Setting up a home studio in a small space isn’t always easy. That’s especially true if you need to use it as a regular room, too. You need something that’s easy to setup and break down. But, if you have a space with a nice window or access to continuous light sources, it’s pretty straight forward.
This video from photography Mathieu Stern shows how he sets up his temporary studio for shooting headshots. He uses minimal equipment, and it produces very effective results.
As you see in the video, Mathieu uses a large foldable backdrop attached to the wall as his background. He then adds a continuous light source, with a reflector hanging from a stand on the opposite side.
The continuous light allows Mathiue to position the main light source wherever he wishes, using the window as a large soft directional fill from camera right. The reflector on camera left offers a more gentle fill on the shadow side of the face.
It’s a nice simple setup.
While the LED light Mathieu uses is rather pricey, you could switch it out for something a little less expensive, such as the Aputure Amaran HR672s.
Now, LED lights aren’t going to be as powerful as studio strobes, or even speedlights. But, if you like wide apertures, or your camera can handle higher ISOs comfortably, then you should be fine.
My own portable studio is a similar setup to Mathieu, although I prefer to use flash. So, in place of the LED, I use a Godox AD360II inside a 4ft umbrella octabox. It goes high enough that if I want to kill sunlight coming through the window, then I can. It also goes low enough that I can use that soft window light as a fill if I want to.
It’s a great setup for just quickly setting up at home, or a friend or family member’s home. If you want to create something a little more permanent for regular use. Be sure to check these tips from Joe Edelman.