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As a blogger, photos are an important part of the job. I have slowly been upgrading my equipment and recently started getting a lot of questions about the changes. Today, I am going to walk you all through my at home photography studio that I put together over the last year on a budget. These are all the tools I use to bring the blog photos and Instagram photos to life!
I use a Nikon D5300 with built-in Wi-Fi. I can't stress the built in wifi piece enough. It's a total game-changer for a few reasons: it's easy to share and edit the photos since you can download them from your camera to your phone anywhere in seconds. Also, you can take photos by yourself by using a tripod and your phone as the “remote”:
The reason I am holding my phone in so many photos lately is because I am actually using it to take photos of myself or me and E.
Some posts I've done using my DSLR on the tripod and my phone as the remote can be seen in this post on New Years Resolutions and this post on conversations to have before getting engaged.
The other camera I was looking at was the Canon Rebel T6i (also with Wi-Fi). I think the Nikon was cheaper when I got it, but the two are pretty similar so go with whatever your preference is.
I also recently upgraded my lens to the 50 mm f1.8. The “kit lens” (aka the lens that comes with the base of the camera if you buy them together – you can buy just the base) was only an f3.5, which doesn't allow as much light in or give you that “blown out” look as much in the background.
If your camera has wi-fi you 100% need a tripod so you can do photo shoots by yourself. Otherwise, it's not as necessary, but definitely still good to have since they are so cheap and easy to store.
The hubs bought me this lighting set which I absolutely love. It's pretty inexpensive too. I've also heard great reviews about this lighting set which is slightly more expensive. They are from the same makers and both sets are easy to use and fold up into a nice compact bag.
I also purchased these LED Daylight light bulbs for around my desk while doing sessions with clients. I always get compliments on how good the lighting is during those. I used to make the mistake of buying the “bright white” bulbs, which cast more of a yellow hue, rather than daylight which is the “white” I was really looking for. If I need a little extra light, I sometimes use these for photo shoots around the house too.
I purchased this backdrop support system but ultimately returned it since it's not something I wanted to leave up in my apartment 24/7. However, if I had a home office I would have totally kept it. The support system was easy to set up but it was huge for our apartment. I would recommend measuring out the area you plan to put it (or be prepared to take it down every time, which isn't hard but I am lazy). When I purchased this frame, I also purchase a
When I purchased this frame, I also purchase a white muslin backdrop (similar to a sheet but really thick and good quality). If you do go this route, you will also need clamps to hold the muslin sheet to the support system. Also if you go this route, you can play around with really fun backdrops like this “wood” one.
E had bought me this collapsible blue/green backdrop because I needed a green screen for something. I loved how easy they were to fold up and pop out so I ended up buying the white/black version as well. I just lean them up against a wall in our apartment, but if you prefer to have a stand to hold it up you can purchase there here.
*Before I bought the white/black version, I actually just threw the white muslin sheet over the green screen and used that as a white background. This was SO easy and the muslin sheet is so thick you couldn't even tell that it was on top of a fluorescent green.
While I haven't purchased these yet, next on my list is to get these reflectors to bounce the light around to where I want it. I want to do some more reading on how to use these before I jump in and overwhelm myself.
Flat lays & surfaces:
All of the counters in my apartment are actually black granite or wood, which doesn't really scream #bloggergoals as the trend is really all about light and airy. I fake my countertops by using foam boards or construction paper. I either use a solid color or I apply marble adhesive film to the foam board or construction paper. You can purchase adhesive film in different types of marble or woods to create the look you want.
Do you have any photography tips or hacks? I would love to hear them in the comments!
Or let me know if you have any questions!
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This post was originally published on 1/23/17
109 thoughts on “How To Create A Home Photography Studio On A Budget”
I currently know zero about photography, but I’m really excited to learn more. I’m hoping to save up to buy a DSLR and then experiment. I think the lighting kit will be the most important thing for me – the lighting in my house is awful.
Lighting is really key! even if you just start with your phone! you can’t out filter bad lighting!
I have all my soft box light set up for filming and they are great! I also love love love my reflector! So helpful! I am hoping to use my white vinyl backdrop more this year!
How do you use the reflector? Like what do you set it up against and how do you know where to bounce the light around
Thank you so much for this post! Taking good quality photos in my tiny apartment can be a serious struggle !
Girl I am so with you! We have a one bedroom apartment, with one main room so I get it!
I’ve been starting to get into photography more so thank you for this post! It’s so helpful to see what I might need to invest in!
You’re welcome Audrey!
This is awesome! We’ve had a lot of fun with our DSLR and I’m still learning so much. I need to work on a flat lay, and I also think that it would be great to get some things down before baby comes so that I can take awesome photos!
Haha i always think about that when i am taking photos (that being photos for future kids) – I always stalk Jillian Harris’ instagram and her baby photos are SO cute!
I’ve just purchased a remote and it’s making me SO happy! My next set of needs are good lighting (my apartment is really yellow) and a backdrop.
For food photography I purchased some white poster board for reflectors and a white canvas (all from the dollar store!) to lay items on. The canvas doesn’t reflect light that much so the focus is on the subject and I can get better angles/light
Do it!! I need to play around with reflectors more!
I would LOVE to do this! I want to make a video studio too. Amazing tips!
Do it!! All of these stuff can be used for video too
Love this. I have been slowly adding things. I have a Canon Rebel T3i but I haven’t used it in forever. And I have a tripod and a wireless remote which is nice. I have been looking at a few different lighting sets as well.
Thanks Lindsey! I hope the lighting sets help!!
I’m actually surprised and impressed at how cheap all of this stuff is! I’m going to have to put it on my a wishlist for myself and set up a studio. I’ve found that I usually don’t do recipe posts in the winter because it can be so hard to find a good day that isn’t moody outside. This would be perfect!
The lighting set up is honestly the most important IMO! When we moved and stopped getting natural light into our apartment I pretty much stopped taking pictures until the hubs got me it!
I LOVE your tips! It’s so awesome to see how many options are out there to make the best of any lighting situation! I could not agree more that you *need* a good tripod/self timer! It makes such a huge difference!
It really does!
I’ve been using white foam boards for flat lays for years! Such a great tool. I really need to get a tripod. I’m taking a photography class this semester and I can already tell I’d put it to good use!
Kayla | kaylablogs.com
Oh that’s so awesome! I always wanted to take one in college, but never got around to it unfortunately!
Are the lighting kits pretty self explanatory on how and where to set the lights up when using them? I am just trying to learn more about photography and I have an 8 month old so I have been using my DSLR to take more photos of him but I would love better lighting to eliminate weird shadows and poor lighting. Would I always use the lights once I have them? How do they hook up to everything? Are they always one or do they flash when you take a picture?
Uhm I think they are! You can adjust the heads and umbrellas to get the right angles/shadows you want! To uplevel you would use reflectors! – and i always use my lights! they just plug into a wall and stay on like a lamp!
These suggestions are great! I never thought about faking a marble counter with adhesives…that’s brilliant!!!!
Thank you! I learned a new trick to soften the look also, top it with wax paper!
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