Getting Results: Giant Studio Versus Tiny Room

How do you get professional results when you're just starting out and you don't have the space or budget for those grand studios?

Nathan Elson's most recent video provides a wealth of advice on doing just that. Elson's video sets out to compare a self-portrait he shot in his studio to one he shot while working in 126 square feet with only 9 feet of head space.

Like his other tutorial videos, Elson does a great job of building the shot from light to light and showing how small changes in this tiny space can have a big effect on his final image. I love Elson's use of a black garbage bag as negative fill.

Doing what you can with what's on hand. Elson's use of a black garbage bag as negative fill.

I think Elson's best advice relates to his use of a smaller deep umbrella instead of his larger 47-inch octabox. It's a smart move to use a brolly that can be flipped upside down, pushing the modifier into the ceiling, particularly when you don't have a lot of space.

I also love Elson's use of a partially collapsed umbrella as a rim light. If you're going to work in small spaces, you're going to have to be creative. As the saying goes, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, so take heed from Elson here.

Don't let the idea that you don't have some large studio space hold you back from creating.

Can you really tell which is which? Small space versus big?

Big versus small. Can you really tell the difference?

All images and captures with permission of Nathan Elson.

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5 Comments

Really helpful. I shoot in my tiny basement

Nada Ivanova's picture

very interessing , i shoot in my home studio , and even if i do mainly baby, i had to learn how to shoot portrait for pregnant photo.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Finally another video from Nathan! Love his work!

Jeff McCollough's picture

Sure thing! I look forward to more content!