Studio Photography

Best Studio Photography Tips for Beginners in 2021

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Most photographers dream of proudly owning their photography studio. However, most often, they’re additionally usually intimidated by the logistics and the expense.

Our quick information will assist you to navigate studio photography without overwhelming you.

Right here’s our record of the instruments you want and a few tips on establishing your studio area!

A female posing inside a photography studio
A typical studio with synthetic lights and seamless paper background. This picture is from Expert photography

The Supreme Areas for Studio Photography

Folks usually think about a photo studio as a big area full of a cyclorama and all types of kit. However, the fact is, you don’t all the time have to have a big place to take studio photographs. All of it is determined by what type of photography you need to shoot.

A woman applying makeup on a model in a small studio
A studio doesn’t should be massive in the event you like doing magnificence photographs. This picture is from Expert photography

As an example, in the event, you solely do magnificence and headshots, in a studio the scale of a 250-square foot bedroom needs to be sufficient. In fact, in the event you’re doing full-body photographs, you could have loads of room for a big backdrop as your lights. Typically, an area about as massive as two-car storage will suffice.

A closeup beauty shot of a woman applying makeup
Because you’re solely taking photographs of faces for magnificence photographs, the area you want is smaller. This picture is from Expert photography

When searching for the area for studio pictures, additionally contemplate the variety of home windows on the property. For those who’re a pure gentle photographer, you’ll need loads of home windows. However, if you wish to use artificial lighting completely, it could be preferable to have a spot without home windows in any respect to keep away from window lights from interfering together with your lights.

In actuality, most photographers use window lighting and synthetic lighting. If that’s the case for you, then search for an area that allows you to block out the home windows whenever you don’t want the ambient light.

Mild Sources

When beginning your pictures studio, contemplate the kind of lighting you could use. Do you usually work with pure gentle, flash pictures, or each?

A group of artificial lights against a yellow background
A Speedlight, LED gentle, and monolight (from left to proper) This picture is from Expert photography

If you’re a pure gentle photographer, then you could have loads of home windows. That means you’ve got loads of obtainable gentle all through the day. For flash pictures, it’s usually ultimate to have a windowless pictures studio. That means you don’t should cope with daylight interfering together with your lighting setup.

And the way about in the event you like mixing pure and synthetic lights? Then you could have a strategy to block the home windows whenever you don’t want ambient gentle.

A model posing against a large yellow background
Synthetic lights help create constant leads to the studio. This picture is from Expert photography

If you wish to shoot solely with ambient gentle in your pictures studio, then a reflector or a V-flat is all you want. Because the title suggests, the reflector bounces again the sunshine from the window to your topic. That means you don’t have contrasty photos with deep shadows.

There are tons of choices for synthetic lights. It largely is determined by your finances and the scale of your photo studio. We’ll undergo your selections beneath.

LED Lights

If you wish to transition from ambient gentle to synthetic lights, then LEDs are the most suitable choice for you. You’ll be able to consider them as common gentle bulbs with dimmers. Not like flash, you may see how the sunshine impacts your topic in real-time.

An LED light against a yellow background
An LED light. This picture is from Expert photography

As of late, LED lights are low-cost. You should purchase studio-grade lamps for lower than 200 US {dollars}. However understand that the upper the wattage and the sunshine output, the dearer they are typical.

One drawback of utilizing LED lamps is that they aren’t as vivid as a flash. Even when LEDs are at full energy, you continue to could have to make use of excessive What Is ISO? (And Why it Matters in Photography!)ISO to make sure you find yourself with appropriately uncovered photos.


When you’ve got a small pictures studio, think about using speedlights. Other than being brighter than LEDs, they’re usually cheaper. They’re additionally sufficiently small to hold in your backpack in case you could work the exterior of your photo studio.

Most individuals use speedlights by attaching them to their digital camera’s hot shoes. However, you even have the choice to set off them wirelessly particularly in a studio setting.

A speedlight against a yellow background
A Speedlight. This picture is from Expert photography

Years in the past, folks had to purchase remotes (such because the Pocket Wizards) to activate flash remotely. However, nowadays, you should buy flashguns that have built-in triggers. Simply ensure that those you purchase have a wi-fi characteristic as a result of not each Speedlight has it.

The obvious downside of utilizing speedlights is you couldn’t see the sunshine they emit in real-time. So it’s important to do quite a lot of taking a look at photographs to ensure they’re illuminating your topic correctly. These flash items additionally don’t have sufficient energy to gentle up giant areas. However, so long as you’re conscious of what they’ll and may do, they’re nonetheless an excellent possibility particularly in the event you’re on finance.


Monolights are one of the best lighting possibilities in your photography studio.

You’ll be able to consider them as a mixture of a high-powered Speedlight and an LED lamp. Although they’re strobe lights, additionally they embrace a modeling gentle. That means you may see how your gentle is affecting your topic in real-time.

A moonlight’s gentle output is at the very least thrice extra highly effective than speedlights or LEDs. They’re additionally excellent for giant photograph studios as a result of they’ll illuminate giant areas.

A monolight against a yellow background
A moonlight. This picture is from Expert photography

In fact, its price noting {that a} monolight’s energy is determined by its wattage. Anyplace between 150 to 300 watts is ideal for small areas. 400 to 600 watts could be ultimate for medium-sized studios. And for giant rooms, 800 to 1,200 watts could also be obligatory.

Sadly, monolights are typically dearer than both LED or speedlights. Other than that, additionally, they are typically greater and heavier. However if in case you have the finances, these lights are nonetheless the most suitable choice for studio pictures.

Mild Modifiers

Other than studio lights, you’ll additionally want gentle modifiers. These items of lighting gear diffuse the beam coming out of your gentle supply to create softer, extra elegant outcomes.

You need to use many forms of lighting modifiers in your pictures studio, they usually all diffuse gentle in another way. Let’s talk about a few of the commonest choices beneath.

Commonplace Reflector

You’ll be able to consider the usual reflector as that small parabolic dish inside a flashlight. It concentrates the beam so it creates a tighter spot across the topic.

Standard reflector against a yellow background
A reflector acts like a highlight that creates a vignetted impact. This picture is from Expert photography

The reflector doesn’t have a diffusion material. That’s why it’s excellent if you wish to recreate the tough lighting of the solar in your photography studio.


For those who’re not into harsh lighting, you would possibly need to think about using an umbrella as an alternative. If you wish to strive for portrait pictures in your photograph studio, that is one of the best first possibilities for you. It’s not solely low cost, but it surely additionally creates a good-looking smooth gentle that envelopes your topic.

Umbrella against a yellow background
An umbrella has an open construction, permitting gentle to fill the whole room. This picture is from Expert photography

There are a lot of forms of umbrellas. Some are reflective and act extra like a softbox. However, there are additionally others that allow you to shoot immediately via diffusion materials. The previous works are extra like a softbox with extra directional gentle. The latter permits you to unfold the sunshine in every single place.


To a level, a softbox works very like an umbrella. The one distinction is that, not like an umbrella, it has an enclosed construction. Consequently, it creates smooth lighting that tends to be extra concentrated and directional.

Softbox against a yellow background
A softbox has an enclosed construction, permitting you to focus your gentle higher. This picture is from Expert photography

What makes a softbox higher than an umbrella is you could higher manage the sunshine spilling out of it. Because it produces directional gentle, it allows you to create extra dramatic outcomes.


A strip box is a specialized light modifier generally utilized in skilled studios. It’s basically an elongated softbox that tasks gently vertically.

Stripbox against a yellow background
A strip box creates a slim beam of sunshine excellent for lighting the sting of a mannequin’s physique. This picture is from Expert photography

Strip boxes are sometimes used as a hair gentle to light up the sting of the hair and the again of your mannequin’s head. And for nonetheless life pictures, it’s excellent for lighting the sides of objects.

In fact, there are extra gentle modifiers than what we’ve listed. However, these choices are excellent selections when first establishing a studio.

Studio Images Gear

Other than the lighting gear, you’ll additionally want different important studio instruments. Let’s check out a few of them beneath.

Mild Stands

These are essential to help the lights and lightweight modifiers you employ within the studio. They arrive in numerous designs and have particular load capacities. Make it possible for your gentle stands can help your heaviest lights and modifiers.

Light stand against a yellow background
A lightweight stand is ideal for small lights particularly speedlights and small LED panels. This picture is from Expert photography


These are beefed-up gentle stands. They’re bigger, heavier, and help extra weight than common gentle stands. We suggest them in the event you use giant monolights. That means you may guarantee your lighting setup stays secure always.

C-stand against a yellow background
A lightweight stand is ideal for small lights particularly speedlights and small LED panels. This picture is from Expert photography


These are reflectors that bounce again the sunshine out of your gentle supply to the topic. That means you don’t find yourself with darkish shadows and uneven lighting.

A vflat in a studio setting
An assembled v-flat is giant sufficient to cowl an average-sized mannequin. This picture is from Expert photography

Images backdrops

Backdrops allow you to change the studio’s surroundings without portray the partitions or altering places. They arrive in many various types. Some are primary fabric or paper backgrounds, whereas others are made of vinyl or different materials.

A row of backgrounds against a wall.
Seamless paper backgrounds are the only option for studios pictures. This picture is from Expert photography

Setting Up Your Photography Studio

Now, let’s talk about the steps you could take to organize your studio for a studio pictures shoot. It’s an easy course that you just discover helpful even when you end up working in different studios.

1. Set Up the Background

First, you’ll have to assemble the background stand. Ensure the stands are at the very least 4 to eight toes aside relying on the size of your backdrop.

A woman setting up a background in the studio.
Watch out for establishing seamless paper since it’s going to rip if not dealt with correctly. This picture is from Expert photography

Subsequent, insert the horizontal pole into your roll of seamless paper and set up the pole on high of the stands.

At this level, you may modify the peak of your background stand and unroll the paper. You need to use sandbags or tape to save the corners of your seamless paper roll to the ground.

2. Set Up the Lights

Now that your backdrop is prepared, it’s time to organize your lighting gear. First, connect your gentle supply to your gentle modifier. You then set up them onto your gentle stand.

Flash illuminating an aquamarine background
Earlier than establishing your lights, take into consideration what kind of lighting you want. This picture is from Expert photography

The variety of lights you employ in your house pictures studio will rely on what you could do. For easy portraits, a single gentle and a v-flat/reflector could be sufficient. However, if you wish to do glamour photographs that want extra advanced setups, you might want between two to 5 lights. If you wish to be taught extra about various kinds of studio lighting, take a look at our article here.

3. Take a look at Lighting and Gear

Earlier than you begin taking pictures, take take a look at photographs to see what you could do together with your lighting gear. That is the right time to regulate the place of your lights and test your digital camera’s exposure.

A female photographer taking photos of a model in a studio
Take a look at your lighting to realize the proper publicity each time. This picture is from Expert photography

If the shot is darkish, you’ve got the choice to vary the settings of both your gentle or your digital camera. We often set the digital camera first after which modify the lights till we obtain the proper publicity. Bear in mind that you’ll want to check steady gentle and flash in another way. LEDs produce a continuing beam you may see so it’s simpler so that you can modify your digital camera settings. With strobes, you solely see the beam they produce at a fraction of a second. So that you’ll do some take a look at photographs till you obtain the proper publicity.

When you’ve examined all the pieces, you can begin taking pictures!


It’s overwhelming to see the gear record in the event you’re beginning with studio pictures. However, do not forget that you don’t want to purchase all of the objects on our record instantly. The reality is you can begin with simply a background and background stand. So long as you’ve got loads of window gentle, you have to be okay.

a 3/4 shot of a model against a yellow background
With the proper lighting, you may obtain skilled outcomes with even the smallest studio. This picture is from Expert photography

As you earn extra, you may then contemplate shopping for synthetic lights. You can begin with one gentle and modifier first. After that, you may develop your package to extra lights you could obtain extra difficult lighting.

It’s essential to begin sluggishly. You’ll want time to get used to the gear, anyway. And don’t fear. Earlier than you realize it, you’ve got a full-size pictures studio that may do all the pieces you want!

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