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How to set up your studio
for portrait photography

Just getting into still life portrait photography? Or are you a professional looking for the right equipment to give your studio the finishing touches?

Whatever your level of experience, Manfrotto can offer a range of equipment for portrait photography which will help take your photography to the next level. With our guide to portrait photography studio setup, you will discover a range of products to help you complete your studio.

Portrait photography studio setup: camera tripods and tripod heads

As with many styles of photography, supporting the camera correctly is a critical element to ensuring excellent portraiture, and Manfrotto’s camera tripods are widely considered the best in class, recognized by professionals all over the world for their reliability. The Manfrotto 055 series or the Manfrotto 190 series are crafted in carbon-fiber or aluminum, making them super lightweight, and sturdy. Manfrotto tripods are designed to provide you the maximum stability and flexibility while you frame your shot. The high-quality 055XPRO3 aluminum 3-section photo tripod is easy to set up and lock into place, providing very precise and stable framing for each shot, and the flexibility to shoot from different angles helps you to achieve the exact composition you’re looking for.

When it comes to quickly changing the camera position during a shoot, the 190XPRO Aluminium 4-Section Tripod allows you to quickly frame and reframe your shot, thanks to its ergonomic leg angle selectors and secure power lock. The tripod’s Easy Link 3/8 connector thread also lets you easily attach accessories like monitors. When considering tripod heads, the X-PRO 3-Way tripod head with retractable levers, features three levelling bubbles for precision while shooting across all axes, and supports cameras up to 8kg.  For those moments when you need an extra hand to hold your flash or you want to place it in a location where a light stand simply will not allow, there’s the Spring Clamp W/Shoeflash, the flexible clamp that features multiple attachment options, and is designed to provide a superior hold. With its cold shoe tilt head, it's perfect for lightweight flashguns or LEDS.

Lastolite by Manfrotto: studio lighting setup for portraits

Consistent and controlled lighting is crucial for breathtaking portraiture, so much so that no studio is complete without great light modifing equipment. The Lastolite product line offers everything a portrait photographer could need to shape and control the light source during a shoot, including flashgun soft boxes like the Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 and light reflectors and diffusers, like the HaloCompact Reflector. Their unique design and lightweight build make them easy to set up in a moment’s notice, allowing you maximum control of the light. The Ezybox Speed-Lite 2, with two diffusion layers, is a compact softbox with a rapid folding frame, compatible with all the popular flashguns.

Don’t forget about light support! Manfrotto’s high quality lighting stands provide height adjustable supports that are easy to set up and position.The chrome plated Avenger C-Stand Kit 30 with detachable base offers photographers adjustable grip heads not only for lights, but also for a number of other accessories, and includes a detachable turtle base stand.

Set the stage: Backgrounds and other accessories

In portrait photography, it is essential to have a selection of backgrounds that allow you to create the specific look that you or your client is looking for. The Lastolite By Manfrotto Vintage Collapsible Backgrounds offer a distinctive vintage style look. They are double sided and portable, so they can be set up anywhere, and quickly. To support the Vintage backgrounds the Magnetic Background Support Kit with Stand is the ideal solution offering the ability to quickly switch from one side of the background to the other thanks to the unique magnetic design. When using seamless paper or curtain style backgrounds, a stable adjustable support system is absolutely critical. The Photo stand, Support, Bag and Spring (Complete Set), contains everything you’ll need to do this. Of course, no portrait photography studio would be complete without our Baby Poser so your portrait photography knows no age limit - it’s waterproof and offers multiple posing configurations to and the ability to support the baby.

Camera and tripod bags: take your portraiture studio on the road!

When you need to take your equipment out with you on location, moving your equipment around can be tiring and potentially damaging for your equipment, which is why you need to make sure that your carry your camera, lenses and accessories in something that will protect your gear. Manfrotto’s travel solutions offer photographers light, comfortable, and convenient camera bags, such as the Pro Light Reloader Switch-55 carry-on camera roller bag from our Pro Light Reloader Collection, which protects your equipment when you’re on the go. Its stylish design is just an added bonus! The bag can be used as a backpack or as a wheeled roller bag. It can fit 2 Pro DSLR camera bodies and 4-5 lenses. It’s made of light, strong fabric to prevent ripping, and is durable to prevent wear and tear. Best of all, you won’t have to part ways at check-in! The bag fits as a carry-on for international air travel.

That’s it for our guide to portrait photography studio setup – we hope that it will help you as you prepare for the next portrait shoot in your studio!

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