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Obscure studio equipment suggestions ?

Forums > Photo Month Forum > Obscure studio equipment suggestions ?

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JackAllTog e2 Member 53627 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 1:19 PM

Hi there, I've a never ending project of a DIY home studio stuck in the design stage, but as its stuck there i thought I'd ask a question?

Could you suggest any items you think i may not have thought of and might need to consider ?

Large open area with high ceiling to get lights above subjects.
Windows for natural light and scenes, black out for windows for full light control.
Open wooden ceiling rafters to hang lights, props, people etc.
Infinity curved shooting area, shiny white floor for reflections.
Makeup, changing, discussion sofa area.
Wall sockets for lights
Wall/ceiling mounts/brackets for lights, light boom stand for lights mobile and high
Continuous daylight balanced lighting option, heating & fan for cooling/blowing hair.
PC/processing desk & Internet connection

I'd not like to build this and miss an important consideration - do you have any hints...

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Pete Site Moderator 1318446 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 1:26 PM

good list

I'd add -
Large Mirror
radio/mp3player/cdplayer - music at a low level is always helpful
Shelves for bits and bobs.
Few stools/chairs/boxes for different height / styles

JJGEE  96308 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 1:42 PM

Quote: Obscure .......

A refrigerator in which to store your films Wink
or perhaps cans of beer !

Quote: Windows for natural light

Perhaps you need to consider where the windows are, North, South,East, West facing or even a window in the roof

7 Aug 2012 - 1:57 PM

A private changing area with mirror lights and table for make-up etc, models do like some privacy at times.

Some seating options, chair, stool, chaise longue etc, not forgetting something for the photographer as well.

Steps / step ladder so that you can get a different perspective on your model.

Strong points in the ceiling so you can set up a swing or hang lighting directly overhead of your model.

puertouk  21073 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 4:08 PM

I would also consider using flash in various guises, as you don't want just basic studio lighting. A lot of pro's use flash, so you'll need several flash and triggers.

saltireblue Site Moderator 43925 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway25 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 6:18 PM

Underfloor heating for winter...not to be under-estimated for the comfort of all concerned.


Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2012 - 9:45 PM

A good hair and make-up assistant. Invaluable help to make the sitter feel better.
Don't try to mix natural light with continuous or flash. The colour temperatures are different and a nightmare to balance. When using the flash, block the windows.
Shiny white floors get dirty. Better to have a background roll - when it gets dirty, cut it off and use a new bit. You can also pull it into a scoop if you want one.
As above - music and refreshment. You need to make a relaxing environment. Play music the sitter likes, not what you like!!

Most of all......Imagination - you can overcome most shortfalls in studio equipment with this.


Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315388 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 1:26 AM

A fire extinguisher Smile

JJGEE  96308 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 8:46 AM

Quote: A fire extinguisher Smile

I guess that Stuart's female models are too hot to handle Wink

JackAllTog e2 Member 53627 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 9:16 AM

Many thanks for all those suggestions, i Like all of them and have added them to the list although the underfloor heating probably a luxury one step too far, i will though have an insulated floor built with building regs in mind.
I think a smoke alarm would be good, i have the fire extinguisher Smile

JJGEE  96308 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 9:29 AM

Stuart... that is brilliant Smile Smile

8 Aug 2012 - 12:02 PM

Quote: I think a smoke alarm would be good,

At least one smoke alarm will be mandatory and I'd suggest that you also arrange a fire safety audit. Your local council can advise you on this but the cheapest, possibly free way is via the fire brigade directly.
Since you'll be involving members of the public; models, their friends, make up people etc., you might also want to have a H&S audit carried out before you begin using it. Particularly if you're planning to have heavy items suspended from the ceiling. Again, speak to your local council. There's usually a charge but sometimes there are ways around it.
You've already mentioned building regs. and all of your plans, including electrical and plumbing work (so far no-one's mentioned a toilet) will need to be approved before you pick up a screwdriver.
And don't forget your public liability insurance.
If I think of anything else, I'll let you know!


Last Modified By Jestertheclown at 8 Aug 2012 - 12:03 PM
15 Aug 2012 - 6:48 PM

how about plug sockets at a high level then you wont trip over the cables for the lighting.

brian1208 e2 Member 1110288 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
15 Aug 2012 - 6:57 PM

A member of our camera club has recently finished building a professional quality studio and having the sockets at head height works extremely well doing away with cables across the floor or hanging down to snare the unwary neck.

He has also set it so that all the sockets can be controlled from the front of the studio from a single row of switches + each socket is individually switchable at the socket.

He has also wired it up with ethernet cabling with a mobile PC point / trolly and a large Screen LCD TV so the room can double up as a TV / display area.

It all works very effectively and is a joy to use

15 Aug 2012 - 6:59 PM

Quote: how about plug sockets at a high level then you wont trip over the cables for the lighting.

From a H&S viewpoint, the jury's out re. high level sockets anywhere other than above a bench or work surface.
In reality, they don't really remove a tripping hazard, the just move it higher up. Also, cables need to be longer to be able to perform their job and the ensuing 'loop' below the outlet becomes a hazard in itself.

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