• David

Photography Studio Setup: Are these options worth it?

There I was (a couple years ago), setting up our first studio and it hit me... Woah, where is the Model going to prepare at? Where is the MUA going to setup or even the hair stylist?

Photographers know studio space is at a premium and after spending enough money on lights, camera, lens "action" (had to), backdrops, props, + more - we often don't think about space for prep. I mean, preparation IS critical in executing our vision... So, I dedicate some space in the studio and got a lighted vanity and chair. Fair enough, right? Well, to me... not really. Because photography is a saturated market, differentiating yourself can help tremendously. After some research, getting to know some great people, a whole bunch of failures and few successes, this is what I did. And it worked out quite nicely - even on a budget...

What does a model need for a shoot?

(very loaded question but let us just cover some basics shall we)

  • Wardrobe

  • Hair

  • Makeup

  • Jewelry

  • Shoes

Let's start out with Wardrobe...

Plain and simple, find clothing brand companies looking for ambassadors. And there's plenty out there! Ladies, you all know they exist and am sure you've had your messenger spammed with them! Talk to them. Let them know you're working with a photographer (yes, you both should collaborate) and you would love to do a FREE shoot using their clothing brand - offer to pay shipping. Trust me, they will bite! Mainly because they want the exposure and, they don't have to pay a professional. Plus, I can almost guarantee they will not want the clothing back! The start of inventory! (XS - MED usually works out best) Other options include Goodwill as they can have some shoot worthy items (once you thumb through it) at reasonable prices.

On to hair...

We all know hair stylists are expensive! They do fantastic work but unless you’re doing a creative / sponsored shoot, might not be worth it. Believe it or not, most women can do their own hair. Even up-do's (Thanks YouTube)! Also, it's amazing what a $7.00 bun tool can do for you in a pinch. For me, I provide a hair dryer, straightener, and big curler as it's one less thing the model has to carry and, it's come in handy more than once!

For Makeup...

I only mention it here because, well,... we sell Artistry makeup! Lol. You don't need to worry about stocking makeup because most women don't like using "community" pallets, lips, foundations, etc... you get the idea! Plus, most women have their own along with a travel bag. Just make sure colors match the theme and move on...

Shoes, shoes, shoes...

Shoes are an interesting one because there's so many sizes and styles to choose from. For style, I stock several black heel styles for formal wear, styles of sneakers and poolside sandals. Oh yea, some Ugs as well. There's a few more styles I've accumulated over the years and most are from Goodwill. You just can't beat a $10.00 pair that goes with your shoot theme. Stick with shoe sizes around 8 and 9


Costume jewelry is always a nice to have! Giving those elegant shoots a well deserved accent! You could go to Michaels and pay retail or, you can search marketplace, eBay, Esty for a specific item or a random box (thinking books by the pound style). Regardless, having a necklace, few types of pendants, finger rings and earrings for pierced and non-pierced ears can really emphasize a themed shoot.

We also added some bags and hats. Mostly because we're in Texas and there's absolutely more outdoor days than indoor throughout the year... both were accumulated throughout the years and out of necessity.

>>>> To take it to the next level <<<<

Decided to provide halo loose glitter nails so we can match the shoot theme!!

I found this great and quirky video from Simply Nailogical where she went through the motions on how to burnish loose glitter using the right products. Tried it out and it worked like a charm! Offers a great temporary nail solution for not much overhead. Well, except time. Yes, of course nails take time though! Here's the product list - You get quite a few completed nails sets out of it for only: $80.00... I think that's what 1 set of acrylic costs these days right?

Glitter 11.00 - Lots of colors to choose from

Yellow Stopper 20.00 - best burnish base. I found waiting exactly 1 minute 30 seconds (timer) before burnishing is perfect. Just don't press too hard. Also, keep the eye shadow "sponge" applicator clean after each "first" burnish stroke. If not, it could scar the second burnish stroke

Nails 14.00 - Decent quality however: (1) it's best to work on the nails while still on the mold bar and (2) the nail is greatly strengthened by applying the topcoat

Fan Brush 4.00 - Not bad quality for 4 bucks

Topcoat 6.00 - Not bad for 6 bucks

UV Lamp 25.00 - Amazon recommended. You could fine one cheaper but...

Hope you enjoyed this article or found it useful...

Let me know if you feel this is overkill or a great option

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