Never ever say never. It is like my favorite commercial :-). I will never shoot with a flash. Then I bought an external flash. I will never use other than natural light. Then I set up my own home photo studio. Do I ever regret? NO!
Know What You Want To Shoot
At the very beginning you need to decide what you want to shoot in your home photo studio! It will help you to plan and buy your equipment. If you want to shoot everything it might get pretty expensive!
My photo studio is located in our small basement room. So I knew that I am going to shoot primarily newborns and kids, then small families and single portraits.
Location and Design
I didn’t have any option. My studio is in a small basement room. However, if I can choose, I’ll get much bigger room with some natural light as well.
I painted my studio neutral grey color. I brought a grey photo card to our local paint store and they mixed the color to match the card. I don’t think it is the true neutral color but it looks and works great! I used a black design on one wall and it looks cool :-).
I covered the windows with grey/whist stripped curtains from IKEA, I also bought a small yellow couch, glass office table and small wood shelf and table, also IKEA :-).
The floor is covered by vinyl plank (It is cheap - $0.45/sqf and, easy to lay down and looks great).
I am still planning to paint the main door and closet door with chalk board paint.
Price vs Quality
If you do photography then you probably know that more expensive equipment = better quality. I didn’t want to spend too much money but I wanted to get a professional look. It wasn’t the cheapest decision but it also didn’t hurt my budget. It is like to buy a good lens :-).
I bought a professional strobe lights and softbox for the main light. The rest is just a personal decision. I bought the rest mostly on Amazon or BH photo (seamless paper).
Photo Studio Lights and Equipment
Camera, Lenses and Settings
I shoot with my full frame Canon EOS 6D with Canon 50mm f1.4 lens the most of the time. I use Canon 135mm f2 lens for head shots.
I always use ISO100 to get nice clear pictures. The aperture is about F5.6 and I can still go higher because my strobe light are not full powered. Time is about TV 125.
I don’t do anything difficult with lights set up yet. My main light is on the left side (45 degrees) and fill light on the right side (45 degrees) or in front of the subject above the camera. For newborn portraits, I use the feathering lightening (lights next baby – on side).
I love my photo studio! I already took so many amazing photos of my little son and some great pics for my friends and customers. The light already paid off :-).
I still have a big room to learn and wish to use the studio for more creative portraits. With my educational progress I am already thinking to buy more equipment… I even thing about getting a bigger room if I decide to use it more for more business.