Tips for Setting Up Your Own Home Portrait Studio

Your studio is not only your place of work, it’s your zone—the place where you can be yourself. It’s a place where nothing distracts you, leaving you submerged in your creativity. It’s also the place where you bring your clients. So it’s important how you choose to design the layout and furnishings. In this video, Ruth Medjber shares some valuable pointers for setting up your studio:


The first thing Medjber stresses on is seating arrangement. Her studio has a surprisingly varied number of chairs and stools, and a couch.

“I find when you bring people into the studio, if you have them standing up straight away they get a bit stiff and a bit uncomfortable for the first few shots.”

tips for studio furnishings

Medjber’s studio has plenty of seating in different styles.

Asking your clients to sit down and relax makes them comfortable and their postures are automatically relaxed when it’s time to photograph them.

Medjber even uses the couch in her studio for some of her shoots, like the one below:

choosing the right studio furnishings

Medjber used the couch in her studio as a prop for this photo.


“Another important thing to have on in the studio, I find, is music. I always have a little speaker system, playing tunes when people come in. so that it’s a nice vibrant atmosphere.”


Don’t forget to leave the heat on. A warm welcoming studio is a much better place to be in than one that’s freezing cold.


The last thing you want to do is to rush your clients through a photo shoot. The studio experience should be relaxed and entertaining. Leave some photo books or even some light reading material on the table so that you clients don’t feel they are all alone while you’re setting up lights and props.


Showcase your style. Put up some of your past work on a wall. This is a nice way to show a bit of your character to your clients rather than them seeing only your professional side.

personalize your studio wall

Personalize your space.


Leave a large—if possible life-sized—mirror on the wall. It’s a wonderful idea for your clients to reassure themselves that they are looking great.


The space inside your studio is yours. Work your mojo and don’t let anybody influence you or tell you this isn’t correct or that isn’t right. If you love something and know it in your heart, go for it!

Take your time when setting up your space. Your studio serves a dual purpose—to bring out the best in you and in your clients.

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