Tuesday, June 20, 2017

studio photo setup

the photo setup in the YVC studio

In March, I attended a lecture about student portfolios at the NCECA conference in Portland. The lecture was focused on having students take responsibility for photographing their work and collecting the images in an online portfolio. The lecture made it seem fairly easy to implement in the classroom.

student/teacher collaborative mugs for clay sale photographed in the portable studio

The first step in the process was ordering a photo setup for the studio. After a bizarrely challenging chat with a representative from B&H Photo, I purchased a portable studio setup. It was delivered during spring quarter and I and my students had several opportunities to try it out.

student work in the portable studio with light

The setup is easy to use. It has a light built in on the top and we've taken photos just with our cell phones.  In fall, I plan to implement the second part of the process, actually requiring students to take photos of their work and keep track of them. Another NCECA lecture discussed using SnapChat in the studio and I've been considering incorporating some of those ideas as well.

clay sale work photographed in the portable studio

I took a few photos this quarter, and they mostly turned out. I saw student taking photos, but mostly I didn't see the resulting student images. 

student glaze tests photographed in the portable studio

The major disadvantage of the portable studio setup is the size. A group of more than about 3 mugs is too large to comfortably fit inside the backdrop and moderately sized sculpture is simply too tall and too wide.

student sculpture photographed, more or less, in the portable studio

I have a photo backdrop for my home studio, but it is considerably larger. It would be a more significant commitment to fit one in the YVC clay studio and I don't plan to do so in the near future.

The portable studio used by at child


  1. very useful for students and a good thing to encourage... at least they will have some idea of what is needed then for larger works..

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