Get the Most Out of Your Home Studio or Small Space

In several online photography forums, I have seen many people asking about home studios, and whether it's a problem charging high end prices if you have a home studio. My resounding answer: NO! I shoot in my home and I wouldn't have it any other way! Low overhead, discreet and comfortable for my clients, big tax breaks, no commute, and I'm already here when my kids get home from school! (I shoot only during school hours). And though my above-ground square footage is only 1800sf, I have an additional 300 finished sf in the basement (plus some unfinished space I use as well), and I shoot EVERYWHERE in my house except the kids' bedrooms, the family room, and the kitchen.

Mind you, I live in a safe and beautiful neighborhood, and my house is lovely, well-kept, and pretty much spotless most of the time (Working here forces me to do this - but half of what I pay my cleaning lady is tax-deductible!) And yes, I have two kids... They are well-trained to keep things neat and clutter-free.

As for client perception, I have never once had an issue with a client thinking badly of me shooting in my home. I sell it as a positive (discreet and comfortable and images have more a sense of reality about them!) And I am NOT a cheap photographer. My average sale is $4100. Clients judge your value by the experience and images you deliver, not by your address or your studio's commercial vs residential status.

In addition to the standard bedroom and living room boudoir set-ups, I am able to create several "mini-sets" to offer greater variety. The image below shows just one example of how I use small spaces in my home studio to create seemingly endless variety for my clients (many of whom are repeat clients, so giving them variety is important!)

I have this corner with silver glaze on the walls in my IPS room. I added two beaded curtains against the wall, then stapled a curtain of fairy lights, hanging from the ceiling in a semi-circle surrounding the corner... Then shot through my crystal chandelier... for lots and lots of "sparkle." This set takes up about 12 square feet. It's not super versatile because of the size, but doesn't need to be. I get about 4-5 saleable shots out of it, it doesn't take any set-up since I can leave it up all the time, and it adds that something special and different to their session. Canon 5D MKIII 24-105 shot at 50mm 1/125 f6.3 ISO2500 Lighting is only a little bit of window light through sheers and the chandelier and fairy lights (both have daylight-balanced bulbs).

Want more examples and a behind-the-scenes look at how I get maximum bang for my buck in my home studio space? Watch the video below for a complete tour!

To see more examples of images shot in this space, please feel free to check out more of my work at, or follow my work on Facebook. About 95% of what you will see was shot in my home.

Now, I want to hear from you!

How many of you either shoot in your home, or in a small studio space? (under 1000sf)

What techniques and cool ideas do you use to maximize your space?

Comment below and let me know!

PS If you need help setting up your home studio, that is just one of the many subjects in which the School of Boudoir offers mentoring. Check out class/mentoring options HERE. Or if you prefer to do your learning on your own time and at your own pace, take a look at our digital educational products in the SHOP to help you pose, price, retouch, and do business BETTER.

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