The last time I set up my in-home studio space, I had to figure it out as I went. Having gone through the process already, I knew exactly what I needed, and I figured it would be a perfect way to give photographers some insight on how they, too can set up a fully functional in-home studio without spending a fortune. I recorded the whole process so you can watch the set up and create your very own dream studio space!
Over the years, I’ve always gotten a ton of questions on what materials I use (especially for the floor!), and so excited to finally have an actual mini guide on the entire setup, so you’ll know exactly what I use, how to set it up and learn some bonus tips on shooting in natural light.
I spent a total of $138, but for a smaller set up you can spend as little as $86 for the same look. This has been my go-to setup for years.
The digital guide includes the following:
- Video tutorial on the studio setup
- Step-by-step instructions
- Item list (with direct links)
- My favorite natural light setups
There are a few diagrams to show you some of my favorite ways to use natural light and the final results so you can learn a little bit about how to shoot in this space as well.
Below are a few questions I’ve also gotten a lot in the past. (although I no longer shoot full time, these will be helpful for any photographer looking to grow their business) In the past, I’ve always had in-home studios and loved every minute of it!
WHY DO I PREFER HAVING AN INDOOR STUDIO?
The majority of my sessions consist of baby sessions and maternity sessions. Since babies are little, I need something simple, cozy and comfortable. My other sessions are done outside, so I don’t need a space for my traditional sessions that gives me a ton of space. With itty bitty babies, it’s actually nicer to have something that they too can feel comfortable in. And as a photographer, it’s awesome to have a space where everything is set up how it needs to be without needing to constantly set up and tear down. Choosing a space like this helps me as a photographer create more consistent work, and I love that about using a studio space.
This studio space will be used for baby, newborn and commercial sessions.
Since those are what I’m booked for most, it’s very convenient to have it at home because it means I don’t have to drive anywhere for the session, saving me time throughout the day because I can go from working in my office to shooting a session, then jump straight into editing which I love. I have a limited amount of time available so the less I have to drive back and forth the better!
Since I might require a larger space now and then, I found an amazing 2000+ sq ft all-white studio space that is available on an hourly rate. IF I need something bigger than the space I use at home I can easily use this space on a need-to-use basis without having the incredibly high overhead cost of retail space. Many larger cities offer this sort of thing, just search for photography studio space rental. It’s an awesome option for those of us who don’t have the space at home or prefer to have something outside their home without having to sign a long lease and have a monthly studio rental bill.
BUT WHAT WILL MY CLIENTS THINK?!
I get this question from fellow photographers who have thought about setting up their own in-home studio but are scared that it doesn’t look professional to clients who will be booking them. My advice on that is this; I have never not booked a client due to my in-home studio. When clients book me, they are looking at the finished product, my work and fall in love with that, not my studio space. They trust me as their photographer to create the same quality of work for their session. When potential clients go over my work, they care much more about what my work looks like, than how large my studio space is. Many of my clients become wonderful friends and since many of them book me for their maternity, newborn, then baby milestones they feel incredibly comfortable here. I love welcoming clients into my home and studio.
So if you’re on the fence about it, give it some thought. An in-home studio might be a wonderful fit for you and your clients.
Ok now to my favorite part, let’s go over how to set up your very own in home studio!
If you’re a natural light photographer like me, then having a space that has plenty of that gorgeous light is top priority! I picked a room that basically consists of large windows on one side giving me plenty of light to work with. The room is filled with beautiful light, and that’s exactly what you need when you count on natural light. If you love using studio light, then having natural light is not a priority.
Think about how you want to use the space. What type of sessions you want to offer and find a space that gives you enough space to work in. Since I love working with babies and newborns, I don’t need a ton of space to move around. I’m usually up close and personal when I’m shooting so a wall that is 9+ feet wide is great for space. Since the room I’m working in, also allows me to shoot long ways I have 30+ feet that I can shoot from the other way and get farther away portraits. I love creating dreamy backlit images so shooting directly against the windows will be perfect for those sorts of portraits!
This is one of the things I get the most questions on. What type of floor do I use? As you can tell by the images, there’s a slight glossy look to it. Prior to switching to these types of floors, I used seamless papers and just got frustrated with the number of times the paper would tear or all the staining that would happen when it was in use. Working with babies = lots of drooling so having something that isn’t going to show drool spots is awesome. It’s the perfect white, shiny and since it has that smooth finish, it makes it easy to clean.
So you’re probably wondering, what the heck is it and where can you get some!? You’ll get all that info in the digital guide. I have a whole sheet that lists all the items I used for my studio so you can use the exact same pieces. The floor is by far, the best part about the whole thing and it took me a long time to figure out exactly what worked the best.