Do you have a photography spot in your house? It’s a place in your home where it’s almost always good to take a picture. My spot is a stretch of wall in our front entry opposite the living room windows. It’s got no chair rail, no wall art, no furniture, and usually no clutter. I use this spot to take pictures of my little guy all the time. Even without a backdrop or any props, this spot is great for a simple standing portrait or a funny face shot (grin).
Having a photography spot in your home is so useful, and you can even use it to create an impromptu home studio for portraits. Here’s are some tips fore creating the perfect thrifty home photography setup.
Find a place with good natural light. That’s going to be somewhere across from a window or sliding door. If you have blinds or transparent curtains over it, all the better. The curtains or blinds let you soften the natural light when it needs to be diffused. Also, windows across from your subjects guarantee beautiful light in the eyes (called catch-lights).
Note: If you are shooting indoors, you will probably need to increase your camera’s ISO to get a clear shot. Natural light indoors is much dimmer than outdoor light, and increasing the camera’s ISO helps the camera capture light faster.
Remove any pictures, furniture, or distracting elements. Many a picture is ruined by a bad background. Placing your subject in front of a plain wall is the easiest way to achieve an uncluttered background. In a pinch, the back of a couch or the back of two chairs draped with non-wrinkly fabric also works.
Add simple backgrounds. You can enhance your photography spot with easy backgrounds. This first example shows a headshot I created by taping a length of thrifted wrapping paper to the wall. I love the colors! I had to make sure I shot my son at an angle so that the wrapping paper didn’t reflect the light from the windows.
This second example is super easy to achieve. I used a long piece of upholstery fabric as the backdrop. You can use a fleece blanket instead, but not a sheet—that’s too wrinkly. Because the background wasn’t wide enough to take a horizontal shot, I did a vertical shot. It looks like a portrait done at a studio!
So look around your house. Where is your photography spot? I’d love to hear if you find one and make your own impromptu home studio. Happy shooting!
Marchet (Mar-shay) Butler is a portrait photographer and workshop teacher in metro Atlanta. A thrifter and couponer, Marchet loves simple and inexpensive ways to get great photos. You can visit her photography site at http://butlerfamilyphotography.com.