Beauty shots

No Studio? No Problem – Create your photography studio anywhere.

Shot you see in the banner of this article has been shot in a very tight hotel room space with one profoto b1x and , a reflector working as the background for the image. Buying your own professional photography studio can be a big investment specially for beginner level photographers. In the beginning of your photography career , when every investment matters , buying a photography studio is not a good idea. Obviously there are studios available on rent but that also effects the shooting budget . So my suggestion for all of you who does not own a studio or not planning owning one right now, is to utilise whatever resources you have and create your best images. Now the question is how ? And what you will need ?

Obviously having your own photography studio has lot of benefits, but that does not mean not having one should stop you. When I started my career as a fashion photographer, i remember shooting everywhere. I have shot on terrace, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, open spaces, everywhere. Initially, mostly i was shooting in my hall on a white wall, with the basic flash system. You can even shoot with the natural lights, but my preference is always the flashes. Because with flashes , I have more control on the direction and quality.

 What will I need to create my photography studio on location ?

  • Flash system

 You can not ignore the important of artificial lights, if you are planning to work on location. Flash systems give you good control over the ambient lights and let you create your own direction of the lights.

 Many time it happens when you are shooting on location, you needed to control the ambient lights for the exposure or may be over power them . Specially if you are shooting in the room full of tungsten lights, you do not want your flash and your ambient light mixup together and mess your white balance up for the shots. You can use any flash from those basic manual flash guns ( 40$ ) to high end studio lighting systems ( 4000$ ) . It is all about having an artificial light which you can control.


  •   Stands 

If you are a lonely wolf, working alone most of the time. Then you definitely will need lots of stands for your lighting setup. I personally feel using stands are better then using an assistant for the same. Because slight moment in your assistant’s position can lead to very dramatical changes on your final results.


  •  Cardboard paper or wrinkle free clothes 

They are very important if you are gonna create your studio on location or outdoor. Because you will not find pleasant and clean backgrounds or wall every where you go. Sometimes you really need to cover up the scene, so they comes handy. I prefer having the wrinkle free clothes along because they are easy to carry and gives clean background options. Carrying different colour options is always a smart choice .


  •  A reflector 

I always carry a reflector along, because it can work as mani light , fill light and sometimes as the background as well. So they really comes handy and also they are easy to fold up and carry.


 How to setup a photography studio ? Or what to consider while doing that ?

Now as you already know what to take along. Lets discuss what you should take care while setting your photography studio on location .

  •  Ambience

As I said before, the main problem comes in when you are setting up your studio setup in an uncontrolled lighting area. Areas like hotel lobby, factories or any other outdoor location. All these areas are filled up with some uncontrollable lights , because no one normally allows you to turn up or down hotel lobby lights just for your shoot. So first you need to decide is how much light do you really want in your images from the surroundings. Shutter speed can comes in help when you want to control just the ambience while shooting with the flashes. Turning your shutter speed up or down will just effect your ambience, if you are shooting with the flashes.

  •  Power of your flashes

Big reason why I prefer using Profoto B1x for my outdoor work is the power. It delivers unbelievable 500watts with all the functions from TTL and HSS. This comes in help where i have to shoot for balancing or overpowering the sunlight outdoors. Following shot is the best example for the same.

Profoto B1x


  • Space you are shooting in 

Your shooting space sure will be one of the important factor for your studio setup. Sometimes you have to shoot in a very tight environment and sometimes you have big empty halls. If you are shooting somewhere in a very tight space, make sure you all the lights are gridded and their light falls are in control. Because a little spill from the light can change the nature of the shadows. If you are shooting in very big spaces, you will be needing more powerful lights. So the spill is really not the problem but the power sure matters for such spaces.


  •  Available power options 

If you are using flashguns or battery powered studio lights, then you are already sorted out but if you are using the normal mono lights then you need to take in the consideration about the available power options.



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Varun Patel is big name when it comes to Fashion Industry. His work has been published in magazines like FTL, Femina and many others. He also conducts Fashion Photography Workshops and shares his knowledge with other photographers. He mostly shoots Fashion and Commercial Portraits, during his free time he also likes to experiment with the conceptual editorials.

11 thoughts on “No Studio? No Problem – Create your photography studio anywhere.”

  1. I learned from him Nd still learning by his photography blog. Very very useful, this blog is amazing, Nd it’s almost cleared my all quarries for studio feel.. Thnk u so much sir..

  2. As you described i am a lonley wolf and thinking about start up a studio with available space and equipment and your information added spices. Thank you very much

  3. i want to learn about focus and framing in fashion can i get sharp looking a beginner it looks very difficult for me…

    1. Focus in general is very important but also very basic thing. All you need to check is your lens and camera is calibrated properly and also are you using the right focusing modes and points for your job. Getting out of focus images can be the reason of many focusing mistakes. So unless you give brief about your problem i can not help much now about framing. Framing in fashion photography is something that depends on your client but if you are looking forward for general shots, i prefer you use a medium telephoto range which shows up the garment nicely.

  4. Hi sir. It was so informative and knowledgable. I am an amaeture and learning fashion photography. I find little difficulties in getting full body portrait sharp. I get good sharp head and 3/4 portrait but not full body. I use crop sensor nikon camera and 50mm 1.8 lense can you guide me

    1. Hi Deepak we are glad that our articles are helping your learn. We request you to write the same question on our ASK US feature on our blog. We will be able to answer you properly over there thanks

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