MeHere's blog

How not to setup a home studio

posted by MeHere, Dec 19, 2006 10:57 AM — 43 comments

So, my fellow amateur photographers, have you ever wondered how to set up a professional studio-style shot? (nah, me neither). But you should! In fact there's so much to think about, that Iíve decided to create this practical, easy-to-follow guide to object-oriented photography in a visual studio environment.

Examine carefully this example setup:

Some essential equipment:

A) Subject - Your photos will be very dull if you omit this part.

B) Shoes - These ingenious devices, though deceptively simple, combine both weight and a grippy bottom surface to create a powerful 'stuff-holder' tool. To use, just carefully rest the shoe upon the object in question to hold it firmly in place. Shoes come in different sizes; you'll notice that for this shot I've used the all-purpose robust sandshoe, as well as a lighter slimline thong model.

C) Box - Tripods are expensive, and often unstable (well I've never seen one hold down a steady job.). You don't need one. It is much more convenient to take an array of varying sizes of boxes with you when you go out shooting.

D) Wooden Eiffel tower component - A little unfashionable these days, but nevertheless a useful camera accessory thatís definitely worth a look. Functions as a cantilever to suspend the subject from. Not advisable for portraitature.

E) White Cardboard - look closely and you'll notice a polar bear in the snow storm.

F) Slave triggered flash Ė Find someone who has some cool photography gear and purloin one from them. Beware though; slave-triggered flash usage does sometimes result in the purple-fringing of your eyes.

G) Sticky tape, blutack et al. - superglue not recommended

H) Camera - Some try to substitute a pencil and paper for a camera, but I strongly advise against that approach; the picture quality is much poorer, and exposure times are too long to be practical.

And after that your on your own! (Read: the authour of this fine tutorial lost interest and is off to eat chocalate.) As a parting message, let me share with you the end result...

Comments | RSS

1. posted by zdeso, Dec 30, 2006 6:01 PM

All that equipement is must have :)). Off course if you are total amateur just like me :)))))

Regards my friends

2. posted by ciprynus, Dec 19, 2006 12:08 PM

:))) cool man!!! some parts looks exactly like my "studio" at home!

3. posted by hilaryaq, Dec 19, 2006 4:58 PM

That is so funny, and so cool! Love it, great first blog!!!!

4. posted by mooncat, Dec 19, 2006 6:25 PM

haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one whose discovered the wonders of box stacking. Books are good too. But the Eiffel Tower component is a definite must have.

5. posted by lukegillam, Dec 20, 2006 8:14 PM

Ha I like the objects you use. I use a thing my son made at school as a background though as it is really white. Great work.

6. posted by LittleMan, Dec 20, 2006 11:34 PM

Reminds me of my own "studio"...

7. posted by thadz, Dec 21, 2006 8:44 PM

Now, why does this look and sound familiar? :-) Your sense of humor is fantastic -- never lose it! Thanks!

8. posted by onindor_ch, Dec 22, 2006 7:37 AM

I like the objects you use.Reminds me that period when i started of my own "studio".

9. posted by omar_franc, Dec 22, 2006 7:17 PM

i hope this get the main page, it's nothing but wonderful! "masterpiece"

10. posted by a_kartha, Dec 22, 2006 9:36 PM

You forgot the most important part of the setup! The nut behind the camera!

Love this post! I still have a rather broad smile plastered all over my face. I like your setup. I shall now go and pinch various bits and pieces and see what I can do with them. :)

11. posted by Zela, Dec 24, 2006 2:46 PM

He, he, I tried to set up something like this against a door too.

I forgot to stick a note on the other side of it so someone barged in while I was on my knees assembling things.....

I still can feel the egg shaped bump on my head.

Great tut!

12. posted by juliaf, Dec 25, 2006 11:56 PM

This is a hoot! Now I know what to do for a cantilever!

13. posted by ratnesh, Jan 3, 2007 9:27 AM

cool we need professional studio ????

14. posted by moon_dream, Jan 6, 2007 9:59 AM

Absolutely amazing. As a begining photographer I would have to say this is the first tutorial I have totally understood. thank you for making it simple. lol

15. posted by oshinn, Jan 6, 2007 11:51 PM

just dropping by to say 'heh'.

16. posted by martiens, Jan 7, 2007 3:42 PM

HehEHEah... funny. well done.

17. posted by korgis, Jan 7, 2007 4:22 PM

Excelent job! Hope this is not the last tutorial you've made. IMHO this is the pilot and now is the time for the whole series. For example: Episode I - how to choose the right subject...

18. posted by jarsem, Jan 7, 2007 4:52 PM

I hope U'r boots dasn't stinks ? ;)
So I try to make photo-studio like U'rs
tx :)

19. posted by jwvdhoek, Jan 9, 2007 4:14 PM

great tutorial! the only thing I missed was a estimate of the costs... ;-)

20. posted by nathanoj, Jan 10, 2007 9:11 AM


21. posted by FRT, Jan 11, 2007 10:54 PM

could put alot of studios out of work with this!

22. posted by beautywar, Jan 14, 2007 6:08 PM

I like the "practical" approach you took. (:

23. posted by javierlove, Jan 16, 2007 3:18 PM




24. posted by sattamande, Jan 17, 2007 3:12 AM

Nothing makes the world a better place than those who are willing to take the time to share! Thanks for the tips! Now that I have my new camera I really need this advice so that I can photograph items for my digital collages. This will greatly improve the quality and save me time.

Thanks again!


25. posted by magi48, Jan 17, 2007 5:00 AM

Nice tips, but you do need a tripod
for night photography or long exposures for that matter. They are expensive for the higher end models,
but you can buy a low cost plastic model to get by on. I used a plastic
model tripod for 5 years before I invested in a profesional model.

26. posted by MeHere, Jan 18, 2007 10:16 AM

@25 fair enough :), I'm not totally against tripods or anything, it was just that in this instance, the box was convienient and more stable than the tripod in our household. (it being all of a half a metre away from the setup, lol)

27. posted by selsden, Jan 18, 2007 4:51 PM

That certainly one of the more amusing yet informative blogs.

28. posted by valike, Jan 22, 2007 10:46 PM

Thank you, Everything sounds (and looks very familiar here) Who says we're disorganized, not at all. Thanks again and lots of loud laughing when I'm supposed be working and not having near this much fun.

29. posted by charcoa1, Jan 25, 2007 3:18 AM

agree with @17, you can't stop here!
take your box-pod to the outdoors...

... brilliant post!

30. posted by kaclink, Feb 12, 2007 8:43 PM

I am new to this site and this is the first thing I have read. I can see I'm going to love this site! This tip beats anything I've read in a magazine and made me LOL!

31. posted by dannycujo, Feb 13, 2007 9:29 AM

You're a FUNK-a-TECHnic

32. posted by canoncan, Feb 18, 2007 2:56 PM

how cool is this ! you made me laugh, you tell it how it is, love the "stuff holder tool", now im laughing again, this is this best blogs ever, thankyou for the laugh but yet superb end result, :0)

33. posted by rosalies, Feb 22, 2007 10:57 PM



What a character!
NZ Chic

34. posted by wanecrease, May 3, 2007 9:16 PM


35. posted by xymonau, Aug 21, 2007 12:29 AM

It's alright for you rich people who can afford lavish studios like this. Some of us don't have the money for an Eiffel tower thingy.

36. posted by kotz, Sep 15, 2007 4:34 PM

C) Box - Tripods are expensive, and often unstable (well I've never seen one hold down a steady job.)

:) mine is pretty stable

37. posted by SnapParra, Oct 22, 2007 1:05 AM

So where do I get this "Eiffel Tower component thingy" that you speak of?

38. posted by pdtnc, Nov 15, 2007 8:04 AM

thats just excellent :)

39. posted by TsuDhoNimh, Nov 15, 2007 9:50 PM

Have you explored the possibilities of using kittens instead of shoes? They have the grippy bottom, and most can cling to curtains and fabric light tents.

40. posted by MeHere, Nov 16, 2007 2:07 PM

@40 I had considered it, but I find it them a little hard to remove and store when the shoot is done.

41. posted by disenoweb9, Feb 22, 2013 7:56 AM

AWESOME. thank you for taking your time to teach us! I really learned a lot. WOW.

42. posted by careersB, May 27, 2013 3:55 AM

It is great tutorial, thank you very much for this :))))

43. posted by carlislekm, Jul 29, 2013 4:37 AM

Very interesting

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