Avoid buying the wrong photography equipment, or worse, not having something that’s needed. Knowing what equipment to keep in your photography studio will help you produce amazing photoshoots while growing your photography business.
eosdoc.com gathered information on essential photography studio equipment and why it is so necessary to have on-hand.
What Equipment Do You Need as a Photographer?
Anyone with experience operating a photography studio can attest that the right equipment correctly used can convert a tedious photoshoot into an exciting professional photography studio session. The following are considered essential photography equipment:
A tripod is a three-legged support designed to stabilize a camera. Cameras are mounted to a tripod, also referred to as “sticks,” to eliminate motion and subsequent blur. Tripods utilize a fluid head, allowing the camera to smoothly pan left and right or tilt up and down.
Photography light stands support custom lighting arrangements that bring film and photography projects to life. It takes a variety of tools and accessories to support heavy and expensive lighting equipment.
Monolights usually have variable output settings for full, half, and quarter power. One of the monolight’s most valuable features is a modeling light that allows you to preview the flash’s intensity and effects.
There are two kinds of light meters; incident and reflective. An incident light meter measures all the light illuminating a subject. Incident light meters help a camera focus on a subject regardless of how light or dark the surrounding background is. Like the standard ones in cameras, a reflective light meter measures the intensity of light reflected off of a subject.
A softbox is an enclosure designed to fit around a light source, such as a flash tube or halogen lamp. Its reflective interior intensifies the light output and projects it through the front diffusion screen.
A reflector is a tool that helps a photographer manipulate light by providing another surface for the light to bounce off of. Reflectors are inexpensive tools (can be made from cardboard and tin foil) that can significantly influence the outcome of your images.
Gaffer’s tape, also known as gaff tape, is a “cloth tape” with a strong adhesive. While it’s used on show stages to label and secure wiring, indicate marks and position, and for quick repairs, photographers can get a lot of use out of it as well.
Clamps are versatile tools that temporarily hold work and equipment securely in place. They are used for many applications, including carpentry, woodworking, furniture making, welding, construction, metalworking, and photography studios.
Tip: If you run out of clamps, strong clothes pins can temporarily be used in their place.
Using fans to blow hair is one of the most effective ways to add movement and depth to a portrait or headshot. The fan can be positioned on the ground, aiming upward at your subject, and once the fan is in the best place and turned on, all that’s left is to shoot.
Wireless Remote Triggers
Wireless flash triggers permit your camera to communicate with a flash without a physical connection. This allows the flash to fire perfectly timed with the photograph. Typically, wireless flash triggers come in two parts; a transmitter on the camera and a receiver on the flash.
Selecting backdrops is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to add depth, personality, and style to your photography and videos. Whether you are shooting portraits or products, the backdrop behind your subject can significantly enhance your image.
Tip: Avoid busy backgrounds. Cluttered backgrounds are distracting and draw attention away from the subject.
Props can be anything used to better support and add meaning to the main subject in a photo. With portrait photography, a prop enhances the subject and gives the viewer more context.
Tip: Portrait props can add elements of fiction to conceptual photography.
Computer and Printer
An often underrated but essential piece of equipment in a photography studio is a computer and printer. Your computer should be loaded with your editing software and enough memory to avoid sluggish operation or freezing. The printer should be multi-purpose, able to handle contract and receipt printing, as well as high-quality photo printing.
Tip: Due to the often high quantity of images, an external hard drive (2TB minimum) should be used to archive photos. This will save your computer’s memory in the long run.
Photo Editing Software
Canva and Pixlr are excellent browser-based photo editing choices for beginners. Photoscape X and Adobe Lightroom are user-friendly for offline photo editing. However, DxO PhotoLab, Adobe Lightroom, and Portrait Pro are among the most highly rated and preferred software for professional photographers. Other options include:
- Skylum Luminar AI
- Adobe Photoshop
- ON1 Photo RAW
- Corel PaintShop Pro
- Serif Affinity Photo
- ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
Note: Depending on your skill level, experience, and software familiarity, you can produce spectacular images with even the most basic photo editing software.
Whether you build your own website or use an existing platform, a photography studio must have a website to advertise its skills and quality. This is where you will develop your online portfolio to introduce your talent to the world. Some platforms that can be used to get you started include:
- Adobe Portfolio
Note: Online shopping for products and services has experienced a surge in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, and consumers continue searching the web for what they want.
Tip: Hire a company specialized in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help you leverage technology to gain more business.
As a beginner photographer looking to control the visual effects of photography, you will need a camera with optional manual settings and the ability to change lenses, effects filters, lens cleaner, spare batteries, a tripod, a camera bag, and a high-capacity SD card.
Photography Studio Equipment
In this article, you discovered information about the most essential photography studio equipment, including some valuable pro tips.
Getting the right equipment for your photo studio will make your shoots go faster, produce higher quality images, and significantly improve your customer’s experience.
Using the wrong equipment, or not having what you need, can result in inferior quality images or cost you your reputation when you are trying to get started.