Hey, you. Yeah, you. The one with the camera. Do you have a window in your house? Do you have a wall? How about a sheet or big piece of fabric? Guess what? You can set up an in-home studio and take great pictures at home!
Now let’s not get crazy thinking this “studio” is going to make you a millionaire. It’s not. But depending on how many kids you have in school, it can save you a few bucks in school picture money. Or what about taking pictures of your brand new baby? Or getting a shot of your kids to frame for Father’s Day?
Or you and your girlfriends want a group shot before one of you moves to China? Not that that’s happened to me or anything. Except, yes it did. Our bestie moved and we missed her.
I use this set up whenever I take newborn shoots in my home. I also used this to take this shot here:
This is also a great way to take SMALL group shots when the weather is yucky outside. For the sake of showing you that you can get great pictures SOOC (straight out of camera), all my pictures are unedited unless I specify otherwise.
Let me show you how to set up your studio.
In Home Photography Studio
Find a big window.
Note a time of day when the room is fully lit, but not full of direct harsh sunlight. For me and this east facing window, it’s around 9:30 – 10am.
Find a wall near but not directly against the window.
If you have to move a couch or table to get that empty wall, go for it. As long as it’s not a piano, it can always be moved right back.
Tape or hang up an ironed sheet or large piece of fabric.
Have the subject sit at least 12 inches away from the wall. Two to three feet would be better, depending on how much room you have.
If they are sitting directly against it, there will be shadows. And the background will be nice and sharp.
You don’t want that. You want it to be artistically blurry.
And that’s about it. Check your camera settings to ensure that you’re operating on the best settings for the amount of light you have. Make sure you can’t see the top of the backdrop in the picture.
Change your backdrop if you feel like it. Grab a white sheet and a willing (or not so willing) subject.
Swap it for a black one if you like that better.
And just snap away! Starting with better pictures means less time editing.
If you don’t have photo editing software, you can do plenty on free editing sites, like PicMonkey. (There are tons! That’s just the one I use the most.)
An in home studio won’t always assure you get smiles…
…but it does mean that you’ll be ready for them if/when they do come! What’s your favorite photo tip for taking great pictures?