For e-merchants who do not have the necessary budget to invest in a photo studio, it is possible to create your own photo studio at minimum cost. No special expertise is required, you just need to be a good handyman. Keep in mind that you need a minimum of room to set up your photo studio. It all depends on the type of installation you choose and the size of the articles you want to photograph.
What is the best camera?
The main thing to consider is the camera that will allow you to take good photos of your products. There are two types of camera:
- Film cameras for experts
- Digital cameras
A digital camera will be perfect for your needs. The advantage of a digital camera is that you can take as many photos as you like without extra cost. The digital format will also allow you to rework your photos. You should take three parameters into account when you choose a camera:
- Shutter speed adjustment (time during which the light goes through the shutter);
- Shutter (light control);
- Sensitivity (capture of light to make the photo)
How to create your own photo studio?
There are two types of photo studio you can build yourself:
1. Umbrellas, lamps and stands:
You will need:
- 3 stands
- 3 light-colored umbrellas (for a clear and soft light) and/or with "mirror" bottom (to reflect the light)
- 3 500 W building site lamps
- 3 600 W variators + « shell »
You can assemble them in the following way:
For this type of set up you will need a budget of about 150 to 200 euros:
- 15 euros per umbrella
- 5 à 10 euros per halogen lamp
- 30 euros per stand
2. Cardboard box, fabric and lamps:
You will need:
- Cardboard box, preferably square. Its size should be proportional to the size of the objects you want to photograph.
- Piece of fine fabric, preferably white or light-colored. It should be large enough to cover all the sides of your box.
- Adhesive tape to tape the fabric on three sides of the box.
- Strong white paper. You should buy several sheets according to the size of the box. It will be used to place the object on it and/or as background.
- Lamps. They are the main elements of your photo studio. If the light is not bright enough, your photos will not be satisfactory.
- Graduated ruler, a pair of scissors, marker, knife or cutter.
There are several steps to build your photo studio:
With a ruler and a marker, trace a square/rectangle on each side of your carboard box leaving 5 to 8 cm between the edges and your line. Do not do it on the upper and lower sides of your box.
Cut along the lines with a knife/cutter. Remove the upper side but leave the lower side intact.
Cut the strong paper into 16 strips of the width you left between edge and cut shape (between 5 and 8 cm).
Glue the strips inside the box, around every cut space so that the inside of your box is white.
Take another strip of strong paper, as wide as the bottom of the box but longer and place it in the box. Do not fold it, the part resting at the bottom of the box should be curved (see below).
Cut the piece of fabric so as to cover every side of the box except the side where you will place your object.
Your box is ready, now you need to place the lights.
Place the object you want to photograph inside the box.
Make several tests to check if the lights are well positioned and if the photo is of good quality.
Light is essential, it will give a professional quality to your photos.
As mentioned above, the ideal light can be produced by spotlights such as building site lamps, they are very cheap and give quality light. The light should be subdued, diverted or reflected but never projected straight on the product or the reflections would spoil the quality of your photo. You can also use variators to adjust the light intensity. Once you have chosen your source of light you need to optimize it. Make several tests, angle your light source in different directions and watch the results to determine what is best for you.
Luminosity can be optimized with umbrellas, as shown above. You can use plain and smooth white panels that will allow you to reflect the light to improve the quality of your photo.
Find the right place for your photo installation. If you place it near a window, you may have to move it constantly because there may be to much light, depending on the time of day.
💡 Useful tips
Do not hesitate to consult these two specialized websites, where we found most of our information for this fact sheet:
Creabar (French website)
Digital photography school (English website)
Several modules in our video training give you tips about beautiful product photos!
💬 Please contact your Business Coaches if you have any questions!