Top 5 Essential Studio Photography Equipment for Beginners
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Camera
  2. Lenses
  3. Lighting Equipment
  4. Tripod
  5. Backdrops and Reflectors

Stepping into the world of studio photography might seem a bit overwhelming at first, especially when it comes to picking the right gear. But don't worry, this studio photography equipment guide is here to help you navigate through the essentials. We'll break down the top five pieces of equipment that every beginner needs to start their journey in studio photography.


Let's start with the heart of any photography setup — the camera. It's the key player in capturing those stunning studio shots. But remember, while an expensive camera might have more bells and whistles, it's not a prerequisite for creating great photos. You can produce amazing work with a basic DSLR or mirrorless model.

Choosing the Right Camera

When it comes to choosing your camera, consider these pointers:

  • DSLR vs Mirrorless: Both types have their pros and cons. DSLRs are known for their superior battery life and wide range of lenses. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, are lighter and offer better video capabilities. It boils down to your specific needs and preference.
  • Sensor Size: Generally, a larger sensor can capture more light, resulting in better image quality. Full-frame cameras are ideal but can be pricey. An APS-C sensor camera is a more affordable choice and still delivers great results.
  • Resolution: A higher megapixel count isn't always better. Anything from 12MP to 24MP is more than enough for most studio work, including large prints.

Maintaining Your Camera

Once you've got your camera, it's important to take care of it. Here are some tips:

  1. Keep your camera and lenses clean. Use a microfiber cloth and a blower brush for the best results.
  2. Protect your camera from extreme weather conditions. Too hot or too cold can damage it.
  3. Keep your camera in a padded bag when not in use to prevent any accidental damage.

No matter which camera you choose, remember that practice makes perfect. A big part of mastering studio photography is understanding how your camera works and how to make the most of it. So, don't just read this studio photography equipment guide — get out there and start shooting!


Once you've got a camera, the next piece of equipment to focus on, quite literally, is the lens. Lenses are like the eyes of your camera. They control how your camera sees and captures the world, making them a key part of your studio photography equipment line-up.

Selecting the Right Lens

The type of lens you choose can dramatically change the look and feel of your photos. When selecting a lens, consider these factors:

  • Prime vs Zoom: Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning they offer sharper images but less flexibility. Zoom lenses, on the other hand, provide a range of focal lengths but can sometimes compromise on image quality.
  • Focal Length: This determines how zoomed in your photos will be. A 50mm lens is considered a good starting point for studio photography.
  • Aperture: This controls the amount of light entering your camera. A lens with a wider maximum aperture (lower number) lets in more light and allows for a shallow depth of field, which is great for creating a blurred background effect.

Caring for Your Lenses

Lenses need love too! Here are some tips to keep them in tip-top shape:

  1. Always use a lens cap when your lens isn't in use to protect it from dust and scratches.
  2. Clean your lenses with a lens cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Regular cleaning can enhance the performance of your lens and extend its lifespan.
  3. Store your lenses in a dry place to prevent fungus growth.

Remember, lenses are a long-term investment. You might even find yourself swapping cameras but still using the same great lenses. So, take the time to research and choose wisely. This studio photography equipment guide is just the first step in your journey to becoming a pro!

Lighting Equipment

Let's shift our focus to lighting equipment. Light is the brush with which photographers paint their images. It's not just about illuminating your subject; it's about creating mood, depth, and texture. So, let's shed some light on the types of studio photography equipment you'll need to master this art.

Understanding Types of Studio Lights

There are several types of studio lights available, each with its own unique characteristics:

  • Continuous Lights: As the name suggests, these lights provide constant light, making it easier to see how the light affects your shot. They are great for beginners but can heat up pretty quickly.
  • Strobe Lights: These flash when you take a shot. They are powerful and versatile, but they might take some getting used to because you don't see the effect until after you've taken the picture.
  • Speedlights: These are small, portable flashes that can be used on or off your camera. They are less powerful than strobes but can be used in a variety of situations.

Lighting Modifiers

You've got your lights, but how do you control them? That's where lighting modifiers come in. These tools alter the quality, direction, and shape of light. Here are few you might want to consider:

  1. Softbox: This tool softens and diffuses light, reducing harsh shadows. A must-have for portrait photography.
  2. Umbrella: Available in reflective and shoot-through styles, umbrellas create a wider, softer light spread.
  3. Beauty Dish: Perfect for fashion photography, a beauty dish provides a balance between hard and soft light.

When it comes to lighting, experimentation is key. So, don't be afraid to play around and see what works best for your style of photography. And remember, this studio photography equipment guide is here to help you light the way!


Stability is the name of the game here, and there's no reliable player in this game other than a good, sturdy tripod. You might think you can hold your camera steady, but wait till you've been shooting for a few hours. That's when a tripod becomes your best friend. So, let's get straight into the details of this important piece of studio photography equipment.

Why You Need a Tripod

A tripod does more than just provide stability. Here's why it's an essential part of your studio photography equipment:

  • Long Exposures: Want to experiment with low light photography or long exposure shots? A tripod is a must to avoid any camera shake.
  • Consistent Framing: If you're shooting a series of photos that need consistent framing, a tripod ensures your camera stays in the same spot.
  • Sharp Images: Even the slightest movement can make your photo blurry. A tripod helps you get razor-sharp images.

Choosing the Right Tripod

Not all tripods are created equal, and picking the right one can make a world of difference. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Weight Capacity: Make sure your tripod can hold your camera and the heaviest lens you plan to use.
  2. Height: A good tripod should reach your eye level when fully extended.
  3. Build Quality: Look for a tripod made from durable materials. Remember, it's supporting your precious camera gear.

Just like any other piece of studio photography equipment, your tripod should fit your specific needs. So take your time, do your research, and choose wisely. After all, a good tripod is a solid foundation for all your photography work.

Backdrops and Reflectors

Now, let's talk about the unsung heroes of studio photography—backdrops and reflectors. They might seem like simple accessories, but trust me, they can dramatically change the look and feel of your photos. Whether you want a clean white background or a shiny reflection in your model's eyes, these tools have got you covered.

Why You Need Backdrops

Backdrops are more than just backgrounds for your photos. Here's why they are an important part of your studio photography equipment:

  • Create a Mood: Different backdrops can set different moods. A grungy backdrop can give a edgy look, while a pastel one can create a soft, romantic feel.
  • Control Distractions: A clean, solid-color backdrop lets your subject shine without any distracting elements.
  • Easy to Change: With a collection of different backdrops, you can easily change the background without having to rearrange your entire studio.

Why You Need Reflectors

Reflectors are like secret weapons in your studio photography equipment arsenal. Here's what they do:

  • Fill in Shadows: A reflector can bounce light into shadowy areas, making your subject look more evenly lit.
  • Add Sparkle: A reflector can also add a catchlight to your subject's eyes, making them look more alive.
  • Control Light: With a reflector, you can direct light exactly where you want it, giving you more control over your lighting setup.

So there you have it: backdrops and reflectors, two pieces of studio photography equipment that can make a huge difference in your photos. Don't underestimate their power—start experimenting with them and see the magic happen!

If you're excited about starting your journey in studio photography and want to learn more about photography in different settings, check out Gabriella's workshop, 'Concert Photography - Everything You Need to Get Started.' This workshop will help you explore another exciting aspect of photography and broaden your skillset as you develop your passion for capturing stunning images.