Influencer Studio Basics: Lighting and Décor Ideas for Any Budget

make up influencer in her studio
Artie Medvedev/Shutterstock, nickfz/Shutterstock, Remix by Luis Enrique Gomez

If you’re at the point where you’re setting up lighting and thinking about decor for your influencer studio, you probably already know the basics. However, if you’ve just recently begun to test the influencer waters, you may need some help getting started. Whether you’re a seasoned content creator or an absolute novice, this guide will help you get started on your influencer studio set.

What is an influencer studio?

Your influencer studio is where you make the content magic happen. Whether you’re doing paid ads or making videos for the niche you’ve carved out for yourself, your space should reflect the story you’re trying to tell.

When it comes to brand campaigns and paid content, background is key. Unless you’re using a blank backdrop, definitely do a test shot to make sure there’s nothing visible that the company would see and think, “OH DEAR GOD, WHYYY??”

Examples include a Pepsi in the background of a Coke ad, visible filth, or a, uh, “personal massager.” You get it. It’s always a good rule to clear away all branding except for the one who is paying you to make an ad for them.

If you’re still building your following, influencer studio aesthetics are key. Even if it’s just a single poster, a framed photo, or a vase, your aesthetics should always complement the message you’re portraying in your content. And if you’re making sarcastic comedic content, then yes, sometimes a distracting or antithetical item is still considered complementary.

If you’re more seasoned and have a loyal fan base, subtle changes to your influencer studio background or decor can help denote a tone shift. Are you normally silly, but need to make a serious post?

Modifying or even entirely swapping out your background will convey that to your audience before you even start talking. Allow the alteration of your studio space to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

How do you set up lighting for influencers?

The general rule for lighting influencer spaces is that there is no such thing as too much light. Seriously. You know how some people don’t use filters, definitely aren’t supermodels, but still always look awesome? It’s because they are using an absolute boatload of very well-placed, soft lights.

Don’t believe me? Take a screenshot of any influencer, zoom in, and look at the size of their pupils. Basically imperceptible. That’s their stellar and abundant lighting.

Follow this guide based on budget.

Budget: $0

Yes, it is absolutely possible to create an influencer studio for free, assuming you own a lamp or two and any type of white fabric (sheet, towel, wedding dress, etc.). First, find a corner of your house or apartment that is mostly blank, or where you can easily remove anything you don’t want to be seen.

Next, unplug as many lighting fixtures in your house as you can. Then place them within a couple feet of where you’ll be recording. If any of the bulbs are low light, take the lampshade off.

In the space between you and the camera, throw down any white fabric or paper. You can also tape a few pieces of white paper to any nearby walls for an extra lighting boost.

Take a few test shots, then adjust the lights and white paper/fabric until you like the shading (or lack thereof). It could take a while, but with some patience, you’ll not only make it work, but learn a lot about how to light yourself in a pinch.

Have you taken some test shots but still feel under-lit? Cover a piece of cardboard with tin foil with the shiny side out, then smooth out the wrinkles. Congrats, you’ve made a reflector board! Angle the board any way you’d like to get extra light where you need it. Try at a 45-degree angle below you and go from there.

Budget: up to $500

The most important tip I’ve learned is that you can do a lot with a little. However, if you pay more for a product, it’s often higher quality. As with any purchase, read customer reviews and search the company names beforehand.

For under $250, you can buy a good ring light with a stand, a simple paper backdrop with a stand, and two small fill lights. These will definitely up your game, and if you’re careful, they’ll last a long time.

It’s important to treat your new influencer studio setup gear with love, especially if you bought them on a budget. Just like IKEA furniture, they get the job done but they don’t love to be moved around a lot.

Budget: $500 and beyond

When you’re ready to elevate your influencer studio, the sky’s the limit. Whether you have a roomy, open-air loft or a tiny apartment, high-quality lighting will boost the quality of your content.

And a note to those with small spaces: this is where premium lighting can be your best friend. LED fill lights and stands can make even the darkest dungeon look bright and airy. Unless dungeon is your aesthetic, then go for it!

Your best investment will be high-quality stands, lights, and changeable backdrops. As your influencer studio and fanbase continue to grow, you can then move toward movie-quality lights.

When you need to make quick content on the go or from afar, collapsible stands will be your best friends, as well as fabric backdrops you can bring anywhere and small-but-mighty LEDs.

And remember: when you’re ready to invest in a big purchase for your studio set, shop Black Friday and other big holiday sales to get the good stuff at a discount.

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