Need a great place to shoot your images? You can create a wide variety of stock photo shots right at home. All you need to do to get started is set up your own home photography studio. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; it can be as small as a countertop next to a kitchen window or the entire upstairs of your house. But regardless of your studio’s size, there are a few items you’ll need to have on hand to create great images. This article will guide you on how to set up a photo studio in your home.

Using light to create a home photography studio

A Light Source

Every studio needs a light source. If you have a large window, glass sliding door, or garage door, you have the potential for a great daylight shooting area. Pay attention to the light from the window at different times of the day, and pay attention to how the light coming through the window changes. The best time for you to shoot is when there’s indirect light coming through the window. This will be different for every window and will change throughout the year. By paying attention to your window, you’ll know when the best time to shoot is.

If you don’t have time to shoot during the day, or don’t have a great natural light source available, you’ll have to use an artificial light source. This could be a battery-powered compact flash, a studio strobe, or a professional tungsten or LED light designed for use in photography and videography production. All you need is one light source, so don’t feel like you need an army of lights to make a great image.

A solid shooting surface for your home studio

A Solid Shooting Surface

For food photography, you net a set of backgrounds, props, and subjects. These items all need to rest upon a solid base. You can use any surface that you like: kitchen tables, coffee tables, folding tables, and wooden boards resting across sawhorses all make great options. Look around and I’m sure that you’ll be able to find a table that can become the new base for your photography set. If your table is too high and causing trouble with your overhead shots, try placing your set on the ground. Standing above a set on a level floor will give you plenty of room for an overhead shot.

A solid camera base

A Solid Camera Base

Mounting your camera on a tripod while you shoot will improve your photography in two ways. First, it will allow you to shoot at longer shutter speeds without having blur caused by camera shake. This is helpful if you’re shooting in low light and need a slower shutter speed to get the correct exposure. A longer shutter speed can also be used to capture motion blur during food-prep shots. The second thing a tripod will allow you to do is keep the same framing with each shot. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re making small changes to where items are in the frame, it’s important to keep the camera position the same between shots so the small changes have the impact that you desire.

Home photography studio styling tools

Styling Tools

There are a wide variety of tools that you can use to style the food in your shots, but here are three items you might already have and might not have thought about.

– A small syringe is great for precisely placing sauce on meat or condiments on sandwiches.

– Do you have a smudge or spot on a plate you need to remove? Cotton swabs will give you the control you need to remove it from your dish.

– A turkey baster is perfect for adding and removing liquids to a dish, giving you the perfect amount of beverage in a glass or soup in a bowl.

Home photo studio props

Backgrounds and Props

Every shot will need some kind of background. It can be the table that you’re shooting on, or you can build a beautiful set on top. You can use tile, stone, cloth, or painted wood to create your set. When adding props, you can use as many or as few as you desire. Glasses, bowls, plates, napkins, utensils, and ingredients are all items that can be used in your image. The key to a well-placed prop is making sure it makes sense in the image and doesn’t distract the viewer. When using props in stock images, you want to appeal to as many potential customers as you can. To avoid alienating potential customers, try shooting options with different props that will appeal to different customers. Some customers may want a simplistic image with very few props, and others may want more props that will create a story.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to create a home studio for your photography. If you’ve never tried taking pictures of food for your stock photography, I encourage you to give it a try!

Top image: Ice cream with almond crunch and chocolate by Kati Molin

Looking for more photography inspiration? Read our tips here.