Welcome to Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

Paint the Moon offers Photoshop and Elements actions to help bring new life to your images and take hours off editing time. Professional editing tools to help you do everything including professional retouching, essential workflow edits, and beautiful and unique artistic processing ... all at the click of a button. Our actions work like magic to make processing amazingly quick and simple. Paint the Moon actions are also highly customizable for just the right look and help turn your photos into ART! Also offering fine art and vintage photo textures and other photographers tools for a unique look.

Browse our extensive collection of video tutorials to help guide you through the editing process. Try before you buy with beautiful free actions, textures and more to enhance your photos.

Photoshop Actions Photographers Retouching Workflow Vintage Black and White Enhance Eyes

So, here it is, the tiny little place where my kids and my clients squeeze into for studio images. It is humble, it is messy and unorganized and it is a very simple set up. One of the most simple set ups you can have while shooting professionally in a studio setting. I’ve had many requests over the past couple years for more information and pull back shots, and have fielded a ton of questions about what gear I use and how I do things. Since I’d like to answer everyone’s requests for more information, I’m going to break this little feature into a series of posts, this being the first. Today I will cover just the basics for my set up and show you the mess that lurks in the corners.

Please note: I *adore* glorious, natural light and always, always prefer natural to a studio setting. And, in fact, I swore I would never shoot with any kind of lights for years … scoffing at anything that wasn’t beautiful, natural light. However, I do live in the Pacific NW and we have long, rainy and DARK winters which make photography in the winter months pretty near impossible most days. I’m all for roughing it and getting out in the cold and wind to take photos – but when it’s also pouring rain in addition to being dark and freezing, it makes it not just miserable (especially for little ones and babies), but darn near impossible. So, the studio was born out of necessity and an intense longing for some photo opportunities during those dark winter days. I haven’t actually set foot in the studio – which has become a dumping ground for props over the summer – since last spring when we saw our first few days of sunshine and warmth. However, the looming darkness and rain are setting in here already, so soon I’ll be dusting things off in preparation for being studio bound once again.

Prime Location
The first thing you may notice is this is smack dab in the middle of our home. I like to think of it as an ever present reminder of how much my husband loves me ? we no longer have a living room, we have a photo studio. Add that to the fact that I also convinced him many years ago to ditch our dining room in favor of a girl’s playroom and you are looking at one very patient and supportive guy.

Space, What Space?
You may think you need a huge studio space and lots of fancy gear, but in all actuality, what is important is that you have the “right” gear and setup. Ideally, this space should be bigger. Width wise, I’m doing fine, but I would love to have more breathing room when stepping back to take a photo. Now that I’m using a full frame camera (Nikon D700 … “What’s In My Bag” feature coming soon), it’s not so bad. However, when I was shooting with a cropped sensor (Nikon D300), it was absolutely too tight in there. In the studio is the only place I ever touch a zoom lens … I love my primes, but because I can’t shoot wide open to get that lovely bokeh that is my trademark look while using studio lights (more on that below) and the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 is a tack sharp lens, I end up primarily using the 24-70 for studio work (with a cropped sensor you would need to zoom out pretty far still). The width of the room (from my background wall to the opposite wall with canvases) is 13 feet. Since you want your subject pulled off the background at least 6 to 8 feet, this makes shooting in there very, very tight. Most of the time I am shooting with subjects closer than they should be to the background and watching carefully for undesirable shadows that can be the result of a subject too close to your background.

Settings
My prime lenses are my babies … the 85mm 1.4G is rarely off my camera, except in the studio. Because I shoot with strobes (more on what I use below), I can’t shoot with a shallow depth of field like I usually do with my primes. My shutter sync speed is about 1/250 second. Any faster shutter speed and I’ll get a curtain shadow (by charlie borer). In order to shoot at the widest aperture possible, I have my light’s power turned down ALL the way and my shutter speed as high as it can go (the 1/250 second I just mentioned). This usually puts my settings around 1/250 sec, ISO 200, f4.5. With my D700 in the studio I will also use the 35mm 1.4G, sometimes my 85mm 1.4G, and for macro work like shots of precious baby details, I’ll use my 105mm f2.8G Macro lens (I use only Nikon lenses).



Here is a little diagram showing a rough approximation of my usual set up:


Photo Studio Set Up Lighting Photoshop Actions



The Gear

Alien Bee 800 Flash Unit ? The workhorse of the studio gear (and it’s pink!). I use the 13 foot air cushioned stand for mine. Positioned camera left. ETA: Shortly after writing this I set up a second light as a fill light camera right (an Alien Bee 400 in a slightly smaller soft box). Watch carefully to make sure a fill light is kept at a lower power than your main light and have it angled in a way that you are still getting some good dimensional shadows so your lighting doesn’t look flat. A good place would be opposite your main light and slightly behind the subject, while leaving the reflector in the same spot).

Giant softbox for my AB800 – (30″ x 60″) with speedring attached. Produces a lovely, natural soft light.

CyberSync Receiver (connects to your Alien Bee strobe) and Trigger (mounts on your camera’s hot shoe) – These allow your camera to talk to your Alien Bee and trigger the flash when you shoot. :)

Impact 74″ White Reflector (positioned camera right)
I see the one I use is out of stock, but the LiteDisc Oval Reflector would also work well. I use a cheap light stand that I absolutely hate and have to weight down with a pillow to keep it from toppling over. I would recommend something like this Manfrotto boom stand instead.

Savage Multiple Roll Background Stand System – I love being able to keep multiple rolls of paper or fabrics up at one time.

Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Meter – for metering light and getting a perfect balance and exposure. I also take test shots and check my histogram (using a PhotoVision Digital Target).

Savage Seamless Background Papers - An integral part of my studio puzzle. I love my Savage papers. I have a rainbow of colors on hand, if it gets dirty or ripped I can just roll more out, they aren’t a big investment so if I want some fun, trendy colors I can do that without worry, and I like the nice, clean look they give. I also love making them my own with some added texture since they are a perfect background for adding pretty textures to, giving it a look that fits with my style. I use pony clamps to hold the rolls to my baseboard and on the actual roll to keep it from rolling out too far (and those clamps are endlessly useful on all types of sessions). I have mostly the 107″ rolls. The 53″ rolls are okay if you are working with a newborn or single subject … or a very close pair of subjects that don’t mind squishing together and staying still. However, many of my little clients love to be wiggly and silly, and I totally encourage that for the type of work I do. So, I like the freedom of the 107″ width.

Flooring and Baseboard Trim - I purchased a 10 foot strip of white baseboard from my local Lowes and just roll my background paper down to meet the baseboard, clamping it on both sides with the pony clamps. My flooring is also from Lowes. It’s a special order, but fairly ordinary, laminate faux wood. We purchased a giant piece of plywood and laid the click together faux wood flooring on top of the plywood for stability. I choose this one because I liked the dark, rustic look of it. I just clicked it together on top of the plywood … I didn’t want it to be permanently attached in case I wanted to change it out or move everything in the future. The dimensions of the flooring are 8.5 feet wide by 7 feet deep (not leaving a lot of room for me when pulling my subject off the backdrop at least 5 or 6 feet … many experts recommend 6 or 7 feet).

Manfrotto 222 Joystick Head and Manfrotto 058B Aluminum Studio Pro Tripod – I absolutely adore this tripod … it’s very intuitive and superbly made, but I find myself rarely using a tripod in the studio because I have to be quick with the kiddos. I do love using it on outdoor shoots though.

So, I will leave you with the pull back shots now and you can make yourself feel better about your own messy studio when you see what a disorganized jumble mine is. Note that my light position is usually different, like the diagram, but we don’t want everything to be out in the middle of the room so I only pull them out when shooting. For the second in this series of Studio Spotlight posts I will dish out all the details on my props and answer some reader’s questions that have been sent to me. If you have a question you’d like to see possibly featured in a future installment of the studio series, you can send it to faq@paintthemoon.net. And if you found any of this information helpful, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared it with your photographer friends.


Photoshop Actions Phototography Studio Set Up How To

PSE Actions Photography Studio Set Up Tutorial

PSE Actions Photography Studio Set Up Pull Back


The distortion is from the wide angle lens, my canvases aren’t actually all crooked and wonky … a mish mash, for sure, but they are at least straight. :)

Photoshop Actions Photo Studio Lighting Pull Back Canvases

Photoshop Actions Studio Set Up Pull Back Soft Box

Photoshop Actions Photo Studio Backgrounds Flooring

Photoshop Actions Photo Studio Props


PSE Actions Photo Studio Pull Back Tutorial




And one of my little Junebug after I was finished taking pictures of the mess … proof that you don’t need a super fabulous studio to take great shots:

PSE Actions Photo Studio Set Up Free Tutorial

And one of my favorites of my little girl in the studio. This is another reason why I love having the studio in my home – spur of the moment photos with great lighting can be taken any time. Addie was showing me her “Big Sister Dance” here and I asked her to show me on the “dance floor” so I could capture the moment (we had just found out I was pregnant and she was VERY excited). It was late in the evening as well as freezing cold and raining outside to boot – so this would have never been captured without my little studio. :)

PSE Actions Photo Studio Pull Back Tutorial

PSE Actions Photo Studio Pull Back Tutorial Retouching Actions


By Annie Manning

Comments

  1. Julie V. says:

    Thank you so much for this! I have been having lighting issues in my home studio, I just purchased a soft box so I will now be investing in a reflector. Glad to have some ideas to try!

  2. Amy says:

    Wow! Annie thank you so much for showing this. Not only is it great to see how you work, but it’s super encouraging to know that I don’t need a “fancy pants” studio to do great in-door work. I long to do shoots during the dreary winter months as well but wasn’t sure if my home-studio would be deemed “professional.” Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Kerry says:

    Thank you so much! I have been so scared of all the lighting equipment and thinking that it wouldn’t mesh with my style either, but I love how you make it all look so natural. I do have one question though…..what is that wood-looking flooring? and where did you get it?? THanks for all the helpful info!! :)

    1. Annie says:

      Thanks, Kerry! I’m glad you found it helpful. :) You can find the flooring information under the Flooring and Baseboard Trim subtitle. :)

  4. Keila says:

    Annie, you are simply the best… You amaze me every time! Always look forward to learning with you! <3

  5. Tori Wild says:

    Thanks so much Annie– I do have a question on your flooring— did you adhere it with a flooring adhesive to get it to stay or did you just click it all together and leave it on the plywood? Thinking my hubby may have a weekend project!! :) Also– Do you have the dimensions of your flooring?

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Tori! I just clicked it together on top of the plywood … I didn’t want it to be permanently attached in case I wanted to change it out or move everything in the future. The dimensions of the flooring are 8.5 feet wide by 7 feet.

  6. Ashley Bed0 says:

    Wonderful! My husband and I have been looking at the alien bee! We started using a reflector alone outdoors and I can’t believe the difference it has made in our photography already.

  7. Karen M. says:

    Thanks so much for this Annie! It really helps. Its great to see the set up used to get such amazing images.

  8. erin says:

    Thank you SO much for this! I cannot tell you how much it has helped this newbie ;)

  9. Georgianna says:

    GREAT post, Annie! I think a lot of new-ish photographers are intimidated by studio lighting but, really, it’s vital so that one is not dependent on weather. I’ve been gently recommending studio lighting to my followers, too. LOVE my Alien Bees 800 but mine’s black, not pink :( as hubby and I share. :) We just bought and installed industrial shelving for all my props which threatened to engulf the house. Anyway, thanks for posting this and encouraging others to expand their skills. xo Georgianna

  10. Courtney says:

    So awesome!!!!! I thought you had a natural light studio but this is so much better for my needs :). Yay me! Thanks for the guide.

  11. Tori Wild says:

    Thanks Annie!! I feel a trip to Home Depot coming over me…

  12. Oh Annie…this is such a fantastic post!! Love you for it :) I posted it on my own photography page on Facebook. I know there are many photographers out there wondering what it takes to set up a home studio. Hope you are doing well! xoxo Tasha

  13. Gaye Edwards says:

    Thank you for sharing this setup. You are an inspiration. Keep up the great work.

  14. Amy Shipp says:

    Thanks Annie for all this information. It is so helpful!! I am still learning and have recently been looking into diffent types of backdrops. I love the seamless look of how your backdrops looked and have been wondering what you have been using. This is so helpful because I was wanting some solid color backdrops that way I could add my own textures to them if I wanted to change them up!! I just wondered what size backdrop that you would recommend getting because there are several sizes on their site.

  15. Brandy says:

    Wonderful…thank you!

  16. Wow, what a great read! Thanks so much for the info, Annie! Oh, and it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one with overflowing props and storage–hee! hee! : )

  17. Jennifer Warmbrodt says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Annie :)
    I just received my alien bees yesterday (hot pink, too ;)and I’m so excited to try them out.
    This helps alot with giving me an idea of settting everything up!

  18. Maureen says:

    Awesome, awesome post! Proof that a whole big fancy expensive studio isn’t necessary to produce beautiful work! Yay! Thanks so much, Annie.

  19. Maria says:

    Thank you sooo much for sharing! Loved the setup, simple enough but very effective…just added a few items to my gear list..lol. Great work!

  20. Jennifer F. says:

    Great tutorial! Very helpful!

  21. Melanie says:

    Annie, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart! It’s so nice to see that it’s possible in a small space and to still produce such gorgeous photos. As someone who is just learning to better my photography, this is invaluable to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :)

  22. Bree Adams says:

    Thanks Annie!

    I did a full garage conversion a few months ago. I just moved into studio shots for winter and newborns. I finally got strobing down and now will play with that reflector. I also had an adversion against the plain paper but you have inspired me to retry it.

  23. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! My home studio is also a small space, and it is nice to know that it IS workable, even if not ideal. I have been thinking about buying the seamless paper backgrounds. Appears to be a great investment. Do you mind if I ask, what width seamless paper do you buy? (the 107″, or the 53″)

    Thank you again,

    Katy

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Katy! Thanks for the kind words. :) I have mostly the 107″ rolls. The 53″ rolls are okay if you are working with a newborn or single subject … or a very close pair of subjects that don’t mind squishing together and staying still. However, many of my little clients love to be wiggly and silly, and I totally encourage that for the type of work I do. So, I like the freedom of the 107″ width.

  24. Cassie says:

    This is the ultimate! Thanks so much. I am in the process of setting up an indoor studio even though I love shooting outside. You make it look so easy and affordable. I can’t wait to get my studio finished. Thanks again.

  25. anita says:

    Thank you!

  26. Heather says:

    That was so interesting,you certainly know how to make things work for you,as your photos are always Beautiful works of art.Loved having a sneek peek into your life,thankyou!

  27. WOMDERFUL thank you so much… oh to find some good suppliers in the UK though. sigh. will be buying some flooring and skirting this week… LOVE how you connect the paper to the baseboard. simple but genius as the best things always are.

  28. Amy Loo says:

    Thank you so much for this wacky, yet helpful post! I never thought I would be able to do indoor “studio”-ish photos. But you gave me some awesome and tear-downable ideas. You’re awesome!

  29. Holly H says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this great info! I’m trying to get my own studio set up as living in SD we too have long winter months. It was so helpful to see your setup, space and equipment you use.

  30. Stacey says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am sure you are busy but this really really helps!!!!! You are so so kind to post and help others like tis.

  31. Andrea Janes says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Annie… I’d love to do indoor photos one day and as I can see it can be kind of affordable. ps: Funny, but at first I thought you’ve painted many times your wall studio… (shame on me LOL :o)
    As usual, you give me inspiration! ;)

  32. mel Cowell says:

    Thank you Annie you are a generous soul sharing your knowledge. Such an inspiration x Mellypops

  33. Would just like to say… This is one of my favorite posts. Ever.

    1. Annie says:

      Thank you! :)

  34. Monika says:

    Wow, Annie… this makes me want to turn my dining room into a studio, but I have a feeling my hubby won’t like the idea, lol. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  35. Michelle Jones says:

    Thank you for this post, Annie. I am thinking of buying an Alien Bee too. Would you say you would have enough power with a B400 and reflector, or do you think you really do need the B800?

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Michelle! Yes, the 400 would be perfectly sufficient. I actually have my 800 turned down ALL the way down on power most of the time (I like to use as wide an aperture as possible). :) Glad you found the post helpful!

  36. Amy says:

    I’m honestly taking every single piece and adding it to my collection! This gives me hope to make a studio out of my house! haha
    What about a holder for the reflector? I’m purchasing 2 of the 13ft air cushioned stands and a litedisc reflector, but what do you suggest to hold the reflector to the stand? Thank you again! so much!

    1. Annie says:

      I emailed you, Amy! I have a link in the post now for a nice boom stand from Manfrotto to hold the reflector. They are a solid brand with really great quality products. :)

  37. Thank you sooo much for taking the time to post this. I mainly shoot natural light but would love to get a indoor studio and this will help me get the right stuff. One of the hardest things I have found about photography is making sure you get the right equipment. Thanks again!

  38. Chelsey says:

    Ok… all the little notes around the room were cracking me up! Great tips. Thanks!

  39. I love to see other people’s studios :) thanks for sharing! I really thought you were using natural light this whole time! So great job, your lighting is so great no one can tell the difference!
    ? Melissa

  40. Jaime Hough says:

    An answer to my prayers! I’m about to go home-studio … and wow! You’ve answered all my questions! :-) Thank YOU to the moon and back a million bajillion times over! <3

  41. Mindy says:

    I so appreciate this post…and I love how you added your little comments in the photos. can I ask how much you depend on the natural light from your window? It looks like you have the reflector in front of it, but I’m wondering if any natural light helps out in the set up. I’d love to do this in my basement, but there is no light at all. you rock!

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Mindy! I don’t rely on the natural light at all … it looks like a large window, but I actually get very little usable light from it and the strobe (Alien Bee) overpowers any light that may be coming in anyway. The thing that is really a huge pain is the skylight above my studio. I’ve been looking into getting a shade that works by remote to place over it, but since I shoot outdoors when it’s sunny and nice out I’ve been thinking I really don’t need it. :) But, you don’t need natural light coming in with this set up.

  42. Jennifer says:

    LOVE this!! Thanks so much for the inspiration and for sharing!

  43. Jenny Wagner says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! This is very encouraging :) and hilarious! I’ve been debating on indoor lighting solutions for my living room (bouncing just isn’t cutting it!), and whether to keep on with the photography business. It’s so wonderful to see other moms making it work. Your work is absolutely fantastic, love it!
    Warm sunny wishes from Nebraska,
    Jenny

  44. [...] with the new Exclusive Facebook Freebie – Polish and Protect Tiny FB Edition release, the Studio Spotlight, and my getting the final touches done on the much anticipated release of Picture Perfect for PSE [...]

  45. Aimee Cunningham says:

    This is wonderful info…thank you!

  46. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much for such great information!!

  47. Jay says:

    How do you put the reflector onto the stand/boom?

    1. Annie says:

      It comes with little clamps on it. :) If yours doesn’t you could always use pony clamps like the ones I use for the backdrops.

  48. Tena Wood says:

    Thank you so much for going into such detail and the pics of your setup – This helps me out tremendously. I love your site and your actions. :)

  49. Bridget says:

    I too have the Alien Bees, an 800 and 400 and LOVE them. I use the 800 as my main light with reflector as you have set in your studio. The Alein Bee 400 striplight, like you have displayed in images, I have set 180 degrees from main light… so it is behind and to the opposite side of the subject. This provides a more dimensional effect to my work… might be worth a try. Thanks for your willingness to share!

    1. Annie says:

      Thanks, Bridget! I actually wrote this last spring and have since switched things up … my fill is sitting pretty much exactly where you described yours to be! :) Thanks so much for visiting and for taking the time to comment!!

  50. Catriona says:

    Thank you so so so much for sharing!

  51. Kenzi says:

    I loved your pullbacks! So very helpful! Is that an action you ran on the last photo of your daughter? It makes the entire photo look like it was printed on canvas. I really like it! Is it one of your actions? Thank you again for your helpful post!

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Kenzi! You’re welcome – I’m glad you found it helpful. :) That is actually a texture I used on the image … you can find them under the Textures menu above. Thank you!

  52. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! You are an inspiration and so very helpful many photographers do not let you into there world. Thanks again for sharing yours I found everything so helpful as I also use my dining area. Now I know I don’t need that “fancy smanchy” studio!

  53. Amie says:

    This was wonderful. I dont have a studio yet, hopefully someday. This gave me so much insite, thank you for sharing this!

  54. Shanna says:

    I just loved reading this!! I myself love shooting outside. But with winter approaching I need lighting. And i am so torn on what to get with a limited budget. I love this. It just goes to show you that you don’t need a whole bunch of lights to make wonderful pictures inside. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!! Did I mention how much I LOVE this!

  55. Elizabeth Graham says:

    Thanks so much for the tips! I’m in the process of adding to my studio right now and this is a big help. I’m curious what is the name of the pink paper roll you have? The shade is gorgeous, but it’s hard to tell with that textured photo!
    Thanks again!

    1. Annie says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! That’s the Coral Savage paper … it’s warmer in the photo shown here because the texture I applied was warm. You can see the true color here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paintthemoon/4291994283/in/set-72157623325749578

  56. Angela says:

    I have a pretty newbie question- What do you use for printing your images? Do you have your own printer or do you use a company?

  57. Lorena {Photography by Elle.g} says:

    Annie, thank you so much for taking the time to share this. I love natural light and shooting outdoors because it allows for much more creativity. However, I think having an in-home studio is a great alternative for those gloomy and rainy days.

    Will you consider doing some workshops and travel to Dallas or Texas wouldn’t mind hosting you :) I think you would be great and could offer some useful insight on editing, technique, and
    more.

    Again thanks for information and I can’t wait to read the rest.

    Lorena {Elle.g}

  58. Lisa Smiley says:

    so neat! thanks for sharing..wondering if those remote triggers are basically the same as radio poppers (and at a humungous price difference)? Would you recommend them??

    1. Annie says:

      Lisa .. yes and yes! ;) They’ve worked wonderfully for me and are essentially the same thing, but with a lesser price tag.

  59. Anna Martin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this info!!! It is sooo helpful for me ( a newbie)! I really appreciate you taking the time to share and your willingness to share your secrets! I can’t wait till Christmas when my husband lets me buy “the whole shebang!” Whoo-hoo!

  60. [...] of my family. I hope to have a wall full of Canvases one day like Annie, The woman that Owns Paint the Moon Photography (click on that and you will see her walls in her house) Except I want to do it in my [...]

  61. Loved all the info & the pull backs were very insightful. Having a small home studio as well made me appreciate your info. Have you a fav backdrop stand as I have a homemade one but finding it not quite wide enough. Do you prefer the seamless paper to fabric backdrops & if so why? Thanks for sharing. Lyndal

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Lynda! I just prefer the clean look it gives, they are super easy and affordable – I can have a myriad of different colors and change them out easily, and I love being able to add my own touch with a texture like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paintthemoon/4398121957/in/photostream. :)

  62. rosa ramentol says:

    Annie, how do you get the large soft box so low to the ground? I have the 10 foot AB stands and they don’t go that low I think. Thanks!

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Rosa! If you turn it vertically it’s going to be closer to the ground. I haven’t seen the 10 foot stand, but I’m assuming it’s similar. :)

  63. Annie!!!! Firstly, I have to say… YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I find absolutely EVERYTHING you share inspiring, fabulous, HELPFUL (very, very, very HELPFUL) and truly AMAZING!! Love your photography, love your tips, and LOVE your Actions!!
    Thankyou SO very much for sharing your AMAZINGNESS!! (ooh new word!! ;-))

    xx Sarah

    1. Annie says:

      Hi, Sarah!! You are so kind, thank you so much for such lovely complements! I am just delighted you are finding the tutorials and tips helpful and thrilled you love your actions! I think YOU are pretty amazing and thank you for taking the time to post such wonderful feedback! :D

  64. Sarah says:

    Hi!!! I love love love this! Thank you for this info!!! The pictures are so helpful, too. I am about to buy equipment for my first studio (ok, my dining room!). I have a Nikon SB-700 Speedlight… would this work in place of the Alien B800, even in the huge softbox? I am not sure how much I can spend, but I have to purchase some equipment, I am doing a mini-shoot marathon in November.

  65. laura ashley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! Your brilliant use of space just might be the last push I need to convert our garage into a studio space. And the fact the your hubby sacrificed your actual living room will def factor into my case ;) So perfect!! <3

  66. Unbelievable. I have always wondered how you have so many colors for your studio and why the walls were so perfect considering you have children. (mine colors on the walls occasionally) Thank God for mr clean magic eraser. I really thought you had several rooms with bright pink and blue painted walls. I think this is amazing and am considering turning our small apartment into a studio where our dining room table is. (it is too big and I want it gone) Thank you so muchfor sharing. Christina

  67. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this!! It’s exactly what I needed to see.
    I want to take studio pictures in my dining room but wasn’t sure if I’d have the space. Your space looks like the same size as mine, so I’m good there!
    I have two questions:
    1. Is it essential to use the large softbox because it will extend closer to the floor/the baby? If you used a smaller one, would it have to be angled downward, thus creating shadows?
    2. What length lens do you use in that size room?
    Thanks, again!!!
    Jennifer

  68. Jennifer says:

    Woops!
    Just read your description. Got your camera info now. :)
    Jennifer

  69. Kate says:

    Thanks for this post!! It was extremely helpful. In the last photo of your daughter, what is the name of the savage paper that you used? I love it!!

  70. Natalia says:

    Thank you so much! You have been so helpful! Love you home studio, your daughter is adorable, gorgeous eyes! I have room in my house that i used as my home natural light studio but with winter and getting so dark outside i decided to set up one light studio. I am thinking about getting octagon softbox, what size do you think would work better in your situation, my room is very similar to yours? Thank you!!!

  71. Amanda says:

    Excelent post!!! Thank you so much for the tips you give everyday! Your photos are amazing:)

  72. Janet says:

    Fantastic! Thank you soo much for sharing all your little secrets.. I was just you to put up some shots of your studio when I saw this… ;)

  73. Lauren Medean says:

    Oh my word, EXTREMELY helpful. Annie, you’re just wonderful!
    Can’t wait to see if I can make my own little set up like this one!
    I can’t tell you how much we ALL appreciate the fact that you’re willing to share with us all of your little secrets and tips. You’re amazing.

    -Lauren

  74. [...] Note: this is part one and just about what I personally use. Part two will have recommendations for those on a tight budget and for those shooting with Canon gear. I tend to ramble and include a lot (too much?) information, so I didn’t want this post to be overwhelming. For those wanting to see what I use in the studio when I am forced to take my shooting indoors in the middle of our Oregon winters, see my Studio Spotlight. [...]

  75. Simone says:

    You are amazing, love your pictures and the actions as well…
    Thank you for the “behind the scenes” view :)
    it’s very inspiring!!

  76. Michael says:

    Hi Annie! Thanks again for such a great view into your studio. I just read your post about the upcoming part two studio recommendations and you mentioned those of us who shoot with Canon gear. Other than you using your D700 and 24-70mm, does your current studio setup change if I’m a Canon user? I was planning on start building my studio “kit” but am a bit apprehensive since I shoot with a Canon.

  77. Arianna Parman says:

    This has been SOOOO helpful!!! I am a “photographer-in-the-making” (as I like to call myself) and I have been totally clueless on how to setup a studio AND what would be good to use. I am in school for photography and won’t be taking lighting classes for a little while, but I want to go ahead and try to start up. So this has been great! Thanks so much!

  78. Jane Sullivan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing – as a beginner who would love a little studio, this is wonderful. So many photographers won’t share (I know, I’ve asked) but you are truly wonderful and I really want thank you. I have my first 50mm 1.4 (for canon) and am ready to hit the road shooting! I am in Australia so we don’t have the long dark winters you do but I’d still love a simple little studio (though outside is so much better of course) I am collecting my props, fairy wings, tutus, beads and hats and am SO excited now with my lens to see what I can do. Its your help that has really inspired me and I love your work. Again, thank you :) Jane

  79. Annie, you are amazing to take the time to shoot and share all of this information. It is so helpful! Thank you! Thank you for sharing your gifts with the rest of us! :)

  80. annie! ummm u ROCK! love the piles of stuff, the baby love, and u’re energy! awesome post! where can i find part 2 of this…must read!

  81. Hilliary says:

    If I had a dollar for every minute I spend on your site I’d be rolling in cash!!!! Question, your decision to use strobes vs continuous light? Was thinking of making a switch to continuous what’s your advice?

  82. Tiff says:

    Hi Annie, Thank you for sharing! What an amazing wealth of knowledge you share with us! I just ordered a few items from your studio set up and cant wait for them to come, thanks so much again :)

  83. Jennifer says:

    Wow, Annie. So much great information, I don’t even know what part to pick first as far as thanking you for. I tend to ramble on, so I will try to keep it short. I am a mom of two little ones and I love photography. I want to sart buying better equipment to capture the kids with. On your “whats in my bag” section you mention a part two for Canon users. I myself use canon. Did you ever finish section two and if so how can I find it. Again, thank you so much. Your work totally rocks and your kids are adorable!

  84. allen says:

    nice post..thx