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Photography Question 
Cheryl Hadley

How to set up inexpensive home studio

I am sitting up a home studio and would like to know all the elements that I will need in order to do so. I don't have much money, but would like to get everything that I would need. I appreciate any help you can give me.

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5/3/2007 8:28:49 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
you may want to check out the
"Studio Photography Thread"
#1 - #23 it will have so much info for you.
and if you need anything, just enail.

heres thread one:

I hope this helps,

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5/3/2007 8:51:27 PM

Jerry Frazier   This is always interesting to me.

When I very first started, and decided to do the studio thing, I spent thousands of dollars getting all the stuff.

Now, I use nice window light, so clients come over at a certain time of day, depending on what we want to do. I have very little flash...if I use flash, I don't use much. I mean, you really just don't need anything at all except your imagination, and the knowledge of how to shoot. I mean, it's incredibly simple. You could have someone sit on a wood floor, against a wall, with nice window light coming in from the side. What do you need except a nice exposure, and the ability to pull a nice expression out of your client. In order to get your clients to open up and be expressive, you have set the tone and mood. Many times music can do that for you. But, have conversation abotu things you can discuss. Make the client feel at home; if you do that, they will drop all defense and become vulnerable...that's where you want them because that's where the technical crap flys out the window, and all that matters is the intensity of the expression. Afterall, that's what portraiture is, right??? Expression.

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5/4/2007 12:55:37 PM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Cheryl,
I have an article on my site about setting up a home studio, you can check it out at: There are other articles on the magazine page of my site:
Thanks, John Siskin

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5/4/2007 3:29:40 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Jerry and John are right, of course, in terms of the photographic aspects of what you want to do, but there's a lot more to running a home studio than meets the eye(s). I don't know if Debby's article discusses it, but I've said this before here but I'll say it again Cheryl.

To do what you're proposing legally, you need to meet a number of state and local rules and regulations. If you get caught operating without say a biz license, (say someone complains about parking or UPS deliveries) you're likely going to get fined. If you operate without having insurance, you're risking quite a lot. If you register as a business, in all likelihood you're going to be visited by the fire inspector, the building inspector to determine handicap accessibility, and you'll probably start getting letters from the county business tax assessors office. The paperwork can be a nightmare.

If your home isn't zoned for the proper level of commercial use, or if you're renting and don't tell your landlord, you could be evicted for operating a business out of a residential property. Plus, PLUS do you really want total strangers trampling through the place where you live? Yikes !!!

Running a home-based photography business is about 85% paperwork and fees and permits including taxes, etc., and maybe on a good month, 15% shooting.

My suggestion to you is to spend what you can on high quality equipment and shoot portraits on location instead of having them come to your home and maintain a very very low profile when you do. "Have studio, will travel".
Take it light.;>)

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5/4/2007 5:56:23 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I hope you'll go through those Studio Photography Threads first.
There is info in them from many others then myself.
You'll see others set up and start thier studios and the success they achieve.
Wishing you th every best of luck in all your ventures,

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5/7/2007 8:35:24 AM

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