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The good thing about studio photography is that everything a photographer needs is accessible and within arms reach. It is also convenient for the subject, as the shoot will only be done in one location—the studio. More than anything, it is the perfect setting for taking portraits.
So if you are planning to set up a home portrait studio, you should do the following:
First, allocate a space for the studio that is huge enough to allow movement and to accommodate the equipment. There should be room for the camera, tripod, posing stool, and lighting kit, among others. Also, make sure that neither you nor your subject would end up tripping on cables and wires.
Second, prepare the room for photographic studio shoots. To ensure that color cast does not reflect back on your customer, you should paint the walls in neutral shade. Pick a color that can also double as a flat white background.
Third, keep a variety of lighting kits. If you’re serious about professional photography, then you need to produce pictures that would rival the work of the pros. The best way to do that is to have the appropriate lighting kit. By this, it means that you must have an assortment of strobe or continuous lighting that will suit the size of your portrait studio—less for small rooms and more for large rooms. Portraits, however, need a main, fill, and background or hair light, regardless of the room size.
Fourth, equip the studio with other essentials. Apart from lighting kits, you should also have softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors, and tripods in order to make the best of studio photography. Without these things, the portraits you take may not come out as professional looking. And, since proper exposure is essential in creating good portraits, you will also need a light meter. While some devices are expensive, you will only have to purchase an incident meter that will measure the light falling on the subject. This is usually cheaper compared to others.
Fifth, be ready with a selection of props and backgrounds. Professional photography does not rely on a state-of-the-art camera alone. Props and backgrounds can also make a huge difference on a single portrait, as they can be used to change the appearance and the mood of the pictures. A backdrop can be dyed, painted, or printed on paper. The materials used can also vary from muslin to canvas.
A backdrop is also essential when doing light photography. But its major role, however, is to set the stage and create the overall feeling of every portrait.
Sixth, consider providing hair styling and makeup. Because portraits focus on the face and up to the subject’s shoulder, it is only logical that you offer hair and makeup. That is, if the client would be cool about having a makeover before his or her picture will be taken. However, if you are just starting out in the business, this service can be optional.
Regardless of the kind of pictures that you want to capture, setting up a home photographic studio would prove beneficial to you, especially if you recently just got into the hobby. The studio would also make the perfect training ground for practicing and developing your skills in taking picture-perfect images. Once you get the hang of it, you can then consider branching out to a mobile portrait studio that you can set up at the back of a truck.