Creating Your Studio Space

This is a guest blog post by Erin Potter, owner of Captures by Erin located in Fort Worth, Texas.  Thank you, Erin, for an exclusive look inside your immaculate studio!


Captures by Erin


When creating an inviting space for your littlest clients, you should thoughtfully consider several factors.  Is it comfortable for mom and dad, soothing to the baby,  and practical for you as a photographer?  Size does not matter!  Utilizing those factors while making the most of the square footage you have is key!

Our studio is not just a pretty place to come for pictures.  What sets us apart is the general feel and the relaxing energy our clients experience when they walk in the door. You know how the old saying goes:  If Mama is not happy, then no one is happy!  Dad is certainly a consideration but Mom is the one who needs the extra attention.  When clients come in for their baby’s first portraits, they should be prepared to relax and rest while my assistant and I take over.  We have a variety of cold and warm drinks, snacks, and of course chocolate.  All of our props double as comfortable seating.  Plush chairs and settees are available for her to put her feet up.  Soft, relaxing (but upbeat) music is playing in the background and scented candles are lit.  It is not uncommon for moms to be lulled to sleep by the soothing surroundings.  It’s a new parent’s retreat!

Every last detail is lovingly considered so that all of baby’s needs are met during their session.  Temperature is critical!  The environment is kept at approximately 80 degrees in the camera room which provides plenty of warmth but allows the grown ups to leave for a cooling off as well.  A space heater is also placed nearby to prevent any drafts from making the baby uncomfortable.   When repositioning to another set, we have found that warming absolutely everything first (our hands, any surface, blankets used, wipes if necessary, etc.) and using swaddling blankets for wrapping will ensure that baby continues to sleep deeply while we transition him. White noise from the fan and from our white noise iPhone app together ensure a very sleepy newborn which we all know is essential!  Our diaper changing area is equipped with changing pad, extra diapers, wipes, and warmers.  Our sink provides instant hot water for quick bottle warming or formula making.  While babies needs are fairly basic, having the little essentials at hand makes the experience comfy cozy!

While creating a pleasant experience for our clients is important, making sure we have the tools at hand to deliver gorgeous imagery should be top priority.  At our studio, we use studio lighting via large soft boxes and reflectors positioned from a rail system that’s anchored into the ceiling.  The biggest reason we decided to do this is to ensure the safety of both the staff and the subjects.  When working space is limited, a soft box attached to a light stand is sure to be tripped over at some point.  Since all lighting equipment is off the ground, we not only have confidence that we can avoid injury from tripping but the baby stays safe from falling equipment (or falling people) as well.  Every session is pre-planned with our clients so we already know what we need for our design.  We keep a posing and set checklist nearby to make sure we get everything the parents and I have envisioned.  For efficiency, we place all the chosen blankets, hats, props, and camera lenses within reach so either I or my assistant can retrieve them quickly.  Special cushioned mats are placed around our set and bean bag for us to kneel on if necessary.  Goodbye sore backs and knees!  Lastly, it is essential to stay hydrated and keep hunger at bay with snacks and bottled water readily available for breaks.

The studio at Captures by Erin was considerately designed to meet everyone’s needs.  By providing comfort and even a little pampering, we’ve provided an upscale and enjoyable experience that stands above our local competition.  In short, clients are happier! And we all know that happy clients lead to word of mouth referrals and referrals provide a thriving business.


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