Beginner's Guide to Modern Studio Photography

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Modern studio photography had come a long way from its artistic origins in the 19th century. From black and white to crystal-clear imaging, the invention of indoor lighting, up until today’s digital technology, studio photography has an established spot in the realm of still-image production.

What is studio photography?

In its most basic definition, studio photography captures images in a controlled environment, usually indoors in a “studio.” In this kind of setup, the photographer and production team control all of the elements that go into a picture.

Modern studio photography has more technologically advanced elements that make photography easier. These technologies also make it possible to capture and create otherwise impossible images in more traditional or dated photography techniques. 

What studio photography usually does is to shoot the following:

  • Portraits
  • ID photos
  • Product shoots for commercial purposes
  • Fashion photography
  • Headshots
  • Art 

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What are the components needed to set up a modern photography studio?

Modern studio photography is more streamlined and technologically advanced. It has all the elements of a classic photography studio, with the addition of modern technology to help streamline the photography process or make mindblowing images with the help of technology.

Equipment

As with any type of photography, your photography equipment is at the top of the list of things you need to secure. Some of the essential equipment to secure are the following:

  • Camera and lenses
  • Lights and reflector
  • Flash trigger
  • Light stands
  • Background
  • Extensions and power strips
  • Props or furniture

Studio Staff

The photographer is the main person and the most important piece of the staff. Depending on the size of the studio and the client base, there might be several photographers. Apart from photographers, there might also be photography assistants learning photography while providing help to the main photographer. 

There can also be administrative or support staff that manages the rest of the photography business, like the office, reception, and marketing.

Studio Space

The studio space is the heart of the modern photography studio. This is where the amazing photos come from and where the art happens. It is also where the majority of the photography equipment is. 

Larger businesses may have multiple studios with one photographer assigned for each. 

Makeup and Wardrobe

Makeup and wardrobe are sometimes part of a photography studio too. Depending on the size of the studio, there could be a separate place for makeup and wardrobe. There might even be additional staff to man it, such as makeup artists and wardrobe coordinators.

Darkroom

While photographers no longer need darkrooms to develop images, modern photography studios, especially large ones, need at least one on standby. Sometimes, photographers may need to work with film and then need to have access to a darkroom to successfully produce the image. 

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Post Production Area

Just like the darkroom, this area, also known as the graphic design space, is where photographers process images after a shoot. The difference is, it is more heavily used to adjust color, correct lighting, and enhance images.

Storage

If you have a lot of equipment in your modern photography studio, you will need a place to store it. When not in use, you will need to store photography equipment properly to protect it and preserve its lifespan. Having ample storage also keeps your studio tidy and professional.

Offices and Conference Rooms

A studio may also need an office to store files and films, receipts, and staff payroll. You will also need an office or a conference room to meet with prospective clients and plan your photoshoots. 

Marketing and Sales

The marketing and sales element can be incorporated with the office and admin department in a modern photography studio. However, for bigger studios, its marketing and sales is often a separate department that even has the capacity to outsource marketing services. 

Part of the marketing and sales element in photography is also to set up an online presence. This means that you could also work with web developers and social media specialists to grow your business.

Website and Booking Software

The marketing and sales team also helps set up a website for the photography studio. A website helps with many things including displaying their portfolios, establishing a brand presence, and letting clients book appointments directly with the studio.

WordPress is the leading platform for website creation, and with 1000s of plugins and add-ons its for you to create custom portfolio pages and a booking calendar system.

Reception

A modern photography studio, much like any other business, also needs a storefront. This is your studio’s physical face, so it should be as welcoming as possible to attract prospective clients. The reception may also double up as your display area where you can feature some of your best work.

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