I had a few misconceptions about using digital in the studio. One of them is how useful it would be to check the exposure using the camera histogram or the LCD screen. If you are using a light meter then you should be getting the reading correct anyway. The extra checks you can do with digital are reassuring, but not really necessary.
One huge advantage, however, is with regards to film costs or the lack of them. When shooting with the Pentax 67, it works out at about a dollar fifty each time I press the shutter. If I shoot a street portrait, I will usually have a chat with the person then take two or three images. I am pretty sure that one of those images should be a keeper. It’s costs a few dollars, but it’s manageable.
When shooting portraits in the studio you tend to shoot a lot more. Although professional models may be able to flash the perfect smile at a moments notice, for most people the first dozen (or several dozen) shots can look less than relaxed. I checked my files in Adobe Bridge and saw that with digital I was shooting between 75 and 150 shots per person per look. On some evenings I was shooting over 400 images. That’s around 20 GB’s of hard disk space, but more importantly it’s not $600 dollars of film and processing costs.
The larger number of images means you have more to select from. In nearly all the shots the exposure and focus is correct so you can chose between more subjective points such as the angle of the head or the kind of smile. More variations give you more possibilities, and hopefully means you will get the exact shot that you or the client are looking for.
Model: Bianca Makeup & Hair: Kim Clay 645D with 67 105mm lens. Beauty Dish and Octobox as fill.