How to Set Up a Photo Studio

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Creating a studio can be a simple or complex task depending on the desired results, but in either case a few simple rules apply. You need sufficient space, a lot of electrical outlets, the ability to shut out light when necessary etc.

Things You'll Need

  • Brushes
  • Reflector Boards
  • Cupboards
  • Full-length Mirrors
  • Paint Rollers With Extension Pole
  • Studio Lighting
  • Air Conditioners Or Ventilator
  • Dressing Room Curtains
  • 9-foot-wide Paper Rolls
  • Cameras
  • Flash Meters
  • Tripods
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Stepladders
  • White, matte interior paints

Choosing the Room

Step 1

Find a room that's 15 to 18 feet long to allow for at least 12 feet between the camera and the background, as well as room for lighting equipment.

Step 2

Select a room that's at least half as wide as it is long.

Step 3

Opt for a room with a simple shape for greatest versatility and a high ceiling to allow for soft, even lighting and high camera viewpoints.

Step 4

Paint the walls and ceiling with a washable, white, matte finish.

Step 5

Box in or take out fireplaces, alcoves and baseboards to streamline the shape of the room.

Step 6

Install numerous electrical outlets or a single heavy-duty outlet with a distribution box on a long cable. Choose the walls you'll use as backgrounds before installing electrical outlets.

Step 7

Install a ventilator or air conditioner to reduce the stifling effect of the lighting.

Arranging the Studio

Step 1

Decide which walls will serve as backdrops and set up your camera opposite.

Step 2

Construct or buy reflector boards (6-foot-tall boards with a white surface on one side) to use for reflecting light into shadow areas.

Step 3

Collect a range of props and tools. Build a cupboard to store them in, as well as a dressing room with a full-length mirror if you plan to use models.

Step 4

Set up your lighting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Color finishes on walls and ceiling will create an unwanted cast in color photographs.
  • Make sure the lighting you'll be using will not overload the circuit. To figure out the number of amps drawn by your equipment, divide the lamp wattage by the supply voltage.
  • Use a 9-foot-wide paper roll mounted on poles or a wall bracket to provide an ideal backdrop when the floor is part of the shot. It can be pulled out to a length covering both the wall and the floor in front of it with a curved transition between the two instead of a sharp angle.