DIY Photo Studio x Photo Shoots

28 04 2008

If you’ve read my About page, then you’d know I originally built a DIY photography studio to take pictures of items I was intending to sell on eBay.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the photographs (no prior experience, didn’t care about lighting conditions etc.) and so decided to take pictures of my figure collection – probably subconsciously inspired by photo blogs such as Danny Choo and Heisei Democracy.

Follow the tutorial yourself here if you would like to make your own.

Click the link to view the rest of the post.

Here are pictures of the budget DIY photography studio:

Probably as low-budget and simple as it can get!

It does exactly what it says on the tin! Seriously, I didn’t think such a cheap DIY project would produce such drastically different results, but it has. Total cost to build is less than my lunch money.

(Note: the above pictures were all taken without the care for proper lighting)

I wouldn’t compare my pictures up there with the best, but this was definitely worth the effort. All you need is a box, tracing paper for the windows, scissors to cut the windows, paper (or other material) for the background, and adhesive tape to hold it all together.

Have I forgotten something? Oh yes, lights. Indeed, I now know the key to good photography is lighting (not that I’ve mastered it). However, you do not necessarily have to purchase any additional equipment (unless you want to) as I can confirm that ALL my pictures were taken using 100% natural light – the Sun.

I don’t have any lighting equipment, not even a desk lamp, so had to make do with what was there. You could say it is the ultimate cheap-man’s photography studio! I know some people use a mirror to reflect light to highlight key areas of the subject, but once again, the cheapo prevails! I just use a white A4 piece of card to reflect the light.

You can see from this shot how nice the lighting works within the box – go outside and it’s even better. (You can also see the card I use to reflect light).

I don’t have an SLR camera, and just make do with my Sony DSC-T9 Cyber Shot.


I stumbled across a site called Happy Soda’s recently, and was amazed by the quality of the pictures and backdrops. A tutorial is available on the website (link here).

The method is different, and possibly aimed at advance users as you have to set up the lighting, but if you can master it, you’d be a photography guru (remember, lighting is the key to good photography). It also benefits larger figures because you are not limited to the size of the box. Also, it’s probably much easier to set up backgrounds (which can also be more extravagant) as you don’t have limited space or flaps in the way.

But don’t dismiss the box just yet! The box is great for extra convenience (disregarding the storage space needed!) since you wouldn’t have to set up shop every time you want to take pictures. It’s possible to get good results with only a single source of light.

It’s portable as well! Although I think if you were out with your figures, you’d rather them bathed in the scenery…

I hope this post helps people who are thinking about take the first step into photography!




22 responses

5 05 2008

please ignore my previous comment in another post asking what camera u are using. now i know.

anyway i don’t have a setup and lamps for indoor shoot so i take pics of my figures outdoor. i love the sun, it provide the best lightning and best of all it’s free! ^^;

10 05 2008

Too late – I just replied! However, I’ve now got a new camera, so I’m expecting my pictures to improve 10 fold! (wishful thinking?)

Indeed, your outdoor pictures are really good! I think natural sunlight really does produce the best results. I would attempt to do outdoor shoots too but I’m too lazy to travel!

11 05 2008

dude, u don’t need to travel. the neighbourhood park or any roof top, balcony will do nicely.

15 07 2008

your snaps are really amazing and thanks for letting us in on all the secrets as to why! lol. you make it seem so easy peasy that even i, extremely lazy piggy, am swayed to give it a try myself. tehe ^^

15 07 2008

mini you donut! =p

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