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Quick & Easy Home Studio
Today's entry is going to be a bit of tutorial and a little bit of history. I'm going to share with you how I setup my first in home studio. It's actually a setup I still use for the most part. This setup won't work for everyone, but if you are interested in creating your own home studio, what I'm about to show you can be easily modified.
As you can see from the overall setup, I used a lot of what was already in my house and spent very little money on the extras. The backdrop is actually hung from picture moulding that is in the house, the backdrop itself is some old material I had laying around the house hung up with safety pins and bent picture hooks. The light itself is a floodlight which can be purchased at just about any home improvement store, in this case harbor freight, coupled with a clamp and flood also purchased at Harbor Freight. I think I spent roughly $20 on both.
The umbrella and reflector I got as a gift for enrolling in the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP), but can be purchase at your local camera supply store. If you need a really cheap reflector aluminum foil and cardboard can work in a pinch. As you see I have mine propped up in a chair and I'll use books, boxes or whatever I can find to prop it up so it's at the best angle. A white cotton t-shirt can be used as a diffuser if you have a way to hold it in front of the light. Cheap clamps with wires from old hangars can work. So can obedient and patient teenagers if you can manage to get ahold of one.
Again, this is a very simple setup, that can work very well. In my studio I actually created two backdrops, one with the blue fabric you see in the photo, and one using an old white sheet.
For the backdrops themselves, as you can see I folded picture hooks into the correct shape using a pair of pliers, and used a safety pin to hold them in place. Initially I had tried using masking tape, but the tape was not strong enough to hold up the fabric, not to mention how time consuming it was to get enough tape up there in the first place. Any heavier tapes I was worried about pulling off the paint. Using the hooks this way allows me to put up the fabric quickly using the step stool that doubles as my sitting chair, and to remove it just as quickly.
The best part about this setup is that it doesn't take a lot of space to set up. Typically I need between 3-5 feet wide, between light and reflector, and about 5-10 feet from backdrop to camera depending on who/what I'm photographing.
As I said, this is a great setup, especially if you're just starting out and strapped for cash. Hope you learned something, and I'll see you next week.
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