Room to Breathe

Red Hook 1431

I was having this conversation with a potential client when my humble studio beginnings came up. I shared how I somehow managed to set up a makeshift home studio in my small Hoboken apartment. Not only was the space incredibly small, but those who dared venture in to the mile square for a session had to follow up their nightmarish search for parking with a three floor walk up to said apartment. Strangely enough, I made it work to moderate degrees of success.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’ve just about quadrupled my space in nearby Jersey City where  parking is a breeze and elevators seem to be all the rage.


Still, with the sizable change. I often find myself trying to find space to set up a full function studio as well as finding closet space to store away equipment while I’m not using it. And while any mention of clutter or booby trapped studio equipment is strictly that of an over worked imagination. I’ve been ever vigilant to keep things, if not out of mind,. At least out of sight.

Needless to say, my new found focal length has given me the space between my subject while having my subject further enough from the background to avoid unwanted shadows and unexpected falloff.

Yes, I’m still clumsy, but I haven’t broken anything or caused any permanent damage since I got here. Hopefully, with a little coaxing and improved balance I’m beginning to feel more confident in myself snd my work. If that continues, doors are sure to open.

Seamless V.S. Muslin

IMG_2310I spent much of last night changing the backgrounds in the studio in preparation for the upcoming weeks shoots. On Friday I decided to go with a muslin and wasn’t really happy with my choice. A few years ago I decided to turn my living room into a part time photo studio. I invested in some auto poles and picked up the Genesis 200 series light kit. I even purchased a nice soft box. Though it takes some maneuvering I seem to have just enough space to make it work. Along the way I’ve picked up several muslins and have an assortment of seamless backgrounds. In the early going I tended to lean towards using the muslins more often. The were wider than the 53 wide seamless backgrounds I had. Easier to store and a synch to hang. The seamless however were cheaper and in my opinion produced somewhat of a cleaner look. The only problem was the 53 inches of width did not allow me much room to work with. Head shots were one thing but my 3/4 shots were often to tight and you can forget about full length or family portraits. I needed to get a wider paper but the next size up was 109 inches wide. To wide for the space I had. I thought of everything and even looked into having the local lumber yard cut it down to a useable size. Finally in the end I found a place in Chelsea that not only carries the larger size but can cut it down to your specific needs in a matter of minutes. Problem solved right? Well, yes. But I still go back and fourth between the two choices. Both offer their conveniences  and challenges. I’m going to stick with seamless for this weeks sessions and see how I do.