PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO SIZE - Can Photographers help please?

PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO SIZE - Can Photographers help please?

34 posts
1 Nov 2015
Hello there Photographers,

Would be very grateful if you could answer my query.

We are thinking of building a home photographic studio at the end of our long garden...what sizing would be most suitable please?

Obviously ceiling height is important, so that light bounces correctly.

As a model, I've been photographed in all manner size garden studios...but really want to get my own studio sizing right from the start.

Studio to be built in log cabin style. Garden is 100ft long and 80 ft wide.

Many thanks, in anticipation of your advice.

Suzy laugh
Posted 1 Nov 2015
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
Well my studio is 4.3mx5.7m for the shoot area though I have over 900sqft in total with changing area, reception viewing lounge and storage. I don't thinks I would want it any narrower and a little wider would have been nice. It does depend a bit out how the studio is being used of course but a basic setup is a full roll of background paper with adequate space on either side to set up flash units 'off stage' This could be to cross light for art nude or other styles. It may be to blow a white background to avoid editing it later.

The length just about allows the use of my 70-200 Lens at the 70mm end for a full length shot if needs be without the model having to be too close to the background. Again a little more would have been nice but a little less not an issue. these days I shoot a 24-100 and always have several feet free behind me even with big groups

I use this studio day in day out and have had everything from newborns to family groups of 12.

I did look at a cabin once. I think the biggest off the peg was around 5.5m square which should work. Choose an apex wall for the background so you can get in up higher. that is my one limitation. I think I have 2.7m at that end but a beam stopped me mounting the background support brackets right at the top so I only use two out of the three rolls it can take.

Some printed backgrounds are nearly 3m tall so try to have this for the width of a standard paper roll if practical


Posted 1 Nov 2015
WOW! That was so quick and so informative...Brilliant Baron!
Have copied what you wrote, word for word and given same to hubby cheeky This is a project for us to undertake over the coming months. Plan to use studio for myself and to rent out to interested photographers, at reasonable rate, as there seems a distinct lack of studio space to rent here in Cornwall. Devon fares better...

Posted 1 Nov 2015
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
Sorry, what was the question?

Posted 1 Nov 2015
SuzyMonty

Hello there Photographers,

Would be very grateful if you could answer my query.

We are thinking of building a home photographic studio at the end of our long garden...what sizing would be most suitable please?

Obviously ceiling height is important, so that light bounces correctly.

As a model, I've been photographed in all manner size garden studios...but really want to get my own studio sizing right from the start.

Studio to be built in log cabin style. Garden is 100ft long and 80 ft wide.

Many thanks, in anticipation of your advice.

Suzy laugh


Hi Neil,

That was the question as above...

I think Baron answered my query very comprehensively...I just have to sound out the local Council, to see what permission is required for a garden studio. Plenty of garden studios flat packed, ready to build,  advertised on the internet...I need a changing room and loo and actual studio, but it's all do-able.

All the best,

Suzy cheeky


Posted 1 Nov 2015
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
I would say don't bank on the studio hire. There is probably a very good reason you don't have any local. I'm in a pretty good position between two large towns and a station nearby. Even so we get very few hires. True i don't make any serious effort to push that side of the business though.

The studio is on here as immortaleye. There is a couple of shots of the shoot area, which ought to give you an idea of the dimentions in real life. (BTW Purestorm if you are not going to give the option of viewing the code in the editor and least sort the bug out with posting a URL so you can type after creating it without all the text becoming part of the URL )

http://purestorm.com/immortaleye
Posted 1 Nov 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Smaller studios are inherently more difficult to light due to spill and light refelection off walls (not to mention restriction on focal lengths).

Couple that with the fact that the biggest proportion of photographers wanting to use a home studio would likely be (I'm assuming) less experienced, it would be harder for them to get anything useful from a small studio such as a shed/garage, and even more experienced photographers may struggle due to lack of familiarity with the space provided.

That in mind, if you're having your own lights in there it would be good to have one or two preset light setups that simply just work and all they have to do is press the shutter at standard settings (eg. 100 ISO, 1/125, F8 ), light restricting modifiers such as grids & barndoors would be advised if doing anything other than flat lighting, dark painted walls will also help to a degree. A model who I'm good friends with has such a setup in her garage and it's worked well for her.

Personally I hate small studio spaces and would much rather shoot in 'real' surroundings (even if small) given the choice.
Posted 2 Nov 2015
Edited by RedChecker 2 Nov 2015
penfoldpc
Photographer
penfoldpc
I had a 5 metre wide by 20 metre in length with 3 metre high ceiling. I found it just the right size to shoot with an infinity curve at one end and hi glide for the lights. You need to remember storage areas for props and bits and bobs. I also had a small changing room.

I still have all the lights, backgrounds infinity curve etc. All the kit needed for a pro studio. I had to shut the studio a couple of years ago to concentrate on refurbishing a house. Now I can't find a suitable building around Worcestershire to open it again.

Posted 2 Nov 2015
dhuntuk
Photographer
dhuntuk
I know the minimum size of a home studio has been discussed tons of times in the past, and generally the minimum size has always been agreed to be about 16' wide by 20' long internally. If it can be longer, than yippee!

Yeah, sure. Paint the end wall white, but paint the rest of it grey. That way the photographers should be able to control the light. Oh, and some black/white painted polystyrene (8'x4') sheets as well.....

Posted 2 Nov 2015
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
dhuntuk

I know the minimum size of a home studio has been discussed tons of times in the past, and generally the minimum size has always been agreed to be about 16' wide by 20' long internally.


I'd never heard of a minimum size where home studios are concerned (although that side I would consider useable as it could shoot full length with an 85mm lens) due to practicalities involved, but certainly for a general purpose commercial studio hiring itself out for all manner of photographic projects (not just modelling/portraiture) I'd expect it to be 8x8x4m (I've read this in several books by pro photographers I own) and would be slightly miffed if it were less and I were paying commercial rates for it.
Posted 2 Nov 2015
Advise that you check with local council the maximum size that you can build before requiring planning permission. Be cagey regarding it's use stress is not for commercial purpose's otherwise they will hit you for business rates, council tax.

Posted 2 Nov 2015
kerandastudio2

Advise that you check with local council the maximum size that you can build before requiring planning permission. Be cagey regarding it's use stress is not for commercial purpose's otherwise they will hit you for business rates, council tax.





Hi Kevin,

Many thanks for your valuable advice. We planned to tell local council that it would be a hobbies room.

I see that you have a purpose built studio yourself, so are obviously well versed in the planning procedure.

A studio of one's own is a very useful tool to have as a model. I know some models shoot from home, but an actual well equipped studio is a real plus.

The professional studios that I've worked here in Cornwall, do not have the time or inclination to let their premises out to amateurs. There used to be a very good studio near St. Austell, run by a professional photographer and his model partner - they did very well too, lovely people - but sadly closed now.

I would be catering for the amateur photographers within the county. There are gorgeous locations in Cornwall abound during fine weather, but as soon as the weather turns very cold, or it is grey and rainy, (mist and rain down here is called 'muzzle' ) then, there is a great shortage of where to actually shoot - hope to fill that needed gap in the market at reasonable rates.

I've shot in some professional 'studios' which are no more than an ordinary garden shed size...yet the photographers knew their trade so well, that the results were brilliant.

Will take it step by step. There are certainly lots of garden studios to choose from - depending on budget of course laugh

Many thanks again,

Suzy frown


Posted 2 Nov 2015
redbaron

I would say don't bank on the studio hire. There is probably a very good reason you don't have any local. I'm in a pretty good position between two large towns and a station nearby. Even so we get very few hires. True i don't make any serious effort to push that side of the business though.

The studio is on here as immortaleye. There is a couple of shots of the shoot area, which ought to give you an idea of the dimentions in real life. (BTW Purestorm if you are not going to give the option of viewing the code in the editor and least sort the bug out with posting a URL so you can type after creating it without all the text becoming part of the URL )

http://purestorm.com/immortaleye


Hi Baron,

ABSOLUTELY the Bees Knees Super studio. Lucky models and photographers who shoot there!

Thanks for the details. Totally professional in every way cheeky

Regards,

Suzy frown

Posted 2 Nov 2015
RedChecker

Smaller studios are inherently more difficult to light due to spill and light refelection off walls (not to mention restriction on focal lengths).

Couple that with the fact that the biggest proportion of photographers wanting to use a home studio would likely be (I'm assuming) less experienced, it would be harder for them to get anything useful from a small studio such as a shed/garage, and even more experienced photographers may struggle due to lack of familiarity with the space provided.

That in mind, if you're having your own lights in there it would be good to have one or two preset light setups that simply just work and all they have to do is press the shutter at standard settings (eg. 100 ISO, 1/125, F8 ), light restricting modifiers such as grids & barndoors would be advised if doing anything other than flat lighting, dark painted walls will also help to a degree. A model who I'm good friends with has such a setup in her garage and it's worked well for her.

Personally I hate small studio spaces and would much rather shoot in 'real' surroundings (even if small) given the choice.


Hi Steven,

Many thanks for your valued advice.

TOTALLY agree that I would rather have a shoot in 'real' surroundings, than a bog standard studio...but when Ye Olde Cornish muzzle (rain and mist) hits the county, a nice warm studio with the right facilities is a haven from which to create pictures.

Your model friend who set up a studio in her garage, reminds me of a local amatuer photographer who built a very large double garage and then turned it into a super super photographic studio - it is absolutely amazing, with just about every gadget going and a fair sized changing room for models (no loo - so one does have to rather cross one's legs until shoot over ) - but when the council chap came round initially to check the building, he said ' this isn't going to be a garage is it?' Not daft those council peeps... The said studio is for photographer's personal use ONLY, he would never rent it out to other photographers.

I get asked time and time again during the murky Winter months, if there are any studios around for amateur photographers. Some photographers I know, use the local University's facilities - some large size studios available on the campus, some small, but they are quite limited, and NO food or drink allowed therein. So No  lol...NO mirrors, never mind a full length one or even proper changing room for models.

Setting up a new studio takes time and money obviously...many thanks for all the advice on this Forum Post - most grateful broken heart

All the best,

Regards,

Suzy frown

Posted 2 Nov 2015
Biggles485
Photographer
Biggles485
I tend to work with a lot of new models so to help keep down costs I shoot at home generally, I have Elinchrome lights, backdrops, various props mostly from charity shops and backdrops. My room is about 8 feet high, by 13 feet wide but is over 35 feet in length. Most images on here unless states studio or on location are taken in the house or garden Good luck with your venture, have fun and enjoy, remember to build walls, a well and the likes in the garden and plumb in outside / waterproof electrics on an RCD so that main powered lighting can be set up outdoors!
Posted 16 Nov 2015
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