A few quick setup tips – for portable studios like mine, here today for a corporate shoot:
In no particular order:
- Roll the paper the way I am showing here. Like a toilet roll: roll from the top. That way you get more available height.
- The backdrop stand goes in a bag. Ensure that when you put it back in the bag, the large holes show. That way you can see which sidebar is the middle one – you may not need it (like me here).
- Ensure cables are out of the way. Wrap them around light stands to avoid them hanging out too far where people can trip over them.
- Always bring a power bar.
- Use tape or something large on the floor to tell models where to stand and how to orient themselves.
- Tell subjects “baby steps only when I ask for adjustments”. Else they always turn too far.
- Start with the body. Then the head. Then the eyes.
- Arrange to have a test subject available. Else your first client is the test, and that looks unpfofessional.
- Use a tripod. Adjust height as needed.
- Camera to 100 ISO and auto ISO off.
- Camera on manual, 1/125th second, f/8, and use a meter to adjust the lights to that.
- Test shot one: no flash. It has to be dark!
- Test shot two: flash, but no subject (focus manually). It has to be white!
That is, I trust, helpful. Efficiency is all, or a two-hour shoot can turn into four hours with setup and takedown.
A studio like this one, the one I built this morning, took me half an hour to build and 15 minutes to take down.