How a Photographer Converted Her Brooklyn Apartment Into a Fully Functioning Studio

As working from home becomes the new normal, we have to think creatively about how to make it work. See how fashion photographer Emily Teague converted her living room into a fully functioning studio. 

If you have been to New York City, you know that space is often limited, so when you are tasked with making your living space, kitchen, living room, office, and studio cram into 1,000 square feet, Emily shows us that you can create great work no matter where you are. 

In this video, Teague goes into some useful storage tips and how she lays out the equipment in her apartment. For example, she likes to label her backgrounds by color and length, so they can easily be recognized before a shoot. As she continues her tour, you'll notice that in Teague's workplace, all of the gear is tucked up against the edges of the wall, maximizing shooting space in the middle of the room. With just a little readjustment, this tiny space is converted into a fully working studio.   

One of the ways she shows us her space is by demonstrating a quick and easy versatile lighting setup that could be used in any small living room studio. She begins by placing her key light, which is an Elinchrom ELC 500 with a Elincrom 59-inch softbox, camera right, so that the light on the model became feathered. Then, to fill the shadows, she places another strobe aimed at the ceiling to bounce the ambient light back into the scene. Lastly, she pops open two v-flats on either side of the model. 

Even though Emily primarily uses Elinchrom strobes and modifiers for her work, you could easily do this same setup with any other brand of equipment.

As a small home studio shooter myself, I instantly connected with this video. I find myself in a similar situation every time I want to shoot. It's also fascinating to me to see other people's workspaces and how they create their images there. It teaches you that you're able to make a small space work for you and not let it limit your creativity.  

What does your studio workplace look like? Leave a photo showing us in the comments below!

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Eli Dreyfuss is a professional portrait photographer based in sunny Miami, Florida. He focuses on making ordinary people look like movie stars in his small home studio. Shortly after graduating high school he quickly established himself in the art world and became an internationally awarded & published artist.

Log in or register to post comments

Heads up, your title says "converter" rather than "converted"

Fixed it. Thank you!

That is far from being a "Tiny Space", good use of space sure but you can do a lot in 1000 sq feet.

The actual shooting space is far less than 1000 square feet. It’s more like 500.

If my Paris apartment had been 500 it would have felt like a palace, even 500 is a big space in a lot of places.

I’m sorry, but this is not a tiny space. I’ve lived in NY most of my life and this space is luxurious. Good for her and great use of space, but doesn’t help me in my 300 sq ft of usable space.

The same principles apply. If you want to create great work, you do no matter where you are. Would love to to see your setup!

Ceiling height is usually the limiting factor for many home based studios and this is hardly a cramped, low headspace location.

Thanks so much for this feature!! :)

500sqft is a dream space for me, I manage with approximately 320 sqft. Nevertheless, it's nice and it gives some ideas.

The 1,000sqft includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a hallway too, so the studio space itself is pretty close to 500 actually :)

I am more interested in how to afford 1000 sq. foot apartment in Brooklyn and all that Elinchrom gear. :). Please make this topic of next video.