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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 05 Jan 2015 (Monday) 10:42
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Building home studio

 
trailblazer
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Jan 05, 2015 10:42 |  #1

Hi guys,

I am about to embark on a journey of building my own home. I am using a single lot of land and building an upstairs and downstairs and want to put the studio downstairs.

Of course, there are other things to go downstairs like the garage, laundry etc, but I wanted to know what the ideal size within those limits would be. I shoot weddings, and portraits (families included) if that helps. I was thinking since I normally use a 70-200, I would need considerable length to shoot full length.

I haven't done any plans as yet, but I am thinking 16ft wide, 30ft long and 12ft high would be adequate (once the wife lets me)? There would be no room for change when this is done as I will be using concrete so I really need it to be done right the first time.

What would be the minimum dimensions I could comfortably get away with, as well as the ideal dimensions for the studio?




  
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jay125
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Jan 05, 2015 19:59 |  #2

Assuming you're not doing the wedding shoots in your studio, I would think that 16 by 24 should be sufficient. Portraits of individuals and families really don't require much space, which leaves ample space for lighting, cameras, gear and space to store your props. I have no studio, but I came up with those dimensions because that is the size of my garage, and when it was empty, I sized it up in the event I did want to use it as a part time studio. I was surprised at how much space I was standing in.



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mathogre
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Jan 05, 2015 22:07 |  #3

No matter what you build, it will have its limitations.

Have you shot in a studio? If so, what has worked for you and what hasn't? I think you can do much with a 16'x30'x12' studio, and it would probably work for you. However, I've shot in a few studios, including my own home studio. 30' sounds excellent! While 16' is wide, I'd prefer wider if I could have it. 12' seems too short. Ideally I'd like 16' to 20' for height. If you ever want to use large, really large umbrellas, softboxes, or parabolics, you need vertical room. If you want to do some interesting hair lights, higher is better. If you want to shoot low with a seamless background, higher is definitely better.

If you haven't shot in a studio, I'd suggest investing some money shooting for a few hours in some different studios. Are they cramped? Are they too spacious? What works? What doesn't?

Look on the net for studio rentals. See what they have for resources. Here's one where I've shot; I have no financial interest in it at all, though I've been a "member".

http://www.union206.co​m/studio-a/ (external link)

Union 206 has 3 general studios and one kitchen studio. All of the general studios have cyc walls. There are also hair, wardrobe, and makeup rooms near each of the general studios for ease of preparation. There's storage for equipment, such as lights and modifiers. It's a real working studio, and they do okay. Below is a photo I took in Studio A last May. This is where high ceilings pay. If you look at the dimensions of all three general studios, while A is large, B & C have a smaller footprint than you're intending to build. However, note the ceilings are all 16.5'.

IMAGE: http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v123/p301279018-5.jpg

Good luck! You're wise to plan for what you want and need. See what others have done, and see what works and what doesn't.

Graham
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bk2life
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Jan 05, 2015 23:04 |  #4

would a different lens choice help your decision in size of your studio?


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trailblazer
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Jan 06, 2015 08:20 |  #5

Thanks for all the help so far guys. Mathogre, I am in a small third world country and there are not many studios that are available. The few that are, are smaller than what I plan to build. I also think you have a valid point about the height. I asked a contractor who builds houses about your point and he said it could be done but since this is going to be downstairs of a house, there are considerable limitations in costing of the material and foundation changes I would have to make to go up to 16' to 20'. Not to mention it would look strange aesthetically which I don't think will pass the wife test...lol. I might be able to squeeze in 14'.

Jay125, if the space seems like too much, I can always convert a corner into an editing station and I am sure when I start to pack gear and put in a small change area, the space will dwindle.

bk2life, what is your suggestion? I normally use the 70-200 for the compression of the background so that I don't need a large backdrop, but I am open to feedback.




  
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Luckless
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Jan 06, 2015 10:14 |  #6

I would suggest going as large as you can afford to, and design the space for dual usage. A space that makes a nice studio can double as a lounge/family room when you're not shooting by selecting/rebuilding furniture that is very easy to move against the back wall. As a bonus, you get comfortable couches and such for people to sit on while you're working, which makes the space far more inviting if you have multiple people in the studio at once.


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mathogre
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Jan 06, 2015 14:37 |  #7

trailblazer wrote in post #17368712 (external link)
Thanks for all the help so far guys. Mathogre, I am in a small third world country and there are not many studios that are available. The few that are, are smaller than what I plan to build. I also think you have a valid point about the height. I asked a contractor who builds houses about your point and he said it could be done but since this is going to be downstairs of a house, there are considerable limitations in costing of the material and foundation changes I would have to make to go up to 16' to 20'. Not to mention it would look strange aesthetically which I don't think will pass the wife test...lol. I might be able to squeeze in 14'.

Yes! It has to pass the wife test. :D

I'm sure if you have a 12' ceiling, you'll do well. If you can got to 14', that would be very cool! You still have to do what makes sense for you. My one car garage is part of my studio space, and I can assure you it isn't that big. It may be 10'x15'x8'. Yes, that's 8 feet high. It's barely wide enough for full width seamless paper on portable stands. No matter, I can make a full length photo of a model in that space, as shown below. She's 5'7", with heels.

Good luck! When you get it done, we need pictures!!!!

IMAGE: http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v175/p987429602-5.jpg

Graham
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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Jan 06, 2015 15:43 |  #8

My home studio is currently about 13' x 24' with a ceiling that slops from 8' at the edges to about 11' in the center. If I was you I would try and design the studio space connected to the garage, and have a rollup door between them. Then if you need more length you can open the large roll up door and extend your studio into the garage. It also gives you the ability to keep some storage in the garage and bring it into the studio.

We are in the planning stages to expand the home studio into the next part of the building it is in, which will be about 50' long then total. However we plan to move our pool table out there as well. Making it a hang out area as well as studio. If you can do that in your downstairs, just make a LARGE open room with hard floors, it can then be dual purpose. Heck even build yourself a small cync wall in one corner.




  
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ksbal
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Jan 06, 2015 17:10 |  #9

IMHO 16 wide is too small. Mine is 26 x 30, with an open ceiling so height is not an issue.

I did a family group of 14 the other day, against my 10 x 20 bg - was on the edges.

Have to factor in your modifiers and how much footprint they'll take up on the sides - I think you'll find you'd rather have 20 or 24 ft rather than 16 there.


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mrfixitx
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Jan 06, 2015 17:34 |  #10

ksbal wrote in post #17369461 (external link)
IMHO 16 wide is too small. Mine is 26 x 30, with an open ceiling so height is not an issue.

I did a family group of 14 the other day, against my 10 x 20 bg - was on the edges.

Have to factor in your modifiers and how much footprint they'll take up on the sides - I think you'll find you'd rather have 20 or 24 ft rather than 16 there.

I would second this, I have a home studio that is 17 wide and with 9ft seamless + stands getting modifiers in the on the sides but still out of frame can be a bit challenging.


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trailblazer
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Jan 07, 2015 14:59 |  #11

Thanks for your thoughts on this guys, I appreciate it.

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #17369349 (external link)
If I was you I would try and design the studio space connected to the garage, and have a rollup door between them. Then if you need more length you can open the large roll up door and extend your studio into the garage. It also gives you the ability to keep some storage in the garage and bring it into the studio.

This is a great idea!




  
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Building home studio
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