Setting up a New Photo Studio

If you’re a part time photographer, setting up a dedicated studio space means you don’t need to set up and tear down every time you bring a client through.

This blog post describes my setup to achieve maximum results in a small space.

2 light setup. Key light camera left, kicker camera right.
2 light setup. Key light camera left, kicker camera right.

Studio lighting gives a photographer total control over how light falls on their subject.  To ensure that light isn’t bouncing off every wall, a deep grey colour (Dulux Maraetai) was chosen for the walls.

I installed a Meking 2 roller wall mounted backdrop system with 2 Savage seamless paper backdrop rolls, black and white.  White backdrops are actually very versatile.  With controlled studio lighting, you can make a white backdrop appear darker, most typically grey.

Meking 2 Roller Backdrop System. Nice soft natural light from window if required.
Meking 2 Roller Backdrop System. Nice soft natural light from window if required.

As a carpeted floor is too soft for standing on a paper backdrop (it will crease), I bought 2 pieces of MDF thinboard to line the floor below where the backdrop fell.

Savage 2.7m Seamless Paper Backdrop and Two 1200 x 1200 MDF thinboards
Savage 2.7m Seamless Paper Backdrop and Two 1200 x 1200 MDF thinboards

My little model Mikayla tugging at the camera straps – as you can see, the option of natural light is an attractive alternative.

Give me that camera!

The backdrops had to be trimmed to 2.4m down from 2.7m.  It’s an easy job with a hacksaw.  Here’s how!

Chopped off the end of the backdrops with a hacksaw.
Chopped off the end of the backdrops with a hacksaw.

And here’s the hero in the room.  I couldn’t afford for light stands to get in the way so up went an Interfit INT309 Wall Mounted Boom Arm.

Interfit INT309 Wall Mounted Boom Arm - large range of motion.
Interfit INT309 Wall Mounted Boom Arm – large range of motion.

 

Interfit Wall Mounted Boom Arm
Interfit Wall Mounted Boom Arm

Look, no light stands!  All that room below the softbox!  Perfect for little (and big) models!

Visico 300WS Strobe with 80cm x 100cm softbox overhead. Unedited, straight out of camera.
Visico 300WS Strobe with 80cm x 100cm softbox overhead. Unedited, straight out of camera.

 

Single light set up - unedited straight out of camera
Single light set up – unedited straight out of camera

This is how much control you get from a well set up studio.  I can’t wait to explore the possibilities!  This space will give me the room to polish my understanding of lighting.  I am looking forward to bringing people through my new studio.  Click here to book a studio session with me.

Digging the versatility of the Interfit boom arm. Anchored at 4 points onto wall studs.
Digging the versatility of the Interfit boom arm. Anchored at 4 points onto wall studs.

The true hero of the day is my little angel, Mikayla.

Daddy don't forget to put your lens cap away.
Daddy don’t forget to put your lens cap away.
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D
  • Exposure bias: +1EV
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s

Zhi Lee

Award winning NZ wedding, travel and portrait photographer. Creating images for the enjoyment of others really gets me going. It is through photography that I get to connect with people and express a little bit of creativity.