Lights, camera, white space. Here’s how to make a statement and keep it real in a studio environment.

Composition and subjects

White space plays a big role in Thumbtack’s brand, both in the digital world and in front of the camera. Much like in product, the studio’s white background distills a story down to its key elements — a gesture, an action, a prop — and lets them shine.

Despite the heightened setting, authenticity is still key. Subjects should feel like they’ve been plucked from real life. When composing the shot, focus on the subjects’ genuine expressions and eye-catching details. No shiny touch-ups, no cheesy grins.


Let there be light, and let it be natural, soft and broad. It should feel as if it’s coming from a bright but indirect source, like sunlight bouncing off white clouds. Shadows shouldn’t be too dramatic and whites shouldn’t be overblown.

Wardrobe and props

Clothes and props shouldn’t feel like costumes. They should feel like someone actually uses them. But you don’t need to recreate all of life’s details completely. Simply set the scene with minimal propping and let the story do the rest.

Studio don’ts

Don’t arrange lots of little pros together. It makes them look like action figures.

Props and styling should signify a pro’s profession, not make them a caricature.

Keep studio elements, like rigging, stands and lights, out of frame.

Don’t make lighting too flat, too uniform and too much like a stock photo.

Putting it all together

Styling a pro with their own tools and clothing keeps things authentic.


Art direction should look natural and relatable — despite the studio setting.

Less is more. Use only what you need to tell the story.