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Setting Up a Home Studio

Lesson 2 of 11


John Cornicello

Setting Up a Home Studio

John Cornicello

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Lesson Info

2. Backdrops


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:01
2 Backdrops Duration:13:28
3 Lights and Modifiers Duration:17:29
4 Setting Up for Headshot Duration:24:00
5 Shooting Headshots (Troy) Duration:26:46
6 Shooting Headshots (Trin) Duration:34:18
7 Q&A Duration:17:06
8 Beauty Shoot with Trin Duration:38:39
9 Q&A Duration:16:02
10 Group Shots Duration:32:14
11 Final Q&A Duration:29:06

Lesson Info


So the basic part of sending up background these we had these background stands the ones I use here from savage who will someday background papers and they're they're like regular light stands and we have a crossbar goes across and we can hang seamless paper from it fabrics and the like so I'm gonna set this back over here I'm gonna put up a roll of white seamless song here um seamless paper comes in various colors and sizes think this is about forty four inch and they also make one hundred seven inch rolls of having one hundred seven inches is just short and nine feet so it doesn't fit straight up in here with the eight foot ceilings but um we will use one will later in the day so when looking at background stands there's different types of cross bars some background stands come with two and three piece crossbars that screw together and give you a fixed length the one that comes with this kid uh has a telescoping stand here so it could go out to wherever you need it I find that just a...

a little easier to use than the ones that screwed together so I'm gonna set this up here excuse me for a second will you do that? Um we don't have an assistant here today because I don't usually have an assistant at home so you're going to see what I actually do and how now you go through things set these up there he said decide adjust to whatever we need comes on here keep this on a roll out some paper and clamp it up and we have ah a basic background here and we can bring it up as they say the background papers come in a variety of colors I tend to work with white, gray and black I think they give me options because I can use gels on them too to change the color uh also work with fabrics I'm gonna grab some here I mean this is just a fabric remnant from a thrift store or from a fabric store and we could take this and you know, just hang it over there um as a background you can get muslims they come in ten by twenty foot's ten by ten foot ce and for a larger set they could drag and go on the floor see other now here's another sort of type of fabric here a little bit larger and we can hang it up here the issue with muslims is they tend to get really wrinkled if you can't move back for enough for them to be out of focus you have to steam them before you set him up so we're going to skip over that today eight clamps we use these in the studio all the time um go to the hardware store and get the cheapest ones you can you know they're just clamping the paper they're they're not holding anything that's life endangering so you know, I've seen clamps range from a dollar each to seven dollars each and they all do the same job um another way of doing backgrounds here or with thes bogan auto poles or man photo auto poles let's, move over to this one here these things come in here and you'll see, you know it's just a straight pole with this no legs to get in the way stretches up just about touches the ceiling and this camp thing locks it in there. We're using them to hold up some of the lights today. Ah, this is going into a little more expense, but you have a space where you don't have room to put light stands and that's spread out on the bottom there great alternative here. And if I get if you get thes I would also suggest getting one of these it's like five dollars extra it's a bubble level so you can get them straight so let's, just put this back. We're going to use this one later today. What? Uh, for a background pole for a long run like that? Uh, what I often use here are, um, paintbrush or paint roller extensions so again this khun khun roll out, we can put the the seamless through here, you know, lock one up on dh, then put the other one up on their on again. We'll set up a larger set later this afternoon with using this stuff. Another place to save money is sand bags. You know, I usually go to thrift stores and get these either running or diving weights season about twenty pounds, and I often find him in thrift stores for four or five bucks. Um, they make great weights, toe hold stands from falling over. Um, so doing there any questions about some of the backgrounds and how we set up these things? Yes, john, they're always can you from livia. Can you say what the name of that stand is? Again with the bubble level there's a man. Fratto? Uh, auto polls, I think. There's a link to them on the course page. Uh, and speaking of the bubble level, I didn't even look at it when I put this one back up, something just a little bit too. Make it straight. There does. All right. So another question is, um, from ax man, what are your thoughts on setting up a green screen? Backgrounds who can change the backdrop digitally in post I'm not a fan of green screen. I haven't done a lot with it, but in my experience with green screen you really need a large space. You need to be able to separate the model from the background you know, in a in a spa home studio like this when I like that green screen it's going to bounce back a little bit infringe the edges and it's going to make it really difficult to know this is the camera that's on talking to ken over here uh, you know, it's going kick back green along the edges and it's going to make it difficult to remove the background. So I most green screens that I've worked in our large commercial studios and where there's a lot of space and we can really flag off the background. So I think a lot of times for a small operation it's more trouble than it's worth. There are other ways to separate from the background in photo shop, you know, just cutting things out with the pen tool or whatever cool uh, question from sunset grip our sunset girl which folks like jim cat, our very own gym have gyms seconded is which is better as a backer and fabric or paper and so maybe that question is yeah, I know right there's there's no better one than the other as they mentioned with fabrics they tend to get wrinkled sometimes the wrinkles work in the shot uh yes you can knock them out of focus if you could get far enough away from them um you can get patterns if you like the patterns here you know, we look at this you know, this hair has this modeled look to it there's a mixture of colors in there so I mean it makes an interesting portrait background, but if I'm doing head shots or um for actors or models I'm often gonna want more plain background where I'll go to the solid white with the white the model can actually closer to the background with a soft light a pie that it's going to cast a softer shadow down so I'm not really worried about shadows on the background so the white gives me a clean or any color it's going to just give me a cleaner uh a cleaner look and a question from did did photo by frank for the seamless how do you secure it to the floor? Just gaffer's tape? Um yeah if I'm doing something that's full length here um I'll run out some onto the floor and gaff tape the front or put a weight across it you know, I could take one of these bars or something and just laid across the front so it doesn't roll back up and from jim nooner how long does that paper usually last year if we're if we're doing head shots and we're not standing on it this could last years once people start walking on it though you know it's probably goingto last one or two sessions on dh how about the role itself? The role is I think thirty six feet s o I mean if we lose five or six feet each time you know yeah, yeah ah question from tom ben is paper or vinyl, which is better for the money I've never tried vinyl vinyl seems like you'd be really heavy be hard to set up by yourself unless it's something that's going to be in place I imagine the vinyl would be more durable and last a little longer uh still needs to be cleaned up but I'm thinking working by myself I can I can lift a roll of paper up onto these things and and get it set up the vinyl is going to be a little more difficulty um you can also do a mixture we're gonna try something today that I haven't tried before uh I went down teo one of the home improvement stores and got this sheet of uh it's a laminate material I'll find the name for you later when we talk about it that's soft and pliable and could be rolled up and we're going to try using that as a floor when we go to the full white seamless set later cool and simone uh new york city has asked can I just hang fabrics? Yeah definitely uh with the fabrics again it's nice to have the background stands but that's what I was showing you here I mean that's a little let's get an apple box you could just take that off there I mean this is a small piece of fabric get a larger fabric or a muslim and you know just just hang it off things or pin it to the walls even if you if you can if you're in your own place if you're going to a client's location you probably want to bring a stand with you so that was kind of ah question that v case does had could you get away with not having the poles and just tacked the end of the paper to the wall and put the rolled up part paper down on the floor? It can as they say in your own place but then you're going to end up with a lot of holes in the wall if you have to tack up paper each time you do it I think this background stand is in the area of one hundred one hundred twenty five dollars for the you know the two stands the cross bar in a carrying case think that saves the wear and tear on the wall all right and question from sam cox who was one of our best hey sam lots of questions from sam always is seamless background paper non reflective pretty much it's it's very flat on um there's there's no shine to it I don't see any reflections in there so that's yeah well it's not reflective simple answer yeah no ah question from I'm not sure who does jon realize that he is completely awesome oh thank you uh and then from area serious does john use any collapsible sze or is it the role all at the time I do have a couple of collapsible backgrounds well bring one out little later to show you they're they're tough in a home studio because they open up to like uh five by seven feet or seven by nine feet and they're they're really tough to collapse back down in the space there's spring loaded so you gotta worry about them popping open and knocking things down around you but yes I have used them occasionally so cool yeah I think we're gonna move on a little bit start can I just ask you one more thing for people who might just be joining us again to remind us how big the space is that we're working in the total room as I said I believe is twelve foot the soy by eighteen foot that way and because of shelves and stuff around here probably comes down to about a nine by twelve area we can measure that and to make sure little later

Class Description

A photography studio is expensive to rent — especially if you don’t use it every day. If you've been wanting a studio that's nearby and convenient, what could be more convenient than in your own home? Spend a day with John Cornicello looking at how to up an effective home studio.



John... you are an amazing instructor! Thanks for doing what you do :) Keep up the great work.. and having fun :)

Michelle B

John is a walking encyclopedia of information on cameras , lenses and lighting. His mild manner makes him easy to understand. This home studio class that John has done has inspired me to set up a studio in my home. John teaches if there is a will there is a way and he shows you how. This a great class for anyone wanting to set up a home studio even in the smallest of spaces! Thank you John you are a true creative!!

Vitamin Dee

I love this class, but I believe it's time for an updated version. We love John and his easy, no-frills approach makes learning fun.