Photographic studios provide the only environment in which total control of lighting, background and props is possible. This is a major advantage in the sense that everything can be set up to achieve precisely the effect required. Test shots can even be made prior to the arrival of the subject. This might sound ideal but in practice a lot of expertise is required to get the best results.
The controlled and private studio environment opens up a new dimension in photographing people. Creative control of lighting is an art form in its own right. Subject and background are usually lit using several carefully balanced independent heads. Other equipment is used for highlighting hair and adding special effects. In some circumstances, for instance when working with a professional model, control extends to make-up, clothing and props. This makes almost any type of image possible. However, images created in this relatively sterile environment are usually identifiable as such.