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Essential Items For Your Own DIY Photo Studio

Here are a few tips on how to create a fully-functioning DIY photo studio without breaking the bank.

|  General Photography
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Having a photo studio at home is something we'd all probably find useful but with the high costs of equipment, it's not something we can all afford to do. However, there is a way you can set up a mini home studio where you can capture images of friends, macro images and still-life work on a shoestring budget and are here to tell you how. 

Before we begin, it has to be noted that we're not saying you should be throwing out all of your flashes, backgrounds and light stands but by taking on a DIY approach to photography, on occasion, will make you think more creatively as limitations and restrictions can be liberating. 


What You Need


Curtains As A Background Substitute

They’re reasonably priced, come in a variety of patterns and are available size ratio that’ll work for different types of photography. Also, you can easily acquire green and blue curtain panels for some chroma key experimentation. 


Paper For Backgrounds

Instead of using a curtain, you can purchase inexpensive long rolls of paper that are perfect for product shots, still life or macro work at home. Of course, there are ones specifically designed with photography in mind but to save yourself a pound or two, have a look in one of the big-chain, DIY stores at some of the sample wallpapers on offer. We're not saying take a full roll as this will be frowned upon but you should be able to tear off a sample big enough to make an interesting, textured backdrop for your still life work. 


Clothes Rack As A Background Holder

Backdrop support stands aren't actually that expensive over on Amazon but if you have a clothes rack you're not using, you can actually turn one of these into a backdrop holder without too much trouble. Your other option is to create one from PVC pipes. It won't result in anything fancy looking but it will do the job its designed for. 

Natural Light & DIY Reflectors 

Natural light is, by default, the best so make sure you set up your creative corner near a window. However, there will be times when you need a little extra light and even though you can be reasonably priced table-top lighting kits, you can just as easily make use of torches, table lamps and other lighting accessories you have at home. To create a softbox that diffuses light, try fitting a shower cap over lights or how about making a flash diffuser from a food container, silver foil and tissue paper.  For those who favour product shots over portraits, you could have a go at creating a DIY light tent

Reflectors are even easier to make as all you need is a piece of card and some silver foil which you glue together. Alternatively,  look for a light object, such as a table, and pose your model in such a way so you can use the light that bounces back off the reflective surface in your shot. 


Support For Your Camera 

You can, of course, place your camera on top of a pile of books but the stability won't be great and many of the DIY methods out there do require a lot of effort so if a tripod's something you're wanting to use, we actually think it'll just be easier to purchase an inexpensive one. Having said that, if you're comfortable working with metal (and have access to a welding machine), then this incredible DIY tripod tutorial by Instructables’ user CroBuilder is right up your alley. An alternative to a tripod is a beanbag and even though you can purchase ready-made models, they're not hard to make yourself and the materials aren't expensive either. 


Camera Choices

Unless you have a kind relative or win a competition, you ain't going to get a camera for free. However, there are many cameras that offer good qualities at a reasonable price. It's also worth considering the versatility of the kit you're buying. For example, can your camera and lens combo be used for portraits as well as macro photography? For their flexibility and reasonable prices, bridge style cameras are a popular choice, off SLR-style looks, manual controls and huge optical zoom without breaking the bank. An example of a good quality bridge camera that's reasonably priced would be the Nikon Coolpix B500Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark II


We hope you have a great and creative time in your DIY home photo studio and, as usual, if your photo experiments help you capture something truly awesome, is here to create a high-quality print of it.   

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