The Garage Studio In Effect


I recently decided to supplement my gear base with a basic black (and white) background.

I’ve been threatening to get one for a while. Finally, in early July, I picked up a background from Impact Lighting on Amazon. There’s a whole bunch of them out there but a friend recommended this one, so that’s what I went with.

I’ve been dying to try it out. Even took it into NY the other week when I did the author shots at Noir @ The Bar.

But…it’s a good size. And it was breezy in Greenwich Village. And I hadn’t had the time to really open it out, and try to set it up. It kept shifting on me, wasn’t steady. So, I defaulted back to my environmental portraits.

This past weekend, I ran a Terrain Race (obstacle mud race). When I got home, I had some yard work to do. The family went out with some friends. When I got done with my yard work, though, I wanted to shoot something.

So, I set the background up, in my garage and figured out how to secure it on the side with a clamp, and a sandbag to steady it as well.

I know it seems pretty basic, but if you haven’t done it before….there’s things to work through!

Here’s the BTS.


Don’t judge my messy garage

And here’s what I wanted to shoot. An old suitcase I had rescued from a trip to the recycling yard.

Still has the airline tag on it…from 1969!

AE Luggage_080517_MG_9131


The garage acts like a big soft box. I was really liking the light.

Before I broke the background down, the kids came home. I grabbed my daughter, son and their friend for a few quick portraits.


This little due gets in front of the camera and it’s on.


These two…friends for so many years now.

Jacob Bieber_080517_MG_9150

And, before I totally put the gear away…grabbed one of myself in my latest OCR t-shirt.


So, a simple black background. One really nice light (natural light) but one that can be duplicated.

Portable. Quick setup and break down. Reversible, too, with white on the other side.

Can’t wait to try it out again soon!

More to come…

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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2 thoughts on “The Garage Studio In Effect

  1. Hello! I found your sight by looking up “setting up a garage photo studio”. I am a photographer in Wyoming. I am wondering if you still use your garage for photo shoots, and if so, how it’s working out? How do clients feel about? I have limited space and am trying to figure out an alternative. It would be great to hear back from you. Just reaching out to other photographers who may be using their garage space.
    Margie McLaughlin

    • Hi Margie, thanks for reading the blog, glad you found me. Yes, indeed, I still use my garage for photoshoots, and it works out great (as long as it’s not too cold out). I get nice natural, but diffused, light in there if I keep the door open, or, if I close it, I can craft my own light as I want it. Is it messy with bikes and a lawnmower behind the seamless backdrop I have up? Yes, but my clients don’t seem to care, especially after they see their headshots. Being able to set up in the garage and try different things out has helped when I need to go out to a shoot that’s less than optimal (like a drab conference room). The best part, though, is the location. I don’t have to lug a heavy C-stand and octos anyplace except a few steps into the garage. Here’s a more recent portrait shoot in my garage (the second part of this post, not the first) – If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out, All the best, Mark

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