Photography Tip—How To Plan a Low-Cost Home Photography Studio

homestudio image Digital photography is not just an outdoors activity; in fact, during certain seasons and days throughout the year, the weather outside won’t be very inviting. Although, to develop your photography skills thoroughly, you shouldn’t avoid bad or extreme weather entirely, since it will provide some positive experiences and excellent photography opportunities. Read these articles to learn more about shooting during inclement weather:

This article focuses specifically on how to create a home photography studio in approximately 250 square feet, and for less than $500. (That number, of course, may change in the future).

Wall Colors

It might seem logical at first to paint the walls of your studio bright, inviting colors, since you may be welcoming clients to the space. In most cases, that would be a mistake. Try two shades of gray that are more compatible with skin tones. The first color is matched to a white-balance gray card; the second is a shade lighter. Although black walls would also work, you’ll have to repaint those walls in the future when you want to sell your home, and covering black walls requires many coats of paint.

Two cans of paint: $20.

Continuous Lighting Kit

For a first-time studio, it’s probably best to start with a continuous lighting kit and graduate to strobe lights once you know how to use this first of set of lights and accessories. Opt for a lightweight, portable kit that stores in a small space.

(2) 7-foot stands, (1) mini-stand, (4) umbrellas (two white, one black/silver and one black/gold) and carrying case: $110.


You don’t need the very best professional backdrops for a starter studio, but you do want a series of colors, generally grey, black, white, and brown, each 10 feet by 20 feet.

Four backdrops: $130

Backdrop Frame

You’ll need a frame or a structure of some kind from which to hang the backdrops. Many of the portable systems made specifically for photo studios will bust this $500 budget, plus you actually need a bigger space to use them effectively. If you have a few construction skills, then a home-built frame can be made for much less.

Wood, hardware and other parts for a hand-made backdrop frame: $35.

Furnishings and Photography Props

It’s likely you have some extra furnishings and accent pieces that are collecting dust in the basement or a storage unit. Ask family members or friends for furniture they are not using. There are also many sources of good used furniture in your community: garage sales, flea markets and local Web sites. What you select for your home-photo studio depends on what kind of photography you plan to shoot there. If there are to be many group photos, then you probably need one of more sofas, benches or folding chairs. If your studio will be used for individual portraits, then you want a few stools. Include a small table if you will be shooting still lifes, products or close-ups/macro photos.

Furnishings, props and accessories: $150

You can learn so many digital photography techniques in the controlled environment of a home studio and you can assemble one for less than $500 ($445 in the example in this article). It’s a better investment than renting space and you don’t have to buy all the pieces and parts at once.


Recommended Reading: