Studio Jewelry Campaign
Starting your journey into the realm of studio photography can be slightly overwhelming and even daunting for beginners.
Considering that shooting in a studio has several more interconnected elements than shooting outside or on location, you will need to understand what it takes to create an effective studio environment and how to execute your photographic vision.
In the beginning stages of photography, many creatives used studio settings as the sole way to capture portraits. Although the times have evolved and photographers understand the concept of shooting in natural light, a studio setting is still an effective way to control your surroundings when creating images.
Shooting in a studio is often done when the purpose is to focus on the subject or product being captured rather than using a dynamic background to tell a story. Studio shooting is often used in a variety of situations such as for portraits, fashion look books or editorials and product and still life setups.
If you are relatively new to the photography studio environment, you will need to start with the basics — finding a space to shoot your project. To help you start on your path from novice to professional studio photographer, we have a checklist of studio photography essentials. Here is our beginner’s guide to studio photography:
Find a Space
The first step to starting your studio photography shoot is to find an ideal space. When choosing a studio there are several ways you can find the space that fits your photographic needs. This includes finding studios in your city, using event space sites such as Peerspace or even consulting the available options on AirBNB. If you’re starting off in studio photography, you should narrow your search to professional studios in your area. This is because studios such as these will come equipped with everything you need for an easy and quick set up.
You can find a studio near you by doing a simple Google search such as “photography studio (insert name of your city here).” This will give you a slew of results that you can choose from. When picking which photography studio to book you will want to look at the studio’s website to see where it is located, what options they have for renting out the space — hourly, half day or full day — and the price that it will cost. You can also find a suitable studio space by asking fellow photographers which space they have used before and if they have any personal recommendations for you.
Determine What Gear You Need
Once you have secured a studio space, you will need to figure out what gear you need for the shoot. Some studios are all-inclusive, meaning that they have a backdrop or white concrete wall — as well as lighting fixtures and the necessary stands. This is usually either a part of the package deal or is an extra added fee — either way, having all of your gear readily available will result in a less stressful setup process.
If the studio only offers the space, you will need to bring your own gear. The standard elements necessary for a photography shoot will include: some kind of backdrop, stands to hold that backdrop, lighting fixtures and stands, and a power outlet to plug in your gear. If you are tethering during your shoot, which means your camera is affixed to your computer and the images will appear on the screen as they are shot, you will also need a surface to rest your computer. We will touch more on this topic later.
In addition to the basic gear, you will also need to decide which kinds of props or design elements you may be adding to your shoot. Will this be a simple set up where the model will stand directly against the backdrop? Or will you want diversity will posing and add a chair or even couch on which you will photograph your subject? Figuring out your direction and vision for the shoot will help you decide which additional elements you need to acquire beforehand.
Rent the Gear or Purchase Your Own
If shooting in a studio isn’t something that you often do, you may want to consider renting your gear versus purchasing everything you will need. For example, the lighting fixtures and stands that you will use in your studio shoot, can potentially be rented from a photography store depending on where you live. As always, you can also reference your network of photographers and ask to borrow their gear for the day. Allowing someone to borrow your gear shows trust, so make sure you offer to pay them back in either financial compensation, lunch or a coffee.
Renting gear is a common practice by many photographers who may only need specific tools for a one day project. As lighting equipment can be a large financial investment, you should rent when possible. As for the other elements needed for your studio shoot, you will need to buy these from a suitable photography store. For backdrops, there may be places that allow you to rent these, but more times than none — a photographer will just purchase the backdrop for their shoot.
Effective backdrops for studio photography are usually in the form of paper Seamless or Savage options that come in a variety of colors and designs. You can find a photography store nearby that may sell these, order them through a site such as Adorama or B&H online or even purchase them off of Amazon, where you can usually find a selection of colored paper options.
Design Your Set
The final step to collecting and organizing your materials is to design the set that you are going to use. Your set will be an accumulation of your backdrop, lighting gear and any additional props or elements you sourced for the shoot. When designing your set, decide the intention and outcome you hope to achieve through your images.
If you are shooting a product or still life session, you will want to focus on the overall visual array of your elements and how they work together to create a story. If you are shooting a portrait session using a model, you will need to decide how the model uses the props.
Whether you bought specific elements for your studio session or used a prop warehouse to source these objects, remember that the best way to keep a well-maintained set is to stay organized. If you are shooting a variety of looks, keep your props in categories based on the order of which you will use them. Feel free to label them accordingly and add or take away any elements that aren’t working during the shoot.
Place Together Your Lighting Techniques
Now that your set is completely designed and ready to go, your last step to setting up is to add your lighting. Since you are starting in studio photography, you most likely do not have a specific lighting technique that you use. There are several methods and styles of lighting that you can use in studio settings. To give you a better idea of what options you can choose from, here are several methods of illuminating your subject:
Short Lighting is a technique that is often used in darker portraits. It eliminates a large amount of light that is cast on the subject’s face and instead places more of the subjects face in the shadow. Short Lighting is used when you want to add a sculpting quality to your figure and give them a slimmer look.
The set up for short lighting is to place your light source to the right of your subject and have your subject turn their face towards the light source. With this, the side of the face that is away from the camera will be illuminated while the side that is closer to the camera will have more shadows. The result is that the majority of the face will have shadows in short lighting.
Broad lighting is different from the short technique as it requires the subject to turn their face away from the center position of the camera. Since the light source is still set up to the right of the subject, the main change is the positioning of the body of your model.
Having the model turn away from the light source, allows for a large area of light on the face and a smaller amount of shadows. This technique will give your subject a broader and wider appearance, so remember to only use this on someone whose facial features need to be widened. This can cause an adverse and unflattering effect on someone who is heavier or has a round face.
Butterfly lighting refers to the butterfly-shaped shadow that is cast onto your subject. In this setup, the light source is above and behind the camera, causing the photographer to shoot under the light source. With this design, you will often create shadows under the nose and cheeks of your model.
You will want to situate your light source behind the camera and a bit above eye level or head level of your subject — in order to achieve the most flattering display, adjust this based on the height of your subject. Some photographers will use a flash as a harder light source to get definitive shadows. This helps showcase the model’s cheekbones.
Rembrandt lighting is a term coined by the lighting technique the painter Rembrandt often used in his paintings. The mark of such lighting is the triangle is on the subject’s cheek. To create this style of light, you will need to have your subject turn away from the light. Place the light above the top of their head; this will allow the shadow from their nose to fall down along their cheek area.
Loop Lighting is a technique when you place your light source above eye level and between 30 to 45 degrees from the camera. The idea here is to create shadows on both the cheek and noses of your subjects, but in a manner in which they do not touch one another.
With this style of light, you want to create small shadows and adjust the light source based on your subject. A simple set up is to place your subjects against a backdrop, set up the light behind them and to the left and then add an additional reflector in the front of them to the right. This is an easy setup, and it works on most subjects.
Split Lighting is the subject’s face is split in the light and shadows. This technique is a bit more dramatic, so it is best to decide which kind of subject this would be most appropriate for. To create the split technique, set up a light source 90 degrees to the left or right of your subject, in some cases you can place it slightly behind them.
Some subjects will have facial structures that are not ideal for split lighting, so make sure to test this technique out and adjust their position accordingly.
Setting up a Flash for Studio Use
In addition to the six lighting techniques we explained above, many studio photographers will use an off camera flash in their studio photography. The best way to kickstart this process is to use a flash speed light with a diffuser in the form of an umbrella.
To use your flash off-camera, you will need to attach it to a lighting stand. Then, in order to create the lighting effect in which the light is bounced and diffused, you will set up the flash to point directly into your umbrella.
To break this technique down, even more, you can employ the use of feathering. Feathering refers to altering the light source’s position so that only certain parts of the subject are lit. This allows you to selectively choose which areas of your photograph you want to highlight and focus on. Feathering is done by setting up your softbox at a 45-degree angle toward your subject and then turning the softbox even a bit more to shoot past your subject. This will create a more shadowed effect, and thus you will have feathered your subject.
The last element that you should learn when shooting in a studio is how to tether your photography. Tethering refers to connecting your camera to your computer in order for your images to be saved directly onto your computer’s hard drive as you shoot. It is not necessarily required when shooting in studios, but for most professional projects — a client will want you to be tethered, therefore being a technique you should learn.
Tethering is helpful because you can see the images on your screen as soon as you are shooting them. This can actually increase your workflow, allowing you to examine each image and adjust your settings, focus or even light as needed. A client will be able to tell you whether they are in favor of the direction the images are going or even offer suggestions of how to fix posing. If a client sees an image they know they will use, they can tell the photographer that they have what they need and can move on to the next look.
Also, tethering can allow you to change your camera settings from the computer through your connected device. If you have a digital technician monitoring your screen, they can evaluate your settings and alter as needed. This means that if you are shooting and the digital tech notices that the images are overexposed, they can quickly make changes to your aperture or shutter speed without halting the shooting process.
Software with Tethering
With software systems you use with tethering, you can also organize and rate your images as you shoot. This can be effective if you have several looks you are capturing, you can easily sort the images into each of their appropriate folders. Additionally, if a client sees several images they specifically like — you have the ability to set a rating that will speed up the selection process. Since tethering allows your images to go straight onto your hard drive, you will also have a small chance of losing your images during the shoot.
To tether during your studio photography, you will:
- Need to make sure your camera is able to image transfer with either RAW, JPEG or both file formats.
- Need to buy the appropriate cord. Connect the camera to the computer using a TetherPro USB cable. The cables are black or orange depending on your equipment.
- Use software that comes with your camera or purchase programs that support tethering and post production such as Capture One.
- Have an external hard drive available to copy your images onto in the event that your computer’s hard drive has any technical issue or becomes full during the studio session.
Once you finish your studio shoot, make sure to properly store your tethering cord — as they can easily break if. Then, go through your images within your system and make sure that each folder is on your hard drive and external device — not just in the software system. Make sure to take note of any selections that the client wants. Tethering is a truly seamless and systemized way to streamline your studio photography and enhance your workflow.
Return the Studio its Original Condition
The most important part to remember when using a space for your studio photography is to take care of your area, clean up and return it to its original condition after the shoot. In many photography studios, the manager will evaluate before to take note of what gear you may be borrowing for the session and the general condition of the space. Afterward, they will do the same type of post evaluation in which they can add fees you may have incurred.
If you need more gear than originally stated, it is best to directly approach the studio manager during the shoot rather than waiting until the day is over to bring this up. This is because some gear will have additional costs and can be an added surprise to your final bill.
Just because you rent and a pay a fee to the studio, doesn’t mean they act as your clean-up crew. Make sure that everyone on set picks up after themselves, discards any trash they have and leaves the studio in the condition they found it.
Since you may want to use this photography studio again in the future, it is best to act accordingly, be a good customer and show respect to the space that they offered you. With this, you will be more likely to earn a positive review and reputation with the studio — making it easier to book with them again for other projects.
For beginners in studio photography, understanding the process of planning, organizing, setting up and executing your shoot is vital to creating your best images. Studio photography has far more moving parts than just showing up to a location with your camera. With studio photography, you will want to find the right space, rent or purchase the gear you need, design your set and choose the proper lighting technique for your subject.
Learning how to illuminate your subject’s features, create a soft box or feathered technique with an off-camera flash and even tether for an immediate view of your images are all tips and techniques used by studio photographers.
Originally published by H Influencer at https://thehhub.com.
Le studio proprement dit (lieu où se font les séances de photographies) est équipé de matériel d’éclairage et souvent d’une cabine de maquillage, de matériel numérique (ordinateurs, pour visionner et « travailler » les images), et anciennement d’une chambre noire. Une salle d’exposition (ou showroom) est parfois présente, comme au studio Harcourt à Paris.
Certains plateaux de grande taille comprennent un cyclorama (ou « cyclo »), structure (le plus souvent en bois) qui part du sol et couvre un, deux voire trois murs et arrondit tous les angles droits pour éliminer les ombres dans les coins. Celui-ci est peint, le plus souvent en blanc. Des boîtes à lumière sont parfois montées sur rails de façon permanente (suspendues), les mouvements (latéraux et verticaux) en sont parfois activés par des moteurs électriques.
Il existe dans toutes les grandes capitales de création du monde des studios de location1,2,3, lesquels offrent des plateaux de différentes surfaces, permettant parfois les prises de vue en lumière du jour, aux photographes travaillant pour la presse magazine ou la publicité. Les grands studios offrent aussi un service de retouche numérique à leurs clients photographes.
En tant qu’entreprise, un studio photographique est une entité juridique détenue et exploitée par une ou plusieurs personnes, dont une au moins est un photographe. À ce titre, il peut louer des services photographiques, tout comme vendre différents objets créés à partir de ses activités (ou de celles d’autres photographes).
En France, depuis le début du xxe siècle, les fonctions d’entreprises ont été de plus en plus dévolues à une entité dénommée « agence photographique ». Cette évolution a réduit de plus en plus le sens de « studio photographique » au lieu de travail..
Everything You Need To Know About Setting Up A Home Photography Studio
Thinking about setting up your own home photography studio? This guide has everything you need to know, from home studio lighting setups to space-saving tricks.
Do you dream of setting up a home photography studio of your own? For tons of photographers, this is a major goal that would open up tons of opportunities. Being able to produce high-quality studio work from your own home means you can avoid transporting large, heavy, cumbersome equipment to a rented studio location. It also means having total control of your shooting environment. A photoshoot studio setup at home can definitely help your photography business thrive, and take your online photography portfolio to new heights.
There are certain kinds of photography that are best suited to a studio environment. If you shoot portraits or headshots, you probably do a lot of your work in studio so setting one up in the comfort of your own home would be a huge plus. Portrait and headshot photography is an awesome way to make money as a photographer, because there are so many potential clients out there. Everyone needs nice portraits of themselves for LinkedIn and other social media profiles, so the gigs are just waiting to be snapped up!
If you set up a versatile home photo studio, you can also handle other kinds of portraiture. More and more people love seeing their furry friends looking their cutest in professional portraits, so pet portraits are another great way to make more money with your new home studio set. You don’t need a large home photo studio setup to do some super-cute newborn shoots. If you’re lucky enough to have room for a slightly larger home photography studio, you can handle engagement shoots and wedding shoots, maternity photo sessions, and family photos. Your portfolio is about to be overflowing with gorgeous images! So, how do you get started with setting up that home photo studio?
The first thing you should consider before buying a single piece of home studio equipment is: what is your goal for this photo studio setup? It’s really important to get clear on what your goals are for your personal photography portfolio, and what types of photography gigs you want to land. That way, you can make sure that you don’t waste time and money building a professional photo studio that’s not actually going to serve your needs.
For example, if you know you want to do large family photo shoots, that tiny spare bedroom probably isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to clear out a bigger space, or have an area of your home that you can convert into a photography studio for each shoot and easily tear down in between shoots. On the other hand, if your business is all about shooting tiny babies, they really don’t take up much space! That means you can use a small space wisely and still have an awesome home photo studio setup.
You’ll also want to give some thought to your own personal style. If all of the photos in your portfolio are sunny and naturally lit, it’s a good idea to make sure that your home portrait studio has plenty of natural light or that you’re prepared to do your research and get some high-quality home studio lighting that will help you achieve a similar effect. If you’re all about dark and moody photos with dramatic key lighting, you’ll need to consider a space where you can effectively block out any unwanted ambient light. The best portrait photography portfolios have a distinct and recognizable style, so it’s always a good idea to think about what your signature look is.
Remember, this home photography studio should serve you and your business needs, not hold you back! One other consideration before you start planning your photography studio setup is what your electricity needs will be. Make sure you choose a space that either has lots of reliable outlets, or where you can easily reach with a good quality extension cord.
Home Photography Studio Equipment
Now, on to the good stuff! Since you’ve figured out what space in your home is best suited to a home photo studio and fits your business needs, you can start thinking about what equipment to look for.
The good news here is that, no matter what your budget is, there are tons of seriously good options out there nowadays.
Home Studio Lighting Setup
One of the most important pieces of equipment in a home photography studio is, of course, the lighting. A basic home photography studio lighting setup can consist of just one light (either a speedlight or a flash), and a reflector, such as an umbrella. If you’re planning to get more advanced with home studio lighting, you’ll probably need to increase the lights to three so that you can achieve a three-point portrait lighting setup. Increasing the number and type of lighting modifiers can really open up new lighting effects that you’ll be able to achieve out of your home photo studio.
For the lights themselves, the two main options you have are speedlights and strobes. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks, so, again, you’ll have to refer back to your own goals for this home photography studio.
Home Photo Studio Speedlights
Speedlights are great because they’re on the smaller side and tend to weigh less than flashes. If you need to take your home photo studio setup down between shoots, you might like being able to easily tear down and put away your speedlights. They’ll also be ideal if you have a very small space, because they tend to be smaller themselves. Another huge perk? There are some perfectly good options available for really low prices. Brands like Yongnuo and Neewer make options that will set you back less than $50 each, and, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can get even more power and features.
Although they’re inexpensive, light, and small, speedlights do have some shortcomings you’ll want to consider before buying them for your photography studio. They’re definitely not as powerful as strobes, so you won’t get as much light out of them and will have to make up for it with your camera settings, which could result in slightly less crisp images. (A really great portrait photography camera will take care of that problem.)
They also take longer than your typical flash to recycle between shots, which means you can’t shoot a big burst of shots in a row. That’s only a problem for certain kinds of photography, so it might not even be something you have to worry about. Unless you’re trying to capture a specific moment in a motion, such as a hair flip, for example, you probably won’t notice the slow recycle time too much.
A final point against this type of light is that, unlike flashes, they don’t come with a modelling light. A modelling light is a bulb located close to the flash tube that gives you an idea of how the flash will light the image when it does fire. You will end up knowing your home photo studio like the back of your hand, so this won’t be a problem in the long run, but it does mean you’ll need to do some experimenting to get a really good sense of the light your speedlights will produce. You definitely don’t want to be doing too much experimenting when you have an actual client in the home portrait studio!
Home Photo Studio Flashes
If choose to go for flashes instead of speedlights, your units will definitely be more powerful. That’s great if you want to get the sharpest, clearest images possible. They’re also ideal for a photoshoot studio setup in which you want to be able to capture lots of little moments, since they do recycle much faster than speedlights. This can be handy if you’re shooting bigger groups: it’s hard to get everyone to look their best at the same time, so, by getting more shots, you’re increasing your chances of nailing that perfect image! You’ll also get the benefit of a modelling light.
They are, of course, more expensive than speedlights, so that’s something you’ll have to consider when you’re deciding what your budget is for your home photography studio setup. They also tend to be heavier, so they will be more cumbersome to put up and take down. If you’re lucky enough to have a space you can dedicate solely to your home photo studio, that won’t be a big problem for you, and flashes might be a great choice.
Home Photo Studio Light Stands
Don’t forget the light stands. These usually take up a bit of floor space, so if you know you’ll be working with three-point lighting, make sure that you have enough space for all three lighting stands .
This is another type of home studio equipment that can really vary a lot in price. As a general rule, this is one piece of equipment in your home studio setup that you should probably spend a bit of money on. Although the stands may seem less important than other portrait photography accessories, cheap light stands can cause some serious headaches when you’re shooting. They can topple over and hurt someone, and you don’t want those lights you just bought to come crashing down either.
Invest in some heavy, sturdy light stands for your home photography studio setup, and you’ll get your money’s worth for years to come.
Home Photo Studio Backgrounds
Your home studio setup should include a few background options that you can use again and again for different types of shoots. The first background to buy is a collapsible one that gives you the option of both black and white, since those are versatile and will work for tons of different portrait gigs. You might also want to get a background support that can hold your collapsible background as well as any seamless rolls you start collecting.
Home Photo Studio Modifiers
This is a fun part of setting up your home photography studio, because modifiers can really take your images to the next level. There are tons of options to choose from, so instead of getting carried away and clicking “add to cart” on all of these, consider what kind of effects you’re going for and what kind of images will really be portfolio-worthy for you. Light modifier options include:
- Metallic or white reflects: Create the effect of having a whole other light on your scene; they will give you either a cool glow or, in the case of gold reflectors, a warm glow that could easily trick the eye into thinking it’s sunlight.
- Softboxes: These can help you diffuse light so that it falls evenly on your subject, creating an attractive and even look. They allow you to modify your light setup to seem as though your subject is sitting next to a window, rather than in the middle of a studio.
- Gels: Colorful sheets of gel paper change the color of your light sources. An orange or red gel will give you a warm glow, and a blue or green gel will give the image a cool cast; you can play around with different combinations of gels to get some really cool and artistic effects. The great thing about gels is that they’re pretty inexpensive, so you might as well have a bunch on hand in your home photo studio.
- Umbrellas: Like a softbox, an umbrella will help you diffuse and soften light. You’re better off using these if you have a large space; in a small space, they won’t contain light as well as a softbox might.
Home Photography Studio Kits
After reading about all these different components of your home photography studio setup, you’re probably wondering if you’d be better off just getting a home studio set that contains all the necessary pieces. That all depends on your budget and goals.
If you skip the kit and buy the individual pieces, you’ll almost certainly end up paying more overall. Kits tend to offer lower-quality components, but you can find some seriously good deals. And, if you do your research, you’ll be pleased to find that there are actually some great options out there. If you’re a beginner and don’t have any equipment yet, a home photography studio kit can help you get up and running quickly. Then, you can add or switch out pieces of equipment as you go along and learn more about what you like and what works for you. A few highly-reviewed options include:
Chances are, once you start getting more and more gigs, you’ll find the kits don’t quite cut it anymore. But for someone early in their career, they’re an awesome option!
Setting Up a Home Photography Studio on a Budget
If you’re on a budget but the home photography studio kits just aren’t going to cut it for your home photo studio needs, there are lots of other ways to get a high-quality setup without breaking the bank. Second-hand options can save you a ton, and, as long as you get them from a trusted source (and hopefully with some warranty), you can save big bucks on powerful lights and other pieces of equipment that cost a lot more fresh out of the box.
Looking at refurbished options form retailers online or in your area is another way to avoid paying the sticker price for those high cost pieces of home studio equipment. There are probably some things you can DIY as well—the internet is full of genius ideas for things like DIY reflectors, for example, which can make your photos look really professionally lit.
Another way to keep costs in check is to work with natural light, if possible. If you’re lucky enough to have a space with a reliable amount of sunlight, lots of portraits will look stunning just using that natural light, with no need for fancy strobes.
Small Home Photography Studio Tips
If your space is extra-tiny, don’t despair! Small spaces, if set up properly, can still be perfectly usable photo studios. A few useful tips:
- Keep extra lights to a minimum. Use window light whenever possible, so you don’t have to fill up precious space with light stands.
- Make use of light modifiers, especially reflects. It’s amazing how a couple of reflects can make your portrait look totally filled with light, as if you were using a three point light setup. Play around with reflects and see what works best in your small space.
- Choose the right portrait lens. You probably won’t need a zoom lens if there isn’t room to zoom, so a high-quality prime lens that allows you to capture your whole subject from the distance you have available to you in your home photo studio will do the job.
Extra Tips for Home Portrait Studios
There are a few other things you can do, no matter what your space and budget, to make your studio a comfortable place to be. You want to make sure your clients leave raving so that you can get that valuable referral business, so make sure your studio has:
- Water and light snacks: Photoshoots can be surprisingly exhausting, and having a hot light (or three) on you all day can get pretty uncomfortable. Make sure your clients don’t feel like they’re about to faint by having refreshments on hand.
- A mirror: It’s nice to be able to quickly and easily do a once-over and make sure you’re looking good before a shoot. If it’s mounted on the wall, you don’t have to worry about it taking up space.
- Some translucent powder: You don’t have to be a top makeup artist to make your client look a whole lot better by removing the shine from their nose and forehead.
Show Off Those Gorgeous Portraits
Make sure you set up an online photography portfolio so that you can start booking gigs in that new studio! If you don’t have one yet, no worries. Look for a website builder that allows you to create the perfect website for your business in just a few minutes. A blog is an awesome way to create SEO-friendly content, and if you’re building a home photography studio that would make for an awesome blog post. Look for a website builder that has built-in blogging so that you can share your adventure. Client proofing is also a valuable feature for portrait photographers, since it allows your clients to give you feedback and make their selects right from your website.