Today I wanted to take a moment to show you my studio space and some of the gear I’m using to make my photography and video art. It’s taken me quite a few years of investment to get to this stage, but you might be surprised at what I’ve been able to accomplish with actually very little, relatively speaking.
I have two cameras at the moment: a Sony EX3 and a Canon Rebel SL1. I try to film the majority of my projects on the Sony, simply because it’s a much higher quality, but I’m going to switch to the rebel for a second to give you the full tour.
Okay! Welcome to my garage studio! This is where I do self-portraits, headshots, and much of my video work.
Here’s my camera rig – my Sony EX3 is hooked up to mic. The EX3 can change lenses but has a magnification factor which you gotta be aware of. It sits on a heavy duty set of sticks.
My DIY teleprompter: I built this out of foamboard, duct tape, hot glue, and a cheap frame from the dollar store. It looks like hell but it does the job beautifully. I’ve rigged it up in a precarious way for now on a spare light stand.
Here you can see my background paper set up with my favourite cool gray – I have white and chroma green paper as well as large muslin green screen which I can swap out when necessary. This is all totally collapsible and portable.
Over here is one of my four kino-flo knockoffs. They’re daylight-coloured fluorescent continuous light bays which are great for lighting people – such as interviews and talking heads. I probably use these more than any of my other lights. This is my big guy, sporting 8 bulbs. I like to use my little guy with 2 bulbs as a fill, over here right now.
The other two are a matching pair of 4 bulb bays, which is great for small green screen lighting or extra power. In this bag here I’ve got three LED spots by CAME Tv – I got them because they were super affordable and they came in a nice package with stands and a bag. They’re a bit more purple toned than I’d prefer, and they’re not quite as powerful as advertised (these are supposed to be 350 w and they act more like 150 w), but you get what you pay for, and they are still handy to have.
Here in the toolbox I’ve got a bunch more light stands, another small tripod, and my steady stick. I’ve also got AC chords up the wazoo, some strobe lights, and a waterproof camera cover which I made out of gore-tex for my Sony camera. This came in really handy when I lived in Vancouver and it was pretty much raining 95% of the time.
I’ve also got a box of little battery-powered LED lights which come in useful seriously EVERYWHERE – shooting my music video for Stalker would have been really difficult without them. I’ll tell you all about that in another video. I highly recommend that every filmmaker keep a box of these handy.
Finally, I have a small collection of EF lenses which I use on both cameras: a 40mm, a 50mm, the stock 18-55mm zoom, and a 70-300mm zoom.
So there you have it! This is where I film all my vlogs when I’m in LA, and where I do my photoshoots as well. It’s not much, but I’ve made it my own and i know it well enough to know where I can push certain things. There will be quite a few really fun music videos coming out of here in the next few months, so definitely stay tuned for those if you want to see what I mean!
Do you have a space that you’ve created where you can do your own art? Tell me what you’ve managed to carve out for yourself in the comments below!