Turn Your Home Into a Studio

“The subject must be thought of in terms of the 20th century, of houses he lives in and places he works, in terms of the kind of light the windows in these places let through and by which we see him every day.”—Arnold Newman

I don’t have a standalone studio. In the somewhat distant past, I had one but for the past twenty years I’ve made all my portraits on location, in my home or in the last five year a 11×15-foot home studio. Living in Colorado, it gets cold in the winter and sometimes it snows, lots of snow. If I lived in Florida I might have a different way of choosing shooting locations but for much of the year I shoot most of my portrait and glamour images in my home studio.


When some photographers see my homegrown portraits they ask, “How big is your house?” The truth is that my former home, where I made many of the images in my last three books—not the current one—is average-sized,—maybe smaller house in a working class neighborhood. That’s why I believe you can make photographs anywhere by making the most of what you so have. Instead of complaining that you don’t have a studio, use your imagination.

As I write this, I have done more shoots with Ashley Rae than any other model. She’s a professional model and when I asked her to stand next to my back door, this is almost exactly the pose she gave me. It was refined after several shots to produce this pose. And that reflection is from a framed poster, not a mirror.

Caption: The original image was shot with a Canon EOS 50D and EF 28-105 mm lens that I never should have sold; I loved that lens. Exposure of 1/160 second at f/6.3 and ISO 400. The image was slightly underexposed and I used a technique that I showed to rescue slightly underexposed images with a similar image of Tia Stoneman, my muse*. The image was retouched and enhanced using Glamour Glow filter that’s part of Color Efex Pro.

*If you know of any aspiring models or women who would like to become a muse, please have them Contact me.

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Ashley Rae appears on the back cover of my book, “Studio Lighting Anywhere.” Please pick up a copy for yourself or a friend. It’s is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as including Amazon.com.

Author: Joe Farace

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