Home Studio Setup

June 16, 2013  •  3 Comments

A question I am often asked when people want a portrait session in the comfort of their own home is, "Is my room big enough?" So, I thought I'd write a blog post to give you an idea of the area I need to work in. Here is a pull-back shot from a recent portrait session in a clients kitchen. All we did was move the dining table out of the way, and I had enough room.

home-studio In terms of size, I need at least 7' height, 8' width and ideally 8' depth. Depth being the distance from the back of the background, to where I stand with my camera. Ideally I need a hard floor, or fairly thin carpet.

The image above shows the setup for a 'head and shoulders only' portrait. The image below shows what can be achieved with a setup similar to above. Please note, an additional light was used to produce the image below but similar results are possible with the setup above.

Father and Daughter


If you wanted a full length image, I'd need slightly more depth to accommodate the vinyl floor. The diagram below shows a typical setup of a full length portrait image. diagram-vinyl

The image below shows a typical full length shot;

Finally, I need at least one mains plug socket in the room where I will setup my equipment.

If you are still unsure, feel free to contact me to discuss other options.


Martin Pawlett Photography
Thanks Bill, all the lights I use are Bowens Gemini. On the actual hilite are Bowens GM400's and at the front are Bowens GM500's. The photo shows a Bowens softball, and I also use an umbrella to camera left to fill in the shadows.

If you take a look at http://www.martinpawlett.co.uk/blog/2013/7/carl-gottlieb - I used a single GM500 light to camera left and a reflector camera right to get these results for an athlete - and the black highlight cover for the background attached to the lighting stands and a Manfrotto crossbar.

Hope that helps!
Bill Pruitt(non-registered)
sorry, my email is below
Bill Pruitt(non-registered)
nice setup with natural lighting. I was wondering what the lights are on each side in back of the backdrop are and what they do. Is the light in front, just softbox on top pic? I want to keep it very simple and use a soft box and a reflector on one side. Primarily doing athletic photos of muscles. Thank you.
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