If you are looking for a “one-stop” photo studio kit, there are several options to choose from. You can acquire photo kits from $100 – $400 and those on the higher end will have many tools, photographic backdrops and photography accessories. These quality packages can eliminate the necessity to purchase substantially more photography equipment in the future.
There are a couple of philosophies when building and supplying your photo studio. The first one is purchasing a Photo Studio Kit which has a variety of photo backdrops, photo studio lights, bulbs and accessories. The drawback is that you may not get the best quality from each item or you will have items in your kit that you do not use. Also, most of the studio kits do not include higher-quality accessories such as a ring light or umbrella lights. Despite this, for most beginners it the way to go because the front-end costs are quite reasonable for your first photo studio.
As you gravitate from being a hobbyist to a professional photographer, you will probably want to purchase items that are sold separately. This allows you to tailor your photo studio equipment to the type of photography and/or filming you are doing. The biggest negative is that you will end up spending more money by buying equipment separately. Even so, you can easily buy an advanced “point and shoot” digital camera with accessories and all of your photo studio equipment for $1000 or less.
For illustrative purposes, here is one studio kit found online at Amazon.com. The brand is Fovitec and titled a “1x Complete Photography & Videography Studio Kit”. You can purchase this kit for between $269 and $349 depending on the size of your photo backdrops chosen. The Fovitec is a great choice for beginners and even advanced hobbyists. Here is what the kit includes:
Backdrop Support Stands – includes two (2) backdrop support stands that can adjust from 3’ to 8’9” feet in height. They are made out of cast iron tubes with locking joints. It also includes a four (4) piece aluminum crossbeam, allowing crossbeam widths from 5’ to 9’11” feet. In addition, it comes with its own carry bag.
Muslin Backdrops – Muslin backdrops are a great choice because they are woven from a non-reflective cotton fabric. In this kit, you get three (3) backdrops including one (1) Black, one (1) White, and one (1) Green. For $349, the backdrops are 10’x20’ but if you do not need such large backdrops, smaller backdrops are priced more economically (6’x9’ for $269 or a 10’x12’ for $299).
Softbox Lighting – kit includes three (3) softbox lights that are made out of nylon and are 20”x28”. These use flexible steel rods and Velcro attached diffusers which makes the setup very easy. The lights are very “broad” with window-like quality and glow. In addition, the lights themselves are soft and balanced at 5500k. Having three lights is advantageous, as you can use the “Three-Point Lighting Technique” that is recommended. As such, you will setup a “key light”, a “fill light” and a “backlight’. In addition, the softbox lights include 3 ea. 5 socket heads, 3 ea. 7’6” light stands and 15 ea. 45w light bulbs. Your lighting will have continuous output lighting at the equivalent of 3000x of incandescent power. You may wish to consider changing out the standard-quality incandescent light bulbs for LED lighting, to reduce heat and reduce cost. However, you can purchase fifteen (15 ea) 45watt equivalent soft white LED bulbs for around $40.
Overall, this is a great setup for a Photo Studio Kit, at reasonable price. If you wished to add additional components, I would recommend adding 3 ea. Umbrella Lights for around $50 and a Ring Light for around $100.