Digital Photography Tutorial: Learn How to Set Up a Photo Studio

Digital Photography Tutorial: Learn How to Set Up a Photo Studio
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Setting Up a Photography Studio

If you want to become a professional photographer, you probably need a studio. A studio provides a controlled environment in which you can take pictures of clients. You can set up a photo studio nearly anywhere. The major prerequisites are the right amount of space for props, equipment and backdrops, and the correct equipment. Now you are probably asking wondering how to set up a photo studio.

Selecting a Room

First, you need to figure out if you want to buy or rent a photo studio or if you simply just want to convert a room in your home. For most people, buying a studio is out of the question. You can rent actual studios that already have their own equipment, but that means you cannot take the equipment with you.

Therefore, your best option may be a home studio. You can be more responsive to client schedules and take your own equipment on assignments. If you have a room that is about 15 feet long and that allows you to have at least 12 feet between your background and your camera, then you have all that you need.

Paint and Backdrop

Once you have chosen a room, paint everything white. You do not want color pollution ruining your images. Keep the room clean, especially any area near your backdrop. Cover up any ductwork, fireplaces, etc. Ductwork is especially reflective. Your flash can bounce off it and cause glares.

Purchase a backdrop. Usually, muslin and cloth look the best, but it really depends on your preference. The backdrop should be about 10 to 20 feet long by six to 10 feet wide. This size gives you plenty of space to work, and the backdrop will cover both the wall and the floor.

Pick a wall to hang your backdrop. Remember, this is going to be a permanent fixture so try to pick a place where you are not likely to move it. Set up your stool at least three feet away from the backdrop.

Lighting and Props

Set up your lighting around the backdrop, and add reflectors throughout the room at key angles. Reflectors help decrease harsh shadows caused by lights. Generally, you can purchase a home studio photography kit that includes camera cases, lights and backgrounds. These are cheaper than buying these items individually.

You may also want to pick up some props for clients. You can find many of your props at thrift stores or garage sales.


Always keep your room well ventilated. Equipment can overheat if your room gets too warm, not to mention that a hot room can make your clients uncomfortable. If necessary, add a room air conditioner, or use a room with a window, which you can also use for natural lighting if you need to.


Greenspun, Philip. “Studio Photography”,

Photo Studio: Sasic