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A Multi Purpose Photo Studio for Small Spaces

Updated on August 16, 2013
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

Most photographers will at some time or another have their own photographic studio. Some are larger than others and more elaborate than others. Yet you can still have your own photographic studio and on a budget as it may.

If you can gain access to a room that you can dedicate to photography, then you are half way there. A room that is around 10 X 10 is preferable although not a necessity.

First paint one of the walls with a matte black, non glossy paint. Paint another wall in a white non glossy white, paint the other two remaining walls in any solid color that you choose so long as the paint is non glossy. The ceiling should be pure white and the paint here can be glossy.

Get at least one large size piece of Plexiglas ,6 X 6 is suggested, and get some colored cardboard or construction paper that matches the dimensions of the Plexiglas. Make sure that one of these colored cardboard pieces is matte black The idea is to use the cardboard to place behind the Plexiglas to give it a colored background. Plexiglas is ideal for making special backdrops and bases on which to shoot smaller photo projects. See A Special Photography Tip for more information.

Make sure that the room has at least one electrical outlets so that you can connect lighting fixtures if you need to, not really essential if you will be using a photo flash but the room should have some sort of ambient illumination to allow you to set up prior to the actual shoot.

The floor should be a neutral color, preferably a light grey and try to avoid using rugs as they can create static electricity.

Choose one side of the room that will generally not be used and this will be where you stand and face your subject and where you will store some of your props. Ideally you should also have a side storage area which can be outside of the room.

One the ceiling and next to one wall attach a curtain rod long enough so that it goes from wall to wall. This is what you will use to hang colored paper which serves as an "on the spot ready backdrop".

Among the props to have is a small table upon which you place small subject like still life material.

Get some white boards like the ones used by kids to present school projects. These are ideal to use as reflectors. You should also have a photo umbrella, and you can easily make your own.

Some useful props to have: a small table, preferably made from wood and which features a rough, weathered surface, at least one chair, some fake rocks made from spray foam, some spray foam columns some small items to use as props like dishes, cups, glasses, hats, figurines and so on, some colored paper rolls or drapes, fake trees and shrubs as well as flowers. Also a good prop to have handy, although large, is a wooden door with a weathered finish and which can easily accommodate different types of elaborate door handles and door knockers.

You are now set. As you grow in the art, you will find other uses and will inevitably make adjustments to the studio. But this is part of the learning process and should be looked forward to.

Your small studio should be suitable for still life, used for photographing items like for Ebay, creative small projects, portraits, and modeling.

If this seems too much for the space that you have, then the simplest of studios features enough space to set up a curtain rod upon which you can drape muslin or drapes or even paper and enough space to allow you to set up at least 10 feet away from your subject. You still need some space on the sides to set up at least one photo light and a reflector at opposite sides from each other, but this is the bare minimum that will still allow you to take photographs of various small subjects and at least one model at a time..

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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