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We asked our Facebook fans for one essential piece of advice they would give to new studio photographers just starting out… here are our top picks! We hope passing along these tips can help you get started in your new studio!

“Ask someone whose work you admire to mentor you. There are so many variables and a lot of technology to learn, so shadowing someone and getting critiques and help with business, marketing, shooting, editing, etc will speed your learning curve up a lot.”

-Cynthia Barker

“It’s the lighting, stupid. Study light. Study and visualize the well-lit images you like. Don’t get trapped into buying or coveting the best new camera. You don’t need High ISO ability. Give me the worst camera and lens and awesome lighting, and I will beat almost all of the shots I would get with better “gear”. Budget for lights, modifiers, soft boxes, and a mannequin. Choose large modifiers that your subject cannot block with two hands from their position. Big=soft. Move it back, make it harsh (and apparently smaller). Shoot that mannequin to death, varying the lights for harshness, intensity, and direction until you can get a look with ease. Use the great light set-up with your camera phone and prove it. Then get awesome lenses to control depth of field, then (Maybe) a new camera.”

-Tod Wolf

“Choose backdrops and props that can be used in more than one genre of photography initially. Get the basics like plain white and then add props and lighting effects to change the mood. As you grow add to your collection but don’t try to get everything all at once. (unless you have lots of extra money and already know your market perfectly.)”

-Paul Beck

“Keep it simple and have fun…If you can do just that you will find your style just from exploring… Dare to be different.”

-Mark Velazquez

“Study all aspects of lighting. Consider LED continuous lighting as a source over flash photography as you are learning about all lighting techniques.”

-John Qoyawayma

Starting out as a new photographer and aquiring a studio is hectic. There are many factors to consider IE location, equipment, marketing so on and so forth. If you find yourself starting up a studio by now you should know that a good 60% of your time will be promoting yourself to the correct market for your area. The most successful self promotion for myself has been local restruants. Stop in and speak with the manager and show case your best work and offer to frame it and leave a stack of buisness cards. What I found out is 99% of the art on restruant walls are purchased off stock sites or the owner already owned them. You will be amazed at the results of a few days of restruant hopping and really putting yourself out there. The advice may seem un-orthodoxed but it does work and is ALOT cheaper than hiring someone to do the work for you.”

-Curtis Crumpler

“Distance is key… Moving the lights around and stands are great but sometimes unorthodox staging is enough to produce something that you will truly LOVE….. Also, create diagrams of lighting setups that work.”

-Gerren Clark

“Don’t under-price yourself. It is hard to raise prices later.”

-Bill Cohea

“Set a timer beside your keyboard. Spend no more than 5 minutes editing any image. If you need more time come back to it, but unless it is a special project it probably isn’t worth keeping.”

-Ryan Peterman

“Don’t underestimate the little things you’ll need to make your studio stand out from the rest.”

-Russ Lind 

-Savage Universal Team

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