During the pandemic, content creators were no longer able to shoot outfits and other photos outside. This proved to be tricky for those who actually only rely on outdoor content. However, as the weeks went by, content creators as well as brands adapted to this new reality and started to shoot content indoors. Then, a home photo studio would have proven quite handy.
The pandemic pushed people to get creative with their content and anything in the house turned into a photo prop. As countries are reopening and still fighting the virus, it is likely that a lot of creators will carry on with indoor content. A lot of marketers will still work from home and thus will need to create their own photo studio. At home and most likely on a budget.
While professional photo studio make it seem like it is very expensive to get equipment, in today’s age of social media and “if there is no photo, it did not happen”, creating your own photo studio at home is not that expensive. As mentioned just above, literally anything can become a photo prop.
A guide to setting up your own photo studio
1. The camera
The first step to create a photo studio is to have a camera. While there is a wide range of options on the market, prices also do vary a lot depending on what features each device offers. Prices can go up rather quick. However, do not discourage.
Most smartphones nowadays have very good built-in cameras. Photos taken with the portrait mode on an iPhone are very high quality. While the subject is clear, the background is blurred. A lot of content creators only use their smartphone to take pictures.
Should you be using a DSLR camera, know that you can link your camera to your phone via Wi-fi so that your phone works as a remote control, with a preview. Most camera have that option and you would just have to download an app.
Cost of camera: $0 – $599
2. The tripod
While taking photos with your camera or phone is great, it can sometimes be difficult to take self-portraits or stay still while you take still-life pictures all on your own. Setting up your camera or phone on a tripod will help make it stable and still.
Thus, there will be no shaking nor movement as you take the photo. If you are using a camera with your phone as remote or your smartphone with timer or a remote, you will be able to see the composition of your photo before while you set up your tripod.
Finally, if you are a creator being helped by their partner, you can set your camera on a tripod and the only things left to do is for you to pause and your partner to snap the shot. Tripod are very cheap and make taking photos much more convenient.
Cost of a tripod: $15 – $49
3. The lighting
Whether you use your own photo studio or shoot outside, good lighting is critical. Harsh light or strong shadows may not work on all pictures. Some content creators like it better when the light is smoother while other love to play with shadows.
When it comes to creating your very own home photo studio, you can either use your windows and stand in direct light; or buy either a light ring or light boxes. While a light ring works best for videos and still-lives, it can also be used for portraits.
Lighting mostly depends on the content creator’s preferences. Some will only work with natural light. Others will always require additional sources of light. You can use a reflector and even make your own by using aluminum foil or white boards. A white board will help the light bounce from the window or your main source of light to your subject.
Cost of a light ring: $40 – $119
Cost of a lighting set: $34 – $99
4. The backdrops
Literally anything in your house can be used as a backdrop, which means that it is potentially the cheapest element of indoor photography. A wall, a bed sheet, a chair, your bookshelf. You can even use old newspapers, stick them all together up the wall and use them as backdrop.
Depending on your budget and what you are looking to achieve at home, you may invest in a backdrop support system. You will be able to hang a wide variety of backdrops to this support system. A backdrop support system always come in a bag and can be stored in a closet when not in use.
Make sure that when built, it can fit in your flat as they can take quite a lot of space. You can use many different types of backdrop including foil curtains, bed sheets, newspapers, colored fabrics, etc.
Cost of a backdrop support system: $29 – $99
5. The Flatlays and surfaces
If you are a content marketer or not one for outfit photos and self-portrait, you may be the flatlay type. White sheets are a very common background for flatlay. However, more and more content creators use colorful boards or large pieces of paper as well as surface replicas.
For example, you can stick marble or wood adhesive atop a foam board. Some brands now even specialize in photo backdrops and surface replicas: marble, red bricks, white bricks, wooden floor, cement floor, etc. The cheapest option is to create your own backdrops with adhesive.
You can store those boards and replicas in a cupboard and take it out next time you take photos.
Cost of replica surfaces: $19 – $79
6. Bonus: props and accessories
Anything in your house can become a photo prop. If you are shooting food photos, you can use the bag of flour you used, the measuring cups in the background, a spoon, the cooling rack or even a tea towel.
Books, flowers, newspapers, glassware, jewelry, bags, makeup, water, lace, literally anything can become a props if you know how to incorporate it to your photos. Your laptop or tablet can also be used as prop especially if you are a marketing blogger for example.
You can also invest in some props that you will only use for content creations such as slinky, bubbles, flower crowns, fairy lights, crystal balls, glow sticks, etc.
Cost of props: $0 – $49
Creating your own photo studio at home is achievable and can be very cheap, depending and the equipment you go for. The more resourceful you are, the more you will be able to use what you have at home, the cheaper accessories and props will be. This will of course also vary on the type of content you create. If you are a baking blogger, you will of course have to invest in the ingredients but other props will be readily available at all times.