One of the challenges you might face while working on your shooting assignments for AI is needing to shoot in an indoor “studio” environment and if you are like I was during school, I had a house full of people, so I had limited space for my shooting.
There are ways to overcome this obstacle, if you have kids that are in school, shoot your assignments in the living room while they are in school during the day, or use a portion of your basement or attic. At the time I was attending classes, I had 6 people living in my home in Georgia and it was cramped even with 1,800 sq ft and 4 bedrooms and a large living room and dining room. I would sometimes shoot late at night while everyone was sleep, but sometimes I had to shoot during the day and if I could not use one of the rooms in the house, I would use the garage. Simulated outdoor shot using my garage for one of my classes.
For one of my classes, we had to simulate an outdoor shoot in soil, but shoot it indoors. This is something you will frequently have to do in many types of photography. It might be a situation where the client needs this shoot done on a deadline and the weather is bad, or for other reasons. For this assignment, we needed to replicate the same amount of light outdoors with our studio lights. I chose to use some small toy dinosaurs as the characters for the shoot and shot them in some of the soil from my flowerbed in front of my house. Here is my “studio” set up for this shoot.
Now I am not saying these are 100% perfect, but I did get an ‘A’ on the assignment and I think I did a pretty good job considering it was my first attempt. One of the things you will find as you pursue a career in photography is often you have to adapt to overcome situations. One of my favorite photographers, Chase Jarvis is like the king of overcoming obstacles for photography. He shoots a lot of sports action photography and has designed and built many of the customer rigs and mounts that he uses for commercial shoots.
If you have limited space using a small portion of a room for your studio for class assignment, then don’t use your light stands, rig up your lights on the top of a door or curtain rod if you have strong ones. If you still don’t have enough room, try using Speedlights instead. A Canon or Nikon Speedlight on a small stand takes up a lot less space than the full size studio strobes but still give you tons of light power.