With my kids getting all their schooling online right now, I’ve already been thinking about how to get them set up for the next year. One thing I came up with is getting their school pictures taken myself. I get that it’s easy to just wait for Picture Day and have somebody else do it, but I’m a big fan of giving everything a DIY style when you can. If y’all feel the same way and want to try it yourselves, check out these tips for how to set up your first photography studio!
Figure out Space
Now, I’m not saying if y’all want to set up a studio, you need a massive space for it. If anything, you can get the same job done just by converting a smaller area you have in your house. But the size you’re working with does have an impact. You’ll have to figure out how to position your lights so they can cover every angle you need. Also, think about the way the room already looks. Consider finding a way to cover up any windows so you don’t let in any ambient light that you can’t control.
Choose the Backdrop
I consider this an especially important part of the studio, mostly because whatever background you use helps to set the tone for the rest of the picture. Because of this, you should find one that fits the space you’re working with and also works well with your current layout. If you’re working in a smaller room, you’ll want to go with a color that the lighting can easily work with. I recommend a gray backdrop in those cases—that way, you can adjust the color to either black or white, if necessary. The size will have to be determined by the size of your space and whoever you’re photographing. Fortunately, it’s easy to determine the right backdrop size that fits any photo you’re going for.
Set the Lights
Once you have your space figured out and the backdrop chosen, the key in how to set up your first photography studio is to arrange your lights in the best way possible. In most cases, y’all, it’s actually pretty simple. You’ll need three lights to position around your model. First, there’s the key light, which goes at about a 45-degree angle from the camera and is the brightest light of them all. Next, there’s the fill light, which is a little dimmer but goes on the other side of the camera to fill in the shadows from the key light. Finally, there’s the back light, which goes on the opposite side of the key light and forms an outline around the model so there’s the depth between them and the background. Once y’all have those setup, and maybe also a good flash, you’ll be taking beautiful portraits in no time at all!