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!
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.
Suzy, I'm sure you've visited studios , which ones were best to work in? What sizes were they? Mine is 14m x 7 m and double height, but that makes it a bugger to heat! plus changing toilets kitchen. Hope that helps David
Unless your studio is very big paint it black then you can control the lighting
"Garden is 100ft long and 80 ft wide" 100ft x 80 ft sounds perfect…… If its for casual shooting with flat uninteresting lighting any space can become a studio. If you want to beable to create anything and everything you need the space in all directions firstly so you can shoot on a longer lens (wider lenses can look good but are often overused through lanyness or necessity) , and often so the subject isn't to near the lights, or to near the background if its lit so you don't get flair. secondly so the lighting DOSNT bounce effortlessly (sorry to contradict your comment) you should be in control of all the light in the studio, if its reflecting off something it should be something you have placed there deliberately. I would say ideally 4m x 10m minimum, with higher than a normal ceiling. I have less for my studio and it limits what I can do creatively. Also most people paint their studios white so they look nice and the light bounces round. Unless your studio is very big paint it black then you can control the lighting, get shadow when needed and add the detail in the shadows etc as needed, my studio area is light and I can never create a real silhouette or black shadows.
I'd go for matt black Suzy.
If you go for black curtains, try and use black velvet. It is the best material I've ever found. The drawback is you need to keep it well vacuumed, overwise the dust shows!
When I was looking at large sheds, I found a 20' x 10' for around £1000 including delivery.
It's well worth having a couple of opening windows at opposite ends. They can get very warm in the summer!
When converting our single garage into a double/workshop with a studio use in mind I went for 6m x 7m, which turned out OK length and breadth-wise, but any smaller would have been not enough BUT, the roof trusses and and beams kept the workable height down to 2m, which really isn't enough for any effective rim lighting or overhead lighting, unless of course your model is kneeling or laying on the floor, which works in certain shoots. I know there will be others poo-pooing the height thing, but you really can't have enough height, think about it, your Plan B is to convert a bedroom, I bet it has high ceilings ?? Anyway, if you do go ahead, let me know, I would use a good-sized local studio, (I'm in Redruth) as I haven't found much suitable so far since Studio Southwest shut in Exeter, although Studio Hire Plymouth is pretty good
It's down to maths... well 'some' of it is down to maths - Object (hight or width) divided by sensor/film (hight or width) multiplied by focal length of lens Model 5'7"(1700mm) Full frame sensor 26mm (portrait) ....24 if landscape lens 100mm (1700/26)x100 = 6538 Or 6.538 meters This is a very useful formula for figuring out which lens to take with which camera ! Though this does not account for depth of field behind the subject./ 3 rolls of background/ a cove or the space behind the camera for a photographer, kit, observers, changing room or MUA. My 2p on colour - paint it white - everything - possibly a grey floor as its easier to maintain; but I would never book a black studio.