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Building A Studio For Only $10.00!
Today I want to share with how I built my inexpensive food photography studio. This is for our new series: Learn About Food Photography, Equipment & Props. Without the tabletop lighting unit, this project cost right around $10 and I use it all the time! Would you believe me if I told you that my studio is in my garage? I wanted to find an area that was close to the kitchen but out of the way. I needed an area that I could get indirect natural light (I just open the garage door and there it is) and also an area that I could create the right lighting in the evening hours. I was getting tired of lugging everything in and out of the house so I decided to make my garage my permanent location and it has worked out great!
This studio is very versatile. You can change the backdrop and the tabletop unit and your studio has a fresh new look again. The possibilities are endless with creating new looks!
So lets get started on this easy project that will take you no time at all to put together. The first thing you want to get is a large square box. I had an end table delivered to me so I saved the box for this project. Simply cut out 3 sides and the top leaving only the bottom and one side standing.
Notice that I left a little bit of the sides and angled it to help support the side that stands alone. This is important so that the box stands alone.
Now simply put your box on an elevated surface. I used a freezer box that I don’t use very often. I just set a towel underneath of it so if there ever was any condensation, the box wouldn’t get wet. I also liked it because it was white which helps bounce light when needed.
Now add your tabletop unit to the bottom of the box. Mine is a two sided 2’x2′ table top. This side is a cream color and the other side is a rustic gray blue. I will be showing you next week how to build your own tabletop unit. It really is an easy project.
Once you have your tabletop unit in then you put your backdrop in. Now I like to use fleece for several reasons. One, it is seamless and doesn’t get many wrinkles in it. If it does, you simply brush them out with your hand. It also washes very nicely and doesn’t need ironing. There is no sheen to it which is something you don’t want when shooting photos. You also have a great assortment of colors at any fabric store and it is very inexpensive. The only downfall I see is that is that it picks up lint easily so I keep a lint brush by.
Use wood clamps to hold the fleece in place. Tuck the fleece under the tabletop unit.
That’s it! There is your very own food photography studio! Now you may need to play around with where you put your lighting unit and bounce light board depending on your light (click here to see where to purchase this lighting unit). Here is my messy garage the night I was getting ready to shoot my Roasted Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes for my upcoming meal plan. It was 7 PM at night and very dark. With all of the white that I had for the shoot (white background, white plate and white tabletop), I had to put my lighting unit on the ladder so I didn’t have to much light. I just turned on my lighting unit and began shooting.
The Final Results & Camera Details
Here is the photo that was shot in this shoot. Who knew you could produce such a nice picture in such little space and light? I shot this picture on manual mode with no flash (I rarely ever use a flash), an ISO 800, aperture f/3.5 and shutter speed 1/50. I did not use a tripod for this particular photo and did use my tabletop lighting unit on the ladder and the bounce light board.
I hope you all have found this informative. If you should have any questions, ask away in the comment section below. Until next week…
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Do you have a mini photography studio?
What do you use for light when natural light is not available?