My first experience of studio lighting was at college in a screened of area, small space, black curtains…to be honest, the worst possible set up for digital photography. The first professional studio i worked in was really just a larger version of college. a double height room with grey walls, 2 background lights, ceiling overhead lights and 2 front lights on scissor-lift extensions. When i mastered this first studio, i truly believed this was the only perfect way a studio could be. I was so proud of the work i produced that i couldn’t comprehend the thought of working any other way, with any other kit.
This is probably where i was the most lucky in the depth of the ‘deep end’ i was thrown into. Due to my boss passing away and his family closing the studio when i was 20 years old, i was forced to begin working with other means of studio lighting. I went to manage a studio in Tarleton on a 3 month contract, setting them up for cheap, large volume sales in children and family photography. The studio was modelling on my previous set up as best as could be managed, and this only brought about continuous disappointment for me, as the images were never ‘quite right’. Rather, they weren’t exactly the same as the images i had been used to producing. This meant editing took longer as i tried to match the images to my old portfolio.
Age 21, i went to manage a Video studio in Blackpool where the set up was much larger and not really meant for creative photography, but i had the freedom to use the studio as i wished outside of working hours. It was a spacious but dark studio. During this time i fell in love with a new style of fashion photography, i very flawlessly lit, glamorous style. I began to follow the works of Lara Jade, Emily Soto and Sue Bryce. Watching their videos and viewing their ‘behind the scenes’ footage made me realise how simple many of their set-ups for photoshoot appeared. There wasn’t a cave of lights and reflectors, but often just one light, maybe a reflector, and large sources of natural light.