Photography Studio Essentials

5 Essential Items for Photography Studios

Building Your Photography Studio

Whether you’re a headshot photographer or a boudoir photographer, you’ll notice that you’ve started to collect things that help you out on photoshoots with your clients. Building a photography studio is a process and if you’re like me, it’s been something that’s taken time. I’m not talking about what kind of lights or backdrop stands, but some of the other items I didn’t know that I would need in the every-day operation of shoots. All things that are important to shoots, but also small expenses that can start to add up – so budget wisely! Whether you rent your own space, share it with others or are taking clients out of your home, here are some essential items that help me for every shoot!

Photography Studio Essentials

Garment Rack with Hangers: This is so important!! My studio is in an old, historic building so we’ve got some pretty rad exposed pipes running through. When I first moved in I would use the pipes as a place to hang my client’s garments, but it ended up being a jumping routine that wasn’t pretty. Buying a rolling garment rack makes it easy for me to have a spot for my clients to keep track of their clothes and keep them looking good. I also recommend to buy an assortment of hangers in case your client forgets to bring their clothes on hangers – Homegoods had an awesome selection of colorful felt hangers, which could help bring another aspect to your brand into your studio.

A GREAT Steamer: I bought this before I had my garment rack. I was tired of having to edit out so many wrinkles in my clients clothes. Even though I tell my clients to iron/steam their clothes before our shoot, certain fabrics just never travel right, so having access to a steamer is important to making your photos look polished and saving you time in post-production. My steamer is a small steamer with a hose, but no attached support rack. The problem with this one is that the hose is short, so it doesn’t reach very far if I had it on the floor – I’ve always got to prop it up on a table or chair to steam anything. I would suggest buying one that has a longer hose and a support rack that you can hang a garment on while you’re steaming. When I was writing this post I actually ended up buying a travel steamer to give it a try as I’m about to be traveling a lot for shoots so this may come in handy. I will update in a few weeks.

Building your photography studio


A Collection of Clips: Clips are so important and helpful, you can never have too many clips! Go to Home Depot and you’ll find an assortment of industrial clips in various sizes. I use multiple clips each shoot – from securing seamless paper, positioning reflectors and even on wardrobe – clips are needed! My favorites are the general metal clip with the rubber covers, though Husky makes a nice plastic version (not pictured). Also I use hair clips, binder clips and smaller industrial clips (pictured above) for clothes, wardrobe & gels.

Reflectors: About 98.45% of the time I am using the white side of a 5-in-1 reflector, so for a long time I stocked up on sheets of white foam core from the craft store. Foam core is great for working with natural light and you can cut it down or into another shape if you need to! You can also use black foam core or paint 1 side black as a flag to block off light if needed. It’s also smart to have a good foldable reflector – the 5-in-1 options are awesome because you can get silver, gold, white, black or a diffuser!

Photoshoot styling kit

Kits: It’s important to put together Kits – which would be something that’s easily accessible to you when you’re in a hurry. I.E./ First Aid Kit, Snack Kit or a Styling Kit. I find that a Photography Styling Kit is one of the most important things to have in your studio, which is why I’m working on an additional post that breaks down my kit and what you want to start adding to your kit!


Without these essential and random items, I wouldn’t be able to give all of my clients the same exact, awesome experience in the studio! Let me know if you have questions about my studio kits, lighting gear or whatever else you have in mind about building a photography studio!! Be sure to leave your questions in the comments below.



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