I did it! Tim Simps on

NPhoto - - Nikopedia -

Here, Manch­ester-based por­trait and wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Tim Simp­son shares his ex­pe­ri­ences of set­ting up his own stu­dio. Tim of­fers tu­ition in a wide range of pho­to­graphic tech­niques, in­clud­ing stu­dio pho­tog­ra­phy, at £150 per day. You can see more of Tim’s im­ages on­line at www.wild-heart.pho­tog­ra­phy “In our rel­a­tively small stu­dio I have had to make ev­ery sur­face work. There are three-me­tre back­grounds on each end wall, with vin­tage wall­pa­per on one of them, while a third wall is mid-grey – this ‘magic’ back­ground can be lit with gels to be any colour at all. The fourth ‘wall’ is ac­tu­ally win­dows, as it’s nice to have the op­tion of shoot­ing nat­u­rally-lit por­traits in­doors. I’ve found, though, that it has to be quite sunny (in Manch­ester!) for this to work, so I of­ten com­bine nat­u­ral light and flash to get a nat­u­ral-look­ing por­trait – and the less flash, the bet­ter, for me.

“If I were buy­ing my equip­ment again I wouldn’t buy such pow­er­ful flash heads. It’s a strug­gle to get 500w heads on a low enough power to get a lovely shal­low depth of field (f/1.8-2.8) when you’re lim­ited by a 1/250 flash sync speed. I would also spend ex­tra money on a good flash trig­ger. My Pocket Wizards are great; they work ev­ery sin­gle time, plus they en­able me to use high-speed sync.

“If I had any ad­vice, it would be to de­velop a style of your own. This may hap­pen over time – it did with me. I looked at my im­ages one day and re­alised that all my fairly re­cent pho­tos had a sim­i­lar feel to them. In my area there is no­body do­ing quirky, high-qual­ity por­traits, so that’s the path I’m go­ing down and it seems to be work­ing.”

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