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Chapter 6. People Photography > Setting Up Your Studio

Setting Up Your Studio

Any convenient indoors space can be transformed into a mini-studio, as you’ll discover in Chapter 10, “Macro Photography.” A key difference is that close-up photos usually involve small subjects, taken from a few inches away, and, much of the time, use much simpler lighting arrangements. People pictures require more room than photographs of your ceramic collection, and few homes have space that can be devoted to studio use on a full-time basis. Two of my last three homes had large semi-finished attic space that I was able to commandeer as a studio. When I had an office addition built for my current residence, I had the choice of having a crawl space underneath or a full basement. I opted for a basement room with high ceilings, so I ended up with a 24 × 16-foot multipurpose room that can be used as a studio, darkroom, and storage space. The darkroom has fallen into disuse since I went completely digital, but the studio and storage space continue to battle for the remaining square footage.

Those of you with newer homes sans attic, or who live in parts of the country where basements are not common, probably don’t have an extra room for a studio. Even so, I’ll bet you have space that can be pressed into service from time to time. A garage makes a good location, especially if you live in warmer climes or are willing to confine your studio work to warmer weather. Some garages can be heated efficiently for year round use, too. Just back your vehicle out of the garage and you have space to shoot. I know several part-time professional photographers who work exclusively from rooms that were originally the garage. Their studios don’t much resemble a garage today, but that’s how they started off.


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