How to use your garage to make a classic portrait

When it comes to photography gear, I consider myself a minimalist.  I love the idea of having a full studio setup, but I don’t have the storage space or the motivation to pull out tons of equiptment when I want to do a shoot. I actually used a dark grey backdrop (purchased from Amazon) for this shoot, but the same effect can be achieved without it.  That’s why I like using my garage to make a clean and classic portrait.

Have your subject stand just outside the garage (or any doorway, tunnel, etc) and watch how the light is hitting their face and eyes.  Ideally, you want some nice catchlights (the reflection of light) in the eyes and soft light on the face.   Then, you can under expose your image just a little and watch the light behind your subject fall off quickly, creating a dark backdrop.   Finally, in post processing (Lightroom, Photoshop or a mobile editor like Snapseed) bring up the contrast a little until you’re satisfied!

The first image is a pullback of my setup.  As you can see, I only added the backdrop.  The following two images are a couple of the results from this setup.





Garage Portraits (1 of 3)Garage Portraits (2 of 3)Garage Portraits (3 of 3)

2 Comments on “How to use your garage to make a classic portrait

  1. I totally relate to the idea of wanting a full studio set up, but not having the space or motivation. DIYs get the job done, and it’s even more rewarding to see awesome results like you posted without the full studio set up. Love how you included a little BTS along with some final results.

    – By Korey

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