How to Turn Your Garage into a Photo Studio
Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: When I lived in Kanata (Ottawa), I remember so many houses in my neighbourhood having garages that served another purpose other than storing your car (& that tent you haven’t touched since Junior High). Some people created another room to their home, while some used it as a ‘man cave’. What about using it as the space you create and/or conduct business? Guest blogger, Maurine Anderson, is sharing tips and tricks on how to turn your garage into your very own photo studio!
Are you considering turning your garage into a photo studio? Doing so is entirely possible and often only requires a little planning and renovation work on your part. Here is a brief look at the basics of converting any garage into a space fit for taking beautiful, well-lit photos.
[ Insulate Your Garage ]
Let’s start with some garage renovation talk. If you want to turn your garage into a photo studio, then it’s a good idea to think about insulating your garage. Insulating your garage will protect the expensive equipment you use in your studio from temperature-related damage, and it will make your studio a more comfortable space to work in. Insulating your garage will actually involve doing a few different things to your garage, detailed below. It isn’t entirely necessary to do all of these things, but they are good things to think about nonetheless.
If you don’t have one already, consider investing in an insulated garage door for your garage. Garage doors with insulating properties can make a major difference.
You’ll want to start by air sealing the walls using a combination of spray foam insulation and silicone caulk. Then, you will need to install fiberglass insulation on the unfinished walls in your garage. If desired, you’ll also want to finish your garage walls with drywall.
Don’t forget to add a basic level of insulation to your ceiling as well. Finish your ceiling with drywall as well if desired.
While not entirely necessary, it may also be a good idea to install some sort of air conditioning in your garage for those warmer months. Fortunately, this is easier than you might think, thanks to free standing A/C units.
[ Consider All-Glass Garage Doors ]
Natural lighting is extremely flattering in photos and makes easy work of a photo shoot in many circumstances. For this reason, it may be a good idea for you to consider all-glass garage doors for your garage if you are converting it into a photo studio. Glass garage doors will allow you to reap the benefits of natural lighting while keeping dust and debris out of your garage.
[ Invest in Studio Lighting ]
If you would rather go the studio lighting route, then you’ll want to invest in a good studio lighting “arsenal” that will serve all of your photography needs. Your needs will vary, of course, depending on the particular photo work that you plan on doing. If you primarily practice product photography, for example, then you will likely want two large flashes, positioned opposite one another to cancel out the shadows. If you photograph portraits, on the other hand, your lighting configuration may be a little more complicated, involving a key light, a fill light, and then a catchlight for the eyes. If you like to get a little creative with your photography, meanwhile, you might invest some unique lighting pieces like a UV light. Needs will vary greatly depending on what work you primarily do, so let your needs dictate what studio lighting you invest in here.
[ Get Some Backdrops ]
While you can refinish the floor and walls in your garage to make them beautiful backdrops themselves for your photos, chances are you’ll need some portable backdrops for both convenience and variety in your garage photo studio. Your needs will dictate what you do here. If you tend to photograph people against an all-white background, for example, you’ll want a large white seamless paper backdrop for your studio. If you photograph people but prefer more variety for your background, you might invest in a few colorful backdrops and textured looking floor drops for a more custom look. If you do product photography, on the other hand, you may simply need a lightbox set on top of a small table. If you do food photography, you might need a small table and a few different tablecloths.
[ Collect Some Props ]
It also helps to establish a small prop “arsenal” in any photo studio. Again, your needs will dictate what you do here. If you primarily do portrait work, then maybe your only props will be some hats and a couple of solid colored button-up shirts. If you do a lot of food photography, then you might have a collection of fake fruit pieces, bowls and plates, decorative silverware, and cooking utensils.
Thanks, Maurine for sharing your tips on how to create your very own photo studio in your garage! I wish I had a garage to do this myself!
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