My home Photography Studio just got a face lift and I’m so excited to share it with you! That’s right, goodbye boring white walls and hello beautiful textured greige walls!! What is greige? Well it’s a warmer form of grey that reflects my love of sunny earth tones. If you haven’t noticed by now I’m quite fond of relaxing moods with slight pops of color. So, the greige was a perfect choice to compliment my style.
Backing Up a Quick Sec…
Let me give a little back story. I started shooting in my laundry room and on the floor of my front doorway. Food everywhere, dogs sneaking off parts of my table scenes, and always battling the perfect light. Since, I moved to Nashville, I’ve been searching for a great room to shoot in. The Dining room was the best choice, but completely left the house in a clutter fest everyday. If you take food photos at home, you know exactly what I’m talking about!
My goal is not to have a big shiny food studio on a downtown street with tons of setups. I really enjoy the coziness of working from home, taking breaks to smooch my dogs, and play with my chickens. But, working from room to room, with my props and backdrops all over the place is not the best way to keep your sanity!
There is an unused bedroom in the house, that I was using as more of an office/storage space with two windows. But neither really ideal for natural light photography (more on this below). But, its close to the kitchen and has hard wood floors! Learning to adapt and work with what you have is just a way of life right? Lot’s of clutter re-organizing, selling some unused furniture and a fresh coat of paint was all it took.
All I can really say, is how thankful I am to have somewhere designated to style and shoot food. No more, flies or rain sneaking in through an open front door. No more, “can you please move that setup, I really need to get through”! And most importantly I can lock the four legged food thieves out, haha!
Moving on to New Things..
I’ve been dying to use my walls more as a photo backdrop, but they were just too plain, totally lacking in depth. While deciding between painting or hanging backdrop paper, I came across an Instagram story by my lovely friend Bella at Ful-Filled. She was painting her studio with a Lime Wash paint and I became ecstatic with the look. My thumbs immediately sent her a message inquiring about the paint.
Being the fabulous soul that she is, we spent over an hour on the phone discussing paint styles, color, and brush strokes. Its always nice to chat with someone who is as equally obsessed with the same things you are. A few paint sample tests later and my paint was ordered and on its way!
Now, my photo studio is not very big. It’s about 10ft by 12ft to be exact, but it works perfectly for me. I shoot predominantly artificial light, but I also use natural window light when I can. My windows are East and South facing. The east window has beautiful strong light in the morning, then trails by about noon to a soft diffused glow. I use it when the timing and light align with my shoot, but don’t plan my day around it.
The south window is mostly blocked by a fence, so it gets strange sharp rays most of the day and is more for fresh air than photo light. Because, I don’t have access to a north or west window which I would prefer, I choose to shoot with strobe lighting. My strobe is fitted with a 3 x 4 softbox that mimics the size of my windows. This has helped me gain so much freedom in shooting at anytime of day or night, with consistent lighting.
Time to paint:
Ok, back to walls! Lime wash gives a matte textured look in comparison to a flat paint. My goal was to see brush strokes slightly but not like an 18th century Impressionist painting. Something subtle but still noticeable. And this lime wash exceeded my expectations. The paint company I chose is Sydney Harbour Paint Company!!
First, I did a single coating of primer. Then using a large 4-5 inch wide paint brush I started my first coat of lime wash. I tested out short verses long strokes, straight or figure eight, and vertical or horizontal. Probably should have done this in a closet first, but oh well I was gonna do two coats anyways. The lines from every stroke were quite evident, which helped my decide rather quickly. Long, semi curved, half figure eight strokes, moving vertically, while overlapping is what I felt looked the best. After the second coat, the texture was perfect! I had achieved a noticeable texture in the wall with a light warm grey tone.
Tips I learned while painting my photography studio:
- Get samples of your desired paint color before purchasing your paint. Everything looks different on a computer screen.
- Let the paint company know the size of your room, so you can order the correct amount.
- Be sure to tape around your ceiling, base boards, and crown molding. Oh and use the wider tape. I have several spots I need to touch up now!
- Use a handheld paint pail so you can easily dip your brush and press against the side without carrying the entire gallon of paint.
- Keep your brush wet, but not overly loaded with paint to prevent running lines.
- Work ceiling to floor in section about 2-3 ft wide and then move on. Don’t do the top half of an entire wall and then the bottom. The paint dries quick and you will risk overdoing your layers.
- The first coat will look more detailed and darker.
- The second coat is the final detail and dries lighter with just enough detail of paint strokes.
- The walls will photograph a bit darker than in real life unless you have a lot of light.
- Let them dry overnight before touching!
My Photography Studio Setup:
- Clutter free space so I can move around my subjects.
- A main table for setting additional backdrops, food, and styling.
- Side table on wheels for my computer for tethered shooting, extra equipment, and styling tools.
- C-Stand and Tripod for my camera. ( I also shoot hand held when I’m in low light or putting myself in the scene.)
- Strobe with soft box on an additional C-stand.
For a list and links to everything I use, check out this post on my Food Photography Gear!
To check out the pain I used, visit Sydney Harbour Paint Company!
Photos in this post were shot in very low natural light from the single East Side Window.