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DIY Home Photography Studio – 3 Ways

Inside: We created the perfect DIY home photography studio and how to set up a photo studio at home cheap!

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 a DIY home photography studio along the way.

DIY home photography studio cheap

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 home photography studio and on the cheap.

DIY photography studio


How to set up a photo studio at home cheap

DIY Outdoor Photo Studio

Although basic, this might be my favorite DIY home 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 setup. 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 DIY photo studio 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.

DIY Photo Studio

DIY Garage Photo Studio

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 the 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 Home Photography Studio

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 the 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 (moss trim cake and bunny heads), 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. Let us know which of these how to set up a photo studio at home cheap tutorials you love best!

Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry.


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  1. I need to get my hands on some backdrops! I’ve been using a low aperture to blur the mess in the background but as soon as we’re into our new space I might have to get me some paneling! Great ideas :)

  2. Whenever I try to take pictures at home (usually late at night, because I spend the day doing homework), I always end up in an almost-mental-breakdown because the lighting in my house is terrible. Thank you so much for this post; it will save me from so much pain!

  3. I love this so much! I have been trying to figure this out for a while, and I love how simple and inexpensive this is!

    I am going to IKEA tomorrow to get the table :-) Thank you!!

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