Working in a Small Studio

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Working in a Small Studio

My studio space is roughly 15’x18′ with two doors and no windows. It also serves as my office space complete with bookshelves and a large desk. While a decent size, backdrops, light stands, and other equipment, make it feel small real fast. Add a model and enough room to shoot with confidence and working in a small studio can be a challenge.

I have tried several setups over several years. It is a quest for a good balance between equipment storage, a good space for a client to “stage”, and still leave room enough to get different angles during the shoot. The studio is the only living space upstairs. There is no closet. Most clients go downstairs to change in the bathroom while a few models have simply hidden behind a backdrop. I often kick myself out for a few minutes, waiting in the living room for the all clear.

Clients, especially models with many different outfits, need a place to put their belongings. Some models will take over a bathroom for the duration of a shoot. Others will claim a corner of the studio. It is important to meet the client’s need while preserving the area necessary for me to shoot effectively. I have had as many as eight people in the room while shooting. Yes, it is crowded!

I recently purchased a vanity which renewed my efforts to make the most of my space. I believe I may have rearranged for the final time. As I write this, I am awaiting a few key components to be assembled and to trade out one storage solution for another. The new look studio has a fresh coat of paint and I have managed to make three walls available as photography backdrops.

As I finally bring some order to my small studio, I will document a few of the things I have done to make the most of a space that is less than ideal for the range of genres I shoot. Keep an eye out here and, hopefully, you will see something here that offers an idea on how to better arrange your own space.

What have you done to make the most of your small space?

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