When you love photography, there are times when going out into the great outdoors just won’t cut it. You need a shot which is staged perfectly indoors, but that requires a studio.
Whether you are taking portraits or still life shots, building your own home photography studio is a must. Follow the tips below to create your dream set-up on a budget.
Look For Used Equipment
Check out local classifieds or Craigslist to find used equipment. Many people will upgrade their own studio, be it professional or amateur, and will sell off their old, but working, equipment to help pay the bill. You will find amazing stuff at bargain prices when you search carefully. It may take a few weeks or months to get all you need, but a little patience goes a long way.
Your backdrop doesn’t have to be a professional-grade screen! Play around with different effects, such as using layers of tulle, a white tablecloth or a bed sheet. You can use literally anything which hangs up and will cover the space you need it to. You could even put a folding table on its side, use a painted canvas or stack objects up on top of each other for an interesting look. Go Warhol and stack up some Campbell’s soup cans!
The best light comes from the sun, so consider placing your studio near a window. You can get all sorts of different effects depending on where the sun is or what sort of weather is going on outside. Shadows from raindrops on the glass or from a tree blowing gently outside can make a photograph more dramatic. Bright sunlight can totally change the colors which appear before you. A cloudy day will mute the look of what you are shooting. Use the light from outside to alter the look of your photo.
If the light you have available isn’t close enough to your studio, create your own reflectors. You can use mirrors or aluminum foil to bounce light to exactly where you need it. From a single spot of light to a bath of brightness, a reflector can ensure that you get the shot you need anywhere in your home.
Vary Your Bulbs
You can also play around with electric lighting and see what that does for your shots. Use grow bulbs, regular incandescents, LED and even colored bulbs. You can use a table lamp or strip light which are inexpensive to buy and then swap in all sorts of bulbs to get different effects. You don’t have to have professional grade lighting to be able to change the look of your photos through the light source.
Think Outside the Box
Go for a shop at the local hardware store and check out the items they have available. How could you use them within your studio? For example, consider using PVC pipes to create a stand for your backdrop. All you need is some long, straight pieces, a few elbows and then some end caps, and voila! You have a cheap yet effective background set-up. Could you use some sheets of white insulation as reflectors? Do they have old rolls of wallpaper, “ends of the roll” as they are often called, which you could use as backdrops for your shots?
Once you begin to utilize these tips, you will find that your studio begins to materialize before your eyes. In no time at all, you will be able to create professional-grade photography from your own home. This will save you time and money, allowing you to enjoy your hobby or even new career as you never have before.