How To Create Professional Looking Photos At Home

In college, I worked as a portrait photographer at a professional studio. I loved taking family photos, headshots, pet photos, engagement photos, etc..  When I graduated, I was completely bummed because I could no longer use their equipment for my own photos! As a recent grad on a budget, I was forced to put together a similar setup for a fraction of the price.

Below we discuss what equipment will help you take professional looking photos, why photo quality is important in sponsored posts, and what to look for when editing eye-catching photos.


Ring Light: Perhaps the most important element to creating professional looking photos is excellent lighting. Of course natural sunlight is free-of-charge, but if you’re shooting inside, a ring light will help you achieve the same look.

Box Lights: If ring lights are too intense for your aesthetic, box lights are a great way to diffuse light in a more natural way. These are perfect for headshots and video.

Umbrella Light: Aside from the actual effectiveness of umbrella lights, their portability can’t be beat! They can be easily folded up and stored under a bed, in a closet, or trunk.

Remote Shutter: The best way to take a professional looking “selfie” is with a remote shutter. It is the #1 tool to use if you plan on taking photos of yourself, by yourself. Make sure to research what model remote is compatible with your camera. This is a must have if you are a one-person show.

Tripod: Tripods range in price and quality. Do some research to find the tripod that is the right size and has all of the features to meet your needs.

Backdrops: You have several options when it comes to backdrops. You can always find a wall with an aesthetic you like or you can buy a backdrop stand. There is a wide variety of backdrop designs on the market for you to choose from. You could also grab some fabric from your local craft store and make your own backdrop!

Programs: It depends on your specific camera model, but there are numerous programs that allow you to shoot “tethered” to your computer, meaning you can see a live preview of your photos as you take them. This allows you to adjust your lighting and poses in real time.

Create Professional Looking Photos at Home

(Photo: @ashhobian)

Why invest in home photo equipment? 

  • To create high quality photos for your website, social platforms, blog etc.
  • To stand out to brands and followers (learn more about collaborating with brands here)
  • To save money in the long run by avoiding high priced photographers
  • To be in total control over editing, lighting, and length of photoshoot

How To Edit Eye Catching Photos

You probably notice your favorite creators’ and brands’ Instagram feeds all have one thing in common….eye-catching photos! Many use the same editing process for each post so they stay consistent. Fortunately, there are several programs and apps on the market to assist with this. Do some research and see what programs have features that are important to you. Regardless of which program you choose, consistency among several editing aspects is important:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Sharpness
  • Filter
  • Temperature

Create Professional Looking Photos at Home

(Photo by:

This all may seem overwhelming at first but once you establish a workflow to your photography, you will be well on your way to standing out to your followers and brands!

Want to start collaborating with awesome brands?  Join #ThePaidCrew community and start working with world-class brands.



Marissa is a radio personality turned lifestyle influencer who loves all things beauty, fashion, and travel. You can follow her on Instagram at @MarissaOnAir. She is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.