Visual Content Creation

What do you need to set up a home photography studio? 4 top creators share their space

Post by
Ruth Stephensen
What do you need to set up a home photography studio? 4 top creators share their space

As more content creators and freelance photographers continue to work from home you might find yourself wondering how you can set up a home studio on a budget to take more professional looking photographs. What photography equipment do you need and how much will it cost?

Here's a home truth that will save you a lot of money: when it comes to visual content creation, having access to a professional home photography studio should not—and will not—impact your ability to produce eye-catching imagery for brands.

In our experience from creating over 10,000 pieces of unique content for brands we've learned that it's less about having the right equipment and more important to know how to use what you have available to your advantage.

To demonstrate how much you can achieve at home with limited space and resources we asked top content creators from the Creatively Squared community to take us behind the scenes to see where the creative magic happens.

In this post you'll see 4 different studio set ups ranging from ultra basic temporary set ups to those with a dedicated studio space and artificial lighting. We will also show you some behind the scenes shots and examples of content created within that space.

Adrianne Haskins

Adrianne Haskins is a still-life and product photographer from Memphis, TN. She works with brands both big and small on content creation - from social media posts to marketing imagery.

After initially working as a portrait photographer, Adrianne had the opportunity to work on her first brand lifestyle shoot when she was approached by a local brand.

Lifestyle photograph by Adrianne for Creatively Squared project with E&J Gallo Wines

Since then, she’s shot with many high profile brands and regularly completes content creation projects here at Creatively Squared.

Adrianne has one of the most aesthetically pleasing home photography studios we've seen. Her clever prop storage solutions even do double duty as home decor!

Home studio location

My studio is setup in our home, we have a small bedroom that i’ve converted into a studio space. I had a couple of rooms to choose from, so I went with the room that has a southwest-facing window. I’m a sucker for natural light in my product photography, so south-facing windows are perfect for me. I occasionally shoot with speed lights if I’m looking for harsh shadows as well.

Prop and backdrop storage

My most used studio items include a basic white table from Ikea (perfect for flatlays and it’s easy to move around), I love backdrop papers from Savage Universal, and I always have a large whiteboard on hand for bouncing light. When it comes to props; I’m mainly shooting skincare and beauty products, so my studio is full of textiles, wood boards, and dried florals. I like to maximize on my space and I’ll use whatever I can to store my props. My textiles are thumbtacked to the wall for easy storage and I use a simple shelving unit to stack and display all of my go-to props. It’s easy to see what I have and it keeps me inspired!

Home photography studio lighting

Although I do have some speed lights I love natural light! I typically have my table setup directly in front of a southwest-facing window.

See more of Adrianne's work online at  adriannexo.com and on Instagram @adriannnexo

Fanette Rickert

Based in Washington, former creative director Fanette creates delicious food-inspired images with a French flair. She embraces every aspect of food from farming, preparing and enjoying the results over a glass of wine.

Fanette built her own photography business from the ground up, creating wholesome lifestyle images with a focus on sustainability and quality. She enjoys working with eco-friendly brands and earthy products made from natural materials.

Home studio location

I have setup my studio in our master bedroom. For the longest time, I was using our guest room. As my business started growing, I took over the second guests room (we have an insanely large house ) but it was inconvenient to drag lighting and equipment from one room to the next so we were considering knocking a wall down. Until one day my husband and I were sitting in our master bedroom, talking about it and my husband said “if only we had a larger room that you could use…. Wait a minute!”. That’s when we realized that the master bedroom was actually the perfect room because of the space, and the presence of a sink (to wash dishes) and walk-in closet (for aaaaall my props and equipment).

Prop and backdrop storage

I use my walk-in closet for my product photography props and equipment. I have shelves in there and I bought some plastic drawers to keep things somewhat organized. I also have 2 shelves in the studio with all my food props and backdrops.

Home photography studio lighting

I love to use natural light. My studio window is a great source of natural light, especially during the winter when the sun is lower to the horizon. For product and client work, I like to diffuse the light and bounce it back wit a reflector to create bright images with soft shadows. For personal work, I prefer to create deeper shadows by narrowing the light source (blocking off some parts of it with black foam core boards) and no bounce. I also love to play with hard light. For client work, I also often use artificial light and a large octagonal soft box, that I modify to recreate the light I get from my window for personal work.

See more of Fanette's work online at french.ly and on Instagram @frenchlyphotography

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Jitz Lim

Jitz is a photographer and videographer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A creative jack of all trades, Jitz photographs everything from weddings, to beverages and beauty products.

Home studio location

I used to work from a full size studio and I recently moved into my new home with 4 rooms and I'm currently utilizing two of the smaller rooms to shoot and edit. I did a little spring cleaning from the huge studio I had and only brought back what I really need. From this, I realized that you don't really need that many stuffs to create. Less is more!

Prop and backdrop storage

I kept only the props and backdrops that I frequently used, and discarded those impulse purchases. As my new space is still a work in progress, I think with a couple more labelled storage boxes, I should be able to store everything in a much more organized and convenient manner.

Home photography studio lighting

As much as I love natural lighting, I always shoot with artificial lighting (flash, strobe and continuous lights) because it enables me to shoot any time of the day or night and I’m also able to be in full control of the lighting. My go-to lighting setup is a flashlight with large octagon softbox and a reflector.

Tiger beer photographed by Jitz for Creatively Squared
The Macallan photographed by Jitz for Creatively Squared

See more of Jitz's work online at jitzlim.com and on Instagram @_lejit

Sophie Fisk

Sophie Fisk is a professional photographer from Melbourne who shoots everything from adorable children at Kindergarten to styled product photography for brands.

Although much of her work is on location, Sophie creates a lot of her visual content right from her own lounge room.

After looking at Sophie's images you'd be amazed to discover she only works with natural light and relies on basic photography equipment and limited space. Here's what is in Sophies home photography studio and where she creates amazing visuals like this shot for Creatively Squared customer Petaluma Wines.

Visual content created by Sophie for a Creatively Squared project with Petaluma Wines

Home photography studio location

My studio is in my living room! I live in a 2 bedroom apartment so I don't have a lot of space but I get really good lighting in the living room so this is where I shoot. I'm constantly moving couches and the coffee table around to set up my things.

The set up where Sophie created the beautiful image for Creatively Squared customer Petaluma Wines

Photography prop and backdrop storage

I have a little shelf setup in my bedroom and containers stacked on top of each other filled with props. My backgrounds all live behind and next to the tv. You can see a few of them in one of the photos.. It's not ideal, but it's where I have the space in the apartment.

Sophie's home photography studio with backdrops stored behind the tv

Home photography studio lighting

I prefer to shoot with natural lighting. My living room has 4 ceiling to floor windows which is pretty perfect for what I need. I get pockets in the afternoon where the sun shines in so if I want to shoot with harsh light I save it for then.

Visual content created by Sophie for Creatively Squared project with Mainland Cheese

See more of Sophie's work online at sophiefisk.com and on Instagram @sophiefiskphotography

Conclusion

Thank you to Adrienne, Fanette, Jitz and Sophie for sharing your home studio spaces with us. It goes to show that a little equipment goes a long way and you don't need to invest in expensive gear to be able to produce high-quality product photos for brands.

We hope you've been inspired to make the most of the space or budget you have available and apply the same level of creative thought to your content production method as you do with the output.

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