Garage into Studio?

15 posts
27 Jan 2015
colinhouse
Photographer
colinhouse
Was thinking of turning my garage (17ftx9ft] in a photo studio i know it's small size but would it work or would i just be wasting my time? as anyone done this?

colin

Posted 27 Jan 2015
colinhouse
Photographer
colinhouse
Was thinking of turning my garage (17ftx9ft] in a photo studio i know it's small size but would it work or would i just be wasting my time? as anyone done this?

colin

Posted 27 Jan 2015
marlhamphoto
Photographer
marlhamphoto
You haven't said what you want to shoot in there but here are a few considerations which may or may not be relevant.

A standard backdrop is 2.72m (9ft) wide so it's going to be a tight fit let alone allow room for lightstands either side. Although you could mount lights on adjustable wall-mounted arms. There are narrower backdrops available but because you only have 17ft to play with you're going to struggle to use a long lens without which you'll find the narrower backdrops awkward other than for static work like headshots. I guess in the summer you could stand in the garden or on the drive and shoot through the open door!

You didn't mention ceiling height but if it's the standard 2.4m that's going to be a limitation too.

But if you don't mind being limited in what you can achieve, and don't mind battling to control bounce and spill in such a tight space, give it a go. Personally I think you'd be better off hiring your local village hall which usually has plenty of space all round for the princely sum of £8 an hour (or thereabouts) including heating! There's usually a separate room or loo available for the model to occupy too.

Good luck
Posted 27 Jan 2015
Edited by marlhamphoto 27 Jan 2015
riddell
Photographer
riddell

Yeah its tiny, obviously a lot depends on what you want to photograph, but to be honest its small even for small products, there just isn't enough space to set the lights up properly.

If the question was can I shoot in there? then yes you can, but of course its cramped and you'll have compromises everywhere, but yes you can do it is really desperate for a one off.

However you are thinking of turning you garage into a studio, which is very different.

Paul.
www.photographybyriddell.co.uk

Posted 27 Jan 2015
SandyCamel
Photographer
SandyCamel
I seem to remember that a few years ago a photographer posted photo's on here, showing how his conversion / new build progressed etc.

I can't remember whether he converted a garage or just build a studio next to his house but it might be useful to look at if you can find it ...
Posted 27 Jan 2015
Edited by SandyCamel 27 Jan 2015
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
Been there done that. Perfectly feasible with a little care and thought. There are limitations of course. the ceiling height a bit tight and a standard garage a little too narrow for standard paper rolls. In the end though photography is partly the art of illusion. I have done shots of models on the end of a bed, or up agains a bedstead in the garage where the 'bed' is a sheet of ply and only 4' long! As the missing part is out of shot though people just assume it must be there. All that matters is what the camera frames.

A few random thoughts from when I did it.
  • Dont bother with background stands. A couple of notched timber runners on the two side walls as high up as practical will support a telescopic background roll pole
  • Cut the background vinyl to width. Easy enough with a finde saw if you do it while still rolled up.
  • Laminate flooring is quite a cheap quick way to give a decent floor that is a bit nicer for the paper and models than hard concrete.
  • A Hi-Lite (7x6) with bottle tops is another great background
  • Dont buy too powerful flash units. My 250W interfits were more than ample and I could have done fine with even less.
  • Look for ways to get lights tight into corners. Autopoles are one way but if you cannot afford them there are lighter props in screwfix that could be made to do the same job
  • You can get double airbeds with a build in electric pump that blow up to the same height as a normal bed
  • Ikea cable and clip curtain supports are a cheap simple way to hang drapes and things like black cloths on walls or behind the model to give interesting setups
I had one end set up as above just behind the garage door for the type of shoots you do most. At the opposite end I would sometimes build a more ambitious set for a particular project. Its been a harem bed wilth canopy, BDSM dungeon, bedroom 'hallway' and Cellar over the years
Posted 27 Jan 2015
Midnite
Photographer
Midnite
Maybe Sandycamel is refuring to Sarges shed build studio

here http://www.purestorm.com/forum/readThread.aspx?id=238754

might give some ideas

Posted 27 Jan 2015
gedimage
Photographer
gedimage
A model once told me her husband had made a studio in a garage. The model wasn't that bad but I just didnt get any range of angles id even took my own background but to me not for me.

You need also to think where the model will change and would they feel a great shot could come of it. For me a double with extra height would make a big difference

Posted 28 Jan 2015
Photobomber
Photographer
Photobomber
Did it with mine. Was fine for portraits but failed miserably at full length due to lense to space issues

Posted 28 Jan 2015
Midnite
Photographer
Midnite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHfBd_Y_Vmg

some info here about using a small bedroom, looks not too far off garage size. some of the ideas might be of use like the back drop holder system and if you painted the walls then use black material you could control bounce to some degree?

or this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toIbDUi8orU

this room looks garage sized
Posted 30 Jan 2015
Edited by Midnite 30 Jan 2015
alexcrawford
Photographer
alexcrawford


my view is be very sure what you will want to shoot in there, and plan
before committing to money.



Posted 3 Feb 2015
Hi, I use a 32'x9' Portacabin . So it can be done, but heating as a pain http://www.purestorm.com/profile.aspx?id=Riverside_Studio Marco
Posted 4 Feb 2015
alexcrawford
Photographer
alexcrawford


perhaps the OP could go shoot in a few of the compact studios to get an idea
of whether he thinks it worth his while to emulate them ?

a little like hiring a camera before buying.
or hiring a lens before committing.

i dont want to put you off, but my experience was that
after a few portraits it became limiting to use a narrow studio.

...a narrow studio is better than no studio at all perhaps ?



Posted 5 Feb 2015
thelook
Photographer
thelook
These people are very helpful
http://www.studiodecor.co.uk/products/studio-set-up-advice

Posted 5 Feb 2015
marlhamphoto
Photographer
marlhamphoto
thelook

These people are very helpful http://www.studiodecor.co.uk/products/studio-set-up-advice

Ditto that. Jon at Studiodecor was very helpful to me when I was setting up my studio a few years ago.

He has a profile here too:
http://www.purestorm.com/profile.aspx?id=studio_decor
Posted 5 Feb 2015
Edited by ForumModerator 5 Feb 2015
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