How to set up your first photography studio – The Dixon Pilot

Setting up your first photography studio can be daunting when you have a ton of equipment that needs a home. Here’s how you should set up your photography studio so that it’s easy to navigate and visually sound.

Create a section for accessories

If you have a few props for your clients that can be used interchangeably between shoots, you should store them in an easily accessible storage bin in a closet. If you don’t have a closet, try storing props on a shelf away from your shooting area so the space is clear and safe.

Make a section for turning

The area where you are going to shoot is the most important area of ​​your studio. This is where you will spend most of your time creating magic. Make sure you don’t clutter this area and only set up your important equipment for optimal productivity.


Your lights should be placed in front of the backdrop, facing it. These lights will illuminate your subject and essentially help set the “scenery” for your client. You can use softbox lights, spotlights or any other special effect lighting.


Studio backdrops enhance your photography studio and help your shoots look more professional. They can help pull together a theme or just serve as a simple background for your subject to shine through. Backdrops should be in the center of the room with the lights pointing towards it.


Reflectors are a great way to illuminate shadows and should be placed directly under a subject, somewhere in front of a light source. It’s not a fixed element, so feel free to move it if necessary. However, it should never be behind the subject or near the background.

Make a section for the wardrobe

The wardrobe must be on the side of the filming “set”. If you offer clothing to your customers, place a visible rack to the side with a privacy screen and a standing mirror. If you want it to feel more private for your customers, you can put these items in a separate room if you have the space or the closet.

Keep your gear neatly organized and labeled

You need to keep your gear close by so you can easily access it when you’re on set. Keep your gear labeled and stored in clear storage boxes on a shelf for organizational purposes. You can place this tiered shelf next to your set.

There are many ways to set up your photo studio. However, it is important to keep in mind the organization and functional structure of the room. Try to create as much open space as possible and keep your important gear nearby or in a comfortable place.

Stewart C. Hartline