Building Your Own Photography Studio

Building Your Own Photography Studio

by Simon Everett

Waterside Studios

Recently I had the very unique opportunity to build and own my very own studio, my business partner had a unused internal garage which was just full of odds and ends, so we thought of a plan, made some calculations of what we needed and what we already owned in order to make a studio work.

Currently at the time we had the right equipment to carry out studio work either at a hired studio or a home location, however we did not have the room to set up our own that is until now, so with an average budget in mind we set to work, to convert  the once garage area to a fully working photography studio.

Fortunately we knew a builder who would carry out some work for us which involved blocking the main garage door adding plaster board insulation and plaster to the wall for sound proof and weather ceiling, we asked around and managed to find my very own neighbor who had some new wood floor tiles perfect for covering the rough solid concrete garage floor.

So far so good.

So we are set, The build would take approx.: 2-3 weeks but odd weekend days to clear rubbish lay some floor and plaster walls, and of course a lick of paint.

For anyone who is dedicated to photography and especially portraits shoots this is an ideal way to start, of course you can use a spare room if you have one available this would equally be just as good, for us the garage conversion was the perfect choice as the garage was situated within the house structure so entering the house and having access through a door to the garage was a nice touch, The  garage area was approx: 3metres wide and almost 7metres long as I wanted plenty of space to to set up a full white vinyl background.

After using and hiring studios I found that one particular studio I used had a very nice 4m wide area in which to shoot, sadly a garage or even a large room does not always measure up to being that wide, however the garage conversion measured in at n 3metres wide which is still a lot wider than most and a length of over 6metres was great for storage and equipment lightstand softboxes etc as some of you will know that having softboxes, octogon boxes and other equipment preset up already saves time on the initial set up process.

Items that would be required:

White backdrop :

There are several choices from paper, to muslin, to Vinyl depending on what your budget is and if you can go for the best I would suggest Vinyl as it lasts longer, easily cleaned, and is a solid seamless peace which is slightly reflective. Muslin backdrops need to keep washing and ironing, and paper can mark and tear easy, and you would end up using more at the end of the day at a cost. However this all depends on your budget.

Lighting:

A four light setup is best as you have greater control over the amount of light that you require using 2x back lights to light the background and 2x front lights to light the subject, in a combo mix of softboxes & reflectors etc.

Additional lights can be used for example hair/rim light etc.

Props:

Some of the fun of portrait shooting can be found in the props from using wicker chairs to retro themed items to even different backdrops can all be used and purchased at junk shops or ebay and photography stores.

The key to any studio build is space in which to shoot I have shot in some studios which did not afford a lot of space and  if your looking at family shoots which you will come up against sooner or later then you would prefer plenty of room.

Some other things to think about, is facilities within the studio, to consider are the following:

A changing area, some portraits may involve a model or fashion shoot so having a small changing area is very handy, we decided to go for nice looking room divider in the corner, if however your studio is a room in the house for example then have another room in which clients can change.

Mirror, if clients are getting changed into different outfits it’s good practice to have a mirror for them to use, a good full size mirror works well.

Good lighting and a chair provided for clients to is also an advantage.

Other ideas in connection with having your own studio.

In the line of photography work it is handy to know people in the hair and make up business, why simple put they can help your business as you can help them, if you come up with a small business package lets say a hair-makeup Photoshoot at a set price it becomes a all round winner for all concerned as well as getting them noticed and word and mouth is passed one as long as great experience is had by all.

 

 

Conclusion:

Whether your looking for a budget or an average cost studio build in a garage or spare room there are plenty of options to consider, and in time you studio work will grow through marketing and word and mouth.

Start promoting your venture through ads and self marketing, through hair salons, and makeup artists, local papers, facebook, twitter pinterest, as well as using your own website to promote yourself.

I hope this small blog helps you in your decision to start a studio photography of your own.

 

I’m Simon Everett you can find out more about me at

www.simoneverettphotographykent.co.uk

or Facebook

Thanks for reading.
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