“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.”
– Tony Dorsett
Planning for your photography studio? First of all, clap for your thinking big. That takes a lot of courage.
I assume you have mastered your profession well to establish your photography studio. Now you need some ideas for a photography studio setup.
Based on your photography style, your layout, design, decoration will vary. Before your fresh start, take a look at the photography studio setup ideas. You will be able to insight into what you need to do and ensure that you didn’t miss out on any vital part.
Let’s dig in.
What is a Photography Studio?
A photography studio is a space for photographers to continue their work officially.
In simple terms, a photography studio is a commercial platform where one or more photographers work. Depending on capital, structure, photography niche, targeted customers, studios can vary.
In most cases, a studio is an open space, more like an empty room. A photographer decorates or designs the room with equipment and props (i.e., backdrop, light setup) that goes along with his/her type of photography.
So, it is essential to know which type of studio is going to meet your requirements. You can’t set up any studio as you want and end up getting zero output from it. A studio in line with your photoshoot style will benefit you much. So, think beforehand which setup you need.
Types of Photography Studio
Photography is a vast area. If your passions drive you to become a photographer, you will find a wide range of types to choose from. Moreover, if you want to turn your passion into a profession, then indeed you can claim yourself one of the happiest people for finding the job your heart desires.
Now that you are going to work officially, you at least need a studio. Having a physical existence will help your prospective customers to have proper information about your field of expertise.
Among various photography types, following these types are the most demandable. Take a look-
Home Photography Studio
Home-based photography studio setup became a lot easier during Covid-19. Having not much hassle and so much comfort and convenience, it is one of the easiest and convenient types of studio any photographer can establish.
Unlike any other regular studio, you will not need much equipment in home-based photography. With minimum equipment and a place with ample light, you can have your home-based photography studio.
Product Photography Studio
The era of digitalization has made e-commerce business so competitive that business people vie for staying on top and left no stone unturned. So, they consider product photography as an essential phase of their marketing.
Good photographs leave a positive impression of any business and attract more clients. Marketers target their buyer persona and convince them to buy their products over others. As maximum customers bank on product photos while purchasing online, having good images are essential for them.
If product photography is your style, you can have an eCommerce product photography studio set up on your own.
Maternity Photography Studios
In 1991, Demi Moore posed for the cover of ‘Vanity Fair’. This created a great stir and changed the way about pregnancy a lot. Instead of hiding underneath a muumuu, pregnant moms want to capture these moments.
Maternity photography is a trendy photo among first-time moms. However, many expectant mothers are also joining in this trend with their kids and the whole family. Not only mothers but also families want to capture these beautiful moments before the child’s birth. These special moments have sentimental significance to them.
This field is becoming relatively more popular than before. Like any other photography studio, maternity photography has options for both studio or the outdoor. If you find this photography attractive, it is worth giving a shot.
Portrait Photography Studio
Portrait photography is one of the most popular genres. This type of photography aims to capture the attitude, personality, and identity of the subject, which can be a person or a group.
A background, lighting setup, and proper posing help this type of photography lay the attributes open up.
Do you find pleasure in bringing out the emotions of people through photography? You can establish a portrait photography studio to turn your interest into your work.
Commercial Photography Studio
Considering the escalating demand for commercial photography, you can choose to set up such a studio. Almost all businessmen rely on commercial photos for their performance marketing purpose.
Good images increase conversion rate, help in boosting click and sales. Therefore, commercial photography aims to capture the best product shot to help businesses achieve their goals. Setting up a commercial photography studio will help you enlarge your working range.
Wedding Photography Studio
People love to arrange programs, enjoy and celebrate. So, capturing those festive and vibrant moments is gaining much popularity as days pass by. You can be a photographer catching those joyous memories for other people.
Among other occasions, the demand for wedding photography is soaring high and high. Many photographers find this sector not only enjoyable but also well paid. Such studios mostly do outdoor photoshoots. So, you can consider setting up a wedding photography studio as well.
Mobile Photography Studio/ Portable Photography Studio
Having flexibility while taking photos has made portable photography studios very favored. If you are a professional photographer with no space for a studio, you can set up your mobile photography studio with the required kits for your smartphone photography.
Rental Photography Studio
Let’s say you are kicking off your photography career officially and in need of a photography studio. You can rent one. Many people rent their spaces to photographers to use for a studio. If you plan to set up one in the near future, you can rent one for now. Then go for establishing a permanent one.
Photography Studio Design Requirements – Things Need to Know
Have you made up your mind to establish your studio?
By deciding to establish one, you are upgrading yourself to indulge yourself in a more professional level. A professional studio setup will assist your photography business to grow and go and open doors for a lot of opportunities.
However, it is not as easy as speaking. Primarily you will have different types of photography studio ideas. So, which one is going to suit your needs?
Establishing a studio is like launching a new business for your photography artwork. And it requires you to think it through. Take a look at which are the most significant parts you cannot be but involved in photography studio design layout.
Plan out your expense
Budget plays a vital role when you are going to set up your own studio. A lot of photography studio design ideas are out there, but which one is the suitable one for you depends on your photography style and budget.
Having a budget with an adequate amount will help you plan the layout of the photography studio. Make a list. Jot down the cost of equipment you need for your photography studio. That is the total amount you need to spend.
Except for the part where you have to work outdoors, in most cases, you need your own in-house setup so that your clients can reach you out. In that case, your location should not be somewhere more complicated or hard to find.
Select your location according to your photography structure. For example- you are a commercial photographer; your subject is a product or model, then you better establish your studio near or inside the city.
Photography studio space
What is your requirement for space? Do you use a wide-angle lens? Do you have models for shooting your subject? Then probably you need a big space. If you are a product photographer or interested in macro photography, you can work in a small studio that will not need much space.
However, on many occasions, a medium type of space can work for both ends. Your way of photography will decide what kind of space you are going to need. As per your requirement, you can buy one, or you can rent.
- Shooting spot
Divide your spaces into certain areas. First, fix the side where you are going to shoot. It is recommended to choose the side with the window if you have one. In this way, you will have the chance of using ample natural light.
If you cannot get a space like that, that’s okay. You have artificial light to light up your room.
Make sure your room gets enough space to accommodate light, camera, backdrop, and other necessary equipment.
- Meeting room
Have a separate space where you are going to seal official deals with your clients. This will help your clients provide a feeling of privacy. They will find you are confident about their requirements and respect their choice.
- Post-production area
If you are a professional photographer, by no means you will submit pristine photos to your clients, are you?
So, have a separate corner or area where you can complete the post-processing work.
If you find this much of a hassle, then you better seek help from a professional photo editing expert.
- Waiting room
You can have a separate waiting room. If you don’t, you can use a partitioner to create a space for people to wait. A waiting area will provide a comfy vibe to your clients.
Now that you have your studio, it needs some decoration. There are some pieces of equipment you need for the interior design of your photography studio.
If you are a product photographer, you would need props along with your camera and light source. If you are a portrait photographer, you need a backdrop screen, furniture and some necessary accessories.
No matter what type of photographer you are, there is some basic equipment all the photographers need in their studio, such as-
- Light source
Background for walls
What should be the background for your photography studio walls?
You can choose to display your artwork instead. Or, you can pick colours that harmonize well with your style of photography. Many studios decorate their walls with white backgrounds. As a result, they get light reflection very well.
You can use artificial screens as well. This type of screens can be changed, altered or adjusted according to needs.
Instead of leaving a bare wall, let your clients see your artwork. You can hang your captured photos on the wall. It will save your cost for decorating your wall, and your clients will have a glimpse of your expertise.
Video Tutorial: How to Build your Own Photo Video Studio on a Budget
Top 10 Photography Studio Design Ideas You Should Follow
Amidst the variation in a studio setup for photoshoot, you need to establish one that perfectly serves your purpose and suits your needs.
If you are going to start with a team of professional photographers, no doubt you will have a spacious studio. On the other hand, if you are going to start on your own, it can be any studio with your required equipment and a small or medium-size space within your budget.
There are plenty of ideas for the layout plans of the photography studio. To help you plan how you can implement your ideas, we have conducted research. Based on that, here below, we have gathered the top 10 photography studio design ideas.
Let’s go through it.
Karl Taylor is an experienced commercial photographer who excels in beauty, advertising, and fashion photography. He is a professional photography trainer in the market who provides academic guidelines through courses and workshops.
JF Photography Studio is a professional wedding photography studio. More than 30 years ago, the founder of this studio, Jamal, established this studio, intending to create images along with memories.
This Orlando-based studio is up for assisting their customers by renting the space to the clients and providing professional photographers and videographers. Clients who want to take photos, shoot videos, host podcasts, and have to reach out to them.
The studio is a renowned food photography studio situated in Cleveland of Ohio. In 2013, Andrew Burkle and David Hagen formed this studio together. Since then, it has been working successfully and ensuring clients’ satisfaction with a team of dedicated professionals.
Founder Sarah Petty established her own studio in 2005. Her ultimate target is to aid portrait photographers and boutique business models through different courses, coaching, and ideas.
With the vision to become a perfect workplace for the professional photographer, the studio started its journey in 1973. Clients from different parts of the world are signing up with them for the reputation of award-winning portraits.
TRG Multimedia is a multimedia production company that provides photography, video and television production, digital media, CGI and so on. It is situated in Cleveland, Ohio. Famous photographer Martin Reuben established this company in 1983.
FD Photo Studio was established in 2013, and is headquartered in Los Angeles. The studio specializes in photography, catalog photo shoots, advertising, and many more. It serves clients from different agencies, fashion retailers, fashion houses, and cosmetics companies with their photoshoots.
The studio specializes in commercial, product, interior photography along with video production. It provides premium quality photography services to clients and is a sole proprietorship studio established in 2007 in New Jersey.
JCPenney Portraits is an all-occasion professional photography studio. By taking high-quality professional photos, the studio helps clients store their memories of events like birth, graduation, engagement, family photographs, etc.
Photography Studio Equipment – A Complete List
Either you want to set up or expand your studio, the requirements for the studio are nearly similar in both cases. The only difference is that, for the first case you don’t know what you need and as for the expanse, you do.
These are the essential equipment which you must own for your studio.
Think of your purpose. You can go for a high functional expensive camera, or you can buy a pre-owned one. However, if you go for a mid-range one, it won’t be a loss either.
Then again, you can find one that suits your photography style. For example, if you are a product photographer, search for the best camera for product photography and find the one that matches your budget.
Photography studio lighting setup
A light source is a matter of big consideration in photography. In photography, both natural and artificial lights have their worth.
Try to take advantage of natural light as much as possible if you don’t have alternatives like artificial light. If you have a window that is north or south facing, that will work just fine. Moreover, in the morning and afternoon, the sun rays a soft light that works fine for photography, especially jewelry.
Considering some factors, you may have to use artificial lights. If the weather is cloudy, would you sit around and delay your turnaround time? No, it would be best if you have backup plans for that.
As for the artificial lights for your studio, these are the available options most photographers use –
- Flash heads (Strobe)- Mostly used in still photography.
- Continuous light- Used for both still images and videos.
- Speedlights- Use for flash photography.
- LED Lamps- Suitable for tabletop photography.
- Fresnel lights- Works well in distant shots in product photography.
- Light box/ Light tent- Perfect for macro photography like jewelry.
Modifiers control the light direction and improve lighting in the photos. In most studios, modifiers are used to create an expected ambient. With modifiers, you can diffuse any bright lights and highlight your subject.
There are 3 types of modifiers-
Softboxes are like rectangular or octagonal shaped umbrellas with diffusion covers. These softboxes control the direction and the shape of light, illuminate a smaller area and produce light nearly natural looking.
According to the rule of thumb, the size of your softbox should not exceed the size of your subject; it better be the same.
Umbrellas are a good option for lighting modifiers. By bouncing off the light towards the subject, umbrellas produce a soft light which helps create a more precise image with a softer shadow or without shadow.
In studios, 2 types of umbrellas are used. Those are-
a. Reflective Umbrella- This type of umbrella reflects and bounces the light to the subject. Outside of the light is covered with opaque cover, so the light bounces back. And the inside of the umbrella is faced toward the subject.
b. Shoot-through Umbrella- This type of umbrella is made of translucent white fabric. Any light passes through this umbrella and then broadens the light source. The outside of this umbrella is directed to the subject.
Scrims are a flat pass-through screen that helps reduce the harshness of the light. It can be used as diffuse light as well. Professional photographers use this for high-quality work.
Backdrops for photography
In this day and age, everything has been available, thanks to the e-commerce business worldwide. Like any other necessary items, photography backdrops made of fabric, cotton, paper, or vinyl are available on those sites at nominal price.
There are variations in backdrops that photographers use. Let’s say for example, if you are shooting for promotional activities, you may look for an eye-catchy background. If it is for social media, this will vary according to your needs.
And what if it is for the listing of your products in the e-commerce sites? Definitely the color they recommend you to use (which is white in most of the case).
As the backdrops are not much pricey, you can decide to own different types of them, such as-
Chroma Key Backdrops: Chroma key backdrops come in green or blue color and work as a green screen background. Such a screen permits you to make any digital changes.
Fabric Backdrops: Many photographers prefer fabric backdrop as their way of conveying the message. Among the fabrics, these are the fabrics they prefer to use-
This type of backdrop adds a diverse and luxurious look to any image. It lasts longer if it is taken correctly and doesn’t crease naturally. Such backdrops are a demandable choice for portrait photography.
Polyester is a good option for both indoor and outdoor photoshoots. You can use this fabric according to your requirements.
Such fabric has different sizes and colors. This fabric does not allow light reflection and thus produces a good ambient in the image.
Printed backdrops: An excellent option for getting any type of background for your images like natural scenery, stones, etc.
Seamless paper: Using seamless paper is a good substitute. Being an economical option and having flexibility, it serves the purpose just fine inside the studio.
Floor drop: Floor drops are an excellent option for aerial view images. Many photographers use floor drop to bring variation in their photography which delivers amusing output.
Vinyl: Vinyl is a top-preference for long-lasting durability in professional studios worldwide. The surface of this type of backdrop is easy to clean. Vinyl backdrops are available in different colors and patterns.
Canvas: Simply put, a canvas is a painted backdrop that delivers a unique look. Canvas backdrops have an impact on light reflection. Therefore, this type of backdrop is really worth working with. The most fantastic part of a canvas is that you can have your customized one. However, this is a bit pricey choice.
Except shooting for e-commerce, you may need props. Why would you pay extra money if you can find anything that goes along well with your subject?
You can use anything you find around you. It can be a flower vase, baseball, a cap, a teacup- things like anything literally! Do not stick to a specific type of item. Change props according to the season, festivals, etc.
Have some materials ready beforehand that you find will assist your work. For example, if you are a clothing photographer, you can store some props like a sneaker, water bottle, hat, handbag, or similar things that tell a story matching up with your subject in clothing photography.
Or let’s say, you can have snacks, juice or other baby food when you are shooting for children. Let us tell you, this is not the end. There is no limit how much you need for your studio; but having the basic things will assist you to run the show.
Important FAQ of Photography Studio Setup
What do you need for a photography studio?
Establishing a studio is not a trifling matter. Other than having a proper plan, you need budget, equipment and proper promotion of your studio.
In what color should I paint my photography studio?
The background color of your wall should be the one that represents your work style. However, most of the photographers tend to have a wall color that glows more, such as- gray, white etc.
How big should your photography studio be?
Having a spacious studio is really advantageous. However, the most important fact is the ceiling height and space between the subject and other pieces of equipment.
How much does it cost to start a photography studio?
It depends. However, according to professionals, it is safe to plan out budgeting around $5000- $10000.
Fixed location or a portable studio – which is better for photography?
As a professional photographer, having a fixed location is better. It will help your prospective customers to find and reach you easily. However, on certain occasions, if your profession requires you to do the outdoor shooting, a portable studio will be no less beneficial.
What equipment do I need for a photography studio?
There are so many pieces of equipment you need. The minimums are-
- Light source
Where to buy photography studio equipment?
Aside from local markets, there are e-commerce sites that are available for photographers to buy their necessary equipment and gear.
So, here goes the details. Hope you find a complete solution to your confusion. Establish and decorate the studio you find comfortable and convenient. Finger crossed for your new journey!