DIY Photo Studio Under $25

Have you ever wondered how to get professional looking photos without the professional price tag? I'm going to share what I've learned in 4 easy steps. And it costs under $25!

Living in a 600 square foot guest house, I  use my kitchen table as a desk and needed something portable. A soft box seems to be the best solution for my space. What's a soft box? It's basically a nylon cube (or "tent" as some call it) that helps to diffuse the light. When not in use, it collapses into a small bag (kind of like those auto window shades). This is perfect for me because I can store everything under my bed, or in a closet.

1. Purchase a soft box. I pull my desk next to a window with direct sunlight, place the soft box on my desk, insert foam core on bottom and start placing product. Neewer 24x24 Diffusion Soft Box $23.99 on Amazon.

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2. Purchase foam core. This can usually be found at any art store. I get mine at Michaels. Elmer's 16x20 Foam Board.

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3. Start placing your product on the foam core and you're ready to shoot! (Personal note: I've never had any professional photography classes but thought my design background would help with layout and placement). After struggling for years with settings on my Canon Rebel, and buying expensive lenses, I decided to gift myself the iPhone X this past Christmas and haven't used my DSLR since. In the camera phone settings, I'm using "Portrait" mode with "studio lighting." I have a set of desktop lights that I also use with the soft box, but for this particular setup, I used only the light coming in from the window.

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4. Using the photo editing app Snapseed (there are many others out there, but this is my favorite), I will play with the lighting and temperature of the image. If I have retouching to do, I will bring the photo into Photoshop on my desktop, make any necessary adjustments and then adjust the lighting in Lightroom. Here are the iPhone X "portrait" images before Snapseed and after.

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