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 know exactly what I need, 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 spent a total of $138, but for a smaller set up you can spend as little as $86 for the same look! Here's a quick little video showing you the entire set up process and just how simple it is to create a usable space!
WHY DO I PREFER HAVING AN INDOOR STUDIO?
Well, majority of my sessions consist of baby sessions and maternity sessions. Since babies are little, I just 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 in 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 most booked for, it's very convenient to have it in 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 limit 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 a 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 WON'T MY CLIENTS THINK THIS IS UNPROFESSIONAL?!
I get this question from fellow photographers who have thought about setting up their own in-home studio but 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 this 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 amount 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!? And you'll probably laugh when you notice that you've probably walked past it at the hardware store a hundred times.
It's called Smooth White Panelboard Hardboard Wall Panel and it's available at Lowes. BEST of all, it's about 4 feet by 8 feet and costs $16 at my store! If you need a simple set up one will do, if you need to cover a larger area you can simply get two and use some white vinyl tape to hide the seam between boards.
I usually keep the third one on hand that I can use as a backdrop. Just make sure to secure it to the wall so it doesn't fall over.
Now aside from the floor, the only other thing I need is some sheer white curtains to soften the incoming light. It also acts as a natural reflector so when I work with natural light, I have beautiful white light bouncing off my floor and curtains.
That is it! I'll break down the costs below to show you that keeping it simple, and minimalistic is a perfect solution to an income studio. I'll also add some portraits so you can see the space in use. Often people think I work in a huge studio and the truth is that I love working in cozy in home studios with little ones.
LARGE WOODEN STICK:
Sometimes something as simple as a stick found at the beach can inspire your entire space. My goal was to create a beautiful white space that is inspired by natural colors, tones, and fibers. I went out to the beach to find some driftwood and found the perfect long piece. The colors and texture on it were exactly what I was hoping to find. It blends in perfectly with all my pretty studio items. Think about what you could use to help you inspire the right studio space. Choose that and use as your guide to keep you on track. Don't overthink it; it could be as simple as a stick! ;)
STUDIO COST BREAKDOWN:
- Smooth White Panelboard Hardboard Wall Panel: $16 (I got three: $48 total for me)
- White Sheer Curtains: $10 (I got three: $30 total for me)
- Curtain Rod: $54
- White Vinyl Tape: $6
- Large stick for clothing rack: FREE (found it by the beach)
I spent a total of $138 for the entire set up! If you need the basic set up, it will cost you no more than $86!
I hope this helps some of you get some insight on how you too can go about setting up a cozy space to use. I'm beyond excited to have a studio space again and can't wait to start photographing little babies and newborns in this space!
the prettiest presets in the market
Presets created from real sessions that create the most beautiful portraits. My goal was to make the perfect Lightroom Presets for professional photographers to help them create work they love, create consistency while minimizing their post processing. You'll see lots of before and afters in each collection as well as a video that show what each preset looks like.SEE MORE BEFORE & AFTERS