About studio photography

About studio photography

 Let's find out the way professional photographers create their masterpieces.

Not only a professional photographer, but also an ordinary person, looking at beautiful quality picture knows that there is a lot of work behind it. And it's not just about processing photos, but about the process of taking pictures. This article will tell you about this particular theme. By the way, how A Typical 'Portrait' Shoot [Behind The Scenes] goes on, look here

Many snapshots are made not in artificially created environment, but natural. Pictures of somewhere in the forest, where high trunks of trees create a little mysterious and even partly mystical atmosphere; in a field where each spikelet beautifully reeling due to the wind blows and  nothing is blocked the sun lights on their path; in the park, with beautiful lawns, fountains, children and dogs playing against the background; or just at home on your favorite comfortable couch - all these images are good in their own way and have their own atmosphere and idea.


 Often a photographer specifically selects such an environment for a suitable background, and sometimes the reason is that not every photographer can afford to have their own photo studio. But if you want to go to the next level, then you, as a professional, must have your own place, where it will be all your equipment and a team of people. Then the quality of your photos and the number of clients will rise immediately, believe me! Therefore, in this article you'll also find studio photography tips.

To convince you that the work at the studio will be more comfortable for you, let's look at some pictures.


The image above is finished, it is the final version of the photo, including processing and all the rest. Splashes of water create cute bokeh effect that make a photo light, warm, and even a little solemn. Hardly anyone who sees this photograph will be wondering, where these water droplets come from. And even if anyone do, they will probably think that it is started to drizzle or maybe a couple stands near the fountain so splashes  go everywhere.

But when we look at the original version of the photo, all of your possible guesses will vanish, because this situation someone hardly could imagine.  

What’s interesting is if this guy who splatters a water in a photo is a friend of the newlyweds, a team member of the photographer or even a random passerby? We will never know. 

By the way, if you look closely to the background, you can see that this place is popular with wedding photos. Therefore, you  have to come up with interesting new ideas in order to your picture somehow stand out among the others. 

The next picture is even more funny. 


Look at this beautiful girl. An image of cute girl from a small town, who is kind and naive is immediately come up in your head.  Well, or that she got out of the stuffy city somewhere in the forest, close to nature, that's why she is so happy in the picture. Who doesn't love green trees, singing birds and clear forest air?

But when we look at the image below, all our fantasies are disappeared. Here's how the “forest” looks like - just the green piece of pavement near to asphalt. You have to admire the photographer and the model - the picture looks very true to life. And also thank the person who processed this photo, because it is clear that there was a lot of work. I wonder what photo editing prices are for cases like this? Need to google it. 

Let’s move on.

The third picture will surprise you even more! Check it out.


Resourcefulness is what the author has in excess, that's for sure. Who would have thought that the cars in this image are toys? There is no doubt that it took a while for the photographer  to take this picture. Just choose the correct angle! Probably, to do this you need to know at least the basics of geometry or the laws of perspective. And model cars? They are stunning! It is seen immediately. It's not just baby toys, but collectibles.  

The last picture in this series - photo with food. 


The man who made it, had to think for a while. It is obvious that the photographer has no needed equipment such as light and special material for the background. Probably he or she had to wait until the afternoon light is the brightest. Although, we need to admit that picture is delicious and very tasty. 

How to make such a good photo with the help of photoshop you can learn here 2017 Best Photoshop tutorials on YouTube.

Even though some pictures demanded a departure to some place, but still it is obvious that  to have your own studio with all the necessary equipment and people is much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Studio photography is a "home" for a photographer. Here you will not prevent third-party people, the vagaries of weather or lack of lighting. In the studio you yourself set the shooting conditions and take those shots which you want.

But how and what studio select for rent? What of the equipment must be in the studio and what you should pay particular attention to?


On the site of any photographic studio there are all these characteristics, quantity and power devices, as well as available accessories. But how do you know whether these opportunities for your studio shooting are enough?

In fact, it is very simple. We just have to know what is photo studio and what settings you should pay attention to in the first place.

What you need to know about studio photography

1) Area

Area of photo studio it is the first thing you should pay attention to. Area must be bigger than 30 m². Thirty meters is enough if you plan to shoot portraits or subjects.

To take pictures of the person in full growth (focal length of 70 mm), you will need to move away for  about 5 meters.

In addition to the area it is important to pay attention to the height of the ceilings. Height must be at least 3 meters. If you are going to shoot jumping people, ceilings must be about 4 meters.

2) Equipment

The most important equipment in studio photography is a studio lighting.


Choosing a studio, it is important to pay attention to the three main characteristics of studio lighting:

1. Manufacturer of lighting fixtures

Light can be conditionally divided into two types:

Semi-professional: Reliable units, having all the necessary capabilities, which is more than enough for most photographers. This class represented by firms Rekam and Prograf.

Professional: These instruments differ from the semi-professional because of light fast speed, stability and more tuned colour temperature. In this class the most respected firms are Hensel and Bowens.


2. Power devices

Choose a studio, where power is 500 watt and more.

What does power devices? In short, the more powerful devices are in the studio, the more you will be able to close the aperture when shooting.

And you can also use large soft-boxes and other accessories that reduce the luminous flux, and require large capacities of lighting fixture. The better light in the studio, the better the picture will look like.

3. Number of devices in the studio

Number of light sources is no less important than their power. For subject shooting may be enough even two sources. But for a good portrait you will need three appliance (drawing, filling and light for the background). It is better if there are four or more light fixtures. For example, non-standard and interesting diagram light productions three devices are not enough.


Of course, you can use reflectors to compensate for the missing instruments. You can make a good photograph with two devices, if you work very hard.

But you pay for studio photography to get this freedom in opportunities. And without sufficient lighting, the space can be forgotten.

3. Nozzles 

In addition to the quality and quantity of luminaries in the studio, it is important to note what attachments are available to them.

Standard nozzles should look like this:

- Umbrellas (for clearance and for reflection)

- Softboxes (preferably 2-3: one of them - strip-box)

- Honeycomb

- Shutters, filters


In a good studio there are always additional attachments, such as:

- Beauty Dish

- Octoboxes

- big size softbox(120 to 180 sm and larger)


If you are going to shoot objects, check the availability at the studio of substantive table or substantive cube.

3) Backgrounds

Typically, each studio has a black, white, gray and a few colored backgrounds.

In addition, find out whether there are texture backgrounds there. It can be an abstract picture panels, wall-paper or imitation brick wall. Such backgrounds can make the diversity in your shot.

Some photographers build an entire interiors in their studio using interchangeable backdrops, floor coverings and furniture.

4) Construction


There exist two fastening systems of lighting fixtures in the studio:

- rack

 In fact, this is special tripod for the lights. The main disadvantage of devices on the racks is that it’s not very convenient to remove them. Another minus is the presence of the rack. Let's say you set the device with portrait plate opposite to a model and take pictures of her full face. In this case, the rack will always remind about yourself and you have to photograph from the side of the rack.

- Hanging system 

In such system, all the devices attached to a special "Rails" mounted on the ceiling. The main convenience of such system is that you can easily remove all lighting devices and, what is important, raise or lower them at almost any height. But, as a rule, such system is in only good, and therefore expensive, studios.


5) Props

What good about studio photography is that except of the light there is always props that studio gives free of charge: chairs, toys, outfits, hats and other wonderful things. Props in studios accumulates over time. Therefore, there is rather poor selecting of props in young studios. 

6) Features

And don't forget about convenience of the work. At least, there must be the dressing room and toilet. It is desirable that there is also a shower, especially if you take pictures of the body art.

Some studios offer the "wet shooting". In fact, it is installed directly in filming room shower.


If you want to make unusual nude photos or you simply like to experiment - "wet shooting" is exactly what you need. As a rule, for the opportunity to shooting in such a way, you will have to pay in excess of the rates for studio photography.

If you don't have your own camera with the synchronizer lighting, be sure to learn about the availability of it in the studio.  

Now there are a lot of suggestions about renting a studio. There are expensive professional studios, and there are small, but for more reasonable prices. But the most important thing is to decide what studio you need and then make your choice. Why overpay for equipment you don’t need, but also why save money by limiting yourself to the space to be creative? 

Well, these were studio photography tips relating to its acquisition. 

Now we'll talk about the hardware of your studio. How to work with the studio light? What nozzles on the devices exist and why use them? We'll tell you all what you need to know for effective work in the studio. 

So, we come to the studio. While your model is doing make-up, we are setting up the studio lighting. First, learn what types of devices exist.

Types of appliances

There are two types of lighting: flash and permanent.

Flash light

Used only in pictures. These devices emit a short but very powerful flash of light during the shutter of the camera. For communication between the lighting device and a camera the synchronizer is used, that we talk about later.

Permanent light 

Used in photo and video filming. Permanent light has two serious drawbacks: it consumes a lot of electricity and allocates huge amount of heat. That is, the person you're shooting, may literally be overheated. But, for example, permanent light is used very often in subject photography. 

Almost in all photography studios there is flash light. That is why if you want to shoot in the studio, first and foremost, you must learn how to work with flash light. Some may wonder why, as you can do of all this while processing in photoshop. For example, look at these pictures before and after retouch


It seems like there is enough light in the picture, but then why it looks like this? That's because the light here performs rather decorative role  than working one. If there was more light, mounted in front of the model, then you would not have to add so many light during processing. So let's continue the topic of lighting, which is hardly the primary topic for a photographer.  


As it was said before, you need to synchronize simultaneous triggering of lighting fixture and the camera shutter. In each device there is a mechanism that triggers a flash at the time of  discovery a impulse. Thus, it is enough for the camera to synchronize with a single appliance. Of course, synchronization doesn’t occurs in a moment. Minimum exposure time available during synchronization depends on the capabilities of the camera.

There are three types of the synchronizers:

- Synchro-cable

- IR transmitter 

- Radio-synchronization 

For synchronization, you can use the flash built into your camera. But to the light from the built-in Flash does not intervene in the frame, it is necessary to cover up the flash (you can do this simple with a sheet of paper), and in the settings of the camera put minimum power.

Synchronizing via built-flash is not a convenient way because it quickly discharges the battery. And the time it takes to recharge the internal flash becomes lost. You will not be able to quickly make several successful takes.

How to work with lighting


In different studios there are devices of different firms and their management and interfaces are differ considerably. So it is impossible to make a generic "instruction manual" lamps.

Hensel Pro is one of the most common lighting fixtures.

Attachment for lighting devices

The device itself is simply a source of light. To control the flow of light  nozzles on the devices is used. Using different nozzles, you can get the light you need.

Standard reflectors

- Reflector

Give hard directional light. Most often used in conjunction with honeycombs.

- Umbrella

Umbrella on clearance: umbrella gives soft and diffused light. Umbrellas come in two types — reflection and shoot-through.


- Softboxes

Softboxes are generally rectangular design that scatters light. Today most photographers work with softboxes when they want to get a soft, diffused light. Character of lighting softbox depends on its shape and size. Except usual rectangular softboxes, you can also select two separate and popular type of this attachment:

- Strip-boxes

Long softboxes, which length exceeds the width for several times. Strip-boxes are most commonly used for lighting models, as well as when shooting large subjects. Strip-boxes are perfect for creating long and narrow glare on reflective surfaces.

- Octoboxes 

Octagonal softboxes with big diameter. Used as a drawing light for group portraits. In portrait and subject filming they give round form of patch of reflected light in the eyes of the models or glare on shiny objects.


- Beauty Dish

Thanks to the constructive features of beauty dish the light is concentrated and soft at once. That is why this attachment use when shooting portraits. Also the effect of beauty dish can complement honeycombs or soft-nozzles.

- Background reflectors 

These attachments allow you to evenly illuminate the background, excluding light in the camera lens.

-Tube (also known as "spot") 

Attachment of tube has conical form.  It gives a chance to expose the light accents, highlighting a small detail of the scene with the light. You can direct all the light from the appliance at one point.


- Universal holders 

Holders mounted on the reflector, for the installation of additional accessories, for example filters, honeycomb.

- Honeycomb 

Kind of nozzles that has punctulated structure. It is used to obtain a beam of parallel rays. Honeycombs do not provide glare to lens aside and allow you to take pictures without the semi frosted shade luminaire.  Honeycomb also mimic sunlight. Just like the Sun, they give parallel rays.

- Color filters 

They change the color of the light beam. Unlike filters for lenses that effect the entire frame, nozzles are mounted on a separate headlamps. For example, you can put a red color-filter on lighting device and get an interesting red halo around models. How to get such an effect without purchasing special nozzles? Very simple,  post production services will help you with it.

Thanks to these studio photography tips abo light and about the equipment you've learned, what to do with studio after you bought it or rent. What will be the next step? Right, photos.

Sometimes photographers have to work very hard. Let's take a look at this picture.


The photo turned out to be a little sad, melancholic mood. On the other hand, it is possible that it’s on the contrary shows peace and comfort, as it is raining outside and inside is dry, warm and comfortable. 

There is no doubt that the photo below make you smile. Surely this unusual pose is not very comfortable and  a little ridiculous, but this model managed to make a serious face for picture. 

By the way, to find out how to make your photo popular on Instagram read this article Best hashtag photography for your portfolio

The next picture will make you not to smile, but to become hungry.


Often photographers take pictures of not just people, but also various items and food. Most often, these images are used in advertising. Of course, to make the food more appetizing, it is not only made more bright and colorful by using photo color correction services, but many other means. As you can see, to get this hot photo, its author used iron very creatively. Well, very nice!

But we have to admit that, still, most often in photography studios exactly models and willing clients are taken pictures of. So, let's look at a few photography rules for working with different types of faces and shapes.

Ideally, when you shoot portraits often, you eventually start to easily see the differences between feces and on a subconscious level, purely visual, choose the most suitable angle for one or another type of face. You may notice that the same perspectives suit for one type of people, but are totally unacceptable for other. Let's try to organize this information and make a small summary: what camera angles and lighting types fit one or other type. As well as this usually involves filming a shot of the face close-up, just by knowing this information you already do half the work, reducing time for headshot retouching.

So, usually faces classified as follows depending on the form:

- round face

It's type of face that is pretty hard to take picture of. Round face is characterized by the fact that it has almost the same length and width, and no pronounced cheekbones and sharp jawline. Even if a person has a good figure and if his or her face is  round, he or she looks more plump, so you should take picture of this person carefully. It is preferable to choose a side lightning, as it helps visually  make face more narrow. Perfect angle is the half-turn shot.


- trapezoidal face

Is characterized by a wide massive chin, cheekbones and weakly expressed cheekbones and narrowing of the forehead towards the vertex. It is advisable to ask for the model or stylist to do voluminous hairstyle that can visually align the face shape. Shooting rules in general are the same as for the round. Side lighting and half-turn angle will help to narrow down your chin.



In this case, angle from above is also good, as it  visually increases the upper part of the head and chin will look narrower, not so heavy. Never take pictures of people with tapered face from underneath it is even stronger increase chin and narrow forehead.


- triangular face

This type of face shape is very similar to a triangle with a vertex, turned down. It is characterized by a broad forehead and a narrow bottom, with expressed line of chin and pronounced cheekbones. This type of face is simple enough for shooting. There are only a few restrictions. It is better not to choose a camera angle from above as triangular face with this corner shooting will look disproportionate and somehow "alien". Smooth front lighting will look good when shooting a triangular type because that face always looks very thinly and cute due to its shape.


- rectangular and square face

These types of faces are characterized by distinct forehead, cheekbones and sharp jawline. The width of the chin and forehead roughly coincide. Because of it the face looks a little bit angular. Rectangular face look more longer, while the square, akin to the round, has roughly equal height and width. These types of face is favorite for trendsetters of recent decades, they are very often can be seen on the catwalks, as they look very "Graphic" and sharp.  

For this type of face perfectly suit "fashion" lighting schemes, including the famous "butterfly", also known as "Hollywood" scheme. In this diagram, the light source is situated frontally, just little above the head of  model, and  because of it produces symmetrical shade under the nose that resembles a butterfly. Also cheekbones and jawline is clearly outlined by light.

For face with expressed cheekbones you can safely experiment with angles, that pay attention to the chin, including angle from below that will look excellent. Side lightning also look good  because it creates harsh shadows on the face, including the cheekbones.


- oval face

It is considered a benchmark, because it has ideal proportions. This type is rare found in its purest form, most often this face shape tends to look like one o another of the other types. If you happen to shoot a model with an oval face - enjoy and experiment!


- elongated face

This type of person is characterized by long shape, width of cheekbones, chin and forehead is approximately the same, the forehead is usually high, chin rounded, but there are exceptions.


For this type of person is better to use steady lighting and refuse from lateral, which is visually lengthen your face even more. Such a face is better to shoot a full-face or a little above that visually reduce it.  For this type of face hairstyle with fringe is perfect, but if model hasn’t fringe, suggest her wear a hat for shooting, or form a composition so that part of the face will be covered with hair and part with hands.

Knowing all these nuances, it will be much easier for you to do portrait retouch.


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