DIY How to Guide: Build Your Own Photo Studio at Home with Limited Budget

Jul 08, 2019 - Priyanshi Jain

DIY How to Guide: Build Your Own Photo Studio at Home with Limited Budget

How to Build up the Home Photography Studio that can Capture the Amazing White Background Product Photos?

When most photographers anticipate their dream studio, the normal imagination becomes a big scary dollar sign next to it. Yet the good news is that with a bit of resourcefulness, setting up your own studio does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Some of the dexterity can easily make a long way in gathering up your photo studio. Just say as you found a great place for your studio, but you are not at all willing to spend thousands on the rent. Thus the easiest way to save money and time is by building your own photo studio in any of unused rooms at home.

In spite of investing in a backdrop and lighting, just use the old sheets and the parts you can buy from the stores of local hardware, like PVC pipes, bulbs, and different lamp holders, which will surely cut your budget by more than half.

There are many of the things you thought can invest on, you can make it from the things you already have at your home. What can be even better about creating your own equipment is that you can easily customize. By doing that you will get exactly what it is that you need for your home photography studio setup?

The set of home studio mentioned below will cost you below than $400 USD to build up (with a camera!), and you will be pleasantly surprised with the amazing results.

Part 1: Home Photo Studio Shopping List

home photography studio setup

Various professional lighting equipment of the photo studio can be termed as confusing and expensive. But the best part is that it is possible to get the same quality images without the bulky, high-tech equipment which most of the professional photo studios use.

High-end equipment and appliances carry their own advantages but are not essential to create unique and beautiful product images.

Thus here is a list of simple equipment and materials which you can get to shoot a range of products.

1. Camera ($249)

ideal camera for home studio photography

These days almost everyone carries a camera whether in phone or somewhere else to shoot more on the professional side. For a DIY studio setup, you do not need a bulky or expensive camera.

Your selected camera will contribute to 1 of 5 factors to the final outcome of your product photography. The major role is played by the home studio setup, the specific lighting, and the product image editing service.

Do not bother much about the camera. It is suggested that you must try what you were actually having in your home before going to any kind of shopping. You should buy a camera with a minimum of the manual setting for exposure and aperture.

Now the main question is what to buy? As there are tons of variety available in the market for cameras. For your efficient DIY home studio you should go for Canon PowerShot SX620 HS. The retailing price is $249 with a manual setting. It captures clear and crisp images at 22 megapixels with the inbuilt wifi abilities.

(Without the camera, you can shoot the images with your smartphone also. The guide to smartphone product photography can help you to get attractive photos with your cell phone.)

2. SD Memory card ($10)

Always remember to have the memory card with you as it is the only equipment which helps your camera to store the captured images. Storing the memory becomes cheap these days and a modest-capacity SD card should not cost you more than $10.

3. Backdrop stand ($34.99)

A quality backdrop stand can give you several years of great service. It is necessary to have a backdrop stand to make the white paper on a stable position. It is pasted with the help of duct tape so that the paper will not move and you can capture effective product images. But the backdrop stands at a reasonable price.

4. Tripod ($12.99)

ideal tripod to use at home studio

A tripod is an essential part of the home studio set-up to stabilize the camera while working in rooms, where the light is not optimal. Do not spend much on the tripod, but it is so necessary that you should buy one.

5. White paper “sweep” ($16.99)

The white paper is essential to be placed behind the product for creating a seamless white photo backdrop. It is easily available at any office supply and camera stores. The necessary part is to get a long roll of white paper sweep in order to decrease the amount of post-production work your images will need after shooting.

6. Folding table ($48.68)

table for home photography studio

You will also need a photo table to let your white paper “sweep” to fall across. It will allow the freedom to position the product according to the shoot. Your product should not be too high or too low as it will not be comfortable for you to capture the product.

A foldable card table is suggested for easy cleanup. This photo table can be easily used anywhere, making its portability very convenient as well.

7. Foam board “Reflector” (16.99)

Get a piece of foam board and use it as a reflector. White foam board is used for bouncing of lights from a window of a studio back into your product. The main purpose of using it is to reduce the shadow of the product on the other side of the window.

8. Window ($0)

Becomes the second last in the list is having large access to the window for allowing the natural light to come in. Just make sure that you should clean your house a little bit and clear some space to work around the window. The key is to have ample natural light and a workplace, which allows you to move comfortably while taking the pictures.

How big your home photography studio should be?

It is not necessary that you need to have a 100 square meters space to capture the studio portraits. You can convert a vacant room in your house or any of the renovated tool shed in your garden area into a photo studio and that’s it you are done with the selection of space.

The smallest to smallest photo studio will also help you out in your work. It is obvious that working in a smaller space will be quite a tough challenge but not an impossible task. It all demands a good deal of flexibility with the ability to make compromises, and a lot of creativity. What are the basic requirements of a home photography studio setup?

Here is a full and handy list:

1. Lights

A single light and a reflector are considered as more than enough to initiate the practice of shooting. But it is recommended that 3 lights will offer you great flexibility.

These lights you can get the cheap manual speed lights also. Moreover, you can try the Yongnuo 560 IV, or studio strobes like Bowens Gemini.

2. Lighting modifiers

An umbrella and a reflector are a must. The Neewer and Godox are the cheap umbrellas, softboxes, and octal boxes. It will fall under your budget as well. The tools are considered as quite good and can be easily folded into handy, small and easy-to-store packages.

3. Light stands

For each light, you need an extra stand. As it is a rule of thumb, the heavier your light is, the sturdier your light stand needs to be. Don’t waste the money in cheap gear or it is possible that you will risk your light to be unstable on.

Always prefer stands which extends up to 2.4 meters and higher, as many of the times, the lights are above the model.

4. Background

A collapsed background is a great way to start, that is if you are not able to install a permanent background. Impact and different other brands are not so expensive. Most importantly, when compared to Lastolite collapsible backdrops.

Part 2: How to Set-up Your Photo Studio at Home?

home photography studio setup guide

Step 1. Carve out the space for studio

It is the first thing that you need to decide as what will be the place where you are going to set up your studio.

The most essential part is the subject you are going to shoot: Are you planning to shoot the full-body portrait or only the furniture? Or do you just want to take headshots or photos of products?

You can set up your DIY product photography studio in any of the unused room or any of the space in your house. Or in case you need some small space then you can free up any corner of your living room also.

Yet another detail you may also want to add is that where your models if any of them you are using can wait and change. Model’s comfort should always be your priority. You should allow adequate space for them to change clothes, it does not matter how small or simple it may be just thought of a folding screen and a chair can do just the trick.

Step 2. Table & window

Initiate the process of shooting by positioning a foldable table near to your window. The major goal should be the dispersion of even light on the full product. You do not want the direct sunlight to hit the set.

With this, you should also ensure to allow yourself enough space room to move around the table for styling and shooting your product as once the backdrop is set up.

Step 3. Smooth white backdrop paper & Tape

Now it's the time to reveal your white background paper roll and stick it to a wall, ceiling, or anything that can hold it up such as a large box or a book stand. Wrap the sides of the paper to the table also. By doing so your particular setup will not move while you are shooting the pictures.

Maintaining the white photo backdrop also supports to keep things clean and organized which offers you to focus on my camera.

Step 4. Product

Before you shoot the product, just make sure to clean and prepare the product. This is basically a common sense but most of the photographers mainly forget to do that. Just remember a simple and a little cleaning can save your time in the post-production process.

If in case you are shooting jewelry, just ensure to clean and shine all your chains and gems.

And at the time of photographing shoe, brushing is one of the ways to clean it and to remove any dust or scuff marks. These practices can easily decrease your post-production time so greatly. You need not have to worry if your product is not 100% accomplished because it is possible to fix the defects in Photoshop.

Now it is the time to position your product in the middle of the white backdrop and straight the same in the lane where your camera will be placed.

When you make a spin of your product, you should make sure to place your particular tripod, camera, and object in the actual same place for every shot. By doing this, the product is enclosed the same way for all images.

Step 5. White foam board "Fill Light"

home photography studio lighting effect

On the basis of the natural light or window light which enters your room with the specific color of your product. It is possible that you might need to add extra "fill light" to achieve your DIY process. With the photography lighting, you can get a perfect match of lighting on every side of the product.

The main thing is that your specific foam board should stand straight and is positioned contradict to the window, and is the same size as your subject or larger.

Step 6. Camera & Tripod

Broaden up the legs of your selected tripod and make the adjustment to it until the head of the tripod is flushed out with the surface of the table. Your tripod should be levelled up because it is easier to adjust your camera when it is attached. Just attach the camera to the efficient screws or clip on your tripod.

Once you are done with securing the product photos with the camera, start the game of positioning the tripod with the viewfinder on your camera while guided at your product. On doing that you will demand to get your product in the frame of your camera, but ensure to leave extra space around the subject so you have room in the image.

Conclusion

So here is an end, a short trip to an office supply and camera store and a $400 investment with the 10 minutes worth of home photography studio preparation time. Then you will get all set to initiate the shooting of great looking product images!

That was not at all bad as you thought it would be, right? You can easily get to know what are the image optimisation pleasures and how you can do it.

If in case you want to use an online photo retouching service, contact us and get it done within 24 hours.

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