Looking back over some 10 years of serious studio photography it seems hard to believe just what changes there have been over that time. For me, I started out, just wanting somewhere where I could photograph my grandchildren on a white background. Most of what has happened since has been accidental.
From those early days shooting in a city centre studio in Sheffield my journey has taken me from studio to home studio and back again to studio to where I am now based at JFYP/Matrix studios in Wath upon Dearne. Even my role of studio events organiser happened by accident. During my home studio days I felt that I wasn’t meeting enough people from the industry, yes, there were a few models came along to the studio but that was it, my contact with any other photographers was just about nil and so I decided to start attending some group shoots at a local Rotherham studio, with the aim of meeting more photographers. However, no sooner had I started to go along to the shoots and the studio closed. Back then there were very few local studios running group shoots so I decided that the only way to continue was to try and arrange some myself and here we are some six years on and the shoots continue. Now well into our 5th. year at JFYP Studio.
In those early days I was introduced to an editing programme called Picassa and this served me very well for a couple of years and, like most things, it was only afterwards that I realised its limitations. But this was in the days before the Adobe Creative Cloud, when Photoshop was well beyond the budget of most of us. After Picassa, my first steps towards Photoshop were via Adobe Elements, the cut down version of photoshop, and this remained my editing choice until the arrival of Creative Cloud. Looking back it’s difficult to imagine just how basic some of the early programmes were compared to what the Adobe CC package offers today. If Adobe isn’t the way forward for you there are now many more programmes on the market offering very similar editing capabilities.
Cameras are changing as well. Up until very recently you wouldn’t expect to find anyone using anything other that a DSLR camera at a group shoot and the majority of those would be either Canon or Nikon. Moving into 2018 the change has been dramatic as the move towards mirrorless cameras gathers pace and with this we are now seeing a much more varied selection of manufactures names. Fuji, Sony,Olympus,Panasonic, to name just a few that are now regularly seen in use at our group shoots.
Lighting is changing as well, although, at the moment this change seems to be somewhat slower than the pace seen with cameras but the signs are there that LED lighting is starting to come into its own and as the pricing becomes more competitive it seems likely to be a trend that will gather pace. Will this see a move to continuous lighting in studios or will a “flash” version of LED lights enter the market> Indeed, will a “flash” version even be needed? I think that and many more questions will be answered in the very near future.
So that’s about where we are now, a long way away from where we were when I got my first SLR camera nearly fifty years ago and a fair way on from where we were when I stepped into the studio for the first time some ten years ago, but it’s exiting and it’s enjoyable and long may that continue.
One last thing before I go though. In addition to all the above changes, the way we show our images has also changed over recent years as websites become more user friendly, making it easier to regularly update them and allowing us to hopefully present our images in a more professional manner. That’s the plan anyway. I’ll leave you with my latest attempt at improving my presentation as below, we look back at just a few of my images from recent years.