You don't need a blockbuster budget to get high-quality light for your portraits. By coaxing the sun to help in your photographic endeavours, you can create stunning portraits on a tiny budget.
If you don't have the indoor space for a studio or a budget to furnish it, you can combine a basic studio setup with the power of the sun. That's precisely what photographer Alexis Godschalk did when he needed to shoot on a shoestring budget. She explains:
One day a friend of mine approached me about photographing his band. He had just gotten new management and wanted to make the band band look pro. He started by showing me some photography he liked and we started talking about what could and could not be done. One of the shots he like was a clean shot with dramatic lighting again a black background. I told him that would be tough but I'd try, and so we did.
Not having a studio or lighting I started getting creative and went into the garage to see what I had. I had a couple of ladders, string, clamps, 8' pole, a black bed sheet and some tape. I decided to shoot outside in my front yard and use sun light. I knew that I wanted to reflect light so I bought a couple of sheets of 2"x4" white foam-board from the local hardware store. After getting my things together I was ready to go try it out.
The combination of a dark background and foam-board to bounce the light where she wanted it yielded excellent studio-quality results at a fraction of the money she'd have spent on a single off-camera flash. For more information about her setup and technique, including a parts list, check out the guide below. Have a few budget-conscious photography tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.
Shooting Portraits like a Pro on a Budget [Digital Photography School]