How to turn my basement into a mini studio?

Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
10,266
Location
Texas!
How? Clear the clutter first. Get yourself a Creative Light softbox, photogenic lighting some backgrounds, some rugs, some some defusers...and you're done.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,959
Location
Australia
those rafters will come in handy for hanging flash-heads off.

clean it up a bit. hang a background sheet down one wall and off you go.

looks like a nice space to work in. if i was building a studio specifically, i'd be going for a higher ceiling, but 8' will be more than fine for most subjects.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
241
Location
atlanta ga
We have just moved here little over a week, so yes there is clutter ;)

How can I turn my basement into a small studio?

FYI Ceilings are around 8'

http://shutteringseasons.smugmug.com/photos/i-ncQXJtz/1/L/i-ncQXJtz-L.jpg
http://shutteringseasons.smugmug.com/photos/i-hPKb29d/1/L/i-hPKb29d-L.jpg

Thanks ;)
This is beside the point but I am curious if you are going to keep the D80 as your studio camera (still trying to decide what to buy for myself so that's why I ask.) I cleaned out my garage for just and am in a similar situation but uh with no equipment yet. :)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
Thanks guys! Seems easily accomplishable. What type of background sheet do you think? And any specific rug, or just to make it more comfortable looking? It has a step out basement, this is what made me think of the idea. Also there are 2 new very large dehumidifiers down there set at 35%.

And yes for now ill be using the d80, then graduate to the 900, and who knows from there.

Thanks again guys!
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,941
Location
Chicago
8 feet is is extremely limiting because the lights need to raised high enough to angle down at the subject. Since you are limited, seated portraiture is the only option.

A soft box or shoot thru translucent umbrella use the least height.

Keep 6 feet between subject and background. This keeps shadows off and and allows you to light it as a separate subject.

I recommend a moonlight for main light and a reflector fill, something large. Calumet sells a nice 4x6 foot free standing one and get the optional white fabric. Start with a single light. That is really all you need for most work + reflector fill .

You will need a light stand so buy a good one with large wide footprint so it does not tip easily.

Get the subject up to your height with a tall chair or chair platform or get a chair so you get down to theirs. Or use a camera such as a Hasselblad with angled 45 degree viewfinder.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
I'm thinking for my indoor photos at least for now, I am going to stick with infants and children. I was thinking any tall person will fill very confined, and that is not what I want.

Would that snap wood flooring work as the floor?
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,806
Location
Rural Virginia
Here is how I did it

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
Luke,

That looks very well put together. Was this a kit or did you build it yourself? May I ask what you used for flooring and lighting?

Very nice!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,806
Location
Rural Virginia
I put it together from items purchased at B&H. Since the space is pretty compact, just over 11 feet wide, I wanted to minimize the footprint of my background supports. I went with Bogen/Manfrotto Autopoles which cam into place between the basement floor and the exposed sub-floor of the first floor. They are firmly locked into position and take virtually no floor space.

I also mount my hair light boom arm on one for the same reason, but also it is not likely to be knocked over and onto my subject. The white and black rolled paper backgrounds are raised and lowered using the Bogen/Manfrotto Expan system. When both are fully raised my muslin backgrounds are exposed. They are hung from large diameter conduit sections which are mounted to the wall with eye bolts, short lengths of chain and "S" hooks.

The Bogen/Manfrotto components are pricy and if I did not want to have a setup I could take on location I would have gone a different route and bolted everything to the wall.

Flooring is some carpeting recycled from upstairs remodeling. Main and fill lights are White Lightning X800s into 43" umbrellas. Background and hair light is from a Nikon SB-25 speedlight.

I have not done enough studio work to get good at it, but I find it is the most enjoyable area of my photography.

Here is a link to a gallery of some of my shots:

http://www.peppermill-multimedia.com/galleries/B-Studio_Portraits/
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
What is your genre of photography?
I really enjoy shooting children, and just about anyone as they are being themselves and not posing for a shot if that makes any since. My best work is done by the client/s not posing. Having a studio will be a huge change for me, this is why I think I will only do newborn/infant at first to get the fell for it and go from there.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
831
Location
S. WI
And since no one else mentioned it, make sure that your city zoning regs dont prohibit it (running businesses out of residential homes).
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,806
Location
Rural Virginia
It is very hard to tell they were in a basement. I love the look of the last photo of the female, was that taken with some sort of snoot?
The main and fill lighting was my normal setup (butterfly lighting for female subjects), but I turned the background light around towards the subject to give more separation. The black top she was wearing really added to the effect. I further darkened the background in post. The image was then processed in Portrait Professional to give a slight glamour makeover.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,806
Location
Rural Virginia
I really enjoy shooting children, and just about anyone as they are being themselves and not posing for a shot if that makes any since. My best work is done by the client/s not posing. Having a studio will be a huge change for me, this is why I think I will only do newborn/infant at first to get the fell for it and go from there.
I feel the same way. That is what made me move to monolights. I initially started with Nikon SB-800s and the CLS system and was getting very nice results. I still use that setup for location work. The shot of the triplets in my gallery was a location shot. But in the studio with active children I found I was missing some great shots while waiting for the SB-800s to recycle. Adding SD-8A battery packs helped, but the real solution was my monolights. They recycle almost instantly.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
I feel the same way. That is what made me move to monolights. I initially started with Nikon SB-800s and the CLS system and was getting very nice results. I still use that setup for location work. The shot of the triplets in my gallery was a location shot. But in the studio with active children I found I was missing some great shots while waiting for the SB-800s to recycle. Adding SD-8A battery packs helped, but the real solution was my monolights. They recycle almost instantly.
Do you enjoy shooting on location and bringing all the gear and setting it up? I have also been wanting to purchase a portable set to bring with me.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
48
Location
SeMo
And since no one else mentioned it, make sure that your city zoning regs dont prohibit it (running businesses out of residential homes).
Great point! I would need to apply for a license in my city, however this is just for a side job at the moment and no taxes are used, which leads me to believe I do not need to check with the city.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,806
Location
Rural Virginia
Do you enjoy shooting on location and bringing all the gear and setting it up? I have also been wanting to purchase a portable set to bring with me.
I do an occassional wedding and take my lighting system with me for the formals. I enjoy the results, but hauling all the equipment - not so much. Particularly on a hot and humid day.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom