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How to Set Up a Professional Photography Portrait Studio

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Setting up a photography studio isn't as hard as it seem...

There are a lot of elements that go into setting up a professional photography portrait studio. Once you have studio equipment. You need to learn how to position the lighting and camera to best capture your subject. In this article, we'll look at what you need to set up your studio and exactly how to put it all together.

Find a space. You can rent a space or you can use a room in your home. The room you end up using should have high ceilings and be quite long so you can have your camera up to 12 feet away from the person you're photographing. There should be few or no windows and plenty of outlets for plugging in lights.

Prepare the space. Before you can use your professional photography portrait studio you must paint the walls and ceiling with a neutral matt paint, usually black, white or gray. If there are any windows in the room cover them with thick  curtains that match the wall color you've chosen. 

Purchase lights. You can buy hot lights or cool lights. Hot lights stay on all the time. Cool lights only come on when you're taking the picture much like a flash. Most photographers use cool lights in their studios. You'll need to buy at least two lights. Ideally, you should have at least four.

Purchase diffusers. You can use soft boxes or umbrellas to diffuse light. Diffusers soften harsh light.

Purchase or make reflectors. You can use a large piece of white cardboard or white sheet of Styrofoam as a reflector. Reflectors are used to bounce light around and help get rid of shadows.

Purchase backdrops. You don't want to be stuck just using your studio walls as the background in pictures. You can buy backdrops in a variety of colors that will help change the look of your pictures. Don't forget to get a backdrop stand also.  

Set up your studio. You should set up one light about 6 feet from your subject shining down on them at a 45 degree angle. This is your key light and is meant to mimic the sunlight. Position a second light on the other side of your subject to fill in the shadows. This light should be dimmer than the key light and diffused using a soft box or umbrella. A third light should be positioned to shine on the background and a fourth light should shine on your subject from behind. You can take good portraits with fewer lights, but having at least four will give you the best results.

Set up your camera on a tripod between the key light and the fill light.

When photographing a subject, use reflectors to fill in any additional shadows that you don't want in your photos.

Now that you know how to set up your photography studio you're ready to start taking pictures. 



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