A few months ago, I had a fun but unusual writing assignment for a photography blog. They gave me the challenge of creating a fashion shoot on a $200 budget, the goal being to emphasize the ability to produce quality imagery on any price point. While it was definitely a tricky assignment, it also proved to be both engaging and entertaining in unexpected ways, and was a nice way to shake up my typical photographic approach.
Selecting all the equipment you would need (including lighting) with only $200 to spend is a near impossible task, but I eventually elected on a metal backdrop setup, a muslin backdrop, and a continuous light source. While not ideal, it fit the parameters of the assignment well, especially given the high price tags associated with strobes or speedlights. The continuous light was not as bright as I'd hoped, but given the brand I had to use and the price point I was restrained by, I could only set expectation so high.
Several of my wonderful actor friends were more than happy to be my test models, and I am pretty impressed with what a solid job all of them did; it certainly made my job easier! While it was supposed to be a challenge, it certainly allowed me to focus on making the setup work rather than purely focusing on posing, which was a welcome change of pace. We of course treated the shoot with the utmost level of professionalism, but that doesn't mean somem fun outtakes with stuffed animals and balloons weren't to be had as well. A big thank you to all of my friends who helped me out with their fantastic modeling skills (Lauren A. Kennedy, Rob Ceriello, Shannon Terrel, and Neil Brown) and can't wait to see what the next assignment brings!