Okay, so maybe it’s not actually Christmas, but I feel like it is! In a matter of a few weeks we’ve gone from wishing and hoping to have the opportunity to really buckle down and build a business to presenting to CYBF, getting approved for funding, setting up a supportive mentor, finishing renovations to our new home based studio, and picking up the rest of the equipment. The doors are open, the studio is ready, and I have a lot of people to thank for this. Thanks to John Anagnostou from the Small Business Centre, Al Simm and Norm Grey from CYBF, Jim Campbell (my mentor), Mike Emery from Two Men and a Tent, and last but not least my spouse and daughter for all of the support you have given to me through this process. We did it! So with thank you’s done let’s get to the fun part... Why does it feel like Christmas you ask? Well, besides the new toys - I mean tools(we’ll get to those in a moment I promise), I now have in the studio it feels like Christmas for me because I’m realizing a dream of mine. I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend my days working for myself, building a company, and doing something I truly love! Can it really get any better?
So now for the new toys, I mean tools...my wish list was simple but specific. One of the most important things, for me, in terms of new equipment was some studio lighting. Here the games began. Anyone who has ever gone out searching for studio lighting knows the choices can be overwhelming! Constant light or strobe? Softbox, umbrella, beauty dish, or other light modifiers? What size? What output? How many do I want? Even once you figure these things out there is a plethora of different brands, models and configurations to consider. With the help of online reviews, books, kelbytraining courses, attending trade shows, and the help of one very helpful Henry’s Associate named Joshia I finally made a decision. The Perfect Portrait Lighting Kit from Westcott.
This kit includes everything you need 2 Spiderlite TD5’s, all the light bulbs, 2 sturdy light stands, one large shallow softbox, one stripbank with grid, carrying case, and even a introductory DVD. Why did I choose this option? Well here’s just a few of the reasons...they can be easily packed to take on location, they are quick and easy to set up, the TD5’s still allow control of the light output through a set of switches on the back, they offer beautiful soft light, the constant light is easy to work with (and doesn’t startle or upset my youngest clients), the large softbox is the shallow version great for small spaces, and they don’t turn my small studio into a sauna no matter how long the shoot goes. Does that mean they are the perfect light for everyone, hell no, but they are the perfect lights for me. The only downside was finding out right after ordering that Westcott was bringing out the TD6. If I had known would I have held off until they were available? Well I don’t know about that but I would have liked to have that option. (I’m still hoping to get a look at these at the spring ‘Photographic, Video, and Digital Imaging Show’ in Toronto.) All in all I’m thrilled with this purchase and eager to put them through their paces in a variety of shoots in the future.
Here are a few shots from the first shoot with the Perfect Portrait Kit. I’ll leave you with a 5 year olds remark on the new lights “I love these new light things - they don’t hurt my eyes no more”