You can do photography successfully without relying on a fixed place. But at the latest, if you want to take it to at least a semi-professional level, you need a permanent studio.
No matter what some might believe, it doesn’t have to be dozens of square meters or require a loan in terms of its equipment. You have to be a little creative, and a few do-it-yourself skills are not bad either. But how does it work?
In principle, any room with a side length of at least four meters is suitable. The more, the better. As far as the height is concerned, standing full-body portraits should not go below 2.50 m, but this is more of a theoretical requirement anyway because many (although not all) state building regulations require this 2.50 as a minimum for residential buildings.
All walls and the ceiling should be wallpapered with absolutely smooth wallpaper. If you don’t want to remove the abutting edges with Photoshop later, you need a smooth roller plaster or something similar.
The ceiling should be painted white for maximum light reflection. It becomes pretty flexible if you paint two walls, snow-white and one grey. One of the white walls can then be made adjustable with a background system.
In addition, you can put some of your most beautiful photos to date on paper or acrylic to beautify the studio’s walls. As a photographer, you should present part of your work directly without resorting to the computer. Having your portfolio on the wall lessens your marketing efforts.
The Heating System
Depending on the type of photography, studio sessions may mean that the model is only dressed in light fabrics or presented in the birthday dress in front of the lens.
A normal, comfortable room temperature is not enough if you are barely clothed. No motivational tricks for models can help here. The photo studio must be able to be brought to sufficient temperatures.
Underfloor heating is, of course, ideal because it is invisible. If you don’t have one, you should attach your background system to the wall on which the radiator is hanging.
The Background System
Plain walls are perfectly suitable as a background. But the problem arises when the photographer needs to reduce the hassle In post-production. Photowall systems of different scenes can be used as removable wallpaper—enabling easy background changes as required.
Some systems already come with a black and white rollable background. You can do a lot on this basis. However, if you want to keep the possibility open for clear photoshop, you should also use blue and green and choose the right color depending on the model clothing, etc.
If the room does not have an XL window wall, it will be an artificial light studio. However, you can sink a lot of money here and still not get the best for yourself.
Of course, professionals like to rig lights on a suspension on the ceiling. This has many advantages, one of which is that there is never the risk that something can be knocked over. But a fastening system for the ceiling is really expensive.
The ceiling itself has to be strong enough, and you have to be able to anchor everything in such a way that it will last for years. For home studios, it would be better to use normal height-adjustable tripods, especially since they will always be more flexible than a rail-mounted ceiling system.
How many flashlights do you need?
You need two permanent lights as a basis. They have the great advantage that they present the beginner with a permanently identical lighting situation. Please be sure to use LEDs. They don’t heat the studio as much and use less electricity.
Diffusers help scatter light from a direct source to eliminate shadows and create soft lighting on your subjects.
- You need two softboxes for both studio flashes and permanent lights, alternatively translucent umbrellas.
- And two reflector shades, each in gold and silver
- You can also get or tinker with two flash tubes and possibly different color attachments, and you are well taken care of for the next few years
The final item on the list is props. A couch is recommended, but at least (folding) chairs should be available. You will also need:
- A small side table
- A beanbag / very large pillow
- Various inexpensive carpets and blankets
- Two or three vases with just as many artificial flowers
- Water dispenser
You should have these basics. Anything else is, of course, based on the type of shoot you want to specialize in.
Having a home studio means less travel time because heavy, large, and cumbersome items don’t have to be transported to a rented studio. You also get full control over the environment where you shoot. Follow this guide to set up your dream photography studio at home.