How to Design a Photography Studio

By James Newsome

Designing a photography studio is an exciting task for a photographer, but it can also be quite daunting. You should not only think of what gear you will need, but also how much space you need and who your clientele is. Those who shoot small product photography, for example, will require a different studio than someone who photographs people or larger objects. To make your studio as comfortable as possible, seriously consider how you work and design accordingly. This will allow you to work smoothly and focus on what you really love to do: Take photographs.

How to Design a Photography Studio

Choose the right space. Think of what type of photography you do and decide how much room you need. Generally the more space you have, the better. However, those who do product or macro photography will be setting up on a table and won’t need a lot of room. Pick a space with sturdy floors so your tripod will not shake. The ceilings should be a minimum of 10 feet, to take full standing portraits and have a little leeway above the subject’s head for overhead lighting. The walls should be a white to medium gray, so light will reflect well. Avoid bright colors, as the color will cast reflections and change the look of your subject. Shooting with natural light requires large windows, which should face north for the best quality of light all day.

Choose your equipment. All studio photographers need lighting equipment, so take into consideration what types of equipment you like to shoot with. Shooting with large, continuous lights will use a lot of electricity, so make sure your wiring and outlets can handle the load. You'll need a light meter if you shoot with flash units or strobes. Consider equipment like light modifiers, stands and booms for your lighting.

Choose your storage. You are going to need a place to store gear while it's not in use. If you switch backgrounds or lighting equipment often, choose storage that is easy to access like a large shelving unit. Sturdy, large bins that can be stacked can be used as storage, and also carried easily if you're going on location. Label the bins so you can easily find the equipment you need.

About the Author

Born in Ohio, USA, James Newsome is a photographer, designer, and writer. He worked as a landscaper for seven years as well as attending Wright state University for Fine Arts and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for photography.