How to build a studio from scratch

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions
fad
fad
Forum ProPosts: 12,144Gear list
Like?
How to build a studio from scratch
May 4, 2013

Here's an unusual question:

I am adding on to my urban attached NYC townhouse, and I am thinking of constructing a workable studio on top of my 3rd story roof.  (I'm a street photographer, but I would like to do more studio shots of artistic photography.)

How do I find out how to specify this new space?

Where I would like to build has a northern exposure, and cannot be more than about 18' wide on the inside.   How tall and deep should I make it?  How much glass should I put in to use natural light.   What kind of finishes should the space have.

-- hide signature --

By now, you might be guessing that I've never actually used a photographic studio, although I know my way around the D800, multiple Nikon flashes and tripods.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

--
Frank
shot in downtown Manhattan.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

 fad's gear list:fad's gear list
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Nikon D3S Nikon D800 Nikon D4s Nikon D810 +9 more
Barrie Davis
Forum ProPosts: 21,460
Like?
Re: How to build a studio from scratch
In reply to fad, May 4, 2013

fad wrote:

Here's an unusual question:

I am adding on to my urban attached NYC townhouse, and I am thinking of constructing a workable studio on top of my 3rd story roof.  (I'm a street photographer, but I would like to do more studio shots of artistic photography.)

How do I find out how to specify this new space?

Where I would like to build has a northern exposure, and cannot be more than about 18' wide on the inside.   How tall and deep should I make it?  How much glass should I put in to use natural light.   What kind of finishes should the space have.

-- hide signature --

By now, you might be guessing that I've never actually used a photographic studio, although I know my way around the D800, multiple Nikon flashes and tripods.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

My advice....

Hire a couple of different studios in your locality, and do some actual shooting in them. The practical hands-on experience will probably tell you more about what would suit YOU and YOUR style of shooting..

... than any amount of advice from other shooters.

Myself, I'd love the opportunity of having a daylight studio with natural side-going AND overhead light available...

.... but I know that it would be very expensive to equip such a large work area with all the high density black-out blinds that I would also require, in order to work by artificial lights when I needed to ...

.... (electronic flash and continuous).

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
robertfel
Contributing MemberPosts: 695Gear list
Like?
Re: How to build a studio from scratch
In reply to fad, May 4, 2013

I agree with Barrie, check out other spaces to decide what you like and don't like about them. In addition to renting out a space to do exactly the kind of shoot you want to do, you should peruse CraigsList. Go check out studio rentals and shares, compare the light, space, flooring, HVAC, etc.

Some general tips: however high you think the ceiling should be, add another 2 feet. Have a grey floor. I have wood floors and I'm always removing red from my product shots and people's legs. Will you use it as a meeting space as well? Will you do your retouching in there? 18' wide is a nice space, my space is about 600 sq. ft. and I can squeeze in 2 setups at once if needed.

Add plenty of electricity. LEDs aren't ready for prime time. If you use hot lights for a video project, computer, hair dryer, curling iron and microwave, you'll blow fuses if unprepared. Female models get cold easily and I find goosebumps distracting. I like the recessed outlets so you can put furniture/equipment right up against the wall. But floor outlets and extensions on wheels from up high also have their places.

There are way too many variables to address until you provide more feedback about what you shoot, cost, building code restrictions, etc.

 robertfel's gear list:robertfel's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads