Ten Must-Have Items I Recommend For Your Portrait Photography Studio
What do you need for your Photography Studio?
You’ve got your camera, you’ve got your lenses, you’ve got your lights & backdrops… but what else do you need to keep on hand inside your Portrait Photography Studio? Below is a list of ten extra helpful things that I’ve found to be really useful to have around on photoshoot days: plot twist, none of it is actually photography gear. I spend a lot of energy focusing on how I can make the entire session experience easier, smoother, & more fun for both me & my clients, & I can honestly say I’ve found all of the items below to be absolutely essential for me & my Portrait Studio. Keep reading to check it out!
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#1. Clothing Steamer
First off on the list is a good Clothing Steamer - this is one of my most-used pieces of equipment in the Studio! Even if someone comes in with a garment bag full of perfectly-steamed shirts, there are always little touchups needed here & there. I like this Conair Handheld Garment Steamer as it’s easily portable, but I do have a steamer with a stand-up arm that stays in the Studio as well. This makes it super easy to hang clothes up & steam them quickly - it’s nice to have both!
#2. Eye Drops
Truly a necessity! Allergies, long days of staring at screens, late nights out, etc. can all contribute to our eyes feeling dry & looking red - these Lumify drops do an amazing job of relieving redness. It really helps my clients to look more fresh & awake in their portraits, & saves you time having to retouch blood veins out of the whites of your client’s eyes as well! I also keep some tiny individual bottles of eyedrops on hand as well to hand out during Headshot days.
#3. Shutter Huggers Critter
If you work with young children in your Studio, this little guy is a lifesaver. He fits around the lens of your camera a bit like a scrunchie, & keeps kids focused in your direction while you’re shooting. I’ve named mine “George” (after Curious George, of course!) - bonus points if you can shoot while using your other hand to make George wave at the kids to keep their attention. George may be the most valuable member of my team… he deserves a raise, honestly.
#4. Cell Phone Holder Attachment
Don’t have an assistant to take behind-the-scenes videos of you while you work? No worries - this super affordable cell phone mount attaches to any tripod. Whenever I’m working solo & want to take a quick video of what I’m doing, I set my iPhone up on my tripod, hit record, & I’m good to go. One of my favorite & most used gadgets!
#5. Pop-up Changing Tent
This one is for my outdoor & on-location photographers… we all know the struggle: You’re out in the middle of a field with your client, needing to change outfits, & there are no trees/bushes/bathrooms in sight to use as a changing area. This little pop-up tent has been so handy for shoots where my client needs privacy to change but we don’t want to hike all the way back to our cars to switch looks. It’s super lightweight & easy to carry along with you!
#6. Toiletry Essentials Kit
Do yourself a favor & get one of these little hanging toiletry bags - fill it with essentials like makeup wipes, bobby pins, tampons, Tylenol, a comb, mini hairspray, a mini lint roller, gum, hair ties, first aid items, & more! Whenever I’m shooting outside of my home studio, I bring along this little “portrait emergency kit” with my camera bag so that we always have the tools that we need close by.
#7. Bluetooth Speaker
I always play music for my clients during their sessions to help them relax & unwind - this little clip-on Bluetooth speaker is awesome. I use it both in the studio & clip it to my camera bag for when we’re on location. The quality sounds great & it holds a charge for forever. I never leave the Studio for a session without it!
#8. Mini Massage Gun
Raise your hand if you’re like me & you throw your neck/shoulder/back/hip/whatever out several times a year - I blame the long hours spent in front of the computer editing. I also blame all of the weird poses I get into during shoots to get the perfect angle - lying on the ground, balancing on a chair, twisting from side to side… you know the drill. I bought this massage gun about a year ago & I truly have noticed less muscle pain overall since using I started using it consistently.
#9. Double-Sided Wardrobe Tape
Let me tell you, I go through a ridiculous amount of this stuff. These little double-sided tape strips come in so handy - if your client has a button-down shirt that gaps, a bra strap that keeps sliding out of place, pants that are a bit too long, etc., these come to the rescue every time. I keep a tin in the Studio, in my camera bag, in my portrait emergency bag, in my car, you name it.
#10. Floor Fan
A good floor fan is absolutely essential, in my opinion - not only does it cool down your space (I know I get sweaty running around during a session), but it can also be used to get a little movement & volume into your client’s hair to achieve that Covergirl, Beyonce-esque look. Clients love it & it keeps everyone from overheating: a win-win!
For more gear & product recommendations, check out the links below: