Behind the Scenes: Studio
Want to know a secret? My studio space is only 14'x13'! You don't need a giant space to make art, y'all! You just need to learn to get the most out of the space you have.
When we were planning our home in 2016, I knew that I was finally going to have a dedicated studio space, and I went nuts researching what everyone else was doing in their home studios. While some of the suggestions I found were helpful, I learned through trial and error that I needed to put my own "spin" on things.
I knew I wanted white walls from the get-go. I love how clean and bright it is on a day like today when it's overcast. 90% of the time, I do use studio lighting, but on days like today, man I just can't pass up that gorgeous, natural light...and the white walls and ceiling definitely help brighten things up against the contrasting dark floor.
As you can see in the image below, I have sheers on my windows, which act as a diffuser to soften the light. These aren't anything fancy or studio-specific...just your basic, non-textured, $12 sheers from WalMart. Even though you can see my neighbor's homes if you're in the studio, exposing for the subject results in a beautifully backlit final image...with no houses in sight!
This couch was a huge hit during my Holiday Mini sessions in 2017, and is always a great option for family sessions. When the couch isn't being used for sessions, this is where my clients relax. I am SO in love with it (and the matching chair!), especially after having it re-upholstered by Building New Treasures.
I was tired of putting wood backdrops up, then taking them down, then putting them up, then taking them down, so, the far wall was divided in half and covered floor to ceiling in reclaimed barn wood. I love having that as a permanent option for clients, who most of the time come for images on another backdrop, but see the wood and say, "Hey! This is gorgeous, can we jump in front of that for a few?" Yes, please! :)
The short wall is the wall I use for newborns, or is where the couch goes if I am going with studio lighting, in which case I will shoot my newborns in front of the wood wall and/or the plain wall to the left of the wood. (You can see the base of my beanbag rig in the image below).
Now, let's talk the one major pain point every photographer has if they're using a home studio like I am...STORAGE. I don't do styled shoots, so I don't have a ton as far as wardrobe goes, but I do have a ton of newborn things: tiebacks, hats, rompers, wraps, posing fabrics, prop stuffers, etc. These small things are stored in this 4x3 ClosetMaid cube orgainzer that I purchased from Amazon, and all of my big props are stored in our storage room. This is not a huge issue for me, because I pull all my potential props and things prior to the session, so I don't have to keep running back and forth for things while my clients are here.
And, that's pretty much it! This is how my studio is laid out normally, based on what works for me and my workflow. I do make tweaks when necessary, but 90% of the time, this is it!
Questions? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for my next BTS: Studio blog featuring my equipment!