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Steve Wylie wrote:
\"What you\'re striving for in your portraits\" is the key question here, and no one can answer that for you. If you are looking for inspiration, I would suggest three things: (1) study portrait photographers whose work you admire, and try to deconstruct what they\'re doing from lighting to posing to and post-processing, so you can learn from them and then develop your own style; (2) if you\'re truly \"inspirationally challenged\" look at fashion and other magazines for posing, lighting, and other creative aspects to generate some ideas you\'d like to try; and (3) if you need specific training, go get it from workshops, video, or books.
Your specific question about shooting in an apartment with speedlights suggests that your horizon\'s going to be pretty limited when you shoot there. I do quite a bit of headshots in my living room; it\'s a fairly large room, but not large enough for full-length portraits. So waist-up and headshots are pretty much it. I can set up a backdrop, lit by one or two speedlights and a key light (usually a Quantum Qflash in a beauty dish), or I can set up a five light Westcott Spiderlite setup if I want to get as elaborate as my space allows. So space will determine how much you can do at home. If I were you, I wouldn\'t focus on your home studio to the exclusion of location work.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your input. I\'m only limiting to my in home studio at the moment because I find sometimes restrictions forces you to be creative. I\'m also VERY comfortable using natural/available light and the environment as context for shoots (since my main photographic work is location portraits and weddings). What I\'m primarily interested in exploring right now is the broadening my use of off-camera flash and more \'commercial\' looking shots learning how to control these lights. Eventually I\'ll look into renting studio space--but I\'m also looking at taking the speedlights with me on location. Below are a few more from the shoot including some we did at a pier at night: