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Your 1st Home Studio Setup

Last Updated on July 2, 2021 by Devaun Lennox

What is going on my friends so today we’re actually gonna talk about considerations when it comes to shooting at home especially for you guys that are shooting in a let’s say 800 square foot apartment maybe less depending what you guys have or just a one or two bedroom apartment what kind of considerations should you guys really be shooting because I got a lot of miss and free information about this myself definitely caught another rabbit hole love of the spending money and getting things that I definitely should not have been getting which is totally fine you know it’s all good as definitely learning experience but I want to make sure that you guys don’t make those same mistakes you know save you guys money absolutely and just just make it just way easier

So the biggest things a lot of apartments have very low ceilings now if you’re specifically looking to shoot in a setting where you’re actually gonna be shooting at home and this is something I didn’t think about if you want to shoot at home in this in an apartment saying what you should definitely consider doing is trying to find an apartment on the second floor that has vaulted ceilings now that’s not something I thought about even in my current current apartment now I didn’t think about that so a lot of the apartments here in Las Vegas where we’re located

they have eight-foot ceilings on the ground floor that’s just a standard now not every single apartment will have eight-foot standard 8-foot some ceilings at like eight-foot ceilings as their as their height but that is a standard here in this part of the part of the country that we live in so however a lot of apartments do on the second floor they have they have vaulted ceilings they had pitched roofs they’re not always flat I didn’t know that until I started kind of driving around Las Vegas and then I happen to see some of these places now if I had to solve those a

couple months ago before I moved may have been a different situation but I didn’t know that was available so if you’re if you’re in a situation where like okay like I just want to shoot in my apartment just have my clients come over or my friends come over just do suit basic studio or fashion editorial work but I just want to do it at home because it’s way more convenient it’s cheaper you don’t have to rent out the studio they come right to you it’s super cool you know you could have like wine you can like food is microwave there you can add your own music like

there’s AC I mean dude it’s sick right it’s awesome there’s definitely some benefits there but at the same time you have to make sure from a space standard that you have the required length and dimensions and that’s something I wasn’t thinking about so when you’re looking for spaces things to consider what kind of lenses are you guys shooting with for me as a as a fashion and portrait and editorial photographer I use the 50 I use an 85 and I use a 100 millimeter at some point I will get a 135 but right now because of those lenses especially if I want to use

mostly the 85 millimeter it means that I have to have at least a living room if we’re gonna shoot in the living room that’s at least 20 feet in in length not net not to mention with but just in length to get a roughly a 3/4 shot maybe a full body and also depends how far away the model their subject is from the background typically my subjects tend to be about 5 feet to 6 feet away from the background and then it’s 20 feet from that at that point to get full body if you’re not shooting full body don’t really worry about the living room being 25 feet in length but if

you’re shooting full body with an 85 millimeter that’s gonna kind of be one of considerations so what what you should do when you’re looking at apartments bring your camera literally or looking at homes bring your camera like like what I did personally is like I wore shoes that I actually measured what the tape measured the the length of so that when I was stepping in the apartment I was actually secretly doing a blueprint and I actually like use a sticky note and I wrote the blueprints down so I know what the width was I know what the length was and I also

knew what the height was and that allowed me to to figure out okay how am I actually gonna be able to shoot in this space because ultimately was looking for a space that can actually shoot in if I can’t shoot in the space that I’m in right now it was totally pointless is she’s a waste time because it would just be a regular partner which is fine but if you want to shoot in a space that you’re living and kind of had it be multi multiple purpose that’s something to consider so what you can do is just measure measure your shoes or whatever bring a tape measure with

you I did that too to actually measure the dimensions of the apartment the actual height the actual length the actual width and then bring your camera if you’re shooting a 50 millimeter lens for example and you want to do full-body you won’t need as much space if you’re shooting with a 35 you’ll need even less space those are the kind of consideration it depends what you guys are shooting when you’re shooting at home if you want to shoot at home portraits and at home studio work and at home beauty but that’s those are the considerations to look into so

now as far as modifiers and picking the right lights that you guys will need in that environment a lot of a lot of apartments especially here on the west coast they don’t have great lighting so you’re gonna need to at least get a some kind of suit your strobe unless you want to shoot continuous but if you’re gonna shoot with studio to strobe and I’ve done both I’ve done both the continuous and studio strobe you will need to get a light that has at least 200 I would say minimum 150 watt seconds but ideally 250 watt seconds or above now that’s more specific if

you’re doing full-body if you’re not doing full-body the 150 watt second light and there’s plenty of options available 150 watt second light is gonna be more than enough light now it depends if you’re gonna be just using that one light are you gonna be using as a model like a modeling light as well how are you gonna be lighting that not every light has very strong modeling lights so that’s something to consider ideally get a modeling light that’s at least hundred fifty watts as well the one that I started out with was 203 watt seconds and had a 250 watt

second modeling light as well which is really bright for a apartment setup it’s it’s fantastic you’ll need one of those it works great that’s definitely something to consider now as far as getting the actual modifiers outside of just getting a light what you need to consider is that if you’re gonna get a 5-foot umbrella it’s not gonna work I have a five-foot umbrella we are shooting with the five-foot umbrella it is way too big it works great from a video purpose but from full-body and and especially doing full body it’s the we can’t put the modifier high enough for it to

actually be properly at the the head height needed to illuminate the subjects the way that we see with natural light it always means that the majority of the light is gonna fall at the person at the subjects chest or below and we don’t want that ideally you want your modifiers at least a high level like the bottom of the modifier at eye level or higher so that the shadows are casted down and I didn’t know that when I was I started shooting and I started looking into modifiers I was like oh what gives me the soft it’s my light that’s the cheapest umbrellas I didn’t know

that so I ended up buying a seven foot and I ended up buying a five foot umbrella and those yeah they’re cheap and they’re great modifiers but they’re actually made for people that have studios or at least 10 foot ceilings I have 8 foot ceilings so I can’t put them high enough the only benefit of having a modifier that big is is if you’re you’re doing mostly beauty work in the model is sitting down like on a bench that I’m sitting down on right now for example that’s the only time because now the modifiers actually properly positioned right now we’re shooting

with the 5 foot impact umbrella that’s probably about 50 60 bucks and then you get a little does the diffuser layer to take $100 modifier it’s super cheap great light but at the same time it doesn’t make any sense when I was trying to shoot full-body the biggest recommendation that can give you guys is use a beauty dish use a 3 by 4 foot softbox use a 3 3 foot octopops maybe a 5 foot octa box maybe key word there maybe a 5 foot ox box that’s probably pushing it if you’re getting a 5 5 foot or larger modifier in a 8 foot ceiling situation it’s not gonna work it

mean it’s not you’re never gonna be able to put it high enough if you’re shooting full-body if you’re shooting beauty and you’re shooting just portraits where people are sitting down it should still be fine but ideally just 3 foot the beauty dish works great the 3 by 4 foot softbox will be good 3 by 4 foot it’s kind of pushing it and then a 3 foot octave banks or a 3 foot octa box those all work really great there’s great examples of that on B&H and some of the other providers will provide some links and stuff like that we’ll probably do an article on and our blog as well

just kind of help you guys be able to find some of those resources but those are the biggest considerations so ideally when you guys are looking into this stuff consider how high you can actually put the modifier the top of the modifier so that where the light is actually going to be that’s why I stress the importance of making sure the modifiers aren’t too big yes you’re gonna have a little bit more fall off because you don’t have a big model like a modifier which is kind of the caveat but you can also use multiple lights and you can like the the bottom of the

subject in the face separately and that’s something I didn’t know I can do and I totally fell victim to that because I got the big modifier and it just it I mean I made it work but I had to use a lot of post-processing to actually fix the bad light and I want you guys to avoid that in the beginning because I didn’t there wasn’t a lot of YouTube videos I’m shooting at home but we I definitely want to make it that an example that you guys can do that that you can get great results and that you can get you know publishable content at home but at the same time the way

that you go about that has to be has to be clear I don’t want you guys to go through the the struggle that I went to over the last two years of just buying stuff and not using stuff and buy more stuff and not be using more stuff so I want you guys to avoid that so biggest things just as the final kind of closing type thoughts and tips just make sure that you are measuring the dimensions of the apartment writing those out bringing your camera bringing the lens that you shoot with and then and then making sure you’re getting modifies the fires that will will be able

to fit the the ceiling height and then also fit the dimension of the room itself like my living room right here we’ve got about 15 feet by 10 feet of just nothing so I’m using a c-stand right now and I’m using some palsy buff equipment and you know we have some some wheels caster wheels so like that I can actually move this whole thing around my my living room now not every living room or you know bedroom or wherever you plan on shooting in your apartment is going to be situated that way some of them are gonna have very awkward shapes which is

gonna make it difficult for you guys at home so think about that stuff when you’re when you’re looking at apartments and you’re you’re checking out different places and go with the space that you can actually you have the most freedom in terms of moving not only the backdrops and the subject and then also shooting the dimensions that you need outside of that when it comes to shooting at home as well as far as seamless paper if you’re gonna be shooting and then like a nine-foot seamless it’s gonna be pretty tough I’m gonna be honest with you unless

you’re gonna be using Auto pulse by Manfrotto if you’re using typical backdrops and it’s gonna take up a lot of room and it may not fit unless you have a very large witty living room so I would definitely encourage you guys to shoot on the smaller seamless –is one they’re cheaper and two they’ll actually fit in an apartment setting personally for me I use the five foot and I use the seven foot those work perfectly fine in my apartment even with typical backdrops and I used Manfrotto Auto poles now just because I don’t want the backdrop stands to kind of

spread out but that’s also another consideration making sure your backdrop drops or your seamless or your your on if your student would like you know any other kind of fabrics or whatever you want to use making sure all that stuff can actually fit as well but that kind of wraps up today’s video we got some awesome content kind of coming out as always you know with every video you guys know what to do I know you know what to do so the the subscribe button is right down here the description with some some fat saturated information is gonna be right

down there check out our website up here more great content coming soon we got a lot of content we got a lot of information that kind of help you guys out and you know absolutely leave a comment in the description we review and we look at every comment send us an email if you want more information we’re open to doing whatever videos the videos are gonna help you guys the most doing whatever blog posts and in talking about whatever topics that you guys want us to talk about that’ll be the most valuable and most beneficial for you guys starting out until next time my friends

Photo of author

Devaun Lennox

I'm a fashion, beauty, and commercial photographer turned impromptu photojournalist. Based in Las Vegas, my images are graphic, bold, and full-on contrast.