A big part of our photography involves using available light. We use off-camera flash and bounced flash where necessary, but much prefer the simple beauty of natural light.
We frequently shoot in front of windows, entrances and parking garages where we look to create some soft but directional light. I was reading At Work by Annie Leibovitz (incredible book, by the way) and she mentioned that she loved shooting in garages (a foot or two into the garage I believe).
That got me thinking about how we have a drywalled garage, and all I would need to do is paint the wall in order to use it as a neutral background.
So I picked up a small can of grey paint and some sand paper from the hardware store, and made myself a studio.
Since we live in a duplex our garage isn’t super wide and it’s also not tall enough to do full length portraits, but for quick head shots it’s going to work out beautifully.
Now, obviously I’m not suggesting anyone open up a professional studio just by painting a wall in their garage. You definitely don’t have the sort of control you would have if you were positioning lights in a studio. But this is a fantastic way to experiment very cheaply. You don’t even need to buy lights!
Here are Lauren and Max helping me test the space.
And behind the scenes.
I took a couple shots the other day with my 4×5 camera on Polaroid 55 film in the studio, and loved the results. You can check that out here if you’re interested!