Photoshoots are a lot of work.

Equipment, talent, crew, and finding a studio are just some of the factors that come into play. It can be an expensive process in which you want to be as prepared as possible because once you are on set, unexpected issues are going to arise and things probably aren’t going to go exactly how you envisioned.

So going into it, through a lot of planning and preparation, you’ll want to have control over as many aspects as you can.  

The new AR app Photo Studio AR is going to help with that.

Created by a Hollywood visual effects technician, the app lets you place models, lights, and props inside a virtual photo studio.

Using a smartphone or tablet camera, you can choose the real world setting for the photo shoot. If you aren’t somewhere exciting, you can instead choose, for example, a beach or desert. In setting up the scene, you can choose between different types of studio lights and modifiers. The location of the light source will change the light and shadows on your models and props, just as it would in real life. And if you are recreating an outside shoot, you’ll be able to adjust the direction of the sun.

You can also choose from a selection of models based on real people (you can see their likeness on the website), as well as manipulate their poses. Once everything is set-up, you’ll be able to take photos of the scene, apply filters that will aid in color correction and, of course, share to social media.

Okay, watching the videos make the app seems a little cheesy (the models themselves might be the problem). But the app is designed, and should be looked at, as a tool to help with pre-planning, not an end-all solution. The light manipulation and set-up seems to be the biggest draw, especially for new photographers. It’s a good way to experiment with different lighting before you get to a point where you are actually using those types of light, or could be a good way to find out what type of lighting you want to invest your money into.

You can purchase the app for $10 on the App Store or Google Play.

The Developer, Superba AR, also has an app called Film Studio AR which does something similar with movie sets.

Also, here’s one more video. The guy’s tucked in shirt is worth the watch: