4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio

14 January 2022

Most photographers dream of having their own studio full of all the best photography studio equipment. If you’re ready to take your photography to the next level after all those hours of practice, congratulations! All that experience and technical fine-tuning have brought you a long way on your quest to becoming a successful professional photographer. 

It’s time to piece together high-quality photography studio essentials for your own space, so here’s a guide on how to build a professional photography studio. From cameras to softbox lights, to camera light stands, we stock the professional pieces of equipment you’ll need to consider purchasing. We’ll take you through our checklist for a professional photography studio.

#1 Start with a professional camera

It could be a good time to consider upgrading to a higher-end DSLR or mirrorless camera if you haven't already. While DSLR cameras were once the undisputed rulers in the professional photography sector, modern mirrorless cameras are now challenging their spot. DSLRs will always be fantastic digital camera options, but there are now many world-renowned photographers who’ve made the switch to mirrorless. Regardless, here’s what you want to look out for when you’re finding your best professional camera:

4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio
  • Superb image quality. It goes without saying that professional cameras need to produce the best quality images possible. Start your search in the full-frame or even the medium-format section to guarantee this quality, and take heed of advice from our professional camera list.
  • Rugged build-quality. As a professional photographer, you use your camera a whole lot. To ensure it goes the distance, opt for something with high-end build quality.
  • High-speed performance. More crucial for specific forms of photography, certain professional cameras are faster than others. While in a studio setting, you don't need the same continuous shooting rate as you do as a sports photographer would, you still need something that can keep up with the pace of the work so you don’t miss a thing.

Browse some of our favourite pro camera bodies

#2 Invest in studio lighting

4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio

Studio lighting provides consistent exposure results, as well as bright, vibrant images. So it’s no wonder the best pro photography studios rely on a high-quality studio lighting setup.

If some of your work is out and about, you may consider investing in camera-mounted speed lights and flashguns, but if your work is mostly studio-based, off-camera studio lighting is the way to go.

    Here are some considerations when creating your studio lighting setup:

      • Quantity. The number of lights required will depend on what type of lighting you’ll be using on your subjects, with many setups needing multiple lights directed at different angles to avoid shadows or to create them.
      • Strobe or continuous lighting. Strobes or monolights are favoured by most professionals as they allow for more advanced flash techniques and are often more powerful. Continuous lighting is easier to use, as the light stays on so you can see what effect your lighting is having before you press the shutter.
      • Compatibility with accessories. You’ll want to make sure your lights are compatible with all the accessories you use.
      • The size of your studio. If your studio space is only small, you won’t need to purchase the heaviest, strongest lighting gear. And the larger the space, the more lights you’ll need.

    Make the most of light accessories

    Professional photographers are not only skilled at using their camera gear, but also at utilising light-shaping accessories to get an image as close to perfect as possible. Common light accessories include softbox lights, reflectors, umbrellas, and diffusers, and they can be put to use for a number of reasons, including softening light to give it a more natural appearance and directing it at your intended target.

    It’s worthwhile keeping multiple options of light accessories in your professional kit, so you can make adjustments to your lighting setup when you need.

    4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio

    Start your studio lighting journey

    #3 Use a sturdy tripod

    4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio

    There’s no doubt about it, one of the most important professional photography tools is a reliable tripod. We’ve written all about it in our tripod buying guide, but the main considerations when buying a tripod are the maximum payload capacity, the compatibility of the tripod’s head type, and the weight of the tripod. With many professional cameras and lenses being a little on the heavier side, what’s preferred is a tripod that’s sturdy enough to maintain the weight of your gear. This is to avoid having your gear toppling over and getting damaged.

    View some of our favourite tripod kits

    #4 Invest in some backdrops

    For professional purposes, many photographers use backdrops that can be swiftly set up when required, but you can also make your own backdrops if necessary from large fabrics and sheets. Standard backdrops that no photographer should be without are plain black and plain white, but there are no limitations here for the adventurous and creative.

    4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio4 Steps To Build a Professional Photography Studio

    Now you’re well on your way to creating your very own professional photography studio with a complete professional photography studio kit. Find the equipment you need online at Ted’s Cameras. For extra advice, visit your local Ted’s Cameras store to get expert advice from Ted’s staff.

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