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Photography Question 
Crystal A. Moore
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
 

Is my Studio too small?


I have been offered the opportunity to rent a studio at a very good rate. The room I will be using is 15x13 and has a greenish color on the walls and one wall has some kind of neutral to mint color cloth treatment on it. Also has hardwood floors. It used to be a day spa like place so I will have a waiting room etc.
Anyway, is this room too small to use? Should I change the color on the walls? I plan on doing standard portraits, bridal, children and babies.

I haven't been able to set up there to see how everyting will look. So far I have been using our garage and my husband wants it back.

Thanks for any advise I can get.

I would really love to make this space work.


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3/27/2008 5:29:54 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Maybe, maybe not. It depends on a number of things including what you plan to be shooting, how much storage you need, how high the ceilings are, whether you plan to shoot groups of people, or product table-top shots or both, what kind of lenses you have and the format you plan to use, lighting set-ups and fill cards or rolling flats and other props like chairs, tables, and wardrobe. You'd be surprised how fast that space now will become like a small closet once you move your gear in. Any window arrangement may or may not be significant depending on how the place is ventilated and whether you can block them out.

Yes, I'd change the color on the walls because that green will be reflected into everything you shoot. White or black is my color of choice, interchangably.

How it looks is irrelevant. Take some chalk or masking tape and outline sizes of equipment or their footprints on the floor. Map out your general shooting space, your storage space and building organizers for "stuff", preferably on wheels, make sure you can still get your organizers out the door(s), and consider how moving things all over will aid or detract from your working space. Remember, if you have everything locked down in the tight space, your work is going to look pretty much the same because you can't change your shooting or lighting angles.
Take it light ;>)
Mark


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3/27/2008 6:41:21 PM

 
Crystal A. Moore
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
  Thank you so much for responding Mark. I just found the BP site a week or so ago and I have really learned a lot from your posts. I have enjoyed photography as a hobby for many, many years but now I am wanting to pursue it on a more serious level.

I am just getting started with studio work so my equipment is limited:
I have a Canon XTI(400D). Canon 430ex speedlite with diffuser. My lenses are as follows: Canon 50mm EF (my favorite),
70-300mm tele-macro,
18-55mm and a 28-90mm. I have a JTL 3 flash/strobe set up with:
32" Silver Reflective Umbrella,
32" Gold Reflective Umbrella,
40" Umbrella Softbox,
24"x24" softbox,
32" Gold/White Reflector panel
Barndoor,
Gels,
Honeycomb,
Snoot

I just received some white photographic vinyl to use for high key work.

I do have extra storage for props which right now are chairs, columns etc.

Right now I am planning on starting off slowly with just maybe children, babies etc. I have no idea what I will do if a large group wants to book with me.

Thank you so much for the advise about painting the walls. The ceilings are regular height, the space was a house that was renovated into a spa.

This is such a big decision/step to make. Today I actually booked a wedding for July.

Thanks again for responding. I appreciate your time and all your posts.

Crystal


1, the gold side will add warmth to your images. The white side can be used for a fill


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3/27/2008 8:30:07 PM

 
Crystal A. Moore
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
  Ok, I am an idiot. I was doing the cut paste thing and left in some extra at the bottom. :)

Question about the walls: If the owner is too picky about painting will white cloth acting like drapes to cover the walls be ok?

Thanks again!


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3/27/2008 8:53:20 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Crystal,
I just built a new home studio and painted the walls dark gray. The space is much smaller than my previous studio, which was 30X24 feet, and white would reflect too much in the new space. You might want to check out an article on building a studio: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine4b.html.
Thanks, John Siskin


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3/28/2008 10:31:12 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Crystal, background colors are largely a matter of personal preference. I have white walls and black, but I also use a Bogen Autopole system that has four large seamless paper backgrounds rigged on it. They roll down like window shades and I can change them out whenever I want to save painting (although that has it's good and bad points too.) I use rolling flats for textured walls like paster or faux brick. One has white butcher paper that I can quickly add spray paint to or do whatever I want to it and then toss it when we're done.

Putting cloth on the walls is ok, like hanging muslin is fine. I like the autopole system for that too to allow it to roll up and down rather than hanging it each time. I do have a gray muslin that's really swell. Bhphotovideo.com

Use gold reflector cards to bump some gold light into the scene rather than gold backgrounds. But you knew that right?

If you shoot large groups, take them on a field trip to a location like a park, a beach or hotel lobby.

Anything else, just hollar. John and I can fix ya right up.
Good luck
M

.


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3/28/2008 4:38:37 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Sorry, I forgot two of the most important pieces of equipment that you didn't mention you have yet. Liability and business insurance that covers you for injuries, loss, fire, theft, etc. The other thing is a flexible, well thought out business plan including budgets for marketing, equipment, and pricing for various assignments.
M.


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3/28/2008 4:42:51 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Crystal,
Mark is right about insurance. Anybody can make a mistake, and if it is a bad mistake the law can get involved. How would you feel is something went wrong and you couldn't afford to make it right? Get insurance. Thanks, John


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3/28/2008 4:49:47 PM

 
Crystal A. Moore
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2008
  Thanks so much for all the great advise!!! I hadn't even thought about liability insurance. Ya'll are the best!!


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3/28/2008 5:56:05 PM

 
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