A photography studio, by simple definition, is basically a workspace where you can create beautiful photos. There is nothing that dictates it must have walls, must be indoors, or even must have electricity for that matter. In fact, the first photography studios “date back to 19th century with the first camera” according to Wikipedia, though even the Wikipedia definition seems to have some problems as they can’t conclude precisely about the definition and sources of a photography studio.

Mobile Photography Studio

This photo of Rebecca was captured by professional photographer Michael Majewski while she posed in the Sun-Cage.

They claim, without citation, that “the earliest photographic studios made use of painters’ lighting techniques to create photographic portraits” with an “open window as the primary source of light…studios started using flashes in 1840…they were quite expensive and dangerous.” Dangerous is never good for any location or photography studio.

Photography Studio Outdoors

Here you can see professional photographer Mike Majewski use the Sun-Cage as an on-location, mobile photography studio in Maui along with the SUNBOUNCE PRO and MINI photography reflectors used to capture the image of Rebecca above.

The more I searched the internet, whether it was Quora or other photography websites, I found people mostly telling you how to build the proper studio, how to run a studio business, or some version of what makes a studio — too many opinions about everything from a professional studio to a living room studio, so I said, “Let’s make this simple.”

Taking one good thing I found in the Wikipedia description that I feel best describes a studio, simply put, it’s your workspace that allows you to create photographs. That’s it! And again, no requirement for sheetrock walls or dangerous electrical outlets, the only requirement is that you have a location you can work in comfortably and safely to make your artistic visions become reality. Any location that allows you to have some form of control over the elements is your photography studio.

Mobile Photography Studio

The SUNBOUNCE Sun-Cage assembles and disassembles so easy, that even my models enjoy putting it together on location as seen here in Maui on the beach.

Mobile Photography Studio
For example, the Sun-Cage is composed of fabric diffusion and sun-blocking screens plus sturdy 8-foot by 8-foot lightweight aluminum frames. It doesn’t matter where you set it up, as long as the Sun-Cage is set up in a safe and sound location, plus secured, which normally only takes about 15-minutes to create it once you’ve done it for the first time. When it’s set up securely, it’s your Mobile Photography Studio Solution on location. Your very own photography studio in a bag when it’s disassembled for transport and storage.

Location Photography Studio

Here you can see the Sun-Cage from the back. Notice the -1/3 No Moiré back screen which acts as a neutral density filter to darken your background but not your subject. The white side, white top, and black side screens combinations adds contrast to the images which works great on cloudy days.

So far, I’ve used the Sun-Cage in Moab, Los Angeles, the Las Vegas dry lake bed, the ghost town in Nelson, and now Maui. It’s a portable and lightweight solution with so many screen combinations of white, black and the optional -1/3 stop No Moiré backdrop screen.

Darken the Background
Combine two of the optional -1/3 stop No Moiré backdrop screens, turning one 90-degrees to the other, and you have a -2/3 stop loss of light that can dramatically and efficiently darken your background which works great with reflected light from a SUNBOUNCE MINI or PRO fitted with either the SUNBOUNCE Sparkling Sun or 3D Raindrops Silver reflector screens. Think of the optional -1/3 stop No Moiré backdrop screens as a neutral density filter, but unlike those made for your camera lenses, this neutral density effect only applies to your background, not your subject.

Portable Location Photography Studio

Here you see Kellie being photographed by professional photographer Mike Majewski. SUNBOUNCE makes an “Grip Head Enterprise” clamp which works great on any light stand, as seen here connected to the C-stand arm.

A Fill-Flash Effect Without the Flash
This photography technique will give you the “pop” of fill-flash without the harshness from artificial light as the best light is always reflected or diffused natural light. Think of it as using God’s light, not manmade light, and besides, God’s light will beat any man’s artificial light hands down. And whomever your God maybe, you’re not going to beat him in anything, and if you don’t believe in God, you’re not going to beat Mother Nature, but you can beat the sun and use it to your photographic advantage.

Outdoor model photography studio

I jumped in and grabbed a quick photo when Mike took a break. Notice the background? Try planting palm trees in an indoor studio, doesn’t work!

Whether you believe or don’t believe in faith, remember, the key to any photography studio, or workspace location, select it wisely, especially an outdoor photography studio location. With the SUNBOUNCE photography tools, you don’t need electricity, so that’s never a factor for me. Besides, if you must incorporate flash to create your images, use battery powered, self-contained units. It’s always about the right tool to create the right effect when it comes to photography.

What to Look for In A Photography Studio
Some things to look for in an outdoor studio photography location are your backgrounds. Does your background fit the story you’d like to convey with your photos? Look for scenes that are not busy with distractions as this will help keep the focus on your subject, not the background.

Is the location safe? Yes, it’s true, in Moab we set up the Sun-Cage on a cliff to ensure we captured the beautiful background down below, but we stayed a safe distant from the edge and had photography assistants to ensure safety first.

Look for flat surfaces when possible and always check the weather daily up to several days before and down to the last minute before your arrival. Wind doesn’t bother me because the Sun-Cage can reduce the wind off the model and it’s easily and safely secured with their Safety Kit that includes tent pegs and rope.

Designed by Professional Photographers for Photographers
The Sun-Cage was originally designed by award-winning professional photographers Greg Gorman and Wolfgang-Peter Geller– for photographers. It’s been used in the jungle, in the Savannah and in the Antarctica. It’s small, handy, quick to assemble and dismantle, and can be taken on an airplane like golf gear with its portable and light-weight sturdy construction.

Now whether you agree with Wikipedia’s definition or some other photographer’s description about what a photography studio is or is not, just remember, when you get to your location and you have things safely under control, you are in your photography studio. There is no need for sheetrock walls or dangerous electrical plugs because the Sun-Cage is your mobile photography studio workspace that allows you to create great photographs quickly on location.


Rolando Gomez is a professional photographer and author of five photography books and he’s has traveled to 45 countries for assignments. The former soldier and U.S. Army combat photographer has taught hundreds of photography workshops for almost two decades. A 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top Writer for Quora, his partial credits include Newsweek, Parade, Playboy, Rangefinder, Maxim, Rangefinder, New York Times, Stars & Stripes, and various other publications.
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