Setting up a Photography Studio

About two weeks ago, we finally finished setting up our photography studio in Downtown Los Angeles! The journey from San Francisco has not been easy but well worth the effort!

Our studio is located in the Historic Core of Downtown. One of my favorite things about this location is the architectural details of the city around me.

Why did I pick this area?

Downtown Los Angeles has a collection of old buildings with space! Space is vital when it comes to setting up a photography studio.

What building are you in?

We settled on

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Architectural details of the buildings just make it that much more appealing to spend your days here and serve as wonderful backgrounds for my shoots.

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How much space do I need to shoot?

As someone who started off with a 8.5' x 14' studio I know space matters! My old studio made me feel claustrophobic at times and would not allow for creative experimenatition with light. But, you work with what you can.

So how much space is ideal to get started? This is the question that will have many answers. What type of photos do you take? Headshots, full body, group photos etc.?

I am a portraiture photographer. For this function, I suggest at least 16' width by 20' depth.

My current studio has 16' x 30' of space clear for me to shoot. This is idea to set up lights on both sides of your subject and shoot full body when I need to. Flexibility is key.

What else do you recommend?


I suggest getting a clothing rack for your clients. This is a new addition to our studio and I could not be happier! When your clients come for a shoot, hopefully you have told them to bring at least three outfits per look and hopefully they bring more than that! All this clothing is going to have to go somewhere. To make sure it does not wrinkle, and is flying all over the space, put it on the rack. You will be able to see the choices better and help style them. Yes, you should be able to style your clients based on their brand.

This is our rack from Amazon: Econoco Pipeline Adjustable


I cannot express how many times a client would show up to my studio with a bag full of dirty shirts that are wrinkled. It happens. All you can do is smile and start ironing. By getting a steamer, you can point them in the direction of it and they can steam it themselves while you prep the lights.

Our steamer from Amazon: PurSteam - 2018 Official Partner of Fashion


Make sure you have a bathroom or changing area where the clients can touch up their makeup and hair, and change. If you have room for a makeup counter that is ideal! We are currently in search of an antique hollywood counter/mirror for our clients.


We have a few a few jackets, hats and scarves for our clients to use just in case. Below is an example of our own clothing that we suggested for our clients to use. The styling brought a whole new character to life.

Check out our future blog for details on the props we purchased at the antique store.


We highly recommend a makeup artist for all of our shoots. But it is always good to have a stash of makeup to touch up the skin just in case.

Below is a sample of makeup we have to use.

And no one said we cannot get creative ourselves with the makeup :0)

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