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Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 04:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I will hopefully be breaking ground on a detached studio this month. What started out as a 20X40 has finally grown to the 30X50. I wanted enough room to shoot a car if needed. I decided to include a dressing area that will have prop storage above it. The building wall height will be 12 foot.

Now I had a few questions to others that have managed to build their own studios. Was there anything you left out? I am planning on putting a full bath (toilet and shower) in the dressing area. I have also planned for seperate electrical service and HVAC to the studio itself. I was thinking about putting atleast one floor drain somewhere in the area used for shooting. I would love to have a rail system for lighting, but I think I will have to wait on it or build a similar system using overhead tubing.
I think a 12 foot wide 10 foot high roll up door would be big enough to shoot previously mentioned car. One of my other concerns is windows and placement. I was thinking big picture windows being able to let in lots of light. Since the studio will be in a space partially wooded, I guess I will need to see what available light is present at different times of the day. I had originally thought no windows so I was able to control all of the light, but after thinking it thru, maybe 1 or 2 windows would help in creating shooting areas.

Knowing I have missed several things in my thought process I figured I would put it out to the creative minds here. Any ideas, tips, or previous stories anyone would care to bring up?


Chris Graphic Images
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A wealth of information can be found at: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/144181
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 09:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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forget my basement studio!!
I'm coming to your place to shoot!
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am soooo digging that thread!
Some great home studios in there! I need to clean mine up.
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One thing I would recommend is using Pocket doors for a wall of the bathroom so that if you want to shoot in it all you have to do is slide open both pocket doors for a wide opening.

Mark
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was trying to figure out how I could set up the shower area as a possible shooting area too. I think with a little redesign of the dressing area I could work it out. The pocket door is a great idea. Now I am wondering if maybe a set of those interior french doors might be the way to go.

Chris
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ed,
Once I get it presentable, you are more than welcome to come by anytime.

Chris
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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While I don't think that it would be a bad idea to put in a floor drain, I wouldn't slope the floor to the drain. Standard practice is to slope the floor 1/8" to 1/4" per Ft. towards the drain. That would make the floor seriously not flat. I think that a flat and level floor would be more of an advantage. It sounds like you are considering shower or wet shoots. If I had the space, I would consider making a shower set rather than shooting in the bathroom. The reason is that bathrooms are too small and hard to light. You could try to make a wet area next to your bathroom. Having an open shower gives you much more room to shoot and lets you shoot different angles. It all depends on how often you think that you will use it. You can make a wet floor shooting area with heavy polyethylene sheet and a 2 X 4 railing around the edge. Once you have a fairly large shooting area, you will probably want to make flats and props and soon you will be out of space again. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Bill
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Re: Putting together a working studio
Old 05-04-2005, 04:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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North light is always considered the best. Try and put some floor-to-ceiling windows on the north side of the studio with blackout curtains inside to control the light.

By the way -- we've had a couple of other "build a studio" threads over the last year or two. You might do a search in this forum on the topic "studio" and see what those other threads have to offer.
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ideas
Old 05-05-2005, 02:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It sounds like you're building it from scratch, so I would suggest a minimum ceiling height of 14' for people, 16' or 18' would be better if you seriously plan on shooting cars. You need height to get that giant softbox hanging over the car. One of my early studios had 11.5' ceilings, and it just wasn't high enough especially if you wanted to use hairlights, the last one was 14' and worked fine. My ex-partner has 16' in his new place, and its really nice. The other thing is, with that height, you could (eventually) double-deck part of it to make a loft for a private office, client lounge, platform to shoot overheads from, etc. (His place was already double-decked when he got it, he uses the upstairs for storage and editing). 30x50' is not really THAT big for a commercial studio, so being able to double-deck part of it will come in handy. Having a flat floor is mandatory for the shooting area, and you might want to (eventually) add a wraparound cove if you are into shooting cars and large products. That's a cove with a curve on the bottom and top, and both back corners. Those are REALLY expensive to build, but they give you a feeling of infinity for big product shots. Of course they're a b_tch to paint, but that's what assistants are for. The roll-up door is a must.

Also, when you put in your power, don't put outlets along the back walls, and don't try too hard to spread them out, you'll never have them where you need them anyway, so that's what extension cords are for. Make sure you have plenty for strobes, hot lights, kitchen appliances, and the makeup station (curling irons have been known to blow power pack circuits)- we used to have 200 amps on 10 circuits. As for an overhead rail system, nice but not necessary if you hang a bunch of pulley's with poles running between them for seamless paper and other accessories.

Make sure you have an entry/waiting room/lounge. Somewhere for models to wait during a casting, boyfriends to wait during a shoot, clients to go when they want to call their office. Having available internet access, air conditioning, stereo, etc are all important.

If you've never been to a professional studio, you might consider visiting some before you finalize your plans and make your own wish list. Most photographers with studios don't mind showing off their space and letting you learn from their mistakes. I know at least one in Atlanta, but for a few hundred dollars you could travel around and see some out here in LA, or probably even bigger places in Florida or Texas or whereever.

I just remembered, my ex-partner has a website for his space, (which now that I think of it may be about 25x60 feet overall) and you can see it here with some great photos, http://www.magiclightstudios.com/ there is also a PDF of the bottom floor. The upstairs only covers the office and makeup room area. He also has a shower with removable walls and ceiling for shooting and adding light. One skylight with a sliding dark-panel. Also, because he shoots a lot of food, he built the kitchen with removable counters and cabinets, its very cool.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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