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Thread: Advise Designing a Small Home Studio

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Philadelphia, PA. U.S.A.

    Advise Designing a Small Home Studio

    Hello Everyone -

    This is my first question to this forum.

    I am building (more like designing/arranging) a studio in my basement for portrait work and product shots. I am interested in hearing from people who do portrait work and have designed a similar working space. Particularly wall/floor color/coverings, but any thoughts are very welcome. What worked, what didn't?

    PREFACE: I have a small space - but it's what I have for now...

    I am in a windowless, finished basement. My practical working space for photography is rectangular, 13 x 22-ish (I actually have more space by I have musical instruments in that space). The ceiling height is a tad under 7' (I know, wish it were higher). The walls are half-inch tongue-and-groove paneling stained a medium blond color. The ceiling is covered in 10-inch acoustic tile, in off-white. I have several muslins (back, white, greymulti-pattern) and a decent 12' wide stand, (2) 200 w/s strobe lights, and several stick-in-cans for clamping reflectors and hot/cool spots, and also some foam care in back and white.

    I always wanted to lighten up the space, but I don't think I want to go painting everything white either, maybe one wall or two. The space also has to have a comfortable vibe because I have musicians over regularly for practice, and eventually (hopefully) clients for portraits (once I'm good enough)! Should I consider putting up sheet rock (wall board) on one wall for an even, flat surface, painted white, as a basic BG, along with the muslins?

    Floor covering is two, creme colored area rugs over an old (and ugly - think bad '50s faded green/white pattern) tile floor. Should I paint the floor back, and roll up the rugs when I need that look? Should they be white, or does it matter? Should I do a wood floor and use paper for different looks?

    Thanks very much,

    ~ Dog

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Montreal Canada

    Re: Advise Designing a Small Home Studio

    I have a small studio in my basement that I use for portraits. It is about the same size as yours. The ceiling is painted white so I can bounce light off of it for a hairlight as there is no room for a boom. You could cover the back with Sheetrock and paint it white for an instant white background. All my walls are white and it makes it difficult to get low key lighting. I will probably go for a grey at some point in time.
    If your muslims are large enough to cover the floor there is no need to get rid of the green tiles, otherwise you could use some white painter's dropcloth on it to get rid of the green reflections. I hang my background on a piece of electrical conduit supported with brackets from the ceiling. I use the conduit to clamp some SB-28's for back lights. You would only have to paint the first 10 feet of the side walls.
    Here are some pics.1986231425_c63b95ec56.jpg 1987043242_79231b8522.jpg

    Last edited by Poljazz; 19th July 2009 at 03:51 AM.

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