Hi, My name is Michael and I been interested in photography since the 70's. Me and my dad would go to the free photo seminars every Saturday and in the mid 70's I bought my first color darkroom. I had to do color in total darkness but I was amazed at the results. I worked as portrait photographer but I am no salesman and worked as a film editor. I had 4 back surgeries and then brain surgery when I was 64 years old. I bought a Sony cyber-shot along with strobe lights and backgrounds to start a portrait business again but then the virus struck. When I used my Minolta or Nikon f-4 I would use one strobe to light the backdrop and flash through the umbrella along with a reflector. But now with the digital photo I don't know what to do with the 2 soft boxes except to tell people to "smile" and hope it shows through their face masks. I hope they call my number to get the vaccine and get back into business,
Hi, My name is Michael and I been interested in ph... (
Michael,Stay well. You have had too many surgeries for your lifetime
Hope you get your call
Post images and ask questions are a great way to learn. Stan
Michael, you've certainly faced challenges. Better days are surely coming for you! Welcome to UHH.
Welcome to UHH!
I would think one would take digital photos the same way as with film. Other than the ability to select ISO, I do. But if you now have a more sophisticated setup, that's OK.
P.S. Which model Sony. There are so many.
Welcome to the forum!
My day job is commercial and industrial photography but I have also been involved in portraiture since 1962 and apprenticed in a studio as a teenager in 1958. I still offer portrait photography, mostly corporate work but I spent many years photographing kids, families, and shooting publicity portraits for musicians. politicians and performers.
I co-manage the Advanced and Professional Portrait section, here on UHH. It is not very heavily trafficked, perhaps because I haven't promoted it as much as I should, and/or portraiture is not the most popular topic on the forum. Everyone is welcome to participate there- amateurs, professionals, part, and full-timers, aspiring pros, and folks like you that may want to re-enter the business.
Covid-19 firstly is a human tragedy and of course has decimated the economy, especially in the luxury/non-essential sectors. The economy will eventually recover but the losses in human life and health are far worse and will in some cases is sadly beyond recovery.
The bad news is the pandemic has put the portrait industry into hibernation and you're recovering from major surgeries in the midst of a pandemic has got to be rough stuff! The good news is that in most North American jurisdictions, the vaccine rollout is finally beginning to accelerate. My wishes for your fast recovery! My suggestion, for aspiring portrait shooters, business-wise, is to use this downtime for boning up on your technique, catching up on some of the contemporary styles, formulating a business plan, conducting some market research, buying some new stuff, or dusting off the old gear. This kind of activity will make the downtime, lockdown time and stagnation of the economy time go by faster.
I don't know which of the seminars, back in the day, you attended but some of the teachers back in the 1970s, grandmasters who are no longer teaching or with us, shared a lot of knowledge that some of the contemporary gurus do not care to know about and do not teach. You may have some shooting and marketing skills that will bode well in today's market.
More good news for someone recovering from back surgery. The gear nowadays is smaller and lighter. I have long retired my heavy and bulky large and medium format equipment for portraiture. I can't even relate to the weight of the gear I used to haul out to location shoots- you had to be an Arnold Schartzinagger to lift some of those cases. I still have to do that in my industrial work but at least I have one young assistant on those shoots.
Retouching no longer involves toiling over a retouching stand or machine with pencils and dyes. There are a few methods including some software with many presets and controls that do a great job and facilitate fast workflow.
I like your concept of a shoot-through umbrella and a simple reflector. That and the softbox and reflector is one of my favorite approaches.
If you ever want to discuss lighting or any other phase of portraiture, you can come to the section or do it here on the main section- as you prefer.
Me, I usually don't discuss my health online. I am 77 years old and still work full-time in commercial photography. I even shoot the occasional wedding for my old clients. I climb stepladders and hang out of cherry-pickers at work and my lovely wife thinks I am certifiably insane! Nonetheless, she still runs the office. I had only one minor surgery and that was not any kind of good fun- if the docs didn't kill me, the hospital food nearly did me in so I can't even imagine what you are experiencing. As an old-geezer with a grey beard, I do have some aches and pains, and some mornings I wake up feeling that I was run over by a speeding cement mixer during the night. When, however, I am meeting with clients or shooting, the pains dissipate somehaht and the experience is at least, mentally therapeutic. So..I kinda listen to the docs, stay on the diet, shoot down the pills, and try not to do anything really stupid. No smokes or booze! My wife and my former DI in the arm have much in common in those respects!
So, mend well, get your "shot" and take your shot at the business!
Give yourself full marks for persistence. They say it usually pays off.
Welcome. Will look forward to your posts.
Welcome to the Forum, Michael, enjoy.
Not a new guy, just a question, have Nikon 810 what would I gain by upgrading to z6 or z7 have good Nikon mount glass
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