My New Home Studio and Self Portrait Film Noir Style

This past week has been a happy week for me. I was finally able to come to an agreement with my husband about converting our guest bedroom to a small studio during the time when we have no guests staying there, which is pretty much 85% of the year. I was also able to add two monolights, a few softboxes, and a beauty dish to my stash of photography gear. I’ve spent the past few nights after all the kiddos are asleep playing around with my new equipment. Sadly, I don’t have anybody else but myself to use as a model, but it is what it is. I did a whole lot of research before I decided what to buy. Being on a very tight budget, I had to figure out the best quality budget friendly stuff, and I ended up deciding on Adorama’s Flashpoint and Glow line. So far I like everything I got, although I have yet to try out my 24×36 softbox. I was really worried that the 150ws monolights that I got would not be powerful enough since everybody and their brother on the intertubes seems to think that one needs at least 300ws monolights even for a small home studio, but it occurred to me that I rarely even used my Yongnuo speedlights on full power so I took the chance and got the lower powered monolights – I’d rather have access to two 150ws ones than one 300ws one – and they are plenty enough in my small space. In fact, the times I’ve used them so far, firing into a beauty dish both with and without a 30* grid, and into a 12×36 softbox, I’ve had to dial down the power to a half or less.

I was practicing last night trying to set up the lights and my own pose in a way that would hide my more prominent features that I feel somewhat self-conscious about and instead trick people into thinking that I have a face that confirms somewhat to modern beauty standards without changing any parts of my face (other than perfecting skin here and there) in post production. I am proud to say that I achieved my goal. But darn it, it takes a million tries when you have to be your own model and can’t really test with a modeling light how the light will end up falling on the face you’re photographing.

I decided to give this photo a film noire’ish finish already when I saw it on my little camera LCD display. The pose was just perfect for it.

(50mm, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/125 sec + 17in beauty dish above and to the right, 12×36 stripbox as a fill on the left, and a silver reflector below)

Self Portrait Film Noir Style

2 responses to “My New Home Studio and Self Portrait Film Noir Style

    • Thank you, Chris! I used to use Flickr long time ago, but it didn’t feel like the right outlet for me. I much prefer blogging, which allows me to also write however long paragraphs and whatever I want to about each image. It sort of feels like I get to be more personal on my own blog. I did recently create an Instagram account though, but I don’t post there too often.


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