In-House Studio Set Up

July 22, 2019

When a client of ours needed a space to film some Instagram stories, we had to get crafty since our studio space was under construction. We created an in-house studio set up in a smaller space while making sure the videos looked professional. The secret? An Amazon studio kit. Here’s a quick overview of what we did and how you can set up your own mini studio.

The Backdrop

  • Start with a backdrop kit that includes a support system and 3-4 clamps to hold your backdrop.
  • To start building the backdrop, take a sheet of bleached white muslin, or any other sort of white sheet with minimal transparency, and use an iron to straighten out the wrinkles as much as you can. The appearance of wrinkles can also be minimized by proper lighting and controlled depth of field.

The Subject

  • Place a “T” mark made out of tape where you’d like your subject to stand throughout the shoot. It’s recommended to place your subject a few feet away from the backdrop to minimize shadows and help create separation between the subject and the backdrop.

The Lighting

  • To create soft, minimal contrast light on the subject, raise two softbox lights to fill the left and right side of the subject’s face evenly. Each light on the left and right sides of the subject should be about five feet away, angled at and slightly down onto the subject. To fill and light the background, place two more softboxes on the left and right sides of the subject. These lights should be pointed directly at the backdrop to help light the white sheet and minimize shadows hitting the backdrop. Each light should be on the left and right side of the subject about four feet away in front of the two raised softboxes, angled straight toward the subject. We used a total of five softbox lights to complete the lighting setup for this shoot.
  • Lastly, to help your subject stand out from the background, add a backlight behind the subject to help further separate them from the background. Our light was placed behind and to the side of the subject where it is just out of frame. It was angled down and towards the back of the subjects head.

The Camera

  • Now that the backdrop and your subject are lit, it’s time to expose your image in the camera. If your set is lit correctly, your backdrop should be slightly overexposed while the subject is exposed properly. This slight overexposure helps erase the wrinkles and the small variations in color created by them in-camera.
  • The last step to making sure you’re minimizing the wrinkles and helping create a large studio feel is to shoot at a lower t-stop. Since our subject was stationary, we elected to shoot our video on a 35mm lens at a t-stop of 1.4. This helped create a shallow depth and field and create separation between the subject and background even further.

The Final Product

Now that the setup is over, it’s time to shoot! Check out our final product and video.

Test it out for yourself, and if you need some help, we’ve got you covered!