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How to Set Up a Home Photography Studio

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Setting up a home photography studio can be extremely beneficial to any photographer. Whether you’re a professional portrait photographer or an amateur photographer just starting to get into studio lighting, a home studio gives you a place to work and learn new things without putting the added cost of studio rental into your bank account.

The Home Studio Space

1. The first thing to consider is creating a space.

You do not need a large space, a 12 x 12 space would work. It would be tight, but doable. Maybe empty out half of the garage and make your spouse park in the driveway, or convert a spare bedroom into a make shift studio.

2. Ideally, you’ll want something with plenty of room to move in, around after it gets filled with studio or makeshift lights, your camera, a backdrop and other equipment.

If your home is anything like mine it is probably full enough without a studio, so you will have to work with what you have until such time as you want, or can afford to rent some space.

3. You’ll want to choose a room where you can tightly control the lighting environment at any time of the day or night.

Natural light can be a great tool but if your studio has a window, make sure you have a way to completely block off the light from affecting your shots. You can use thick vertical or horizontal blinds, or thick fabric you can pick up at any fabric store in bulk.

4. Another thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not the room is climate controlled, especially if you’re going to be storing your equipment there permanently.

Where I live, the typical garage can stay well below the freezing point in the winter and exceed 100 degrees with the humidity in the summer. Making it not an ideal place to store thousands of dollars of photography equipment. However, beyond your gear, your models could be effected. They will be under the hot lights while you are shooting–add humidity to that, and they will be standing in a puddle of water in no time. So consider the ambient temperatures and prepare for the change in weather!

5. The color of the space will also have an effect on your photos.

Stay away from colored walls. Light bounces and colored walls will cast a colored hue on your images. Try to stick to white or beige colored walls for your space. One other thing to remember about color: white reflects and black eliminates flash light. Plus, the height of the room will impact the light. It’s a balance in your space that you will need to figure out through test shots to achieve the best lighting.

6. One final consideration is ambient noise.

If you just shoot still photos then you’ll be fine with any room. But if you’re ever going to shoot video you’ll want to choose a room far away from appliances or screaming children.

I hope these tips get you started setting up your studio.Now tell us about your studio!


Dawn McGeddy


jere witter

got the newer 900 and canon t3i all my pics come out over exposed why

kevin pepper

Jere, it could be for a number of reasons… email me if you like and we can discuss it. Kev

Troy Hoffnagle

To avoid red eyes in your photographs, make sure that your camera either has built in red eye reduction or you change the direction of your flash. If you did shoot a photo and it contains red eyes, you can easily remove them through the use of a graphics software such as Corel or Photoshop.

Reena Gronosky

Give your subject something to look at to avoid direct eye contact with the lens. You are sure to get more natural looking photos if you do not have them looking directly into the lens. Have them focus on something behind you or looking to one side or the other.

Meghan Vanwieren

Don’t rely on your camera’s zoom. Get a close as possible before you start to use your zoom. Zooming in can be helpful, but after a while the picture can get distorted. You’re better off getting as close to the subject as you can before you try to zoom in on it.

Shaun Doub

Do not try to be unique all the time. You will not lose your status as a good photographer if you take some classic looking shots. Learn to make the difference between what is art and what is not. Do not edit your basic pictures of your friends to make them look artsy.


Thanks for this article. When you say a 12 x 12 room would work as a studio – are we taking in metres, feet…? Thanks, Anne


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