Leanne Knuist Photography

What you need to set up a photography studio

It’s time to set up your first studio but what type of lights are best for your style and more importantly — your wallet? See the comparisons, benefits, and drawbacks of flash and continuous lighting. Start on the right foot and get the right type of gear for your studio. The professional wisdom you need to avoid making costly mistakes when deciding on what studio lights to buy.


  1. Space

The area you want to set up your studio is a very important factor. This will determine what size backdrop will be able to fit in the space and how many lights you can comfortably put in your studio. 


  1. Backdrop

The most popular backdrop, is a white backdrop. If you want to shoot families you need to look at a 3.2x6m backdrop. You need the width to comfortably pose a family. When shooting portraits only, a smaller backdrop can be used. You get different types of backdrops: Paper, PVC, Material, and Velvet


  1. Lights

You require at least 2 lights in your studio, a main and a fill-in light to fill in the shadows from the main light. You can use 1 light with a reflector to fill in the shadows. Depending on what you are photographing this will then determine which lights are best suited for your needs.

Any type of Photography – Studio Strobe lights or Speedlights

Newborns – Continuous LED lights

Video – Continuous Lights


  1. Triggers

Triggers are used with Studio strobes and speed lights to trigger the light once you push the shutter. The trigger on the camera sends a receiver on the light to flash once you push the shutter button.


  1. Portability

You need to think ahead and determine if you are setting up just in your studio, or will you be moving around with your gear. If you are going to be mobile with your studio, you need to look at the size and weight of your gear. You need to keep in mind someplace you won’t have electricity and in that case, battery-operated lights would make more sense.


  1. Versatility

What are you photographing? Are you a wedding photographer/studio photographer/ outdoor photographer? If you are all of the above get a lighting system that accommodates all of your shoots. No point in getting studio lights and speedlights. Speedlights and battery-operated lights can be used both indoors and outdoors. 


Look at these key factors before buying cheap lights or spending money on gear that will not provide for your needs. 


Here I am setting up a grey backdrop with 1x Queenie ring light and 1x 60x60cm Fluorescent softbox

All gear is used from Camerastuff. If you are from South Africa this is the shop you need to go to! 

Amazon – If you are outside of SA, Amazon has everything you need.
Ring light – https://amzn.to/3xTVDve
Ring Light – https://amzn.to/3kDWNHd

Fluorescent studio lights – https://amzn.to/3eCuzsM
Fluorescent studio lights – https://amzn.to/3eCxP7g

Backdrop stand – https://amzn.to/3Bk6i4p
Backdrop stand – https://amzn.to/2Uytvz8

Tripod – https://amzn.to/3iKlW0H

My shop of choice is Camerastuff.

 Follow the link for amazing products!


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