Creating an office space can be a challenge for any freelancer, but for photographers, it’s especially taxing. A home photo studio setup often requires lots of space and expensive equipment. That can be a real test for small photography businesses.
So, how do you make your own photography studio at home? How do you know when creating a home studio is the right move? Is the investment even worth the risk? In this post, we’ve compiled some tips on how to create an effective photography studio setup at home. Affordable and practical home photography studio ideas can be hard to come by. Hopefully this advice will help steer you in the right direction.
Elements of a standard home photo studio setup
As you get into the planning, there are a few basic home photography considerations to keep in mind.
If you think you can pull off a home studio that’s part-photography space, part-playpen, part-reading room, think again. Don’t try to double up on the functionality of your room. Doing so will only confuse things, and force you to constantly re-organize your gear, which creates opportunities for loss and damage. You don’t want pets or family members tripping over equipment. And you don’t want clients feeling like they’re entering your personal space. Your space should have one purpose and one purpose only: photography.
Your home photo studio setup doesn’t have to be gargantuan. But you will need appropriate depth to capture shots of varying widths. Also not to be overlooked is the height of your ceilings. Low ceilings give light a natural surface to bounce off, almost like a makeshift, built-in reflector board. It may take a bit of experimentation with levels, but with practice, you can master the unique settings for your room.
Think about the balance between natural versus artificial lighting setup. Buffer any limitations in natural light (i.e. a lack of windows) with artificial lighting (such as lamps). The effect and the quality of a photo will be different depending on the light source. In short, it’s good to have options. But just because a room lacks a window doesn’t discount it from being a good studio space. Artificial lighting technology has come a long way.
The more backdrops, the better. Although this isn’t a deal-breaker. There are a lot of different backdrops stands you can buy (from plain white to printed graphics and locations). Failing that, create backdrops in post-production. Some clients may be looking for seamless and simple backdrops. Others will appreciate natural options. Bearing the needs of the client in mind is key.
Must-have equipment for your home photography studio setup
Time to think about gear. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, you might have already accumulated a lot of equipment. In that case, a home studio is a no-brainer. But there’s always potential to fill in gaps. Here’s a little primer of things you might want to consider:
Getting the lighting right is one of the biggest challenges in photography. To start, at least one light should be enough. But according to pros, three will give you the most flexibility, with ideally at least one being a strobe. You’ll also need light stands.
This lets you trigger a flash remotely, which can be essential when you’re working with a client.
A reflector and umbrella are a must. You can find them quite cheap on the internet. Try to find ones that are small and easy-to-store.
If you can’t install a permanent background, collapsible backgrounds are great if you’re just starting out.
A stool or small table
Having a stool or table in your studio space will always come in handy. Whether it’s for your model to pose on or for you to set up your laptop to review images on after your shoot, these little touches will help professionalize your DIY home photography studio set-up.
Clamps and clips
These versatile tools can be used for just about anything. Whether they’re used to hold up a backdrop, attach a continuous light to a tripod, or put a flag in place to block out light, they’re a must-have for every studio.
A remote shutter is another great staple of any home photo studio setup. You can use it to minimize camera movement to get the sharpest images, capturing action shots. They also free you up to focus your eyes and attention on what’s happening on set, instead of on the viewfinder.
Pros and cons of making a DIY photography studio
There are a number of benefits to opening your own studio in your home. Primarily, it’s the independence to do whatever you want in a way that suits your needs. While making your home studio can be a big investment, they’ll ultimately save on the costs of renting a studio elsewhere. It’ll also save on travel time. Home photo studios offer a more personal experience for clients too, which can make for a more relaxing experience than a traditional studio space.
The biggest downside to a DIY home studio is the blurred lines that inevitably form between your personal and professional life. With a home studio, you’ll be working out of the same place that you spend your leisure time. A client coming over might be subjected to the smells of that evening’s dinner, for instance, which may not cultivate the most professional first impression. There’s also something to be said for having a studio in a commercial area, where it’s visible to passersby, has signage, a storefront to showcase your work, and a reception area where you meet clients.
Creative home photography studio ideas
Even if you have limited space, it’s still possible to make a DIY studio that’ll deliver great results. A little ingenuity goes a long way. Instead of purchasing expensive backdrops and lighting equipment, for example, start by repurposing old bedsheets and stapling them to a PVC pipe or piece of wood. Alternatively, if you have a white wall you’re good to go. If it’s not white? Painting could be a budget-friendly option.
As for lighting, it’s a good idea to choose a room that has windows, but not too many. Make sure the windows are on the opposite side of the room from where you do your shoots so that light is evenly distributed. You can control the light with curtains too. If you want to rely only on bulbs, make sure to have some blackout curtains. A spare umbrella is also great for helping achieve various lighting effects.
Apply professional edits to your studio photos
Ready to put your home photo studio setup to the test? After all, making your own studio is only the first step in launching a small photography business. Make sure your images are edited to look their best in the market. You can use Picsart creative tools on mobile and desktop to give your images the best, um, shot at success. Happy editing.
1. Open the Desktop Editor and click on the Upload button to get started.
2. Select the image you’d like to edit.
3. From the toolbar above the image click on Adjust to make amendments and edits to its contrast, brightness, shadows, and more.
4. With the image now edited, add a filter by clicking on the FX tool and selecting the one that fits your aesthetic.
5. And that’s really all there is to it. Filters and effects and can applied as much as you wish, as can all kinds of other edits and graphic enhancements. But be sure to click on the Export button to download your finished work.
1. Open the Picsart app and tap the plus button (+) at the bottom of your screen to start a new design.
2. Select an image to edit from the Photos section.
3. Tap on the Tools option and select the Adjust tool.
4. From here you can edit the image hue, saturation, contrast, and more.
5. With an edited image ready, add a Mask.
6. Browse the options and tap on the Apply button to confirm your selection.
7. That’s all it takes. Repeat the above steps if you require further edits. But always save your work when you’re done.
Picsart is a full ecosystem of free-to-use content, powerful tools, and creator inspiration. With a billion downloads and more than 150 million monthly active creators, Picsart is the world’s largest creative platform. Picsart has collaborated with major artists and brands like BLACKPINK, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, One Direction, Sanrio: Hello Kitty, Warner Bros. Entertainment, iHeartMedia, Condé Nast, and more. Download the app or start editing on web today to enhance your photos and videos with thousands of quick and easy editing tools, trendy filters, fun stickers, and brilliant backgrounds. Unleash your creativity and upgrade to Gold for premium perks!