This Home Studio Guide is a no-nonsense guide on how to craft a home studio that works for you. As with my Food Photography Gear Guide, everything I mention in this guide isn’t essential. Rather, the things that make your space a studio can be built up over time. In order to create beautiful photos or videos of food, you don’t need EVERYTHING to get going! Start small and make do with what you have, before working out what you actually need for the work YOU do.
For full transparency, this post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on anything purchased through these links – at no additional cost to you! This helps to support my business and there are some that also give you a lovely discount.
If you have any questions, either leave a comment or drop me a DM on Instagram. Grab yourself a cup of tea, and let’s get into it!
Mlimba Want to skip to a specific section of this Home Studio Guide? Hit the links below:
- Essentials and Electricals
- Camera and Shooting Equipment
- Props + Backdrops
- Organisation and Storage
- Cosy Home Studio Additions
- My Amazon Storefront
Essentials and Electricals:
- buy Lyrica canada pharmacy A good desk. Mine is an IKEA Desk made up of a FINNVARD trestle with shelf, a LINNMON table top and an ALEX drawer unit.
- A comfortable chair. My IKEA LÅNGFJÄLL conference chair does just the trick.
- Laptop and monitors. I use a MacBook Pro 14 inch M1 and 2 x 19.5 inch Dell monitors that are held up using a VonHaus Dual Monitor Stand for 13-27″ Screens. These arms are AMAZING for the studio (and I much prefer using dual screens and these arms to one large Mac) because you can rotate the arms in whichever direction you are shooting.
- Mouse and keyboard. My preference is always a Logitech MX Master Mouse which I find is far easier on the wrists than an Apple magic mouse. I also use an Apple Magic Keyboard so I can keep my laptop shut and rely on my bigger monitors for work.
- Tethering cables. I tether directly from my camera to my laptop so I can see what I’m shooting on a big screen. You’ll need to check your laptop ports to ensure you purchase the right cable, but I use this tether cable by TetherTools which is a USB-C to 2.0 Mini B 5-Pin.
- Electric or portable hob. For savoury or hot food reels, I use this electric hob to cook food while on set.
- Microphone. High-quality sound at a mid-range price, this RODE microphone is perfect for capturing amazing sound effects or superb voiceovers.
- This Lifetime Folding Table is perfect for shooting on as it wipes clean and can easily be stored away if need be. Another alternative are these trestles which maximise space in smaller studios.
- Extension cables. I have a 2m long extension lead that I keep in my desk drawer for when I need to use electrical equipment on set. This is super useful for electric whisks, hobs etc.
- I use these Cable Cover Protectors to ensure there’s no tripping in the studio!
Camera and Shooting Equipment:
- Camera and lenses. I use a Canon 5D Mark III body and the following three lenses:
- Tripods and C-stand. My Neewer C-stand is amazing at capturing overhead shots as well as holding up backdrops or modifiers and diffusers. Use a sandbag as a counter-weight, and remember that you’ll need a Manfrotto 014-38 16mm Female Adapter as well as a Manfrotto 234RC Monopod Tilt Head with Quick Release to mount your camera. I talk more about this in my Kit highlight on Instagram here. My Manfrotto MK190XPRO4 Tripod and XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Plate is a super sturdy and reliable addition in my studio and a tripod I love and adore.
Having good light is vital to any home studio – that’s why my “shoot area” is positioned close to a window. Ideally you want a North-facing window for the best light, but any will do. This is a key component in ensuring you capture the very best shots and is where all the magic happens! Allow enough room around your table to give you adequate flexibility in terms of lighting, and so you can set your tripod and camera up wherever it’s needed.
Artificial Lighting + Modifiers
As your space expands, so can your kit. Artificial light does require more space as your modifiers and light stands will take up more room. Here are the lights I use in my studio:
- A Godox V860iii speed lite and trigger
- A mid-range Godox SL150ii LED continuous light
- Two Neewer stands for mounting lights
- A Bowens mount for mounting your speed lite
Always check that these items are compatible with your particular camera and equipment.
If you’re using artificial lighting, you’ll likely want a number of modifiers to create that soft, natural look when shooting. Here are my favourites:
- The cheapest and most versatile diffuser is a large 5-in-1 diffuser. You can even go bigger than this one!
- If you’re small on space, and need something that can be constructed and deconstructed easily, this 120cm umbrella-style octagon is ideal for use with a speed lite. Note that this won’t work with LED continuous lighting as it doesn’t have a Bowens Mount.
- For drinks photography: this strip box modifier is great.
- A 120cm x 80cm rectangular modifier for larger spaces.
If you’re looking for everything in my home studio guide in one useful place, you can find everything via my Amazon Storefront:
Props & backdrops:
Head to my Food Photography VIP section for some lovely discounts on my favourite backdrop brands like Capture By Lucy and Club Backdrops! I also love Photo Surfaces and Black Velvet Styling. You can also find a downloadable PDF here with all my favourite ceramicists for the perfect prop partners.
Organisation and Storage:
- These IKEA trolleys are a game-changer for keeping my props, linens and food styling essentials orderly and tucked away.
- My IKEA ALEX drawer unit is perfect for underneath my desk to keep notebooks, electrics and lens boxes in. Here are some similar on Amazon. I personally don’t have rollers on mine but you could add the castors and slide it into an annex or small space.
- My SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB is a MUST for keeping all files backed up!
- Although this isn’t the exact model I have, this Triangular Wooden Shelving Unit is superb for prop storage and doesn’t break the bank.
- A bin in my studio is a must since there’s endless packaging, food and other bits and pieces that constantly need throwing away or recycling. I use this Brabantia Touch Bin which tucks away discreetly, is easy to wipe clean and is small enough that is doesn’t stink out the studio.
Cosy home studio additions:
- This Leather Desk Mat keeps my work space clean and is easy to wipe down.
- A candle of the season from Norfolk Natural Living.
- Mål Paper Daily Goal Setter soft leather diary.
- My Notion Goal Planner – for all those big dreams!
- This Wireless Phone Charger keeps my phone out of sight on my desk, and charged at the same time.
- Rick by Patch Plants.
- Crummock Water mug by Fiona May Ceramics.
- SAD Lumie Light for the winter months.
- A hardback version of my 76-page e-book This Is How We Roll. You can buy a digital e-book copy here.
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