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Single tired mom of four. Lover of chocolate and coffee - not necessarily in that order. Lover of Jesus, photographer by trade, Photoshop junkie and crime TV watcher.


RSS Hallie Westcott Photography

Making A Home Photo Studio

January 28, 2010


I’ve been looking for options for a studio space for some time now.  Most often, I don’t need a studio, but during the colder months, a space is really important.  I have found clients aren’t always comfortable inviting you into their home, maybe because they aren’t pleased with the look of their surroundings.  And quite frankly, it becomes a difficult task trying to locate a place to shoot that has great light and a pleasant atmosphere.

I located this beautiful spot, with just the right amount of light, hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and I love it.  The problem..it won’t be ready until sometime next year.  So I decided it was in my best interests to use what I had available for now….my office.

My office is certainly no large space, but since I remembered Sandy Puc started shooting in her bedroom, I decided I wouldn’t let the lack of space deter me.  I have 14×17 to play with and low ceilings, but the only other thing I need in my office is my desk, so I knew I could swing it for what I needed.


So a couple of weeks ago, we started cleaning out and moving things around.  Good heavens, I have no earthly idea where all this stuff is going to go.  My house is the size of a tea bag.  That being said, I did put a lot in storage and the rest I will contain with inexpensive storage goodies from IKEA.    It’s like my home away from home, where each nifty gadget and container is one step closer to my dream of total organization….NOT!

Studio_IKEA-0813The first thing I needed to address was hanging my backgrounds.  I found these Manfrotto background hooks at B&H Photo.  They are huge, but since there is little storage space, I got the six hook bracket, that way,  I would have some room for paper storage.  Tripping over them is definitely NOT an option.  I also purchased Expan Drives, which hold the paper on the hooks and allow for easy paper roll up.  The system works great; it was inexpensive and easy to wall mount.

background collage

Next was designing what little space I have into something attractive, client friendly and junk free.  Easier said than done, but it’s really taking shape.  First was picking out the flooring.  I decided to put in laminate, because it is going over concrete and there is a small potential for water if my sump pump ever backs up again.  So why laminate then?  Because I can replace pieces of laminate, but if hardwood swells, I am in deep doo doo.  Excuse the stinky phrase.

There was then the decision to put in windows.  I jumped on that one and ordered three double windows, which is a somewhere in the neighborhood of 13ft. of light!  Whoo hoo!  My office, aka cave, has never seen such lighted goodness.  If all else fails, I will have a really nice sun room..

These are a few of my choices and it may change and it may not, but either way, I can’t wait to show you the finished product!


OK…I know, I know…you want to know where these cool findings came from huh?  First is the Umbra Desktop Fotofalls I am using for a card display.  The small Shabby Side Table is from Target, (couldn’t find a link, but it was in my local store) as well as the Gerber Chair.  The desk is local and the floor is from Lowes.


  1. carrie says:

    I. Am. So. Jealous. Happy for you of course…just really jonesing for a space too!
    carrie´s last blog ..Zoe │Ottawa Kansas Photographer My ComLuv Profile

    January 28th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

  2. Dianne says:

    Very exciting!! Can’t wait to see the final result.
    Dianne´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Teamwork My ComLuv Profile

    January 28th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  3. JoAnn says:

    Oh, I can’t wait to see the after pictures. I love setting up new areas. Since I have no new areas to set up, I will enjoy it through you. :)


    January 29th, 2010 at 10:52 am

  4. Marsha says:

    you have such amazing style! i love it!!!

    thanks for sharing your finds and tips… i am taking notes! can’t wait to see the finished product!

    oh, are you painting all the walls that color? i will have my own space at home with lots of windows by the end of this year (Lord willing). it will be a multipurpose room for me with great potential for a studio. just have to decide how far i want to go with photography… professional or hobbyist? i am just going to learn as much as i can until i have some sense of direction.
    Marsha´s last blog ..Task for another day My ComLuv Profile

    January 29th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

  5. Daiquiri says:

    Hey! I haven’t been to visit you in a long time! Love the new (since I’ve seen it) site…and totally excited about your studio ideas! I struggled through the winter to figure this dilemma out too – always thought it would be a great service to go to people’s homes, but it’s not always what they want. My kids might be losing their play room so I can have a studio! :-)

    March 15th, 2010 at 10:24 am

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