It's my first post on the site so I hope it's at the right place.
I am trying to start earning an income from portrait photography on a part time basis.
I would like to specialise in portrait photography taking shoots at people’s house with backdrop giving a studio effect but in the comfort of their own house.
Does anyone have experience with that type of photography?
My first issue is to find the right portable lighting system for portrait, full length and small group 3 to 5 people.
I have been advised different system from Interfit: EX150, EX300, Venus 150 and 300 but I am confused to which one to choose.
I have read that some people had to upgrade from EX150 because it wasn't sturdy enough and had to upgrade one year later. There is no point for me to invest in something that I have to upgrade a year later even if I am on a small budget (£300 to £400).
Also if anyone could share their experience/comments/suggestions for shooting at people’s house, especially when they started. What is the minimum size room to shoot in?
It really depends on what style of portrait photography you want to go for.
You can do portrait photography without any lighting using ambient window light & a reflector. You can do successful portrait photography with one flashgun & an umbrella or softbox.
You can do it Strobist style using 1,2 or 3 flashguns, or use the same amount of studio lights.
I started off with an eBay kits similar in specification (but cheaper) to the Interfit £200 jiobby, which was a nice & cheap way to learn. As I got more into it I decided that I would like a better kit so I upgraded to an Elinchrom set which cost more than 5 times as much as my first kit.
I now use all four lights, usually the Elinchroms on the subject & the cheaper set on the background.
As for backgrounds, you can get a stand & a muslin cloth fairly cheap on eBay. I soon found though that muslin cloths can be a bit of a nightmare to light & it can be difficult to avoid creases.
My best investment was some white plastic tarpaulin, I think lastolite sell it for a couple of hundred quid, but I bought mine from an HGC company that makes the curtain sides for trucks, paid about £70 incl £30 delivery from Glasgow for 2.5m by 8m. It's much easier to keep clean, a doddle to light, (but it is heavy)
As to size, well you need a meter or more either side of the width of your background (to stand the lights) & if you're doing full length shots of more than a couple of people you'll need 4 or 5 meters at least, but this depends on your lens.
Depending on your equipment, it might take an hour to setup & 40 minutes to put away which you'll need to factor into your time.
A flashmeter can save you lots of trial & error in sorting out your exposures.