How to Build a Photography Studio

Are you interested in building your own photography studio? Maybe it's for shooting photos for family and friends, or it's open to the public! Either way, you're stuck and don't know how to start.


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    Find a space in your home that will allow the required space for your studio. Maybe it's your basement, spare bedroom, or maybe even your attic. Make sure your room can fit in quite a few people in case you want to do family portraits and such.
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    Get some backdrops. You are going to want at least three backdrops, and two of them MUST be black and white. Then, you can get cool patterns and other colors as you go along. To make your life easier, find a curtain rod and hang it on the wall. Then, instead of buying all that expensive hanging equipment, you have your own inexpensive way of hanging and changing your backdrops.
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    Buy the proper lighting. There really aren't many loopholes when it comes to having the proper lighting for taking shots of people and/or pets. You must have bright, white light when you take pictures. However, an easy way to make light go where you want or reflect it, you can put aluminum foil over cardboard to direct the light where you wish. Have at least two big lights and two small ones, and at least three reflectors.
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    Find/buy a nice camera and tripod. You are going to want a nice camera with lots of features to please all your customers. You may even have to spend up to $500 for a great camera. Usually though, it's worth it because you get great shots and a camera that lasts. You don't want shaky footage or blurry pictures either from your new, nice camera, so buy a tripod. You can change the height, angle, and prevent bad pictures just by turning a few knobs! Especially consider a tripod if you plan on taking family pictures with YOU in them.
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    Find some old stools, chairs, stuffed animals, etc. When you take someone's picture, they may want to sit down. You will need several different types of stools and chairs in an assortment of colors and materials. For a toddler or baby picture, their parents might want a teddy bear or some of those giant building blocks. Build up your accessory inventory-you won't regret it.
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    Have a computer/laptop with photo editing software. Your customers may want to have their photos digitally framed, cropped, or changed with a colored filter. Many computer programs can do this which you can find for less than $30.
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    Have a working printer with photo paper ready to go. What's the point of having your picture taken if you can't take them home to put on the table?
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    Design and print some business cards to hand out. Pass them out at social gatherings, ask your family to give them out to friends, and have fun with them.
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    Remember that having a photography business takes time and money, but in the end pays off.


  • Wait for sales on your photography supplies or look for used items. You could save hundreds!
  • Have a meeting with each customer before to discuss what they want so that you can have everything prepared on the big day.
  • Be honest and admit when you have made a mistake.
  • Be kind to all your customers.
  • Make sure your prices are very clear.


  • Never let a complete stranger in your home until you have met and talked with them.
  • Make sure you have somebody help you move/set up heavy objects.
  • Check your local and state laws to see if you have the proper licensing to run a photography business.

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Categories: Buying & Forming a Business