3 ways to DIY a photography studio from home

I know I have been promising blog updates. I have so much to share with you soon! First today, I want to share a little behind the scenes of how we get a studio look for our photography, without actually having a studio. I often get emails asking about our behind the scenes set up. I’m excited to share with you a few shots of our photo spaces, and the great tips I’ve learned about creating an in home photography studio along the way.

We’ve decided up to this point to not have a studio for A Subtle Revelry. Our logic is really simple. I chose to leave a great job to be a blogger, mostly so I could be home with my kids. Working from home allows me the freedom and ability to work during naps, to spend my afternoons with the kids and tune back in when they go to bed. I love being home with them, and although it gets a little chaotic at times, running this site out of our home has worked really well for us so far!

There are inevitably photos just that cannot include my laundry baskets, dishes and house as a backdrop. Here are three ways we’ve been able to create a DIY photography studio in our home, and on the cheap.

DIY photography studio

DIY photography studio at home

DIY outdoor studio space

Although basic, this might be my favorite DIY photography studio set up ever. Many of our small DIY photos like these printable pie boxes, and these embroidered favor boxes have been taken with this set up. You can make it for under $20! All you need is this small Ikea table (buy it in a couple colors for variation) and a white thick foam board for the backdrop. The table is a favorite of mine – it has a nice top that is not too glossy, but still cleans up easily. Plus, it is light enough to carry down the street when needed.

The downside to this set up is of course the sizing. I have a hard time shooting anything larger than a pumpkin sized project on it, and when shooting outside I find myself often scrambling with the weather. When all the elements do line up right – there’s not much that beats the pretty afternoon yard shade for a simple project.

garage-roll-studio

DIY garage studio space

Once we got to work on the book last summer, I quickly realized we needed a larger studio solution. Luckily we have a big room downstairs that we transitioned to a studio space for storage and working, but it has no light. At all! It has 2 teeny windows and is always dark.

So we took over the bottom level of our home and moved the photography out to our garage. I purchased this paper and this metal bar set for about $150 and turned what would otherwise be our car parking space into a light filled studio. In the garage we’ve shot these bright flowers, the painted balloons and a huge amount of content for the book.

Although I really love this set up, there are a few drawbacks. One – the paper rips easily. The paper also gets incredibly dirty with a staff’s worth of footprints during a shoot. We went through 3-4 rolls of it in just a couple months. My other issue is that garage is still exposed to the weather. Not so bad during the summer… but the first day of shooting when it was 18 degrees out (brrrr!) had me realizing we needed a better solution.

DIY home photography studio

DIY in home studio space

During the cold of the winter, we decided to move our in home studio space actually into our home. We have a pretty light filled front room that is now where I shoot almost everything including the hot potato party game. I love the light in this room. The set-up has been working out great.

To make it work we painted all the walls a bright white which goes a long way towards creating pretty photos at home. To cover the not so photogenic white carpeting, we bought 3 large paneled wood boards at our local hardware store. The boards are only $18 each, and they are gigantic. It allows us to cover the carpeting really affordably. I pull them in and out of the room as needed.

We are still working on finalizing our plans for this new in home studio space. I’ve been considering painting the boards white, or laying down laminate on top of them to make the floor look a bit more “real”. Plus, we just painted a large table white (see it right here), I’ve had a lot of fun shooting on that the last few weeks.

I’m excited to see how our in home studio will continue taking shape and growing as A Subtle Revelry does over the next few years. Every season brings fun chances for me to keep growing, and changing how we create around here.

Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry.