Whether you want to take better pictures for your Etsy store, improve on your still photography, or just want some cool shots of your kitty, a home photography studio is definitely the way to go. Building a photography studio in your home seems like it would be difficult, but it’s really not; you probably already have much of what you need!
Assuming you already have a camera, here are 5 steps you can take to start building your new home photography studio today!
Find a Room With a Window
Congratulations, you’ve found your photography studio!
You really only need a small corner of the room to actually take pictures, but you’ll need room for your gear and a place to display your work so use the whole space for your studio if you can.
If you don’t have the space to commit the entire room to your photography, that’s okay- what’s really important is the window. Use the window as your main light source, and make sure it is coming into your studio space from the side. Hang up some white paper or any background of your choice at a 90° angle from the window and you are in business!
Get a Tripod
When we are just starting out with photography, the first thing we usually do is get a cool new camera. And of course as with any other cool new toy, we want to play with it! We want to hold it in our hands and point-and-shoot everything we see!
This is great for when you are out and about snapping pics on the fly, but now you are building a home studio where much of what you photograph will be still. You’re not trying to “catch” the perfect picture, but rather are creating it. A tripod will help you to take full advantage of the light from the window by allowing you to take longer exposures, and will also free your hands up to do other stuff.
Low-end tripods are very inexpensive, and for right now that’s all you need to start your home photography studio.
Get a Flash
“Wait- I thought the window was the main light source!”
It is, but that doesn’t mean having a flash isn’t just as important. Your window light will indeed be your main source for lighting your subject, however the sun moves throughout the day and your subject will cast different shadows accordingly. Find a good flash with a swiveling head, and move it to fill in any shadows cast by the window light. You may have to get creative and bounce it off ceilings or walls to get the look you want.
Make a Bounce Card
That’s right, I said “make”! Bounce cards are incredibly easy to make for how wildly useful they are.
What is a bounce card? Simply put, a bounce card is another tool photographers use to reduce shadows and light their subject they way they want to.
Find a piece of white mat board, or even attach a piece of white copy paper to any piece of cardboard. Attach some L-brackets from the hardware store so it stands on its own. Make another one, and wrap it in aluminum foil.
That’s it! You’ve now created one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Place your bounce card next to your subject, just outside the frame. Move it until the light bounces off of it, lightening the shadow. Use the aluminum one if you need it to be even brighter.
You’re Ready to Start Taking Pictures!
Presto! You now have a fully-functioning photography studio and are ready to snap some of the best pictures you’ve ever taken, and you’ll be hooked! Study photography online to continue building your confidence, get more photography gear as you learn to use it, and- most importantly- take as many pictures as you can!