Studio Portraits On Location | Bay Area | Sonoma, CA

What Are Studio Portraits?

In spirit, studio portraits are captured indoors, in a setting where the photographer has complete control over all elements that make a great photo.

Traditionally one thinks of a photographer’s studio as the space in which studio style portraits are created. Instead, what I do is create studio-quality portraits at your location.

Studio portraits can be photographed on white, black or muslin backgrounds. Additionally, I’ll also arrange for a hair and makeup artist to join us at your location to enhance your features before your photo shoot!

How Much Space Do I Need For Studio Portraits?

To create studio portraits at your location, we will need an area that has at least 12′ (W) x 14′ (L) x 8′(H) of unobstructed working space. You’ll get more style options if your ceilings are taller and if we have total control over the environments light, but neither is a deal breaker if you’re flexible on style.

Simply put, if you have enough space to park your car in your garage, you probably have a great space for me to bring a studio to you!

To illustrate this point, the following portraits were photographed in humble living room. We used a 5’ (T) x 8’(W) window as the only light source to create these portraits.

If you don’t have the space but still want this style of portrait, we can easily add a studio rental to your photo shoot deposit if you’d like.

What Should I Wear For My Studio Portrait?

The simple answer is something nice you won’t hate as time goes on. In truth, it’s hard to suggest outfits for everyone reading this. This is because everyone has a different style and preferences when it comes to clothes. The “best” thing to wear can also vary greatly from person to person depending on body type, skin tone, and the aesthetic of the portrait you what captured.

Rather than tell you what you should wear, I encourage you to check out the picture day outfits section of my “how to look good in portraits” post for ideas.

This section gives 6 of my favorite online retailers that you can rent clothes from as well as general styling tips to consider if you’re not a fashionista.

Where Can I Get Studio Portraits Taken?

Given the above space requirements, studio portraits can happen anywhere within 1 hr of Sonoma, California at no additional cost.

I accept assignments outside of this area for an additional fee TBD once details are discussed. Additional charges usually include: air fare/transportation fees, rental car and lodging as necessary.

How Long Do Studio Portraits Take?

The short answer is it depends on things like how far the photography location is from my car, the conditions at the location, and the final looks you want. Studio portraits will require anywhere from 4-7 hours from the time I show up to the time I leave depending on these details.

I usually set up the area while women have their hair and makeup done. This means women likely won’t even notice the set up because hair and makeup generally takes at least an hour and a half. Guys on the other hand should anticipate the set up time to put everything together after I show up.

If you’re looking for just a headshot and maybe a simple portrait, I recommend planning on at least 2 hours of actual time in front of the camera. This allows for a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere to capture the best portraits possible without feeling rushed.

To get multiple looks with various light patterns, time in front of the camera can be as much as 4-5 hours depending on the variety of looks desired, the complexity of the lighting, etc.

If you have evening plans the day of your photo shoot, you’ll also want to keep breakdown of the space in mind. This is because it will take me roughly an hour after our last photograph to get everything packed up and put away.

To sum things up, plan on at least 4 hours minimum to have your studio portraits captured. If you want multiple looks, 6-7 hrs from the time I arrive to the time I leave would be a realistic estimate of how long your studio portraits will take. Anything less will compromise the quality of your final portraits.

How Much Does a Studio Portrait Cost?

Studio portraits are the same price as any other portrait session with me. You can review my full price menu here for a complete A La Carte breakdown.

We won’t know the total cost your entire collection of images until after the photo shoot. This is because neither of us will know how many there are until I cull them out later. That said, how much you choose to spend will be entirely up to you depending on which images you choose to purchase from your photo shoot.

In theory you could get one photo for as little as $525 including your deposit, hair and makeup and the image. In all honesty though, this almost never happens.

My average client spends somewhere between 2k-5k for their final collection. Some people spend less and some spend considerably more. That said this is a good realistic range to get a collection you’ll be very happy with.

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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