Thursday, March 31, 2011

1 Car Garage Portrait Studio

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Westcott 3-Light Window Light Kit Plus with Two TD5 & One TD3 Units, Softboxes, Lightstands, Fluorescent Lamps & Travel Case

Mfr. Part: 4899     SKU: WE3LWKP
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Item Includes

Westcott (2) Spiderlite TD5's - 2 Tilter Brackets - (2) 24" x 32" Silver Soft Boxes - Spiderlite TD3 - Spiderlite TD3 Adapter Ring - 12" x 36" Strip Bank - (8) 50-Watt Fluorescent Lamps (for Spiderlite TD5) - (2) 20-Watt Fluorescent Lamp (for Spiderlite TD5) - (3) 30-Watt Fluorescent Lamps (for Spiderlite TD3) - 6' Boom Arm - (3) 10 'Heavy-Duty Lightstands - Deluxe Travel Case - Instructional DVD Volume 2 - Westcott Warranty


The Westcott 3-Light Window Light Kit provides a main light, a fill light and a hair light. Create the natural look of window light using two 24" x 32" Soft Boxes mounted onto two Spiderlite TD5s. An accent light or hair light can be added using the Spiderlite TD3 mounted on a 6' boom arm.

Powerful 50-watt fluorescent lamps not only stay cool to the touch, but provide over 8,000 hours of use. The heavy-duty stands and location carry case complete the kit. Instructional DVD included featuring Master Photographer James Schmelzer.


Kit provides equivalent output of 2000+ watts
Provides window-light effect
Three separate switches allows you to run from 1-5 lamps with no shift in color temperature
Handle allows for rotation of a soft box from a vertical to horizontal position
Awarded TUV-UL 1573 Approval for safety and design
All metal construction, no plastic to break
Carry case for safe and easy transport


Rated Kit Wattage500 watts (equivalent output of 2100 watts)
AMR ReadingISO 400 @ 3' = F5.6 (when used with 24" x 32" Soft Box @ 1/60th sec.)
Voltage110 volt or 220 volt
BaseStandard screw base
ConstructionSolid metal construction with protected ceramic bulb base
Power cord15'
Dimensions52"L x 12"W x 16"D
Weight70 Lbs
31.75 kilograms
WarrantyWestcott warranty

I am looking to make a studio in my home, and it will involve some remodel, what is the best color to paint the walls and ceiling for a portrait studio? White, off white etc etc etc. Just looking for some expert advice.
Thank you.


A. J. Jacobs , Nov 12, 2008; 11:24 a.m.
I don't know what the *best* color is, but mine is green :) (like a pine needles or sage-y green). Then again it was an office before I turned it into my home studio, so... I'm guessing people might say white.
Garry Edwards , Nov 12, 2008; 11:34 a.m.
Matt black. This gives you maximum possible control of your lighting, without bounce from white walls ruining everything. Coloured walls are even worse than white, they introduce colour casts.
Of course black is a pretty depressing working environment, so a good compromise might be to paint the ceiling black, paint the walls white and have black drapes that cover the white walls when you're shooting.
Mario Monti , Nov 12, 2008; 04:00 p.m.
I've only had experience with my white/light colored living area.
I will tell you it's not fun trying to control the light from bouncing everywhere.
I now wrap three of the sides of the room in a large black 10x20 foot Muslin. The ceiling I can't do much about just yet. With the black in place, controlling the light is easier.
That being said, a flat/matte/non-reflective black is probably best. However, black is a depressing color for your model's to have to see.
Grey is probably you're best choice. Perhaps you can get a sample of studio grey background paper and match it up at you paint supplier.
Just my 2 cents...
Joseph Wisniewski , Nov 12, 2008; 04:19 p.m.
We've got a 12 foot ceiling. There's a sort of molding at 8 feet where we removed the drop ceiling. The first 8 feet of the walls below the molding are white, the upper 4 feet of wall ad the ceiling are black. The back wall has a 14 foot wide curved cyclorama (white, obviously). The studio is 24 feet wide, 36 feet long. If it were smaller, I might have gone for all black walls, but the walls are far enough from the cyc that controlling light isn't that hard.
Mark Hartman , Nov 12, 2008; 05:34 p.m.
I prefer gray for the walls. I suppose they reflect some light, but I don't really mind for my style. It also depends a bit on how big the area is. I have enough space that I don't have too much bouncing around, but if your room is small, you may have more of an issue. The attached shot is using one of the actual walls and just the natural light from the windows. I find having the walls a color I like to shoot with saves on seamless paper too!
Matt Buser , Nov 12, 2008; 08:41 p.m.
Thank you, this is all great information.
Looks like something dark would be the right choice.
Stacy McKenzie , Nov 13, 2008; 09:33 a.m.
you could do two adjoining walls black and the other two white.
Chris Waller , Nov 15, 2008; 05:57 a.m.
White with full length black curtains on a curtain track running around the walls. Avoid coloured walls - reflections put a colour-cast on everything.
Chad Geist , Aug 23, 2009; 10:58 a.m.
The studio I'm currently building will be in my 1 car garage. Here's how I'm am going about it. I ran some heavy duty wire/wash line the full length of either side of the garage & ancored the ends in the concrete foundation block. Then bought some 80" long black curtains for the wash line. This is conveinient becase the curtains can be shifted around so u don't have a permanently "gloomy" black room. In addition, for a good muslin holder I did the same for the width of the gargage on the back wall. Bought a black (& a white) 10' x 20' muslin. If 2 lines in the back are ran the white could always remain for when u decide to switch back to high key. All u would need to do is remove the black insteady of physically swaping each muslin out.
Now my thoughts for the ceiling are still up in the air. I could paint the ceiling either black or dark grey. hmmmm... Maybe there's a way I can stetch some black plastic table cloth across the ceiling instead. U can purchase this via 100' rolls. ...but fighting to keep it from drooping may become an annoyance. So, I don't know I might just paint it.
The key here is to minimize all light bounce but u already know that. That's just how I'm going about it.
C. Everett Geist

How to Create a Photo Studio

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Say cheese!
 Say cheese!
Photography is a wonderful career, and you may want to pursue it. However, in order to be a successful photographer, you'll need a successful photo studio! Follow this guide to obtain just that, make money, and do what you love.


  1. 1
    photo studio in garage
     photo studio in garage
    Get a location. The place you choose should be wide, spacious, and comfortable. A lot of equipment will have to be set up here, and you need room for: backdrops, equipment storage, and even people! An indoor place is more suitable than an outdoor one, but if you're planning on taking more outdoor shots, then that's a fine place to set it. However, this may interrupt the process (you'll have all sorts of bothers such as nosy neighbors, etc.). Nothing in the room should be too eye-popping, or that will take away from pictures you take. Bare walls work the best. Comfy, cream colored carpeting make a nice atmosphere. Remember: this place is where you'll be taking photos of people. Use your location to welcome your customers, and let them know that they haven't made a mistake by coming.

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  2. 2
    Get a waiting room (optional). If you're going for a professional approach, you may want to establish a waiting room, where customers can lounge and relax before coming in for their photographs. This room doesn't have to be as spacious as your "photo room". But it must be fairly big. Set up chairs and/or a few couches, so that your customers can have a seat and look around. This room should be colorful, warm and welcoming. Hang some of your past photography work on the walls, for customers to observe and compare. You can also provide magazines for their entertainment. Create a nice atmosphere by exploring wall and carpeting choices. Make your customers feel like may even want to provide snacks.
  3. 3
    Get workers and establish the schedule. You can advertise in help wanted sections of your newspaper, to get workers for your photo studio. Specify the experience and style of the people you are looking for, and if possible, set up interviews with the possible choices. Unless you plan on establishing an entire photo studo by yourself, you'll need responsible, dedicated people to assist you. You'll need somewhere between 2-8 people to successfully get your photo studio running. After you have finished this process, and have a good team, you can start making the schedule. When will your photo studio open and close each day? Who will work each day, and for how long? Discuss this with your current workers. As the boss, it is your job to make sure everyone has their hours done, and that they have agreed to come to the studio at the designated times. Now that your schedule is done, you have the basic platform of a photo studio: a place, and a time frame.
  4. 4
    Get seamless paper backdrops. A good photo studio has a wide selection of backdrops, or backgrounds, for photos. Customers will expect quality designs, landscapes, and solid colors, to compliment their photos. Backdrops should not be sloppy or unprofessional. Have a few backdrops to choose from (solid white, solid black, and maybe a few scenery ones). They should be large enough to take up the whole frame. Use gels on the background lighting to adjust the appearance (a solid white background can appear red with the help of gels).
  5. 5
    Your customers will appreciate the fact that you want them to look great!
     Your customers will appreciate the fact that you want them to look great!
    Have makeup and accessories on hand. Customers want to look their best in the photographs- after all, they're paying good money for it. Show that you respect his, by supplying makeup for their use. Hire a make-up artist to apply the makeup for them. Provide a medium sized mirror, that can assist them in putting the makeup on. Also, consider providing accessories for the photos such as: hats, jewlery, purses, etc. This can help make the photograph more fun looking, and stylish. Your customers will be pleased with your immense assistance, and strive for their picture to turn out great!
  6. 6
    Decide on prices. Prices are an important factor to consider when creating a photo studio. A cost that is too high, will show that you are greedy, and will have you losing customers very quickly. However, a cost that is too low, will make your profits skimpy. Look at the prices of your area. Charge a sitting fee (they usually range from $75 to $300) and also charge for prints. Factor in the wages of your employees, the cost of studio equipment, and your experience.
  7. 7
    Post the price list so that customers can see it.
  8. 8
    Name the studio. Every photography studio needs a name to attract customers. The name you give can excel or fail such a business. Discuss the name choice with your fellow colleages and think about your cooperation. What are the strong points? How can you express this in a few words? Give everyone a chance to share their opinions on the matter, before writing each one down. Then file a vote between everyone. However, if you feel that the winning name will not sell your portraits, then bring it up withing the discussion. As the boss, you should be able to voice your opinion on the matter and try to come up with a compromised solution.
  9. 9
    Advertise the studio. Now that you've established a location, workers, props, and even a cool name, it's time to begin advertising your photography studio. Before beginning the actual advertisement, make a list of all the studio's strong points. Why would a customer want to come to your photography studio? What does it have to offer that the other guys don't? Create a colorful, eye-popping advertisement that lists these strong points. Give contact information (such as the phone number you can contact, to schedule an appointment or get more information). Also, include the address of your location.
  10. 10
    Run the business. As you get more customers, run your business accordingly. Have fun!

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  • Always treat your customers with exemplary kindness and respect. Refer to them by sir or ma'am unless asked otherwise, and act enthusiastic about meeting them. People will be more willing to suggest your business to others, if you show a positive, kind attitude. However, in order to produce the best images, it would be best to call them by their first name once you start to take pictures of them. If you don't, the relationship won't be personal enough and the images you'll get will reflect that.
  • Give your customers freedom when choosing backdrops, makeup, etc. Although you can share your own opinion on the subject (so that they don't look overdone or silly in the photograph), let them choose the things they want.
  • Take a variety of pictures with different poses, etc.
  • If the pictures happens to come out horrible, retake them. The images that leave your studio should be ones that you are proud of.
  • Decide on your retake policy. Will the retakes be completely free? Will they have to pay the full price? Portion of the sitting fee?
  • Ask the customer what kind of a picture they're going for, and then pose them accordingly. You should be posing them; not simply taking pictures.
  • It's a good idea to compliment the person getting their picture taken. Statements such as, "oh, you look beautiful in that dress!" or "this picture is going to be lovely!" work like a charm. However, don't overdo it or you will sound pushy.
  • If any worker begins acting snotty toward customers, or doing anything else that is hurting your business, discuss the problem with the worker privately. If the situation continues, fire the person.

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  • Make sure you are aware of the person's allergies before applying any makeup on them. You don't want your customer leaving, angry, and covered in a rash!
  • Ask your customer to bring lipstick/eyeliner with them if they plan on having it applied. Ask them not to apply any makeup beforehand.
  • Having one eyeliner or lipstick that you share among all customers can cause the customer to get red irritated eyes, and germs.
  • Provide disposable combs, and use a different one for each customer, to prevent lice.

editThings You'll Need

  • Photo room
  • Waiting room (optional)
  • Dedicated workers
  • A schedule
  • Poster paper
  • Paint
  • Makeup
  • Accessories
  • Fair prices
  • Camera

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Article Info

Last edited:
January 25, 2011 by Indzy
Recent edits by: BRjaneniJordan (see all)

Welcome to my studio!1. Located behind my home in Englewood, Colorado my studio began life as a one-car garage. Some time later a former owner expanded the size of the garage to include room for a workbench and additional storage areas that were only accessible from small outside doors. When my wife and I purchased this home we built a real garage next to the old garage and then set about making the old garage into a studio.
2. Here you can see the former workbench area that I converted to office/computer use. The remodeling included oak flooring over an insulated sub-floor, lots of insulation, dry-wall, new windows, gas heater and all new electrical service. The ceiling was left open to create a larger sense of space and to highlight the original roof that was made from twenty-foot long 1x12’s. (The roof insulation is on the outside under a second layer of roofing material.) A shelf was installed all the way around the room to include display space for oils cans and small collectibles. The old exterior storage area was modified to include an interior door with it’s own stained glass window.
3. Panning across the room you can see my easel and my Martin-Schwartz gas pump restored with Gilmore dress. The display case is full of die-cast cars, mostly 1/43 scale.
4. Here I am at me easel putting the finishing touches on “Rachel Rides With The Winner”. My easel is a one of a kind unit that was custom built for me by a very dear friend. Its most unique feature is the fact that the working surface can be rotated 360 degrees. This feature is an incredible aid when doing wheel and complicated curves because I can rotate the painting to get my hand in the most comfortable and natural position for each new task.
5. Continuing around the room we are looking at the backdoor to the studio. The large drafting table is used for pen and ink pieces, layout work and for framing.
6. Finishing our tour back at the “office” area you can see that I modified the back storage area to accommodate my 36’ deep flat file which houses prints ready to be shipped. The office area is also a convenient place to park my red wagon full of sample prints for visitors to browse through.
7. Here is a photo of the studio "shop truck". I was only thirteen years old when I first saw this truck in the July 1965 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. I cut the full color article out and kept it in a file folder all these years. Forty years later the truck showed up in Denver - for sale. The delivery had been in California since 1965 and remains in great condition, largely unchanged from its 1965 feature.
8. Thanks for stopping by! If you’re in the Denver area feel free to call and make an appointment for a personal tour.


As a boy, Dave Kurz dreamed of being a professional artist and he consistently produced work, which confirmed and supported his desires. In High School he took every available art class while earning credit for working 1/2 days at an architectural firm where he learned basic drafting and architectural illustration. Upon graduation from High School, Dave attended Moody Bible Institute for one year, with plans to go on to art school. While at Moody, Dave continued his career path by working as a layout artist for Moody Press and Moody Monthly magazine.
In 1974, Dave's artistic career came to an end when circumstances prevented art school from becoming a reality. It was then, that Dave's second passion, automobiles led him to a career as an automobile salesman. Dave sold Corvettes and specialty cars for 11 years and Mercedes-Benz/BMW's for five years. By 1980 Dave no longer referred to himself as an artist because his artistic production had been nil for several years.
Ten more years passed and finally in 1990, Dave excavated his old art supplies to begin to evaluate his degree of artistic atrophy with the hope that he could eliminate his donation of brain cells to a business, which he never really enjoyed. Pen and ink illustration had always been a specialty and to his surprise his initial efforts surpassed work he had completed twenty years earlier. In December 1992 Dave became a member of Denver's Art Students League and began to take some art classes. He also began to work in color for the first time.
In March of 1993, public demand for his work allowed Dave to quit his full time job to devote full time to painting. Dave now specializes in pastel paintings on sandpaper. His work ranges from photo-realistic automobiles and portraits to impressionistic landscapes and florals. His work has been featured in Road & Track, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Street & Custom Rodding Illustrated, Automobile Magazine, Big Twin, American Iron, Vintage Motors Sports, US Art, The Artists Magazine. His work has also appeared on the cover of the following magazines: of Mobilia Magazine, Old Cars Weekly, Sports Car Market, Apex Magazine and the Sangre De Cristo Art Center catalog. Dave's work is available from dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
While Dave describes himself as "your basic hot rodder,” his automotive interests have been quite varied. Julie, Dave's wife of 30 years says; "If it's got wheels, he likes it!" Dave has owned some 60 vehicles including two 1955 Chevies, five Corvettes from 1957 to 1972, fifteen customized Chevrolet pickups from 1935 to 1976, a 1946 Ford pickup, a 1949 Studebaker pickup, a Bug-Eyed Sprite and numerous other vehicles too weird to mention.
Meet Dave
affordable graphic design: /

I work as a professional photographer out of a studio in my home which is a converted single car garage. I eventually opted to paint the walls and ceiling matte finish white and the floor 18% (approx.) gray. This was to enable light bouncing in a relatively small space and with limited lighting equipment, and it has worked out well.

The one thing that may be helpful to keep in mind is that there is not perfect studio lighting. All your equipment and the space you shoot in contribute to your final product and style. People who shoot in warehouses will certainly have a different style then people in garages but it will not necessarily be better. This is also true of the hue of your lighting. Modern capabilities for white balancing both in the camera and digitally make miniscule differences mute. In fact, I've found the limitations of my space and light to be a creative stimulus to force me to try things differently then I might have originally intended.

One car garage studio (need help with finshing touches)

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Elizabeth Councill says:

Hi Everyone.

I am almost done setting up my studio in my house (1 car garage space) after weeks of designing, building, cleaning, and planning, and I need a little help with the final touches. I have been searching through the older threads and can't seem to find the answers I need.

(1) The garage is dimly lit, and I do not use studio strobes with modeling lights (use 3 Canon 580 EX II's). I would like to put in a tall lamp to help keep the area lit but I am concerned about the color temperature of the bulb interfering with my strobes. Is this something I should be concerned about or will my flashes nearly always overpower the lamps?

(2) What sort of props and odds and ends do you find most useful for a small studio setup? The props must be relatively small and easy to store as storage space is limiting.

(3) Do you find it helpful to play music when working in a studio setting? What sort of music do you like to use?

(4) I would like to set up a small makeup/hair touchup area for a model or makeup artist/hair stylist to use. Would a small vanity mirror suffice, or should I invest in a larger one? I was thinking something tabletop like this could work:

Any tips or suggestions are very welcome. I am new to studio photography, but not to photography in general and am using this studio as a space to learn, experiment, and create. I plan on posting full setup shots and hopefully some awesome results soon!

Thank you in advance!
Originally posted at 10:04PM, 3 April 2010 PDT ( permalink )
Elizabeth Councill edited this topic 12 months ago. 
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kyhsmith52 says:

(1) Brighten up your space. Any color cast is more likely going to result from the color of your walls, rather than the color of your lights... assuming that you are not doing a time exposure to pick up the ambient. In other words, at any "normal" shutter speed your flash is gonna' overpower your room lights by a wide margin.

(3) Play music. Play something. Play what you like.

(4) What is wrong with the mirror and lighting in your powder room?
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

I can't paint unfortunately (rental unit), but the walls are a very bright white color. I took last week to scrub clean the walls from the previous tenant. Do you think that would be okay or should I do something to line the walls? I have two large strips of foamcore already.

As for the bathroom, I was thinking it would be nice to be able to do touchups in the same space for convenience mostly.

Thank you for the quick reply!
Originally posted 12 months ago. ( permalink )
Elizabeth Councill edited this topic 12 months ago. 
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sebastienb  Pro User  says:

White should not be a problem IMO
Originally posted 12 months ago. ( permalink )
sebastienb edited this topic 12 months ago. 
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DavidJ Stanley  Pro User  says:

1/ white walls are good they can double up as a Background
2/ paint your foam core black on one side an alternative background and a useful Gobo.
3/ Illumination( 1 bright light (preperation ) / 1 dim light ( general base light ) all daylight balanced. Clothes make-up e.t.c you need to see.
3/ A mirror needs good light ( Daylight bulbs ) as for size large enough. ask a model comfort is important and a shelf or table for make up.
clothes rack for costumes.
4/ posing stool ( height adjustable- office )
5/ stretch a large piece of white cloth i.e sheet over frame to use as a diffuser for daylight coming in from the garage door ( natural light portraits.
6/ in a small space lighting poles rather than stands will keep the floor less cluttered.
7/ small fridge / music / tea & coffee a relaxed atmosphere is always best in a studio.
8/ wall brackets and a pole saves space for multiple backgrounds

just a bare bones start as you grow so will the gear.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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High_plains says:

David above is right aboput have some large foam cores painted black. Using them to block the lights coming off the walls will be invaluable if you are trying to shoot a low key portrait. I would do some testing with the white walls. Many of the paints add just a touch of blue to the paint to make it look a pure white.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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deliciouspapa says:

wardrobe change area. unless a spare room/toilet with a dry floor is nearby and accessible.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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captainkickstand  Pro User  says:

White should be fine, but if the color, cleanliness or overall condition of the wall is a problem, you might find your landlord would let you paint a good neutral color like white. Sounds like fun! I have been wishing lately I had a garage.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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kyhsmith52 says:

If there is any doubt about the "whiteness" of the white walls, then just do a custom white balance using one of the foamcore panels as a test target. Do this under the light that you will be shooting under (ie., flash).
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

Apparently, the tenet who lived here before us never bothered cleaning the walls or baseboards or garage door, so it was quite an undertaking to scrub down, but it looks very nice now. The paint looks to be in fine condition, but was a little grungy before. We also are going to weatherseal the garage to keep it from being drafty or too hot in the summertime (no worries about cold in Miami really).

I do have a huge bathroom on the second floor that would be great for changing/makeup.


Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful reply. Where could I find daylight balanced bulbs? That's a great idea about painting the reverse side of the foamcore. Putting in a coffeepot and minifridge is a great idea too. Unfortunately, my landlord said no drilling into the garage walls or ceiling (I asked before I started this project for backdrop supports, so I had to get a little creative). I ended up making a collapsible PVC freestanding backdrop support system that was custom sized and fitted for the space. It comes apart and packs into a dufflebag and easily supports 107" seamless although it's a 2 man/woman job to get the seamless mounted and switched. I only have 2 seamless backdrops for now (Savage Thunder Grey and Savage Brick).

I am planning on starting small and simple but with all the elements needed for me to really open up the creativity without blowing the budget.

Thanks again for the helpful advice.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Eric Fialkowski  Pro User  says:

You can find daylight balanced bulbs almost anywhere (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes.)
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

I just stopped into Home Depot and bought a pack.

Thanks for the tip, Eric!
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Stan AKA Roadie  Pro User  says:

+1 for daylight balanced bulbs. us them in lights that are directional and you can aim them where you need. Spotlamp/heatlamp shields work good for this. Use some foamcore to make covers for your windows. There are times when having the light shining through is just a pain.

As for the walls, If there is any texture at all, I would suggest using seamless paper hanging off of them, this willlalso give youa nice sweep at the bottom rather than a sharp edge.

Music... even though I don't listen to it (I'm an old time rock n roll guy) I find myself playing quite a bit of techno when I shoot... the beat and speed work good for it.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

Master Road: I think the white walls will be okay. There is some texture on the walls, but I can use the foamcore to set over it and prevent any light issues with the textured walls. The daylight bulbs made a world of difference. The whole space looks much better (far less orange)

Thanks for the tips!
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Nammo  Pro User  says:

I'd love to see your studio space. Fancy taking some pics and putting them in this thread???
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

I just took some as I just got the backdrop system up! I'll be uploading them shortly :)

Thank you everyone for the support and the help. This group and David Hobby's blog are amazing resources.
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Rui_Teixeira  Pro User  says:

Share the photo of your new studio when ready! ;-)
Posted 12 months ago. ( permalink ) 
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Elizabeth Councill says:

Okay, here come some pics. Some aren't the best quality as the space is still a work in progress, and I'm pretty darn tired.

Whole Studio Views:

The lighter the walls, the more forgiving your lighting setup can the reflected light will give you soft will never be as strong as the main you can use it for you fill if you choose......

My studio is similar in size, and I started with all white.....which made lighting easy, but boring. Never a harsh shadow, good for starting out. But, it was hard to get good moody contrasty lighting for those type of I eventually painted one side walls a medium warm grey to cut down the reflected light. One side wall I left white, but hang a near black canvas background over it, and then I can switch it back to white by just removing the canvas, depending on what lighting effect I want for the shot.
If you want to use a colored gel to give an effect on a background as a wash of color, you will get much more vibrant colors gelled on black than on white....seems odd until you try it... 
The lighter the walls, the more forgiving your lighting setup can the reflected light will give you soft will never be as strong as the main you can use it for you fill if you choose......

My studio is similar in size, and I started with all white.....which made lighting easy, but boring. Never a harsh shadow, good for starting out. But, it was hard to get good moody contrasty lighting for those type of I eventually painted one side walls a medium warm grey to cut down the reflected light. One side wall I left white, but hang a near black canvas background over it, and then I can switch it back to white by just removing the canvas, depending on what lighting effect I want for the shot.
If you want to use a colored gel to give an effect on a background as a wash of color, you will get much more vibrant colors gelled on black than on white....seems odd until you try it...