If you are looking to start your own home studio or even a more professional studio, these five studio necessities should be on your to do list. These items will provide you with the added comfort level and uniqueness with your clients. Ranked in no particular order they all have their up sides and potential draw backs, but for the most part they will enhance you're studio.
Lets face it, most of us need a shot of something to get going in the morning. I myself need a big shot of caffeine before I'm fully awake for the day. Depending on what time of day you are working in the studio you should have the ability to always have some sort of beverage handy, and by beverage I mean coffee, tea or espresso. This gives the models something to fidgit with as well. Its also a great ice breaker for a new model to come in and sit down for a few minutes to chat with you before the shoot begins. Tea has been known for its relaxation properties for generations, so its something good to have on hand. The last thing you want in a photo shoot is a stressed out model, it will show through on the final images. Enabling the model to take a coffee break or start off with a tea or espresso before the shoot is a must have for any pro studio or home studio alike.
Most studios will already have several mirrors hanging in the changing room or makeup section, but its a great tool to have handy in the studio itself. Not only can you use mirrors to create very stunning visuals in photographs, but it allows the model to see themselves and change poses if they don't like the look. This is a double edged sword however, as the model can get so wrapped up in looking at them self in the mirror they start over analyzing and the shots become tedious. Use mirrors with caution in your studio, but have them handy and within reach as they have all sorts of uses.
Fun Unique Props
Props can either make or break a photo. Having fun, interesting, unique props handy will make your images stand out from competitors that might be in the same geographic area as your home studio. The trick with props is to find the most outlandish and interesting items you can get your hands on. Something like an over sized white with purple polka dots shag pimp hat for example would certainly fall under unusual but severely interesting prop. From my experience, models that are new tend to gravitate towards props that can enhance a shot, so give them something to fidget with and you'll turn a boring mundane image into something unique that will entice the customer to return to your studio for another shoot. This is also a great technique to use in marketing your work as well. If a customer shows their friends and family the shot of the white, purple polka dotted pimp hat, it will be remember and talked about, which will lead others back to your studio for other bookings and word of mouth.
This is one of the most important features of any studio I feel. Moods can be altered with music so profoundly if done correctly and with the right setup. If you have a home studio or pro studio it goes without saying you should have a good sound system, and I don't mean the 1980's boom box you've been storing in the attic with your gold chain. Invest a little money into getting a nice surround sound system that has a good sound. When setting up your shoot with the model, be sure to tell them to bring a few cd's or mp3's of music that they would like to listen to during the shoot.
This is a semi must have for a studio, more so for the home studio, but it still works in pro studios. Having a furry little friend with you in the studio is a great way to put clients at ease and relax them a bit. Be sure to check with your client before the shoot to make sure they aren't allergic to animals or afraid of the particular furry friend if you decide to have a studio mascot however!