British homes are just too small

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
chasg Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Re: British homes are just too small

Hi Phil,

I too live (and work) in a small Victorian Terrace! Don't get discouraged, all of the photos that you see on my client's website below (purple girl, and all catalog shots on black) were shot in my basement studio here (it's also about 20x15, but furniture-less):

Dancing Apsara (jewellery)

This photo and this photo were also shot here. The only thing I can't do is standing fashion (those looks that require high ceilings, that is, as mine are only 6.5ft). If you want a white background, then consider investing in a Lastlite Hilite, or hit a white sheet from behind with a softbox, but that requires a bit more depth to the room, or shoot towards a window with a white sheet hung over it (very effective!).

What colour are your walls? If white, or off-white, you can try bouncing your speedlights for a soft light source (this is a learning project, right?). Hmm, even if they aren't white, but are all the same colour, you can still bounce, and colour correct in post. I wouldn't worry about the furniture all that much, arrange it so that it's not in shot (if you want to do full length, that's harder than if you want to shoot 3/4 or headshots, but it's do-able, I promise!). In my last house, I had to rearrange the living room each time I wanted to shoot, but you'd never know from the results that they weren't shot in a rented studio

I've shot portraits in some very limited spaces. This shotwas done on the 3x3ft landing halfway up a set of stairs in a restaurant. I had to hang one leg of my lighting stand (with brolly) over the stairs, and I held up with my 70-200mm lens! (most expensive lighting stand ever I'm sure that what you've got is definitely usable, go for it.

If you're in London, pm me and we can chat about options.


ps. "proper" strobe lights are any strobe lights, imho (well, as long as they are reliable). I do professional work with whatever is appropriate: speedlights, monoblocs and pack lights, here in my studio, in the field and in rented studios. It's definitely horses for courses, your speedlights are just what you need for an in-studio project like this (read lighting 101 on the Strobist website for proof)

onechobeach wrote:

Has been looking at setting up a small home studio but now feels discouraged.

Wants to achieve the best results I can but all the reading I have done suggested you need a room at least 15 by 20 foot.

For Instance I have read that you need at least 6 foot separating your subject from your chosen backdrop to achieve that whiteout look without shadow.

Now my home is a small victorian terrace.

The Largest room is 12 x 15 foot and full of furniture.

So how much can you achieve in such a small space ?

Wants to focus on single person portraits/a self portrait project that allows me to learn some lighting techniques.

Has considered just using my two Canon 580 Ex 11 speed lights, a Lightbox and a reflector and stands . Feels it is not worth buying proper strobe lights as space is so limited.

What can you achieve in such a small space ? Advice appreciated.

Thanks, Phil

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