lighting? If you haven’t figured it out yet by the title of this blog post, I’ll repeat it— I strongly believe that the best way to learn studio lighting is by doing it.
That is not to sell short the various convention and program speakers, like the legendary Tony Corbell, who present their studio lighting techniques to rapt audiences. I think these kinds of presentations can really be valuable at two points in your studio lighting learning curve.
These kinds of programs are useful in the beginning of the learning process, although truth be told it’s a never-ending process. Heck, I even offer one-on-one workshops to help you get started in studio lighting. It’s also helpful on the other end, when you can learn how to refine the techniques you’ve actually been practicing, In between, it’s learning by doing. The best way to get to Carnegie Hall, as the story goes is practice, practice and practice some more.
Practicing portrait lighting is not easy because you need a subject to practice with. For many years I used Mary as a subject but I also had access to many other models that were interested in getting free photographs—I give each model a CD of every image we make to take home with her. Mary is still available but her current travel schedule does not always permit her helping out.
These days finding new models have been a challenge. And like many photographers I can’t afford to pay a model for practice sessions because there is no budget for it. (I do pay cash to cover the cost of gas for them driving to my home studio.)
Recently I’ve had several companies offer to loan me equipment—a typical loan is two weeks, sometimes a month—and I was unable to find a model within that time to shoot their gear to see what it (and I) can do with it and share the results with you on this blog. So I’m asking readers in Colorado (or nearby states) if they could refer any models, potential models or just people who like to give it a try and who might want to be photographed for this blog. I can promise it will be fun. You can find details here on my website.