Designing a Space for Photography -- What You Need to Know!

When I showed you my revamped shed last week, I mentioned that I designed it with photography in mind.  While I do most of my product shots in my home or on the back porch, I often find that my clean, open spaces and cute vignettes around the hosue have been covered in coloring books, bread crumbs and dirty laundry.  (It happens.)  When I decided to make the shed a girly house, I did it with an overall concern for providing spaces for taking photographs.  No one goes in this shed, save myself, so everything stays as is when I need it for a photoshoot.

1.  The first thing I decided on?  WHITE.  I have wanted a white on white on white room for a long time, and I love white backgrounds for photos AND I had 1/2 a gallon of white paint in the basement.  It was an easy decision.  I painted as many surfaces as I could with the paint, and made sure the window wall and potting bench were first priority.  The long, flat, white surface of the potting bench near the window is ideal for product shots.

2.  After giving everything a coat of white, I moved on to creating little vignettes all around the space.  Using prints ripped out of a coffee table book and various (pink!) accessories, each little "cubby" in the shed is it's own little backdrop.

See this cubby?

This is how it is used as a background:

Here is another cubby, primed to be a photo backdrop, plenty of light from the left
and a built in natural frame created by the box on top and the two tools on the side.

3.  Speaking of light, it was a major consideration before deciding to revamp the shed.  There is one window in the shed, but that one window provides a shocking amount of light.  I built the entire room around that one window, considering the way the light fell at different times of the day.  whiel I sometimes use a flash for traditional product lighting, I much prefer to capture natural shadows of the rising or falling light in my photos.  This window provides the perfect source of light adn the little pom pom curtains (thrift store!) are the perfect filter.

Here is a combination of the three factors.  Notice the white potting bench that gives this little floral vignette a white base. 
Also notice the background created with the prints in one of the cubbies.  The light is coming in from the window, and the shed door, fully lighting the rose.


Here is a shot that shows the basic setup.

4.  After assessing light, a coat of white and setting up vignettes, it was time to start adding in extra goodies. 
The accessories can make or break a space and in this space, those accessories had to be GIRLY and GARDENY. 
If it didn't fit those two categories, it had to go!! 

So when considering a setup for photography, there are 4 main things to consider:

1.  Color  --  Do you want a standard white background or do you want a red cast on everything? 

2.  Background -- Leave some backgrounds solid, but change up wall sections for different looks.

3.  Light -- Make sure you have a steady light source, that provides good light at the time of day you normally shoot, or create a full lighting setup.

4.  Accessories  -- Be consistent with the accessories that you choose, and try to stay away from anything gimmicky.

There you go - a mini photostudio!  ...and FREE is as cheap as it gets! ;)

Want to see all of the shed transformation posts?
  1. Getting Things Organized 
  2. The BEFORE & AFTER Reveal
  3. The Rocker Facelift
  4. How to Make Curvy Bunting (mini-tut)
  5. The DL on Designing the Space for Photography


melody-mae said…
I want this shed!!! So lovely!!!!
I love how you set this up to make picture taking easier!

I have to take all my pictures in one room, big south facing window and a door to keep the cat out! I have a 3*2 sheet of light plywood that I cover with different fabric when I need a new background. This is so much better!
Megan said…
I love how light and airy it is... and girly too! What a pretty space to work in.
Thanks Megan!! I love it!

Alecia -- this space works really well, but your setup sounds pretty easy to change up -- love your profile pic btw ;)