Friday, September 24, 2010

Small Space Photo Studio

Many of us find ourselves searching for more space; a cabinet in which to stash that large crab boil pot that we use maybe once a year or a cupboard for the old set of Grandma's china that we've inherited. Constantly we're seeking places to store our old and newly acquired treasures.  In today's life style not only do our belongings need space, so do our hobbies; it may be well and good to commandeer a corner of the dinning room, a nook in the living room or even converting a small closet into our "studio" but what happens when space runs out?

For some time now I've been using the top of our guest bedroom dresser as my "photo studio". With a top that measures 20 inches deep and perhaps 40 inches long, plus a large mirror that infringed upon this space making photography awkward, something had to be done and adding an addition to our home was not an option.

Then a friend gave me a great idea on where I could garner my much needed photo studio space and though it may work for me you may find it unfeasible in your own situation.

My home is small but it does have 3 full bathrooms.  The smallest of the baths held little usable space; counter tops are small, floor space meager...however there is a tub. Could this tub alcove be used as a workable photo studio ? Well I'll let you be the judge of that.

Photo above ... John, my darling hubby, cut a large sheet of 3/4 thick plywood to fit across the top of the tub. He knew the weight of the plywood would not be enough to keep it from slipping about on the tub rim, therefore he measured exactly where restraints would have to be placed to prevent the plywood from shifting. I certainly would not want to be photographing items and suddenly have my photo studio dumped into the bathtub. Chunks of 2 x 4's are securely screwed to the underside of the plywood sheet and act as a brace keeping it from sliding.
Photo above and below ... Using more plywood and 2 x 4's, John constructed a table that pretty much fills the space within the tub alcove and then anchored it firmly to the foundation sheet of plywood. Everything is a solid as a rock; no wiggles, no jiggles, no sliding, no slipping.
Photo above ... The table is covered with a white sheet to hide the less than decorative  wood and now all is ready for setting up my "photo studio".

My light box, camera stand and a couple of halogen light fixtures were acquired by way of a lucky eBay bid, in the finale moments of its auction, I made a bid that was just $1.01 over the highest bidder and won the light box set...a $60 value (supposedly) for $21 with FREE SHIPPING ! I figure I probably couldn't beat that price again even if I had a baseball bat to do it with.

The aluminum reflector lights were purchased at my local Home Depot for about $5 each. A friend, who's a semi-professional photographer, suggested I get some daylight energy efficient bulbs to use in my reflectors, even gave me the name; "GE Energy Smart Daylight 6500K" .  They are fantastic and I'm passing the recommendation on to you.
So there's my "Photo Studio" and when I wish to hide problem.


  1. Wow, this is great and actually so helpful! I don't sell too much on my etsy, mostly because I struggle with taking great etsy quality photos. I may try to make a little space for taking photos too. Great post!

    Thanks for visiting me!


  2. Anna you are the most clever person on the planet, you should seriously be writing 'how to make what you've already got work for you' books. I love this idea...LOVE!!! What a brilliant way to find the space you need in an underutilized room. Nie job on the auction win too. I have bid on so much that I end up losing in the final seconds for like $0.49 so I stopped dealing with the stress years ago lol.

  3. love the post! that was a sensational buy!

  4. What a great idea !!! I need to get some of those bulbs for the winter. Right now I actually take my stuff outside to photograph it. Happy Friday !

  5. oh my this is so fab i have to do it! i love taking pics:) saw you on etsy! have a good night!

  6. you are so inventive and smart. What a good idea and very well constructed. My stuff has completely overrun the one nice room in our house which is the dining room. I have a room that could double as mud room and studio but it has sooo much stuff in it that I am overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning it out!

  7. WOW! Anna you have a wonderful space there. Taking photos in the bathroom is so much more fun than cleaning them, right :) Smart girl :)

    It is amazing how we all have to have sooo much equipment these days. But it is so cool :)

    Hope you are have a lovely weekend, T. :)

  8. This is so very awesome. I definitely need to get some of those daylight bulbs! I'm always wanting to photograph at night, which never bodes well for my baked goods. Thanks for the detailed pictures! This is genius.

  9. now that is a very cool idea.
    nikonsniper steve

  10. Stephen Baird aka the NikonSniper- Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I'm very honored. I've been an admirer and follower of your blog since ... well almost since the beginning and think your photos are fantastic.

  11. That's ingenious! I love the part where you can hide it all!


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