DIY – Making my own Mini Photo Studio

I wanted to create my own miniature photo studio at home. I had looked at shop bought offerings and reviews seem mixed. With the pop up tents commonly provided seeming a little too small for me. So I did a bit of research and had a look at some designs online and came up with my own idea taking inspirations from other peoples creations.

I started by looking around on the internet for some ideas and suggestions around materials. The common way of doing home studio boxes seemed to be using cardboard boxes with the sides cut out. I wanted something a little more rigid, I also wanted an excuse to use my new jigsaw and re use some old wood beams I had leftover from a recent DIY job.

I started by drawing a design up (very rough) as below. The intention was to create a wooden frame in the shape of a shallow fronted cube.

The rough aim was to make the design the width of 2x the width of A4 and the depth of 1 length of A4. So I measured up my wood and used my jigsaw as below.

With my wood now cut to length I began assembling my cube using simple screws. This took  a but of time to find the best way to assemble the cube. I should say that I am no carpenter (as you may have already guessed) and this is the first time I’ve ever built anything like this from scratch.

The cube came together and this is how it then looked. This is when I realised a problem…

At this point and not entirely clear in the picture I realised the cube seemed too big. I had made a miscalculation when measuring up. I doubled both the width and length of my A4 measurements and ended up with a box deeper than it was high rather than higher than it was deep. No major problem though as it turned out that worked out for the best.

I then moved on to covering the cube with a white softening material. I went for two cheap Tesco Value XL T shirts. I cut the sleeves and collar off and used tacks to attach the material to my cube as below.

Now almost complete what I needed was my curved white back drop. I opted for a sheet of A2 paper from Hobbycraft at a reasonable £1.79. I used double sided tape to attach the paper at the base and left it unattached at the back of the box in order that it could be moved and adjusted should needed.

I now needed to light the box. I got two basic desk lamps for £3 each from ASDA and set about testing my box. Unfortunately I didn’t have a suitable extension lead to get the box lit from both sides so had a go with one light while I waited for a cheap Amazon special to come.

I used my iPhone as the test subject and below are two shots I took. I am pleased with them but there is a little noise on the images as a result of the low light.

I liked the images and how they came out. The Vignette is applied from Lightroom but very little else was done. Which is why the White background isn’t exactly White.

I got my power lead through the from Amazon and then setup my lightbox. I also added a third light from above which was an old light fitting that came from a bed long since destroyed.

I used a Matrix figurine to test the box and took two shots and combined them. I also used Photoshop to tweak the light levels. I still need to do work on the box and setup. I think perhaps more powerful light or the use of my mobile flash guns instead would benefit. I will be looking at trying these out at a later date and will update this blog when I do. For now here is the test image I finished on. Few filters applied in Lightroom. Also noticeable noise on the image which will be fixed with greater light and some settings tweaks on the camera.

Love to here anyones comments or experiences so if you have anything to add, any advice for me then please feel free to post.


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