Photo Studio Equipment: Top Essential Items For a Start-Up 

A home studio is the dream of many professional and novice photographers alike. Indeed, it’s like an artist’s studio; no matter how good your photography skills are, it’s a great place to experiment and actively develop your photographic skills.

The first thing you need for a photo studio is a room. You can also rent a room specifically for photographic purposes. On a tight budget, you can adapt your own living space for a studio. The first thing you’ll need to do is make the room as uncluttered as possible. The more space you have at your disposal, the better.

Since artificial light is a major element, you need to limit the amount of natural light that can enter the studio. Of course, it can be of benefit, but photographers want to be able to minimize the effect of artificial light. Dense, dark curtains on the windows are a good solution.

The ideal color for the walls of the room is black or all-white. But if it is impossible or too difficult to create such conditions, at least avoid walls (wallpaper or paint) in saturated colors. This recommendation should be followed because light takes on the hue of the surface from which it is reflected.  You will also need a tripod. You can check out the best tripods for photography on Skylum`s blog.

Studio equipment

The amount and quality of equipment vary, depending on the level of the studio. But even the simplest studio should have a minimum set.

So, what a studio should have:

  • Lighting equipment;
  • Various attachment;
  • Backdrops;
  • Interior areas;
  • Props.

Lighting equipment

The key to a successful shoot is quality light. In studios, you can work with natural light, but in the absence of natural light or its inadequate quality (for example in the evening), you can only shoot with artificial sources. Sometimes there are also cases when the photographer has decided that there should be no natural light in the picture. Then, if windows are available, they are covered with dense curtains and studio lighting equipment is used. 

Studio light can vary in several ways:

Number of equipment

In the simplest photo studios, a photographer may only have one softbox at his or her disposal. Of course, for some types of photography, it is enough. But it is better to have at least three types of lighting in the studio: background, drawing, and fill light. This way, a professional will be able to create high-quality lighting schemes and custom lighting options for his or her creative ideas. If a photographer needs several light sources, it is important to clarify their number before booking the studio and choosing a suitable shooting space;

Types of equipment

Light in studios can be semi-professional or professional. For a novice, a photographer is enough semi-professional equipment. It works reasonably well with most projects. Professional equipment is defined by a subtlety of color temperature adjustment, fast operation (charging speed), and stability in any situation. For important commercial photography it is best to choose a photo studio with professional equipment;


The higher the power, the better. In any case, it should not be less than 500 Watts. The power of your equipment affects to what extent you will be able to close your iris and how comfortable it will be to use additional nozzles and other attachments. After all, when you use them, the light flux is weakened. Good power of devices saves the day;

Availability of nozzles

Professional photo studios provide photographers not only with standard lights but also with different types of attachments that can be used with them. These include umbrellas, honeycombs, softboxes, octoboxes, filters, and portrait plates. A good photo studio should also have reflectors that help improve the light pattern by getting rid of harsh shadows.


In addition to the main backgrounds and interiors, there are additional paper backdrops in photo studios. These are usually white, black, and grey. But there are also more extended sets of different colors, as well as imitations of different textures and even landscapes. In this case, the photographer can shoot a varied series just by changing the background.


This is also an important parameter when choosing a photo studio. After all, props help to relax the model and diversify the shots. Possible items include portable ladders, mirrors, illuminated stars and hearts, candles, a Christmas tree, soft toys, prop flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Some studios offer items of clothing and carnival costumes. But you usually have to pay extra for them. The more years the studio has been in operation, the more props you can find in it.

Additional tips

What do you need for interior photography?

 Photo studios are divided into simple and interior studios. The latter include spaces with temporary and permanent interiors. They can be located in different halls (in which case you have to pay for the rental of each one separately) or in one room divided into themed shooting zones.

These are halls decorated in a particular style. The most common styles are loft, high-tech, minimalist, and art nouveau.

Children`s interiors in photographic studios

Such rooms should have lots of toys, balloons, and miniature furniture. It is great if the photo studio has a themed area based on a fairy tale. For example, “Cinderella” or “Alice in Wonderland”. This makes it easier for the photographer to think about the shoot, and all that remains is to explain to the characters how they should dress and make interesting subject shots.

The equipment and backdrops a studio have to offer to determine the success of your future photo shoot. There should be at least one source of artificial light in any photo studio. The more there is, the better the photographer will be able to realize his or her vision.

You can find information about the best tripods for photography on Skylum`s blog. This will be very useful for any type of photography.

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