Having a home photography studio space can be very convenient however, there are certain realities that must be taken into account. Whether you have a retail photo studio or a home photography studio, it still will function as a photography studio and have the needs and demands of a photography studio.
If you choose to do a home photography studio then your "home" will still need proper living space so you can still have a home life. There must be a balance and separation between home life and workspace.
Having and designing a home photography studio comes with understanding just what a home studio entails. It is not just about privacy and access to natural light. A home photography studio space will require you to think and plan well in advance.
There is no question that the up-fitting of a home photography studio space will cost money. There will need to be a budget or the money saved and convenience gained by having this work life and workspace in your home will be wasted.
Plan your photography business and the space it will need. You will be happy you designed your photography studio space and photo studio well in advance of choosing a home photography studio location.
Do not try to save space here, as this is not where you will gain convenience. You will still need all the studio items and space that every professional studio space requires. This will require you to budget and spend money on everything from your meeting area to the studio itself.
Remember this is where you will operate your photography business and photography career. Preplanning your studio means you have thought about open space for taking pictures, focal length, reflective surfaces, the best light scenarios for ambient light and artificial lighting, and that each area will get as much space as needed.
You may have to change a smaller room into the correct studio space by removing walls or adding an addition. Small spaces are ok for storage or an office however for your studio setup with professional equipment and a studio environment, you will need space to work.
Without planning and budgeting, you could end up with a small photography studio that overlaps your home life. You may not have planned for enough floor space for things like studio lights with wide light stands, enough wall space to show your portrait photography, or light modifiers that can take up a huge amount of studio space.
Remember you will need room for both family and your home studio business and room so these two important elements of your life do not overlap. Photographers and family can co-exist however not every second of the day. You all need a break and time to be just family and to do just your photography business or a shoot.
With that said, you shoot in one room and it should always be for that purpose only. You will set up and light that room for portrait photography. The area where you do each shoot should be off-limits to your family unless asked to be a subject or assistant.
Light does not just refer to lighting equipment or flash units. Light is light and it affects all areas that a client enters. Each room or area must have professional lighting equipment. I consider proper light for our wall art part of lighting equipment.
Think about the ambient light in each space. Lighting the room with a beautiful chandelier and/or spotlight options can create an ambient light that is appealing to the client and also lead them in specific directions for the purpose of selling or guidance. You will also want to control your lighting so you can set the correct mood.
Light also means studio lighting equipment. If the only options are smaller spaces for your camera room, you will need to make some decisions about light stands, a compact good tripod, light modifiers, and other important camera equipment.
These small studios spaces usually have low ceilings and that must be taken into consideration as well. You may have to invest in wall mounts for lighting and light modifiers that are not tall.
Do not let this discourage you. Simply plan for what you can afford and get busy. You can still create great artwork and run your photography business and photography career out of a small studio space. It can beat renting a studio and eliminate commute time completely. You will take back control of your life and time.
Now, with that said, you still must create, present and sell within your in-home photography studio. You must properly present each photo and run your business effectively while raising your family. Remember, even small studios are still a business.
If you choose or have no other option than working with a small studio space, then you will have to accept the fact there will be some challenges. Equipment storage will be one of them. Wall space and studio space will be another. In most cases, this still beats renting though. (not in all cases).
As with any photo studio, storage or photography equipment is greatly affected by the availability of space. Small spaces may be good for light storage options such as studio files. Your business and home studio will demand that you have proper storage and be very organized.
I have seen many photographers in home studios, with no space to keep light stands, camera gear, speed lights, etc. Photo studios such as these generally did not plan on just how much space they were going to need.
The home photography studio, whether it is your own studio or a rental studio, will need floor space for storage. This is simply a must or your will be tripping over your photography equipment even when using natural light. Your clients will see this and it will be to your detriment.
You will also not want a storage area to double as a room where clients change outfits. All photographers and photography business owners whether renting or owning, need a place to store their camera gear and know that every light is in a safe and secure place.
Professional photographers know that every shoot will become that much easier and more professional when their camera gear is organized. They know where their camera bodies, lenses, and every light are stored.
It will be very important for you to focus on the limited wall space in a home photography studio. Each wall will have a designated purpose to show your photography and lead your clients to specific areas and thought.
Look carefully where natural light is putting a blanket light over an entire wall. Natural light, while great for portrait photography, is not great for showing specific artwork in a gallery fashion. Learn to use the wall areas where there is too much natural light for collage presentation, not individual art pieces.
Your studio setup includes how you utilize your walls and will provide the resulting image of your brand to a client.
One of the biggest advantages is the convenience of having a studio right at your fingertips. You can set up and work whenever you want, without having to travel to a separate location. This saves time and energy.
Building a studio at home can be more cost-effective in the long run. You can avoid expensive rental fees for external studio spaces, which can be a significant financial burden for many photographers, especially those starting out.
Having a home studio gives you complete control over the space. You can design and customize it to suit your specific photography needs. You can experiment with different lighting setups, backdrops, and props without any restrictions, allowing for greater creative freedom.
Working in your own space provides a sense of privacy and comfort. You can work at your own pace without distractions or interruptions from other photographers or clients. This can help create a relaxed and focused environment, especially for portrait or boudoir photography.
Your equipment and props are readily available, allowing for quick and easy setup. You don't need to worry about transporting and setting up your gear for each shoot, as everything is within reach.
Depending on the size of your home, you may have limited space available for a studio. This can be a challenge if you require a large shooting area or if you plan to accommodate multiple clients at once. It might also limit your ability to experiment with certain setups or backdrops.
If you live in a noisy neighborhood or have neighbors in close proximity, noise can be an issue. Photography sessions often involve equipment like flashes, fans, or background music, which may cause disturbance to your household or neighbors.
Having a studio at home can blur the line between your personal and professional life. It may be challenging to establish clear boundaries, especially if you have family or roommates sharing the space. The constant presence of your work can make it difficult to unwind and relax.
While a home studio provides convenience, it may limit the variety of locations available for shoots. Some clients may prefer outdoor or on-location shoots, which may not be possible in a home studio. This can limit your clientele and the types of projects you can undertake.
Depending on the type of photography you do, there may be safety concerns associated with having a studio at home. For instance, if you work with chemicals, flammable materials, or large equipment, you need to ensure proper ventilation, fire safety measures, and security to protect your home and loved ones.
Ultimately, the decision to have a photography studio at home depends on your specific circumstances, preferences, and the type of photography you specialize in. It's important to weigh the pros and cons to determine what will work best for you and your photography business.