Here is a simple $20 studio you can set up anywhere

If you plan to set up a home studio, there can be a lot of things on your mind and on your to-buy list. But what if I told you that you could make it so much simpler? In fact, you can set up a studio anywhere with just a few props and for some $20. Pye Jirsa teamed up with Adorama to show you an idea for a photo studio you can set up at your home or anywhere else and get professional-looking results on a budget.

What I particularly like about this idea is that it uses available light. It’s not only because I like natural light, but it also means that you don’t need to invest in lighting gear. Also, you can achieve good results with any camera, even your phone. Sure, a phone can’t replace a dedicated DSLR or mirrorless camera with a good lens. But, even a great camera will give you bad results if you don’t have good light. Here are the steps to creating your “studio:”

So, the main thing you’ll need for this setup is natural light coming through a window. You’ll also need dark curtains and sheer curtains, but a simple piece of fabric will do too.

  1. Start by turning off the ambient light in the room. This way you won’t get mixed lighting and inconsistent tones throughout the shot.
  2. Now, close down the curtains to leave just a narrow strip of light. This way you’ll basically create a stripbox.
  3. Use sheer curtains to diffuse the window light. If you don’t have them, a white shower curtain or bed sheet will do the trick.
  4. As you close down the curtains, the wall behind your subject will become darker. Depending on the wall color it can already look awesome, but you can also add a backdrop. It can be a studio backdrop, or just simple paper or fabric. Find something to clamp it to behind your subject (Pye uses a C-stand).
  5. Place your subject next to the light source and add the backdrop behind them. Your setup is almost done – you only need to bounce off some shadows. For this, bring in a reflector on the opposite side of the subject’s face. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a white poster board or foam core will do just fine. If you don’t have a C-stand to clamp it on, just put it on a chair. If you want to create more of the edge light you’ll place the light a bit more behind the subject; and if you want to fill all the shadows, place it a bit more forward.

The beauty of this setup is that it doesn’t require lots of gear, meaning that it’s both cheap and simple. Also, it’s easily available: you can set it up pretty much anywhere where there’s a window. Of course, there are many ways to create a home studio and you may need to involve a lot more gear. There are also a lot of excuses not to do it, budget being the most obvious one. But this is a great way to get started and to get beautiful photos if your budget is tight.

[Create a $20 Photography Studio You Can Use Anywhere | Master Your Craft | Adorama]