Whether you want to shoot portraits or fashion professionally is up to you, but in any case you need a few solid studio shots in your portfolio. Renting a studio is always an option, but it’s more like a temporary solution. Getting a separate space and turning it into a studio is expensive for most aspiring photographers. A home studio is therefore the way to go for most shooters looking to perfect their skills and add quality work to their portfolio.
Setting up a studio in your house can be really fun, but it’s also a challenge. Assuming you’re on a budget, like most photographers who make this decision, you’re going to have to find the best deals and to make your money look like a lot more. You’re probably not going to start with any fancy stuff, but as long as you have the basics and a strong will to take awesome shots, you’re all good to go.
(Setting up Studio Tip: Save money and buy preowned gear. Search used studio gear here)
A basic photography studio is made of a few vital elements. Number one is the background. Even without any artificial light sources, you can still use natural light, provided it enters the room, to shoot portraits. A background is therefore the first step. We recommend starting safe, with white or black. They work with just about any subject. After you get a basic background you can start investing in different colors, maybe even a green screen if you plan on shooting video.
We’re not going to talk about camera gear because we assume you already have a basic DSLR or mirrorless and a tripod. Next on the list are lights. It’s very important to decide whether you want flashes or continuous lights. Each has pros and cons. Working with continuous lights is easier because you’re able to see the result before taking the shot. They’re also great for video. However one or two quality continues lights, daylight balanced ones, will cost a little more.
Strobes on the other hand offer a lot more power. They’re not as easy to work with but they’re generally better suited for photography. So how many should you get? Obviously the answer to this question is directly related to your budget. You can take awesome shots with just one flash, and it’s actually a learning method that we recommend. There are plenty of industry giants out there who have awesome tutorials on shooting with just one flash.
But for more advanced setups, you’re going to need more lights. We recommend two for starters.
You’re then going to need modifiers. They are essential for softening the light and making it look more flattering. A decent set of umbrellas should get the job done in the beginning. They’re easy to set up and work with and that’s just what you need in your first days of studio photography.
There are a ton of modifiers to choose from, each with a specific purpose. After a while of working in the studio, you’ll eventually figure out what you need next. Don’t go spending money on things you don’t how to use just yet. Work your way up gradually and shoot as much as you can. It’s the best recipe for success.
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