Working in Your Home Studio

If you follow me on Instagram (@joefarace) you know that a few months ago, my basement was flooded causing damage to my in-home studio. We’re in the final phase of repairs to the studio. When it’s completely finished I’ll do a video tour of the 11×15-foot studio, showing updates and some of the lighting tools I use.

sarah-bw1There are lots of things you’ll have to consider when working in your home studio beginning with tailoring the possibilities to the space that’s available. That available space will determine the kind of lenses and focal lengths you’ll be able to use but what about your subject? You’ll need to work with them in the space you’ve set aside and place them in poses that will help to get the best possible photographs.

In this lighting setup, I used a B800 Purple Haze Alien Bee monolight is placed at camera right. An OMNI 18-inch reflector was mounted and the bundled diffusion sock is stretched tight over the reflector. A second 150 Ws monolight, set at full power, is at camera left and behind the model pointing at the wall in my 11×15-foot home studio to illuminate the wall and contribute to the high key look.*

sarah-bw2This pseudo high key shot of Sarah was made using the lighting setup described and shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (at 29mm) and an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/8 and ISO 200. Originally captured as a RAW file and processed in Silver Efex Pro software.

Using too short a focal length is a common mistake that I see in some home studio portraits. Tip: I try to use to longest focal length ls possible—indoors and outdoors—because I like the perspective it provides. As always in these posts: This is what I like; you can choose to use this tip or ignore it. If you and your customers are happy with the images, that’s all that matters.

*As part of the the repairs to the studio the walls are being painted Sherwin-William Lazy Gray, a tint somewhere between Zone V and VI on Ansel Adam’s zone scale, so this will not be an option in the future.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AM


To learn more about studio lighting techniques, please pick up a copy of my book, “Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as including



Author: Joe Farace

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