Budget Equipment For Your Photo Studio

The essential equipment for photo studio begins with your camera and lenses. Unfortunately, unless you come across these items for sale or used, expect to pay top dollar for them. They are essential for creating any kind of reputable photography studio. You can often find cheap camera tripods online, but be sure to check quality and reviews as well as, make sure it fits your camera model.

So the following suggestions will be for those who already have these items and a room where a studio can be placed. Generally speaking, a spare room is perfect for photo use. You do not need a large room since most of your photos will be portraits or still life.

Now that you have the essential photo equipment and room, the items you need to create your photo studio are paint, backdrop, lights and props. Those are the basic elements you need to have a good studio that will accommodate portraits, still life and other small items you wish to photograph.

Paint: Gray or white is a good pigment to use since it helps bring out flesh tones the best and also is fairly cheap as paint goes. You’ll want to use two different shades on each wall, in order to have a choice depending on the skin tone of your subject. Generally speaking, you’ll want to use a white/gray balance card as your model. Paint one wall that color and the other a shade lighter. This generally means getting a few gallons of paint, but you can take advantage of “2 for 1” sales which often occur and get them for half price.

Lights and reflectors: Photography lighting is very important and goes a long way in making your photos stand out from others. You can find some lights that fit your budget. You don’t have to go the expensive route, especially when just starting out. Decide if you want to use strobe or continuous lighting, or a mixture of both. If using strobes, a great way to save money is by buying several shoemount camera flashes, light stands and umbrellas or softboxes. These camera flashes can be used off camera and attached to a light stand. For continuous lights, look around for high wattage, low heat, daylight or white balanced bulbs, and find a way to mount them to your light stands and attach an umbrella or softbox. There are many diy tutorials online to show you how to do this inexpensively. You will probably want 2-3 lights and light stands and umbrellas and softboxes to start with. For reflectors, white boards are helpful and cheap. Silver and gold tinted car sun shades make another cheap reflector. Just attach them to a stand to position them correctly.

Backdrops: Despite the walls, you may still wish to use different backdrops for your portraits.A 10′ x 20′ backdrop runs about $35, even less if you can find them on sale. Having a grey, black, white, and brown backdrop should cover most of your studio needs.

Props: Simple furniture such as stools, sofa, bench, card table and folding chairs can be purchased at yard sales, flea markets and the like. Mirrors are also nice as well as armoires which can double as storage areas.

With a little imagination and hard work, the equipment for photo studio should run around $500, a total that may be less if you already have some of these items or acquire them for free or at a discount.