How do you set up a photography studio at home?
- Assess the area to compute for renovation costs
- Carefully select lighting equipment
- Fixing the backdrop
- Safety of your cameras and equipment
- Carpet flooring and wood cabinets
- Make space for optional gear
The photography studio setup is a significant investment that can either make or break your bank. In this article, we explain how to start a photography studio of your own. If you are not particular with why exactly you would want a studio, you must think of the heavy costs you spend while preparing for a shoot in a rented professional studio.
Having a photography studio of your own allows you to plan your own photography studio layout that indefinitely frees up your imagination and creativity as well as apply your personal branding and touch to every corner of your studio.
Assess the area to compute for renovation costs
Once you have decided on the area of the house to turn into a photoshoot studio setup, then you must take into consideration every corner of the room. Take note that using the space that you already decided on would require that you segregate sections inside the space for particular jobs. With that, you need a photography studio layout.
Count your items, there could be as little as 10 but no less than that. If you are serious about photography and want to set up your own photography studio then you should be able to point out which activities would require a large share of the allotted space. Here are some of the kinds of photography together with common items that are found in a portrait studio and others.
For a portrait photographer
- Backdrop screen
- Work desk for computer setup
- Filing cabinet for prints
- Furniture, magazines, and toys.
The last thing on the list should also include other props that can be used to take portrait shots. Long fabric cloths, synthetic flowers, and even cotton are great props to use for themed photoshoots. These items will help make a good impression on your customers.
- Wide tables and other coffee tables for a different setting
- Kitchen area
- Cabinets and refrigerators for food storage
Carefully select lighting equipment
Getting the lighting for your home setup photography studio right is important to convey the right theme and mood for a shoot. Studio photography for product photographers working with jewelry, sporting accessories, clothing, or other trinkets needs to capture the subject’s USP. The position of the source of light creates light and dark patches or figures that give more story and power to a portrait. Depending on the lighting equipment that you choose to use, you can change natural colors to alter moods and emphasize the subject’s features.
If you choose a room with large windows where sunlight can pass through to give your studio natural light, then the odds are with you when taking no-edit portrait shots. Unfortunately, daylight is never constant, and cloudy days will force you to use artificial light sources, though there are photo editing tools you can use to optimize the color of your photographs.
Pro tip: When sketching your photography studio layout, make sure that you consider the space your lighting equipment, modifiers, and cameras will take up when everything is needed for the shoot.
- LED Lamps
While soft, natural light is great for outdoor photos, your studio photography cannot be done without any source of artificial light. Through lighting lamps, you can obtain constant and continuous light. These are perfect for tabletop photography, including photographing food and still objects.
For flash photography, your best option is a stroboscopic lamp or strobe light. These kinds of lights serve to block out the sun and create intense deep shadows.
- Fresnel lights
In product photography, taking shots at a distance can be made better with a fresnel light. You can use lenses with successive concentric rings, so you can get a powerful and character-filled beam of light.
To add to that, you can also make use of modifiers. A light modifier is a piece of equipment that controls the direction and spread of light before it reaches your subject.
Fixing the backdrop
The color of the walls should support the kind of photoshoot studio setup you most prefer for your camera that you already have or are planning to get. The best photography studio layout for portraits, families, and products are soft colors such as white, which are an excellent choice if you want light reflection and wish to eliminate all shadows.
Aside from using the walls of the area, you can also go for photography backdrops made of paper, fabric, or vinyl. Fabric backdrop options include canvas and velvet. If you want to go for a printed canvas, your best option is a printed backdrop made of fabric or tarpaulin material. This kind of backdrop serves as an excellent substitute for nature.
Finally, you have another material called vinyl to work around with. This kind of material is another easy-to-use backdrop as it remains easy to clean and crease-free for your photography studio. Make sure to look for vinyl that is able to withstand extreme lighting conditions.
Safety of your cameras and equipment
One of the most popular photography studio design ideas is making it safe for your equipment and hazard-free for your clients. Avoid tripping on the stands and cords of your lighting lamps, modifiers, and cameras by having an efficient photography studio. LED lamps are quite costly, and sometimes it is difficult to find the same thing especially if it is a limited stock item.
A great alternative to buying velcros and other expensive items is to make sure the place is accident-proof, including the mere placement of appropriate weights. This is vital if you are going to create your own art and shoot them.You can buy high-strength sandbags for as little as less than 10 dollars. Alternatively, you can DIY a few make-shift weights by filling old sacks with non-abrasive sand grains. Just make sure to use a durable sack to prevent poking holes easily.
Carpet and wood flooring
When planning your photography studio layout, make sure that you consider the flooring as well. Use smooth wooden or marble flooring because when doing studio photography, you will need to move stands around often. You will need this especially if you do not have wheels at the foot of your lighting equipment and stands.
Wooden and marble flooring also lend an elegant look to your dream photography studio layout. The way your floors look affects your photographs as well as gives it reflection or light in some areas where it is bouncing. This is a good opportunity to get more light bouncing on the surface of your subject.
Take note that it is impossible to do this on garage floors as they have matte finishes. Alternatively, to get the same effect as elegant wooden floors or marble, you can use vinyl flooring.
Pro tip: The idea is that your photograph should obtain the level of refinement and elegance of stylish interiors without robbing you off your capital.
Make space for optional gear
You may not have foreseen having plenty of other tools and objects when doing your photography studio layout, but to give leeway for other gear, you must dedicate a cabinet or a corner to your studio where you can stock up on materials. Here are some of the accessories you need to make a frame happen:
- Step ladders
Ladders are useful to change your point of view on your model or subject. You can also use this to change the orientation and settings of your lights.
A fan can introduce some motion into your portrait for wind effects. Aside from that, functionality also includes giving you a well-ventilated photography studio as it can get very hot due to the heat emitted by lighting equipment.
- Extensions and power strips
If you use photography studio lights other than portable lights, think about getting extension cords and power strips. You’ll need space to plug in your lighting equipment.
If you are going to do portraits larger than headshots, you should consider having some furniture around. Chairs and stools are must-haves. They add more stories to your frame and more opportunities. More so, these are great accessories for when you are creating your website portfolio.
Having a well planned photography studio, will not only get you to take the best pictures but also to attract more clients in the future. Fill your blank walls with photographs you have taken out of your hobby and the ones done for clients. This way, you are sharing with visitors that you are flexible in doing things. Always take note that you only sell what you can show. With that, you must show everything you got. So, consider filling the waiting area of your photography studio with print samples of your best photographs.
Now that you know how to build a photography studio, you are a step closer to having a physical venue to sell your services. Finally, all you need to do before you open a photo studio is a well-curated photography website template to showcase your portfolio that clients can view. Make sure you have this to gain online visibility to expand your reach and attract potential clients.