Building my home photography studio

Building my home photography studio

This was an exciting adventure... or so I thought... I was excited and I'm happy now it's finished but it has been a LONG LONG journey with a few tears, tantrums and copious amounts of tea. 

So this now big room started out as two bedrooms that my partner used to rent out. There was blue gloss paint in one of them with brown carpet... No... No I'm not joking. The other I can barely remember but it wasn't in much better shape. 

One boring weekend I decided to pull the stud wall down to get a gauge of size and we quickly realised the wall on the left room was bowed/pinched in at the top so our best bet of doing it properly was to gut the room and re-do ALL the plasterboard, bonus was that it meant we didn't spend hours getting rid of wood chip paint (it is everywhere in our house along with popcorn ceilings). Downside, we'd just had our brand new windows in safe to say I was nervous. 

My partner got the old plasterboard off the the second door with a small amount of stud wall was removed, a new one put up later on with just the one doorway. We used to have secondary glazing also since we live right next to the American air base but our new windows are REALLY good so we scrapped the secondary glazing. 

Plasterboard, chasing in electrics, plastering, windowsills, radiators, all those plug sockets and things you forget about came charging at us but at least we know for next time! Yes next time, it's already in motion. 

The tears came from how long it has taken, roughly 6 weeks when it could have been a lot shorter. I didn't have my computer for LONG periods of time, everything was covered in dust and dirt also. Some things were overlooked and missed but are now being rectified thankfully. 

I chose a mid-sheen from Valspar, some other photographers scoffed at my mention of mid-sheen, what about reflections blah blah blah BUT I know from experience mid-sheen paint rarely bounces off that much light but MODELS on the other hand touch everything, scuff everything, things move and scrape the walls ALL the time and having a high quality scrubbable paint was essential rather than me painting every couple of months. I also picked one of their 'true greys' which has no undertones to it whatsoever so there is no colour cast on my models whilst shooting.

Also I picked a neutral flooring, scrubbable also and it's not laminate which I despise (the noise!), it's called LVT - feels like wood, looks like wood but is actually vinyl! No clicky horrible sounds. I love it and want it through the rest of our home already. Plus it's rather cheap which in itself is great.

My partner managed to get my heavy backdrop holders up pretty much on his own, I was useless overall in this! But now I have a brilliant pully system for my bigger backdrops (I had to saw them down a touch as you can see below) 

Now I have an at home photography studio which will provide me with a working space for YEARS to come. We did it properly for this reason, we love our home, I love it's location (Despite the occasional airforce noise!) and it's rather easy for models to get to. I'l be back shooting every week now! No excuses! 

Tips:

  • Plan in advance, get everyone booked in and to stick to their time frames if possible
  • Pick everything out before hand too
  • Make sure you map out where your plug sockets and lights are going
  • Only use one plasterer ;) Seriously though
  • Don't half ass anything!!! Do it properly otherwise you'll kick yourself later
  • Paint sprayers are amazing but expensive and if you can afford a decorator, bloody get one!
  • Expect there to be expenses you didn't think of, or think of absolutely everything beforehand
  • If a guy is cutting your floor or skirting in, don't just get him to trim one of your massive backdrops, get him to trim all of them down! (saves an hour of sawing and crying)

Have you built an in home photography studio? I'd love to see your photos if you have! Any tips for anyone else? Anything you guys wanna know just comment/ask away!