Don't Look, Don't look...Too Late.
I was at a rellies' do - one of those family parties to celebrate something or other and for once I was not drafted into being the photographer. They actually paid money to someone else to do it - quite a novel experience to stand there with a glass in my hand instead of a Nikon.
The photo set-up was a background stand, a draped mottle in neutral grey, and a girl with a DSLR. Where were the lights, I wondered. Apparently just above the pentaprism....considering the age of the DSLR, the quality of the zoom lens in front of it, and the size of the family groups that posed, I cackled to myself as I imagined what the results would look like.
Turns out I was wrong - the photographer sensibly limited the size of prints she made for the clients, shot in RAW and lightened out the dark areas, and had the good sense to stand on a small platform to equalise the distance between her lens and the faces. Her white balance was good, and the grey mottle did not detract from the subjects. I hope she got paid, as the results were worth buying.
All this is written to advertise the fact that we have a small pile of Premier background stand kits sitting in the storeroom and we would like it to be even smaller. They comprise two sturdy light stands and a two-piece center bar in a fitted bag - the whole thing easily transportable. Combine it with a $ 199 muslin backdrop in whatever shade you favour, and you have a darned good basis for a money earner.
I am not certain you could picture all the ambassadors to the UN on one photo using your 5-year old camera, kit lens, and pop-up flash with this set-up, but then again you might be able to fit in all the ambassadors from countries that pay their bills....At least it would provide the start for a little studio at a wedding or party, and would pay for itself quickly.
* For those of you under 50, look it up.