How To Set Up Your Own Home Photo Studio

Lexa Aguirre for Scotch & Soda by Michelle Watt

As a busy photographer, you probably spend most of your days in the studio shooting new creative projects. While utilizing the local studios in your area helps strengthen and grow the production industry, you may not have the ability to shoot in a professional studio. This could be because:

  • There are no photo studios in your area
  • The cost of rentals are too expensive for your personal project or unpaid shoot.
  • You are learning studio photography and want to gain confidence before renting a space.

In these three occasions, most photographers look for a better alternative to professional studio shooting. What would be a good solution? Creating your own home photo studio.

In fact, creating a home photo studio is an exciting endeavor and new creative project for you to start. If you have the available space, you can easily create a designated area for photography that appeals to your inner artist. Plus, you don’t need a lot of room to create top-notch imagery. Have we caught your attention yet?

Let’s say you were toying with the idea of creating your own home photo studio. You may be wondering,

“Where do I start? What do I need for a home photo studio?”

So, to help you start to design and create your own photo studio, we have created a checklist of the essential items you need for your own home photo studio. Here are the top 3 items you need to start building your own photography studio.

The Home Photo Studio Checklist

Backdrop Stands

The first thing you will need for your home photo studio are backdrop stands. Once you have chosen where you will be shooting your images and how much available space you have, you can choose the proper sized backdrop stands.

Most backdrop stands are flexible and have multiple parts. You can add center bars to extend or shorten the horizontal measurement of your stands. Additionally, the stands can be adjusted up or down to change the vertical height.

Your first backdrop stand can be simple. There is no need to invest in crazy quality gear at the beginning. In fact, a simple and affordable stand is a great starting point to start shooting your studio images.

Here are a few examples of backdrop stands you can use for your home photo studio.

Emart Photo Video Studio 9.2 x 10ft Heavy Duty Background Stand Backdrop Support System Kit with Carry Bag for Photography

The Emart photo studio background stand includes: (4) x 1.1 inch Diameter crossbar / (2) x 9.2ft Heavy duty aluminum alloy light stand / (2) x 4.5 inch Heavy duty spring clamps / (1) x Heavy duty portable carry bag.

It can hold up to 30 pounds and lets you control the height and width of the stand. This stand holds canvas, muslin or paper backgrounds and you can attach them using the clips provided. It is easy to install and comes with a carrying bag for travel and storage.

StudioFX New Photography Portable Backdrop Stand Kit Full Size adjustable with carrying bag

The StudioFX photography backdrop stand is adjustable and portable. It can hold paper and Muslin backdrops and has a max height of 8 feet by 6 feet.

You can assemble this kit in 5 minutes and it as a carrying bag for easy storage and on the go shooting. This package only comes with the stands and bag, so if you need clamps for your background – you can purchase those separately.

Background Paper / Sheet

So, once you have secured your backdrop stand – it’s time to grab a background for your subjects.

In fact, there are two standard options that photographers use for studio backdrops – paper or sheet.

Paper backdrops are often known by the name Seamless and come in a large variety of colors, textures and sizes. You can use something simple or add a splash of creativity with a vibrant color.

Also, there is the option to use a sheet for your backdrop. These come in several color options. Plus, you can also create your own sheet backdrop by sourcing fabrics of your choosing. Check out your local thrift shop or market to find fabrics that make for a compelling background.

Here are a few examples of backgrounds you can choose for your home photo studio.

Neewer 6 x 9FT / 1.8 x 2.8M Photo Studio 100% Pure Muslin Collapsible Backdrop Background for Photography,Video and Televison (Background ONLY) – White

The Neewer backdrop is perfect for your studio photos. It measures 6 by 9 feet and comes in the colors – black, blue, green, grey, red and white.

There is a rod pocket on each top edge that allows the background to be draped or hung. It is made of 100% and is very durable.

Huamei Seamless Photography Background Paper, Photo Backdrop Paper (4.4×16 Feet, Arctic White)

If you prefer paper backdrops, the Huamei Seamless is for you. They are sold in three colors – white, red and black. And, have three different dimensions: 4.4x16ft, 6.8x16ft and 8.9x36ft.

These backdrops are heavyweight, solid color paper for your photography shoot. They resist wrinkles and creases – a high quality option for your home photo studio background.

Lighting Kit

Finally, the last aspect to setting up your own home photo studio is the lighting kit. In fact, the lighting fixture chosen is dependent on the photographer’s preference and the way that they want to illuminate their images.

Some photographers prefer constant light while others lean toward diffused lighting. So, whichever lighting set up and technique you use, you can find a lighting kit that fits your needs.

Therefore, as an example of some umbrella and continuous lighting kits, check out the products available right now for your studio.

Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit by LimoStudio, LMS103

The perfect lighting setup for your home studio is LimoStudio’s portrait kit. It comes equipped with: [3 pcs] 45W CFL Bulb / [3 pcs] Bulb Socket / [2 pcs] 33-inch Umbrella Reflector / [2 pcs] 86-inch Light Stand and [1 pc] 28-inch Light Stand / [1 pc] Bulb Carry Bag / [1 pc] Photo Equipment Carry Bag. 

The 33 inch white umbrella reflector works well with any flash. This is a great starter kit for your home studio that allows you to photograph your subjects with both continuous and diffused light.

Emart Photography Umbrella Lighting Kit, 400W 5500K Photo Portrait Continuous Reflector Lights for Camera Video Studio Shooting Daylight

The Emart Photography kit umbrella lighting set is perfect for your studio portraits. This setup can be used for photography as well as shooting video. It comes with:

  • (2) x 45W 5500K Energy Saving Daylight CFL – Continuous Light Bulb
  • (2) x 33” Diameter Translucent/White Photo Umbrella Reflector
  • (2) x 83” Photography Light Stand, height adjustable (Min 30” – Max 83”)
  • (2) x Single Head Photo Lighting Lamp Holder, E26/E27 Base

This is an affordable lighting set up that will allow you to shoot with continuous lighting. It works well with or without the use of a flash.

So, as you can see, setting up your own home photo studio can be a new creative project. All you need to get started is a backdrop stand, background and lighting kit – and you will be on your way to creating fresh and fun studio images.